Crummy Compilations

The oldish compilations below are "crummy" because Zappa wasn't involved in them and they were made by record companies to cash in on Zappa's work, against his wishes. (1990s Ryko compilations don't count, since they were made with permission.) Currently, there is very little info on them, and if you know track lists or other gory details, do mail them this way.

  • The **** of the Mothers (Verve V6 5074X in the US, July 1969; Verve 710 022 in Germany)
  • The Worst of the Mothers (MGM SE 4754, 1971)
  • The Mothers of Invention (MGM Golden Archive Series GAS 112 in the US (1970?); Metro 2355 025 in Australia, 1973)
  • Pregnant (Verve 2356049 in the US (double LP - details unknown (1972?)); MGM Metro Records 2356 049 in Germany, 1973; red Verve 2304 072 in Brazil, 1972; Blue Verve 2304072 in Colombia; Metro Records 2355032 in France; Metro Records 2356049 in New Zeeland, Norway & Sweden)
  • Freak Out! (but not really) Mexican LP compilation (Karussell 12022, 1972)
  • Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention (1975)
  • Rock Flashbacks: Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention (Transparency) (Verve/Polydor 2352 057 in the US)
  • Super Stars Live (triple LP, WEA 3-68 008, 1974)

The **** of the Mothers

  • US vinyl (Verve V6 5074X, July 1969)
  • German vinyl (Verve 710 022)

Unique material: none

From Biffy the Elephant Shrew:

The **** of the Mothers is the first of three unauthorized compilations created by Verve/MGM after FZ left the label. It was also the second FZ record I ever owned (the first being Uncle Meat), so I have a real soft spot for it, even though it was dismissed by FZ himself (and almost everyone else) as a ripoff. It was released July 1969, between Uncle Meat and Hot Rats. I got my copy at the Montgomery Ward department store in San Diego. I didn't even know it was a compilation when I bought it; I thought the title was a joke (like Phil Ochs's Greatest Hits).

For those unfamiliar with this LP, a few details. The track listing:

1. Status Back Baby
2. Wowie Zowie
3. You Didn't Try to Call Me
4. Invocation & Ritual Dance of the Young Pumpkin
5. Soft-Sell Conclusions

6. Bow-Tie Daddy
7. Uncle Bernie's Farm
8. Concentration Moon
9. Go Cry on Somebody Else's Shoulder
10. Flower Punk
11. Motherly Love

Note the bizarre programming choice of including the second and third parts of the "Call Any Vegetable" suite, but not the primary part of the song. Conceptual continuity fiends/Watsonites may consider the positioning of "You Didn't Try to Call Me" to be a kind of pun in progamming, meaning that Verve literally "didn't try to call any vegetable" when they omitted that song ...

The gatefold cover features a sort of junk collage/sculpture, distinctly reminiscent of Uncle Meat. Most of the objects in the sculpture are the sort of plastic trinkets I used to get out of gumball machines when I was a wee sprout: little skulls and devil faces, rats, toy bottles (one labelled "horse liniment"), tiny gorillas, miniature false teeth (again, reminiscent of Uncle Meat - and doesn't "Tiny Gorillas" sound like a Zappa title?), mingled with tinted pix of the Mothers, a Chinese laundry list, stylized Zappa faces and other detritus, all in a sort of doll house setting. There's a "toilet mouth" image of FZ with what may be a drawing of a turd lurking inside the toilet. The title actually includes a row of those little toys (and a nut and bolt), represented by "****" on the spine and label. (This album predates Led Zeppelin's unpronounceable title by over two years.) The word "MOTHERS" is spelled out in what looks like alphabet blocks. Inside the cover are really nice B&W photos of FZ, Motorhead, Don Preston, Ray Collins, Art Tripp, Bunk Gardner and Ian Underwood. (No Roy or Jimmy Carl? Well, at least they appear on the outside.) Why all this detail? Strangely enough, this is one of my very favorite FZ album covers. Hell, I really, really like this album, even if it's mostly for nostalgia reasons.

front coverback cover

Produced by Tom Wilson (without Zappa's permission). Art direction: Sid Maurer; cover art: Abe Gurvin. On Mikael Agardsson's German vinyl copy (Verve 710 022), the label reads "The $&%£§*+ of the Mothers", but on Biffy's US copy, it's "simply The Mothers (so the label reads THE MOTHERS/The Mothers Of Invention)".

