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4.5 out of 5 stars
27
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 17 May 2008
Let's be plain about this, if you don't know the music of Frank Zappa but are somehow intrigued and want to know more, you should start with 'Apostrophe' or maybe 'Hot Rats'.

If however, you know a little Zappa and want to find out about his roots then here's a good place to start. This album is quite different from all the stuff that came after. The reason for this is that there's some pretty personal stuff on here. On subsequent releases he developed a sort of highly articulate barrier based on a number of techniques. In matters of a personal nature he later directed his attentions to other groups of people and manufactured the kind of 'Frank' he wanted people to see. In short, after this album he was totally in control. He was the 'Central Scrutiniser'.

The darkly cynical and angry track 'I Ain't Got No Heart' is a real song about real feelings. And there are more. 'How Could I be Such a Fool' and 'I'm Not Satisfied' also reveal the bitterness and betrayal he had experienced as a result of relationships with a woman or women unnamed.

This CD also contains plenty of the stuff we all know about Frank but in embryo form. Groovy paranoia (Who Are The Brain Police), Teen parody (Wowie Zowie) and statements of intent (Hungry Freaks, Daddy).

Then, surfacing like a monstrously embarrasing reality check point, we are treated to 'Trouble Every Day' - a wake up call to bigots and racists of every colour. This is the most serious political piece that Frank Zappa ever wrote. His rage at the ramifications of a repressed people driven to fighting in the streets goes way beyond the silly pseudo-revolutionary rants of his contemporaries. Just listen to the way he sings: "He wants to go and do you in, because the colour of your skin, well it just don't appeal to him, no matter if it's black or white because he's out for blood tonight".

The album finishes with 'The Return of the Son of Monster Magnet' (originally subtitled 'The Ritual Dance of The Child Killers'). This album was originally released on MGM records' 'Verve' label which was the home of fine jazz at the time. There really is no wonder that there were questions asked as to why on earth MGM were paying for studio time for a freak to record a cacophony like this. Indeed, 'Monster Magnet' took up almost the whole last side of what was an astonishing double vinyl album.

So, why did this reviewer give it five stars? Well, because it's a great album. The songs are hooky, brilliant, intelligent and probably more a sign of the times than any of the other corporate nonsense that was released in 1965.

You don't have to be a student of Frank Zappa to like this stuff but it helps to be prepared. It's not always easy but this is a truly great debut by a truly great artist.
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on 13 April 2002
This is an album that stands for itself. I cannot imagine the face of music without it, true, but then music still is a very ugly place to go to without Frank Zappa.
The snarling distorted guitars; the parody-close-to-pastiche of Any Way the Wind Blows and You Didn't Try to Call Me; the social commentary of Trouble Every Day; the dada of Help I'm a Rock; the liner notes; the lyrics (oh! the lyrics!).
Amazing, if anything, because it prefigures everything Zappa went on to do, that is to say, stayed true to. It is one of those immense ironies of art that this is his debut record (a debut on the scale of Iris Murdoch's 'Under the Net').
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VINE VOICEon 14 October 2006
The majority of artists test the water with their first few releases, then (if they've got the talent) do something ground-breaking. For his debut, Frank didn't just break ground; he picked up a jackhammer and drilled away the foundation of popular music as we then knew it, replacing it with a hearty dose of ugliness, humour and controversy, packed into the first ever rock double-vinyl release (initially released in the UK as a single album without tracks 12-15, which were far too dangerous!). Forty years on (yes, nearly half a century!), this remains an essential rock album. The acid test: you could still put this on the CD player at the end of a party when your best friends are the only ones remaining, and elicit the response "Mate - what the hell IS this stuff?". The show kicks off with the Stones' Satisfaction-influenced "Hungry Freaks, Daddy", wherein Frank gets straight to work with some cutting lyrics about the state of the nation, continues with the savage honesty of "I Ain't Got No Heart" and the scary "Who are the Brain Police?", then a bit of his beloved doo-wop, some irony-laden wall-of-sound love ballads decorated with vibes, soaring brass and percussion arrangements, the Dylanesque "Trouble Every Day", then climaxing with a twenty minute plateful of general weirdness in the closing three tracks. Curiously, the album's lead vocals are credited to Ray Collins, but my experience tells me without doubt that on many of these songs, Frank is the dominant singer, with Collins a co-vocalist taking the occasional lead. In fact, out of all 70+ albums, Freak Out contains some of Frank's best vocal work and is probably the only place you will find him singing a genuine love song. Listen to "How Could I be such a Fool" - you may laugh but this is perfect Scott Walker/Marc Almond territory! Some people say Frank never bettered this work. That's a valid point of view I think, but the thing to bear in mind is that he explored many musical worlds, which all have their place with different people. And, most of the time, that jackhammer was never far away.
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on 27 August 2014
This is a reissue of the 1971 full U.K 2 disc vinyl (Gatefold sleeve) on Verve records mine is on the Zappa Records label from Barking Pumpkin records 2013 and comes with that interesting map that came with the very first issue of the 1 disc vinyl issue later 1966 releases didn't have the map, that map is of The Mothers favourite Haunts in Hollywood L.A, as usual from Zappa it's quite a funny read.

Buying this on CD does not do it justice, if your a Zappa fan and own vinyl record collection you know it's the only way to go, the sound from this reissue is from a 1987 digital transfer of the 1966 original stereo master tape and sounds brilliant, crisp and clear and (everything else e.t.c) as it should sound from a vinyl, not bland like CD.

