(All Album Reviews by Octavio Trimmingham)
Frank Zappa – lead guitar and vocal (“My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Mama”…)
Ian Underwood – alto saxophone
Bunk Gardener – tenor saxophone
Motorhead Sherman – baritone saxophone and snorks
Buzz Gardener – trumpet and flugel horn
Roy Estrada – bass and vocal (“Gas mask”)
Jimmy Carl Black – drums
Art Tripp – drums
Don Preston – piano, organ and electronic effects
Ray Collins – vocal (“Oh No”)
Don “Sugar Cane” Harris – electric violin and vocal (“Directly From My Heart To You”)
Lowell George – rhythm guitar and vocal (“Didja Get Any On Ya”)
Weasels Ripped my Flesh is possibly the most difficult of the early Mothers of Invention albums to get into on first listen, or second listen, or third….. This is especially true for the uninitiated listener who may be just beginning to discover the great wide world of Frank Zappa’s music. This is the one album that might scare off the fair weathered listener from searching this humongous catalog any further.
On WRMF, you will find a disjointed cacophony of musical styles, a wide array of directions and a schizophrenic mix of musical experimentations, both good and bad depending on your taste. Along with a couple moments of great guitar playing (“Get a Little” & “Orange County”) you will hear jazzy melodies (“E.D. Memorial Barbecue”), demented vocal sections (“Sexually Aroused Gas Mask” & “Toads”) obnoxious feedback (title track), sped up instrumentals (“Toads”).
The majority of the tracks represented on this wonderful album were culled from various live Mothers performances all over the world and then enhanced in the studio (if necessary) and then put it into a cohesive listening order. Of all the tracks found on WRMF, only “Oh No” and “My Guitar” were recorded in the studio.
“Didja Get Any Onya” opens the album with an in your face type of tempo and a “turn that crap down!!” type of flow. In the middle of the track you can hear the same melody that was also found on Capt. Beefheart’s “The Blimp”. This first track really lets you know that you are in for a wild ride by listening to this album. “Directly From My Heart to You” is a cover tune which is beautifully complimented by Sugar Cane’s electric violin playing. His vocal style helps to keep the roots of the song firmly planted in an R&B style while the Mothers add their own twist to the rest of it. The album continues on this convoluted musical path throughout its entire play length.
I will not bore you all in trying to describe every song found on this album because many of them you just NEED to hear for yourself. Words simply cannot give them the due justice that listening can provide. My favorite section of the album is “Oh No/The Orange County Lumber Truck”. Zappa’s guitar prowess really shines through during the solo section on “Orange County” and I shall never tire of this track. These two songs eventually segue into the listener tolerance testing limits of “Weasels Ripped My Flesh”…the song that really brings everything full circle into a congealed mass of quivering, musical protoplasm.
In my opinion, Weasels Ripped My Flesh is a "must have" release from the Zappa back catalog. I don't care WHAT the rest of the world says!