Bonus disc with 20 minutes of vault material, D-side etching
Mastered from the original analog tape by Bernie Grundman
The Zappa Family Trust marks the 50th Anniversary of Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention's 1967 album Absolutely Free with an expanded vinyl-exclusive edition. This double 180 gram LP version includes the original record mastered by Bernie Grundman and cut directly from the original analog master tapes, plus a laser-etched additional disc including 20 minutes of bonus material from the vault.
The package features FZ's original layout and a reproduction of the rare, highly sought-after "libretto," an 18-page booklet with a foreword by FZ and lyrics to all the compositions, that was offered only by mail order when originally released.
Released 50 years ago on May 26, 1967 on Verve Records, Absolutely Free was the Mothers of Invention's follow-up to their landmark debut album, Freak Out! Brash, challenging and exhilarating, the record was revolutionary as it pushed the limits of what an album could be. A pop culture pastiche, the album leaps through genres — from psychedelic pop and progressive rock to free-form jazz and avant-garde noise to doo-wop and garage rock, often in the same composition as on album highlight "Brown Shoes Don't Make It," and is filled with Zappa's trademark biting political and social satire.
Hailed by AllMusic as a "fabulously inventive record" that is "by turns hilarious, inscrutable, and virtuosically complex," the record is divided into two "oratorios" or song suites - "Absolutely Free" and "The M.O.I. American Pageant" — and is rife with complex instrumentation, experimentation and unconventional editing.
Produced by Tom Wilson (Bob Dylan, The Velvet Underground, Sun Ra), who first worked with the band on Freak Out! the year prior, Absolutely Free featured a cadre of musicians working with Zappa and vocalist Ray Collins that included Jim Fielder on guitar, Roy Estrada on bass, Don Preston on keyboards, Bunk Gardner on woodwinds, and drummers Jim Black and Billy Mundi. The album was recorded the week before Thanksgiving, November 1966 in Los Angeles at the Sunset-Highland Studios of T.T.G. Inc., in a series of four sessions.
It was edited and re-mixed in New York City at the MGM Studios in five sessions the following week. In Clash's appreciation of the record, they exclaimed: "Amidst this high-brow inspiration and aggressive musical arrangement we have beautiful passages of melody, laugh-out-loud lyrics about vegetables and lacerating cynicism. Nonconformist, comedic and maverick, Absolutely Free establishes Zappa as a fantastical musical mutineer and pioneering bandleader."
Features: • 180g Audiophile Vinyl • Double LP • 50th Anniversary Edition • All analog mastering by Bernie Grundman from the original 1967 analog master tape • 18-page booklet including The Complete Libretto • Laser etched 4th Side • Bonus content: 20 Minutes Of Vault Material • Gatefold Jacket • This is the only album for which all of the artwork, including the merchanical layout, was created solely by Frank Zappa
Musicians: Frank Zappa, guitar, Vocals Ray Collins, vocals, tambourine, PRUNE Jim Fielder, guitar, piano Don Preston, keyboards Bunk Gardner, woodwinds Roy Estrada, bass, vocals Jim Black, drums, vocals Billy Mundi, drums, percussion
Selections: LP 1 Side 1: 1. Plastic People 2. The Duke of Prunes 3. Amnesia Vivace 4. The Duke Regains His Chops 5. Call Any Vegetable 6. Invocation And Ritual Dance Of The Young Pumpkin 7. Soft-Sell Conclusion Side 2: 1. America Drinks 2. Status Back Baby 3. Uncle Bernie's Farm 4. Son Of Suzy Creamcheese 5. Brown Shoes Don't Make It 6. America Drinks & Goes Home
LP2 Side 1 - Bonus Content: 1. Absolutely Free Radio Ad #1 2. Why Don'tcha Do Me Right 3. Big Leg Emma 4. Absolutely Free Radio Ad #2 5. "Glutton For Punishment..." 6. America Drinks - 1969 Re-Mix 7. Brown Shoes Don't Make It - 1969 Re-Mix 8. America Drinks & Goes Home - 1969 Re-Mix Side 2: Laser Etching