Mo-Fo: Track Details
This page is also very ugly right now. Details on the two-disc set
will come later.
A quick word about the source that comprises the majority of disc 2: during the
recording sessions for “Freak Out!,” FZ apparently had a mono reel-to-reel deck
plugged into the desk during several of the instrumental and overdub takes. This
means that some material which would not have otherwise been preserved on
multitrack tape—for example, early vocal overdub takes, which would likely have
been wiped by subsequent takes—does, in fact, survive on the mono reel. I happen
to feel that the “documentary” aspect of the recording is greatly enhanced by
the availability of such a source, as we can now hear several “in-progress”
versions of songs which would have otherwise been entirely lost.
1 - Hungry Freaks, Daddy (Vocal Overdub Take 1)
An early vocal overdub take. The entire instrumental track is accounted for,
guitar solo included (although the percussion is a bit buried). The vocals are,
especially for a “Take 1,” pretty similar in arrangement and performance to the
released version; little differences abound (the kazoo blasts last longer), but
otherwise all elements are in place. Frank and Ray screw up the “savage pride”
line, but gamely continue to the end. Frank concludes the take with “obviously,
one more time.” If anybody ever wondered if the kazoos were recorded live during
the vocal sessions, it now appears that they were.
2 - Anyway The Wind Blows (Vocal Overdub)
Another early vocal overdub. This time, we get a single-tracked Ray vocal, along
with the complete instrumental track. It sounds as if this is one of the vocal
tracks that comprise the finished version, but it isn’t easy to discern if it’s
the exact same performance. Regardless, an interesting alternate.
3 - Go Cry On Somebody Else's Shoulder (Vocal Overdub Take 2)
Not even close to being the released vocal version, this. It’s very obviously an
early attempt, with some different lyrics ("I gave you my high-school ring/down
at the malt-shop, baby"). This is exactly the sort of material which is probably
not preserved on the multitracks, and it's a treat to hear. We learn that Mary
Poppins is a junkie.
4 - I Ain't Got No Heart (Vocal Overdub Master Take)
This and the “Motherly Love” and “I’m Not Satisfied” takes that follow are
essentially the released versions of the respective songs, but with the vocals
gaining particular prominence in the mix. While the released stereo mix tends to
emphasize Ray’s vocal, Frank’s is more prominent here. We’re already editing to
the “freak out” section by this point. Frank ends the take with “think that
5 - Motherly Love (Vocal Overdub Master Takes)
See above. The final version, with all performance elements in place (including
a double-tracked FZ). The mono balance emphasizes the vocal tracks; the track is
otherwise dry. Intriguingly, it fades out, albeit way after where the released
mix fades out. And hey, for that matter, where’s the intro bass riff?
6 - I'm Not Satisfied (2nd Vocal Overdub Master, Take 2 (Rough Mix))
See above. This sounds like it has all of the vocals in place (albeit without
the echo that characterizes the released version), but unlike “Motherly Love”
and “Ain’t Got No Heart” the vocals on this mix are pretty buried, which makes
7 – You’re Probably Wondering Why I’m Here (Vocal Overdub Takes 1 and 2,
Two very rough vocal takes. Take 1 lacks the familiar “Doh doh doh” intro, and
demonstrates that the kazoos were, in fact, recorded directly onto the vocal
track. The take breaks down right after “you rise each day the same old way,” as
Frank seemingly misses his cue to come back in (?!?!). Take 2 is similar, but by
this point Frank clearly wants something under the introduction to the song, and
he provides a brief monologue about getting to make a record by himself. Neat!
The take breaks down right after the first line because of “feedback on the
8 – You’re Probably Wondering Why I’m Here (Basic tracks)
The first in a series of backing tracks without vocals. This is the released
take of the song, but all instruments either haven’t yet been added or aren’t
included in the mix; the vibes and piano are missing in action, and the
tambourine is buried really low in the mix. As the kazoo and percussion are
absent, the “lead guitar” track is especially prominent, demonstrating some
interesting and otherwise hard-to-hear figures during the portions later
occupied by kazoo. The ending drum hit after “not that it makes a heck of a lot
of difference to you” is either missing or hasn’t yet been added. Basically,
this approximates the left channel of the common stereo mix, albeit without
9 – Who Are The Brain Police? (Basic tracks)
The first of several “Brain Police” related endeavors. As with most of the
“basic tracks” on MoFo, this seems to represent a rough mix of the “finished”
instrumental take of the track, albeit with some elements missing. An entire
percussion overdub track—comprising several cymbal flourishes, the “ticks”
during certain parts, and so on—isn’t yet added or isn’t represented in this
mix; consequently, the otherwise-buried tympani (?) part is especially prominent
during the latter verses. Intriguingly, this “basic tracks” assembly already
edits into the freak-out section, which is also missing some percussion
overdubs—this supports the idea that the multi-track tape, or some iteration
thereof, was edited into the “Brain Police” multitrack at one of the recording
stages. We get a MUCH longer fadeout, to boot.
