Monday, January 28, 2013

The Mothers of Invention: Freak Out!

"Ray Collins ... entered the national spotlight with the Mothers of Invention. ... In the mid-1960s Mr. Collins was singing falsetto in a rhythm-and-blues cover band called the Soul Giants when things soured between him and the band’s guitarist, Ray Hunt. ... Mr. Collins 'punched his lights out,' Mr. Zappa told the television host Mike Douglas in the 1970s. 'He was out of the band and they needed somebody to come in and take over for a while,' he added, 'so I went down there and sat in with them and I thought they were real good.' In Mr. Collins’s version of events, no punches were thrown but Mr. Zappa did indeed take over the band. Mr. Zappa urged his bandmates to perform original material — his own — and the Soul Giants changed their name, first to the Mothers and later to the Mothers of Invention. The shift in direction led to recognition, a recording contract, some truly original music and a devoted following, if not rock stardom. Mr. Collins was the lead singer on the band’s first two albums: 'Freak Out!' (1966), which mixed satirical lyrics with music that ranged from straightforward rock to atonal experimentation, and 'Absolutely Free' (1967)" (William Yardley, "Ray Collins of the Mothers of Invention Dies," New York Times, 12/26/12).

View catalog record here!


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