Zappa, Frank/The Mothers of Invention - Cruising with Ruben and the Jets

SKU 17-RYKO310505
IN ITS ORIGINAL FORM, this was one of the strangest record in a catalog of strange records. It was recorded simultaneously with Uncle Meat and featured the 8 piece Mothers performing doo-wop music that seemed fairly straight-forward on first listen and was sonically quite weird when you got past the doo-doo-doo of it all. Snare drum hits that sounded like explosions, vocals speed up JUST a little too fast to sound human, etc. etc. I used to love this album. Why do I say "in its original form"? Read on:

"Frank Zappa loved '50s doo wop music. He grew up with it, collected it, and it was the first kind of pop music he wrote (like "Memories of El Monte," recorded by the Penguins in 1962). Cruising With Ruben & the Jets, the Mothers of Invention's fourth LP, is a collection of such music, all Zappa originals (some co-written with MOI singer Ray Collins). To the unexperienced, songs like "Cheap Thrills," "Deseri," and "Jelly Roll Gum Drop" can sound like an average doo wop song. A closer look reveals unusual chord sequences, Stravinsky quotes, and hilariously moronic lyrics -- all that wrapped in four-way harmony vocals and linear piano triplets. A handful of songs from the group's 1966 debut, Freak Out, were rearranged ("How Could I Be Such a Fool" and "Anyway the Wind Blows" give the weirdest results), old material predating the Mothers was recycled ("Fountain of Love"), "Love of My Life," and "You Didn't Try to Call Me" became live staples. [For the album's first CD reissue in 1985, Zappa had bassist Scott Thunes and drummer Chad Wackerman re-recording rhythm tracks for all but one song. Since then, all reissues have followed the 1985 mix, leaving "Stuff up the Cracks" the only surviving example of what Cruising With Ruben & the Jets really sounded like...]"-Fran├žois Couture/All Music Guide
  • LabelRyko
Your Price $21.00
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