19 May 2010
The Mothers of Invention
The Mothers of Invention was a highly experimental American band active from 1964 to 1975.
Most of their music was composed by the founder and guitarist Frank Zappa (1940–1993. The band's first album, in 1966, was a double LP named Freak Out!.
The group started as "The Soul Giants" and consisted of drummer Jimmy Carl Black, bass player Roy Estrada, saxophonist Davy Coronado, guitarist Ray Hunt, and vocalist Ray Collins.
They changed their name to "The Mothers" on Mothers' Day in 1964, but the legend has always been that it was short for the obscenity "motherf***ers".
Record producer Tom Wilson offered them a contract and at the insistence of their record company, MGM Records, the group changed their name again, this time to "The Mothers of Invention" to avoid any claims of obscenity. Adding "of Invention" made a kind of sense since "Necessity is the mother of invention."
That now idiomatic expression is rather esoteric being based on the line "Necessity, who is the mother of invention" from The Republic written by Plato, the Greek author and philosopher, 427-347BC.
Their debut was released in 1966, and The Mothers of Invention subsequently went on tour. In 1969, Zappa disbanded the original group and the following year he created a new group under the same name. That year, Zappa did an ambitious concept film and album project called 200 Motels. That group disbanded in late 1971 after Zappa was attacked onstage during a London concert.
During the 70s, Zappa released albums both as "Zappa/Mothers" and as "Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention" but he permanently dropped the "Mothers of Invention" name in 1976.
We're Only in It for the Money
Weasels Ripped My Flesh
Burnt Weeny Sandwich
Just Another Band from L.A.