Additional informants:

The Worst of the Mothers

Unique material: none

From Jahweh David Lynch:

Let me dig up my copy of this - this, well, piece of shit. Yes, this is one of those unauthorized MGM compilations, SE 4754.  It was the first Mothers album I heard, so I suppose I ought to be nice to it, but I won't, because frankly I didn't like it very much. My copy is  a DJ labelled copy, and it has:

1. Help, I'm a Rock (02:41)
2. Anyway the Wind Blows (02:52)
3. Flower Punk (03:03)
4. You Didn't Try to Call Me (03:17)
5. Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance (01:34)

6. Motherly Love (02:45)
7. Mom & Dad (02:16)
8. Mother People (02:34)
9. Wowie Zowie (02:51)
10. Status Back Baby (02:58)

I think these are the album versions, except of course for "Help, I'm a Rock" which starts where the vocals start and ends before the first appearance of Suzy Creamcheese. The cover design is credited to George Lamby, which is a really stupid British name if you ask me. The cover is a brown paper bag with marker writing on it and some (paint?) stains.

(Someone advertised a copy of this with a "rare American paketcover", but I don't know what that means.)

Additional Informant: Christopher McCheyne

The Mothers of Invention

  • MGM Golden Archive Series GAS 112 in the US and Canada
  • Metro 2355 025 in Australia

Unique material: none (but some of the songs are unusual edits)

1. Mother People
2. Who Needs the Peace Corps?
3. Flower Punk
4. I Ain't Got No Heart
5. Concentration Moon

6. Wowie Zowie
7. America Drinks & Goes Home
8. Call Any Vegetable
9. Son of Suzy Creamcheese
10. Absolutely Free

This is an MGM yellow-labe promo in the Golden Archive Series (GAS). Some or all copies had an unknown elliptical 2.5"x1.5" sticker on the cover. From David Goodwin:

For the Mothers of Invention Golden Archive release, while there is NO NEW MATERIAL, the actual stuff on the album has been edited quite a bit, mostly the We're Only In It for the Money material. Not censored, but edited. "Absolutely Free" fades out early, for example, and "Mother People" STARTS from the second verse, and contains quite a bit of "The Chrome-Plated Megaphone of Destiny" at the end. Weird.

The Australian version was very different. From Collecting Frank Zappa in Australia - Part 1: The Early Years, an article by Stuart Penny in it - The Australian Record Collectors Magazine, Issue #14 June-July-August 1995 (provided by Henry Griggs, Sydney, Australia):

Although sharing its track listing with the 1970 US LP of the same name (MGM GAS 112), this Australian-only release has an infinitely superior sleeve design. The full colour front cover shot originates from the same photo session that produced the German My Guitar single picture sleeve and the more recent Hungry Freaks bootleg picture disc, but is different to both. The back cover features an earlier black and white shot of the Mothers during their Free period and, once again, pointlessly lists catalogue numbers for the three MOI albums. In terms of desirability, this collection easily rates alongside any of the high-priced European early '70s compilations (Pregnant etc), and while not exactly impossible to find, copies in anything approaching mint condition should sell for at least $75.

Additional informants: Big Tom, Christopher McCheyne, Craig Jones, Steve Jones


  • Verve 2356049 (US double - details unknown)
  • MGM Metro Records 2356 049 (Germany)
  • Verve 2304072 (Brazil)
  • Blue Verve 2304072 (Colombia)
  • Metro Records 2355032 (France)
  • Metro Records 2356049 (New Zeeland, Norway & Sweden)

the cover, credited to a Jürgen E Gesang, is by far the ugliest ever on a Zappa albumUnique material: none (unless there is some on the unknown double US version - not likely)

There seems to have been a double-LP version in the US (note: most people are quite certain that there never was a US Pregnant), but all we have here is a track list for the single LP version:

1. Hungry Freaks, Daddy (03:30)
2. How Could I Be Such a Fool? (03:28)
3. Uncle Bernie's Farm (02:09)
4. Son of Suzy Creamcheese (01:37)
5. Love of My Life (03:05)
6. Who Needs the Peace Corps? (02:46)

7. Mother People (02:34)
8. Jelly Roll Gum Drop (02:17)
9. Who Are the Brain Police? (03:30)
10. I Ain't Got No Heart (02:35)
11. Trouble Comin' Every Day (02:35)
12. Motherly Love (02:47)

The cover, credited to a Jürgen E Gesang (funny name), is by far the ugliest ever on a Zappa album (and it also appears on a various-artists compilation from Argentina called Sound Monsters (JC Production 000 0408) - see the picture at Marcelo Gasió's Zappa page). From Mikael Agardsson:

The Pregnant LP was also released in the US! As a double LP (Verve 2356049)! Unfortunately, I don't know what was on the second LP. It is absolutely extremely rare; I have NEVER seen the American version. I only heard about it from Romano Manara - apparently, he had owned a copy many years ago but sold it. More Pregnant issues (listed in the Torchum books):

  • France: Metro Records 2355032
  • Columbia (record number unknown) [this may mean Colombia, which is Blue Verve 2304072]
  • New Zeeland: Metro Records 2356049
  • Norway: Metro Records 2356049
  • Sweden: Metro Records 2356049

The German version (Metro Records 2356049) had one "glossy" and one "matte" cover variant.

