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We’re Only in It for the Money is the third studio album by American rock band the Mothers of Invention, released on March 4, 1968 by Verve Records. As with the band’s first two efforts, it is a concept album, and satirizes left and right-wing politics, particularly the hippie subculture, as well as the Beatles’ album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It was conceived as part of a project called No Commercial Potential, which produced three other albums: Lumpy Gravy, Cruising with Ruben & the Jets, and Uncle Meat.

We’re Only in It for the Money encompasses rock, experimental music, and psychedelic rock, with orchestral segments deriving from the recording sessions for Lumpy Gravy, which was previously issued as a solo instrumental album by Capitol Records and was subsequently reedited by frontman Frank Zappa and released by Verve; the reedited Lumpy Gravy was produced simultaneously with We’re Only in It for the Money and is the first part of a conceptual continuity, continued with the reedited Lumpy Gravy and concluded with Zappa’s final album Civilization Phaze III (1994).

Track Listing

Side one
No. Title Length
1. “Are You Hung Up?” 1:23
2. “Who Needs the Peace Corps?” 2:34
3. “Concentration Moon” 2:22
4. “Mom & Dad” 2:16
5. “Telephone Conversation” (Included in “Bow Tie Daddy” on the original LP.) 0:48
6. “Bow Tie Daddy” 0:33
7. “Harry, You’re a Beast” 1:22
8. “What’s the Ugliest Part of Your Body?” 1:03
9. “Absolutely Free” 3:24
10. “Flower Punk” 3:03
11. “Hot Poop” 0:26
Side two
No. Title Length
1. “Nasal Retentive Calliope Music” 2:03
2. “Let’s Make the Water Turn Black” 2:01
3. “The Idiot Bastard Son” 3:18
4. “Lonely Little Girl” (Listed as “It’s His Voice on the Radio” on the original LP sleeve.) 1:09
5. “Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance” 1:35
6. “What’s the Ugliest Part of Your Body? (Reprise)” 0:57
7. “Mother People” 2:32
8. “The Chrome Plated Megaphone of Destiny” 6:25
Total length: 39:15

AllMusic Review: From the beginning, Frank Zappa cultivated a role as voice of the freaks — imaginative outsiders who didn’t fit comfortably into any group. We’re Only in It for the Money is the ultimate expression of that sensibility, a satirical masterpiece that simultaneously skewered the hippies and the straights as prisoners of the same narrow-minded, superficial phoniness. Zappa’s barbs were vicious and perceptive, and not just humorously so: his seemingly paranoid vision of authoritarian violence against the counterculture was borne out two years later by the Kent State killings. Like Freak Out, We’re Only in It for the Money essentially devotes its first half to satire, and its second half to presenting alternatives. Despite some specific references, the first-half suite is still wickedly funny, since its targets remain immediately recognizable. The second half shows where his sympathies lie, with character sketches of Zappa’s real-life freak acquaintances, a carefree utopia in “Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance,” and the strident, unironic protest “Mother People.” Regardless of how dark the subject matter, there’s a pervasively surreal, whimsical flavor to the music, sort of like Sgt. Pepper as a creepy nightmare. Some of the instruments and most of the vocals have been manipulated to produce odd textures and cartoonish voices; most songs are abbreviated, segue into others through edited snippets of music and dialogue, or are broken into fragments by more snippets, consistently interrupting the album’s continuity. Compositionally, though, the music reveals itself as exceptionally strong, and Zappa’s politics and satirical instinct have rarely been so focused and relevant, making We’re Only in It for the Money quite probably his greatest achievement. — new no deposit casino

Schill Score: 7.5/10

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