10 - How Could I Be Such A Fool (Basic tracks)
After a gen-yoo-ine FZ count-in, we are treated to a very different sounding mix
of the final instrumental take of this track, emphasizing the piano and
percussion elements along with the (twelve-string?) guitar. Interestingly, and
despite the “basic tracks” designation, the orchestra overdub is already present
and accounted for. There’s a brief stereo “blip” right when the track begins;
otherwise, everything’s mono. The brief guitar-spewage at the song’s culmination
11 – Anyway the Wind Blows (Basic tracks)
No guitar intro? Odd. Anyway, this is another more-or-less complete instrumental
track. An entire layer of overdubs (vibes, tambourine) abruptly vanishes at the
“she’s not like you baby” and…well, stays gone, for the most part. The solo
section is charmingly bare.
12 – Go Cry on Somebody Else’s Shoulder (Basic tracks)
More of the above. This is missing the entire overdub that normally occupies the
right channel of the finished version (i.e. piano, vibes), although it might
just be mixed realllly low, as I think I can still hear ghosts of it at
points—it’s amazing how much greasier this bare version of the song sounds! Anal
tech note: the first few seconds of the track are actually in slight stereo,
before it whips into “digitally correct” mono after the intro.
13 – I Ain’t Got no Heart (Basic tracks)
Not from the FZ worktape. Instrumental version of the backing track to the
released version, in stereo. Missing lead guitar overdubs, and also doesn't edit
into the ending freakout section, letting you hear the music that portion
eventually replaced. Cool!
14 - You Didn't Try To Call Me (Basic Tracks)
Not from the FZ worktape. Instrumental version of the backing track to the
released version, in stereo. Intriguingly, while the orchestral overdubs are
present, several others—including the eventual 12-string overdub—aren't.
15 - Trouble Every Day (Basic Tracks)
Easily one of my favorite tracks on the set. We’re back to the FZ-reference-tape
set (i.e. this one’s in mono). This is released version, but missing several
overdubs (most notably the harmonica) and with a single-tracked vocal. It also
continues past the "normal" fade, giving us more of the jam that ends the track.
The snare that leads off the single is MIA here, which would normally imply that
it was part of a later overdub, except that several intros seem to be missing on
the FZ worktape. Fascinating.
16 – Help, I’m a Rock (FZ Edit)
A totally different edit of everything. Different segues, different pieces,
different bits of the “freak out” section, and a different ending. If you love
“Help, I’m a Rock,” you’ll love this “Help, I’m a Rock.”
17 - Who Are The Brain Police (Section B) (Alternate Take)
This is an alternate take of the “freak out” section from Brain Police/Ain’t Got
No Heart/Help, I’m a Rock. Some fantastic guitar work. Stereo!
18 – Groupie Bang Bang
As some have opined, that this even made it to the vocal-recording stage is a
bit of a wonder. It’s “Not Fade Away,” essentially, but with filthy (and, in the
case of one Mr. Epstein, likely actionable) lyrics. That it wasn’t released is
hardly a surprise.
19 – Hold On to Your Small, Tiny Horses
Part of “Monster Magnet,” obviously much extended (and unprocessed) here. The
buried “fuck” on Monster Magnet comes from this section, where it’s much more
This disc is mostly devoted to jams and fragments, some of which would later end
up in the various collages on the album. As I am (echem) not quite as familiar
with Monster Magnet/HiaR as I should be, I apologize if I miss some conceptual
continuity herein. Hopefully, an Internet Compatriot will locate the snippets in
Some conducted chanting and whooping.
2) Freak Trim (Kim outs a Big Idea)
The first part is a jam that (somewhat oddly) reminds me of “Tiger Roach” from
Lost Episodes. It edits into what sounds like a bit of “Objects” above, then
reverts back to the jam, which features some incredibly tasty FZ guitar.
3) Percussion Insert Session Snoop
An interesting percussion workout. We get at least two distinct takes of…well,
whatever this is, with a good chunk of studio dialogue in the middle. This
features the “lion roar” sound we’ll hear even more prominently on the next
track. This melds into…
4) Freak Out Drum Track w, Timp. & Lion
…more of the above.
5) Percussion Object 1 & 2 (FZ Edit)
More percussion experiments. The first part of this track (up until ~4:20)
differs markedly from the preceding experiments; it’s more percussion, but
composed, gentle, and contemplative, almost loungey. After that, we’re back in
6) Lion Roar & Drums From Freak Out.
