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This article is about the Mothers of Invention album. For the band, see Mothermania (band).
Greatest hits album by The Mothers of Invention
Released March 24, 1969
Recorded 1966—1968
Genre Rock, experimental, avant-garde, doo-wop
Length 40:34
Label Bizarre/Verve
Producer Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa chronology
Uncle Meat
#6 (1968)
#7 (1969)
Hot Rats
#8 (1969)

Mothermania (1969), subtitled The Best of the Mothers, is a compilation album by the Mothers of Invention. While the songs were previously released on Freak Out!, Absolutely Free and We're Only in It for the Money, it contains unique mixes or edits done specifically for this compilation.


After the Mothers of Invention's contract with MGM and Verve Records expired, Frank Zappa and Herb Cohen negotiated to form a semi-independent record label Bizarre Records, with Verve releasing three Bizarre releases with distribution by MGM: a new Mothers of Invention album, Cruising with Ruben & the Jets, the compilation Mothermania, and an album by Sandy Hurvitz, Sandy's Album is Here at Last.[1][2] Mothermania was prepared in order to recoup money which Verve felt it lost funding the Mothers of Invention albums Freak Out!, Absolutely Free and We're Only in It for the Money.[3] Frank Zappa prepared the masters for the release, remixing and sequencing the track listing, as well as overseeing its packaging.[2][3] The compilation was notable for featuring unique mixes or edits of the songs compiled for its release, including an uncensored version of "Mother People", which previously appeared on We're Only in It for the Money in a censored version, and a radically different mix of "The Idiot Bastard Son".[3][4]

Release, reception and aftermath[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[5]

Mothermania was released shortly before the release of the Mothers of Invention's fifth studio album, Uncle Meat, a releasing tactic that Frank Zappa felt was intentional on the behalf of Verve.[3][4] Zappa subsequently disowned the compilation following its release.[3] Allmusic reviewer William Ruhlmann described the compilation as being "redundant", giving it three out of five stars.[5] Verve would go on to produce further compilations, without Zappa's involvement.[3]

The album was unavailable for a long time, but has since been officially reissued as a digital download in 2009[6] and on CD in 2012.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Frank Zappa.

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Brown Shoes Don't Make It" 7:26
2. "Mother People" 1:41
3. "Duke of Prunes" 5:09
4. "Call Any Vegetable" 4:31
5. "The Idiot Bastard Son" 2:26
Side two
No. Title Length
6. "It Can't Happen Here" 3:13
7. "You're Probably Wondering Why I'm Here" 3:37
8. "Who Are the Brain Police?" 3:22
9. "Plastic People" 3:40
10. "Hungry Freaks, Daddy" 3:27
11. "America Drinks and Goes Home" 2:43
Total length: 40:34


Art Tripp appears in the album cover but he didn't play on any of the songs (Freak Out!, Absolutely Free and We're Only in it for the Money were recorded before he joined the band).



  1. ^ Zappa, Frank with Occhiogrosso, Peter (1989). The Real Frank Zappa Book. New York: Poseidon Press. pp. 87–88. ISBN 0-671-63870-X. 
  2. ^ a b Miles, Barry (September 2005). "Zappa: A Biography". ISBN 9780802142153. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Lowe, Kelly Fisher (2007). "The Words and Music of Frank Zappa". ISBN 0803260059. 
  4. ^ a b Slaven, Niel. "Electric Don Quixote: The Definitive Story of Frank Zappa". ISBN 9780857120434. 
  5. ^ a b Allmusic review
  6. ^ "Product information for Mothermania". Barfko-Swill. Retrieved 2009-05-17.