I paid £15.75 including P+P But i don't get the AUTORIP as i bought it from a seller that has a store on Amazon... i don't care really as i can RIP the vinyl via my usb Sound Lab Dj turntable also bought on Amazon.
Now i hoping for a re-release of of a Vinyl copy of Man From Utopia 1993 not a version of the U.K 1983 Digitally Remastered Vinyl, i had the Spanish CBS Vinyl release from 1983 went missing from my collection due to moving house in the late 90's...i can't find a reissue lp (NEW) anywhere on Amazon?.
Bought for my Husband and this is his review for the LP.
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VINE VOICEon 15 April 2007
The majority of artists test the water with their first few releases, then (if they've got the talent) do something ground-breaking. For his debut, Frank didn't just break ground; he picked up a jackhammer and drilled away the foundation of popular music as we then knew it, replacing it with a hearty dose of ugliness, humour and controversy, packed into the first ever rock double-vinyl release (initially released in the UK as a single album without tracks 12-15, which were far too dangerous!). Forty years on (yes, nearly half a century!), this remains an essential rock album. The acid test: you could still put this on the CD player at the end of a party when your best friends are the only ones remaining, and elicit the response "Mate - what the hell IS this stuff?". The show kicks off with the Stones' Satisfaction-influenced "Hungry Freaks, Daddy", wherein Frank gets straight to work with some cutting lyrics about the state of the nation, continues with the savage honesty of "I Ain't Got No Heart" and the scary "Who are the Brain Police?", then a bit of his beloved doo-wop, some irony-laden wall-of-sound love ballads decorated with vibes, soaring brass and percussion arrangements, the Dylanesque "Trouble Every Day", then climaxing with a twenty minute plateful of general weirdness in the closing three tracks. Curiously, the album's lead vocals are credited to Ray Collins, but my experience tells me without doubt that on many of these songs, Frank is the dominant singer, with Collins a co-vocalist taking the occasional lead. In fact, out of all 70+ albums, Freak Out contains some of Frank's best vocal work and is probably the only place you will find him singing a genuine love song. Listen to "How Could I be such a Fool" - you may laugh but this is perfect Scott Walker/Marc Almond territory! Some people say Frank never bettered this work. That's a valid point of view I think, but the thing to bear in mind is that he explored many musical worlds, which all have their place with different people. And, most of the time, that jackhammer was never far away.
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on 11 May 2014
Some pieces still sound strong and experimental today. Others, not so. Zappa's guitar sound is very weedy and the songs sound more as if they were produced in the 'Beat Era' than in 1966. Would have better if they has tried to reproduce the sound the Pretty Things were getting for two guitars, bass and drums. Lyrically it still hits it. A good example of 'social comment' with added extra's.
No information booklet. A shame.
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on 27 April 2016
Half a century ago one of the biggest names in contemporary music stepped up to the mic. The first ever artist to release a double LP on his debut, Frank Zappa and the Mothers’ Freak Out! was never going to be an average rock album. The fact that Zappa cites over 200 names – ranging from Lenny Bruce via James Joyce to Edgar Varese – as an influence is another indication: this would not be for the faint of heart.

“Mr. America, walk on by your schools that do not teach. Mr. America, walk on by the minds that won’t be reached. Mr. America try to hide the emptiness that’s you inside.” The record starts with a straight enough pop tune, but the lyrics are the first in a very long line of nonconformist anthems. ‘Who are the Brain Police?’ is being haunted by the ghost of Syd Barrett, whilst ‘Go Cry on Somebody Else’s Shoulder’ is sung by the most cynical barbershop quartet ever to go on record. Whispers of fellow Californians Love, who would release their magnum opus ‘Forever Changes’ the following year, are heard through ‘How could I be such a fool’ and ‘I’m not satisfied’ . The Mothers will not be confined to one style. It makes for a slightly incoherent listening, a faith more than one FZ record would suffer.

The boldest foray into uncharted pop territory however must surely be the albums closer ‘The return of the son of Monster Magnet’, a twelve minute meandering of parlando, rhythmic drumming, spacy synths and general mayhem.

Five decades on Freak Out! obviously sounds somewhat dated. This firstling proved not to be the most consistent FZ & the Mothers outing either, but it holds all the promises on which Zappa would deliver throughout his career: musical iconoclasm combined with political and social criticism. The modern day composer refuses to die!
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on 23 May 2015
You either get him or you don't - there's no middle ground! I don't need to review the music it's been reviewed over and over - In my opinion this MOI debut album is outstanding and like most Zappa/MOI was/is (still) years ahead of it's time.
These 2011/12 releases are the way to go - all the joys of true audiophile vinyl sound without the crackles, pops and hisses of the actual thing.
If like me you debated if these releases were just a remastering marketing ploy - they are certainly not - If you appreciate Zappa get the lot - you will not be disappointed!
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on 20 July 2000
The sound quality would make Phil Spector proud. This is the one of the two albums that influenced the overrated 'Sergeant Pepper'. The second being 'Pet Sounds'. The songs are wonderful and the sound that you hear are luxurious. This is straight ahead rock and roll with balls. 'I'm Not Satisfied' is a far better song written about the homeless than 'Another Day In Paradise'.
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on 25 February 2015
This was an impulse purchase of an album I remembered from the seventies. The album is Ok but has not aged well. Having played it several times, i find myself skipping tracks that I feel have no value.
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