The Brazilian issue is much like the German, except it's on Verve (2304 072). The red label is perhaps unusual. (There is some stamp on the label, I don't know what it is, perhaps the distributor?) The back cover says "1972", so I assume the European issues were released the same year - maybe even the American?

The Colombian version has a black & white version of the front cover as its back cover.

Incidentally, a Mexican compilation called simply Frank Zappa y The Mothers of Invention has the same track line-up minus the last track on each side (in other words, it has tracks 1-5 above backed with tracks 7-11).

Additional informants: Svend Rosendahl, Bjørn-Emil Madsen

Freak Out! Mexican compilation

From Hasi by way of Charles Ulrich:

(this sampler is what has been thought to be the Mexican pressing of Freak Out!, but in fact it is a compilation of songs from FO!, AF, WOIIFTM and CWR&TJ.)

Lado A
1. AZOTADOS HABRIENTOS, PAPI (Hungry Freaks, Daddy)
2. ¿COMO PODRIA SER TAN TONTO? (How could I Be Such a Fool, CWR&TJ-version]
3. EL RANCHO DE TIO BERNIE (Uncle Bernie's Farm)
4. EL HIJO DE SUZY QUESOCREMA (Son of Susy Creamcheese)
5. AMOR DE MI VIDA (Love of My Life)

Lado B
1. GENTE MADRE (Mother People)
2. GOMITAS (Jelly Roll Gum Drop)
3. ¿QUIEN ES EL CEREBRO DE LA TIRA? (Who are the brain police)
4. NO TENGO CORAZON (I Ain't Got No Heart)
5. HAY PROBLEMAS TODOS LOS DIAS (Trouble Every Day) [Single version]

Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention (Transparency)

Unique material: strange edits of We're Only In It for the Money tracks?

The track list, courtesy of W.E. "Doc" Kuster / Jared Gordin:

1. Why Don't You Do Me Right [sic] [mono]
2. Who Needs the Peace Corps?
3. Concentration Moon
4. Mom & Dad
5. Bow Tie Daddy
6. Harry, You're a Beast
7. What's the Ugliest Part of Your Body?
8. Absolutely Free
9. Cheap Thrills
10. Excerpt from "Lumpy Gravy" - The Abnuceals Emuukha Elecrtric Symphony Orchestra & Chorus
11. Wowie Zowie

12. Flower Punk
13. Later That Night
14. Let's Make the Water Turn Black
15. Lonely Little Girl
16. Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance
17. What's the Ugliest Part of Your Body? (Reprise)
18. America Drinks
19. Status Back Baby
20. Uncle Bernie's Farm
21. Son of Suzy Cream Cheese [sic]
22. Big Leg Emma [mono]

From Robert Reinstein:

This is an album that is called Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention. The cover shows a 35mm slide (of Zappa), hence the "transparency". The title is done with spray paint (looks like graffiti).

From TFaulconer:

I remember that at least one European MGM/Verve/Polygram anthology issued in the '70s (this particular one commonly known as "Transparency") utilized lengthy excerpts from the censored version of We're Only In It for the Money, instead of the original.

David Goodwin elaborates:

I just received the European compilation "Transparency" today ... it DOES have compromised pressing quality due to its length ... sounded a bit muffled, but not terrible. Some songs ARE edited from We're Only In It for the Money, but I had a shock just now! While "Who Needs the Peace Corps?" is missing the "shit" line, "Concentration Moon" HAS the "Velvet Underground" line, albeit with the "shitty group" comment missing. That is SO STRANGE ... I'll keep you updated if I find more. [This has been reported on several other instances of the track as well, both on various Money releases and compilations - Ed.]

From David A Dennis:

It tells a short story about the Mothers of Invention on the back telling about FZ'z fall from the stage in the London Rainbow Theatre in 1971 and the breakup of the Mothers. In teeny weeny little letters it says "marketed by polydor limited" on the back.

At last, let's hear Fast Frank's opinion:

Censored and piss-poorly edited by some arthritic old bugger with the DTs shakin' like a dog shittin' peach pits and using a dull meth-eaten razor blade. And those are its GOOD points!

Additional informants: MJS

Additional Informants

  • Patrick David Neve

home - vinyl vs CDs - weirdo discography - bootlegs - misc - hot lynx - e-mail us at zappa dot patio at gmail dot com 2006-04-22 20:02

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