Them or Us

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Them or Us
Zappa Them or Us.jpg
Studio album by Frank Zappa
Released October 18, 1984
Recorded November 1981 - June 1984 (elements of "Ya Hozna" and "Planet Of My Dreams" were recorded between 1967 and 1976)
Genre Hard rock, progressive rock, comedy rock, Doo Wop
Length 70:45
Label Barking Pumpkin
Producer Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa chronology
Boulez Conducts Zappa: The Perfect Stranger
#39 (1984)
Them or Us
#40 (1984)
#41 (1984)
Singles from Them or Us
  1. "Baby Take Your Teeth Out"
    Released: 1984
  2. "In France"
    Released: 1984
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]

Them or Us is an album by Frank Zappa, released in October 1984.

Album content[edit]

Its opening and closing tracks are covers: "The Closer You Are", which was written by Earl Lewis and Morgan Robinson and originally released by The Channels; and "Whippin' Post", originally recorded by The Allman Brothers Band.

"Ya Hozna" is actually a forward basic track with vocal taken from "Sofa No. 2" (from "One Size Fits All", 1975), "Lonely Little Girl" (from We're Only in It for the Money, 1968) and unreleased outtakes of "Valley Girl" (vocals by Moon Zappa) played backwards. "Planet of My Dreams" (featuring Bob Harris on vocals) is a 1981 studio recording taken from the score of Zappa's unrealized 1972 stage musical "Hunchentoot" (several titles from this show also appear on the first-CD edition of Zappa's Sleep Dirt reissue from 1993).

As with other Zappa rock albums of the era, many tracks are sourced from live recordings (mostly with added studio overdubs) although there is no mention of it in the liner notes.[2]


Following distribution problems with Zappa's album Thing-Fish, which former Barking Pumpkin distributor MCA Records refused to distribute,[3] Zappa made a deal with EMI Records, which would allow Them Or Us and Thing-Fish to be distributed by Capitol Records in the United States.[3] Zappa wrote a "warning" which appeared on the inner sleeves of these albums, as well as Frank Zappa Meets the Mothers of Prevention, which stated that the albums contained content "which a truly free society would neither fear nor suppress", and a "guarantee" which stated that the lyrics would not "cause eternal torment in the place where the guy with the horns and pointed stick conducts his business."[3]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Frank Zappa, except where noted.

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "The Closer You Are" (Earl Lewis, Morgan "Bobby" Robinson) 2:55
2. "In France" 3:30
3. "Ya Hozna" 6:26
4. "Sharleena" 4:33
Side two
No. Title Length
5. "Sinister Footwear II" 8:39
6. "Truck Driver Divorce" 8:59
Side three
No. Title Length
7. "Stevie's Spanking" 5:23
8. "Baby, Take Your Teeth Out" 1:54
9. "Marque-son's Chicken" 7:33
10. "Planet of My Dreams" 1:37
Side four
No. Title Length
11. "Be in My Video" 3:39
12. "Them or Us" 5:23
13. "Frogs with Dirty Little Lips" (Frank Zappa, Ahmet Zappa) 2:42
14. "Whipping Post" (Gregg Allman) 7:32



Production staff[edit]

  • Mark Pinske – chief engineer
  • John Matousek – mastering
  • Gabrielle Raumberger – artwork, graphic design
  • Steve Schapiro – photography
  • Bob Stone – engineer
  • Donald Roller Wilson - Cover art


  1. ^ Couture, F. "Them or Us - Frank Zappa | AllMusic". Retrieved 21 July 2011. 
  2. ^ "Them or Us". Retrieved 12 April 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c Zappa, Frank with Occhiogrosso, Peter (1989). The Real Frank Zappa Book. New York: Poseidon Press. pp. 278–279. ISBN 0-671-63870-X. 

External links[edit]