More of the sort of material from 3/4.
7) Vito Rocks The Floor (Greek Out!)
A departure from the percussion experiments. This is clearly the “Help, I’m a
Rock” vamp, with some fantastic harmonica and general grooviness. It gets slower
(and a bit heavier on guitar) right near the end, before crossfading back into
the more frantic version. This segues into…
8) Low Budget Rock & Roll Band
Frank exhorts (that word again!) his colleagues and assembled freaks to leave
the studio and not, repeat NOT, steal the instruments. This is presented
differently (as its own track) than it is on the mini-MoFo set.
9) Suzy Creamcheese (What's Got Into You)
A lovely 1960s-vintage interview segment. We discuss the origin of Suzy
10-14) Motherly Love/You Didn’t Try to Call Me/I’m Not Satisfied/Hungry Freaks,
Daddy/Go Cry on Somebody Else’s Shoulder
In my review of Mini Mofi, I plead for more of this. And I got it! Recorded
directly to mono and fantastic all the way. I find it interesting, by the way,
that FZ always talks about crowds reacting to Brain Police and Trouble Every
Day, and neither of those is present. There’s a lot of lyrical alteration
involved, and on the whole this is worlds apart from the sort of thing we hear
on “Weasels.” Live Mothas is few and far between, and I’m grateful for this new
Odds and ends, and a whole lot of (ugh) interviews. I have nothing personally
against interviews, but given their frequently public-domain nature, I am a bit
leery of paying for them. That said, the crop of 1960s interviews is absolutely
fascinating, so I eat some crow on this front.
1) Wowie Zowie (remixed basic track)
May I persist in my delusion that this was a personal shout-out from Joe? “Wowie
Zowie” in all of its instrumental glory—as the track hasn’t yet been represented
on MoFo (well, apart from its obvious placing on Disc 1), this is a nice treat.
In particular, the piano (which tends to get buried in the commercial version)
is a bit more prominent. The odd switch to semi-mono near the end of the song is
finally explained, as there’s an obvious mistake/breakdown during that section,
which probably necessitated some creative editing (but why from an alternate
mix? Such a jarring transition).
2) Who Are the Brain Police? (remixed basic track, Section A, C, B)
This is *very* similar to track 9 on Disc 2. It shows “Brain Police” is more or
less the same state—missing some percussion overdubs, and so on. This time,
however, it’s in stereo, and presented by section. This is the only time in the
set you can hear the note that normally gets edited out during the transition
between sections A and B. Section C, by the way, is the edit piece that
“concludes” the track, revealing that FZ knew he was going to edit into
SOMETHING even at that stage. Sections A and B are presented complete; C fades
3) Hungry Freaks, Daddy (remixed basic track)
A stereo remix of the backing track of HF, D. All elements are accounted for,
including the percussion overdub.
4) Cream Cheese (Work part)
Part of the basic track of “Monster Magnet.” Some overdubs are present in the
left channel. Concludes with a bit of an FZ interview discussing Trouble Every
5) Trouble Every Day (single mix)
The single mix, finally. Kick-ass. A reader has noted that this is obviously
transferred in stereo, with a slightly wobbly stereo spectrum and a big “fwip”
whenever edit points go by.
6) It Can’t Happen Here (Mothermania version)
A nice surprise, especially after the inclusion of the “1970” version on mini-MoFo
raised the obvious “Where’s Mothermania?” question. See the details on the
Mothermania page (and wonder why the other two tracks weren’t included).
Some very entertaining 1960s-vintage FZ interviews, in which FZ is perhaps at
his most playful. The range of topics includes the Beatles, psychedelic
marketing, and “poop rock.” Great fun. The very end of the last interview
contains a bit of a 1980s-era clip, introducing "Brain Police."
15) Who Are the Brain Police? (1987 Bob Stone/FZ remix)
An odd one. Very, very similar to the “Brain Police” remix on the Ryko “Freak
Out!” CD, but not quite the same; most prominently, it’s doused in even more
reverb than usual. Doesn't fade out.
16) Any Way the Wind Blows (1987 Bob Stone/FZ remix)
Now this is a fascinating thing. A drastic remix of the cut, with MUCH louder
vocals, MUCH more prominent bass (pushed throughout the song), and a more
"balanced" stereo layout. Presumably, this was a mix made for--but ultimately
not used for--the 1987 disc, which instead seems to use a VERY differently
equalized copy of the vinyl mix.
17) Hungry Freaks, Daddy
See “Brain Police” above. Doesn't fade out.
18-24) More interviews.