Great Rock Albums of 1986: Frank Zappa Meets the Mothers of Prevention


Never forget your roots or so I’m told. This applies to Frank Zappa’s “Frank Zappa Meets the Mothers of Prevention” album. While I was totally committed to heavy metal in 1986, this album reminded me of how much of a Zappa fan I was, still am and always will be. In fact, I still think listening to Frank was a requirement to attend my high school in the mid to late 1970s.

The album, as evidenced by the title, was made in reaction to the PMRC hearings in late 1985. On the album’s inner sleeve, Frank states that the lyrics in the songs are guaranteed not “cause eternal torment in the place where the guy with the horns and pointed stick conducts his business.” He also stated that the album contained content that a free society would not fear or suppress by those who wish to alter the First Amendment for their own end. All of this is summed up on the track “Porn Wars.” The track has quotes from those who participated in the PMRC Congressional hearings, including Frank’s, set to music. If anything, this track alone is reason for listening to the album.

Now before people start calling me ‘hypocrite’ because of all my ramblings in the past about one song not making an album, let me simply say that the entire album is totally cool, totally Zappa at his best. Like I said when I posted about his 1983, “Man From Utopia” album, Frank not only got the best musicians, he knew how to get the best out of them. There are four really great instrumentals on here in the form of “Alien Orifice,” “Little Beige Sambo,” “Aerobics in Bondage” and my personal favourite, “What’s New in Baltimore?” He shows that not only he was capable of writing weird, humourous music but he could wail on the guitar as well. If you want the zany lyrics found in Zappa songs, look no further than the opener, “We’re Turning Again.” I’m not sure here but I think this song is a dig at the hippies from the 1960s who became executive types in the 1980s. It is a funny song. The same can be said for “Yo Cats” for being an amusing song.

Track Listing:

  1. We’re Turning Again
  2. Alien Orifice
  3. Yo Cats
  4. What’s New in Baltimore?
  5. Little Beige Sambo
  6. Porn Wars
  7. Aerobics in Bondage

Frank Zappa

Frank Zappa- vocals, guitar, synthesizer

Ike Willis- guitar, vocals

Ray White- guitar, vocals

Bobby Martin- keyboards, vocals

Steve Vai- guitar

Tommy Mars- keyboards

Scott Thunes- bass

Chris Wackerman- drums

Ed Mann- percussion

Moon Zappa- vocals

Dwezil Zappa- vocals

Voice Excerpts on “Porn Wars”

John Danforth

Ernest Hollings

Paul S. Tribe Jr.

Paula Hawkins

J. James Exon

Al Gore

Tipper Gore

But no Steve Lukather!

“Frank Zappa Meets the Mothers of Prevention” shows that even a fully confirmed metalhead like myself could enjoy some great non-metal music. While written as a reaction to all the PMRC bullshit, it’s still a fantastic album.

Next post: Honeymoon Suite- The Big Prize

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4 Responses to “Great Rock Albums of 1986: Frank Zappa Meets the Mothers of Prevention”

  1. I always forget Vai played with Zappa. I need to listen to this one again.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the idea of Porn Wars, sounds like a chunk of cultural history.

    Liked by 1 person

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