The Mothers of Invention, We’re Only in It for the Money

Christopher R. Weingarten

By Christopher R. Weingarten

on 12.18.11 in Reviews

We're Only In It For The Money

Frank Zappa
A scathing satire of hippie culture

Distancing himself from the so-called “freaks” associated with the previous year’s Summer of Love, Frank Zappa envisioned We’re Only in It for the Money as a scathing satire of hippie culture, exposing their fashion and drugs as a uniform no less constricting than the one tightly squeezing the straights. Although it’s an answer to Sgt. Pepper’s — down to its parody cover art (relegated by the label to the inner sleeve) — it’s far more musically adventurous, full of violently shifting time signatures, gurgling musique concrète, early experiments in sampling, punchy jazz and, somewhere in this mangled cornucopia, some of his catchiest songs ever. Widely regarded as the ultimate Zappa experience, Money hit No. 30 on Billboard and even won a Dutch Grammy (which Zappa turned down after finding out the album was lyrically vivisected by an MGM censor before its release).