Record Mirror


Record Mirror was a British weekly music newspaper. It competed with New Musical Express, Disc & Music Echo, Sounds, and Melody Maker, but had the smallest circulation of the UK consumer music weeklies and was considered to be the least important of the genre. The first ever UK album chart was published in Record Mirror in 1956. It ceased publication and merged into Music Week in April 1991, with sister publication Sounds closing in the same week. (The final NME print issue appeared in March 9, 2018.) (wikipedia)

1966 November 19


Top Fifty Hit
Mothers Of Invention: It Can't Happen Here; How Could I Be Such A Fool
By Norman Jopling & Peter Jones, p 9

 Not too sure about this – but publicity and gimmick value could see it into the Fifty. Absolutely way-out, disjointed, curious, wierd etc. . . . doesn't make sense first time of hearing. But an experience. Maybe it COULD happen here. 




 An American copy of the Mothers of Invention LP "Freak Out" was the first example I ever saw of the influence of psychedelia on pop music. But any notion that the Mothers would be exponents of the non-fashionable Flower Power was quickly dispelled by a meeting with Frank Zappa, in London to promote the group set up an Albert Hall concert next month. (read more)




1967 September 23


The Mothers Of Invention: Big Leg Mama; Why Don't You Do Me Right
By Peter Jones, p 9

 I really don't like this, don't get it, don't actually want it. But there's a lot of curiosity value here and it could easily be an off-beat hit. Strange vocal; stranger backing.



1967 September 30


The Mothers Of Invention "Absolutely Free"
By Norman Joplin & Peter Jones, p 8

 Everybody seems to have heard this LP, which does contain some of the dirtiest lyrics on record (you can't BUY that sort of plug). Their instrumental work, prominent on "Invocation And Ritual Dance Of The Young Pumpkin" is good proven rock. Should be a big seller – and by the way the flip of their single "Big Leg Emma" isn't (as so many people reported) just an example of their musicianship – just listen to any Howlin' Wolf record ...



 Tom Wilson, head of MGM's pop team, is a different kettle of fish entirely. He almost shuns publicity – almost, because it's hard for a six-foot-six bearded New Yorker to pass unnoticed anywhere. This week, however, during a two-day stay in London he broke his anti-publicity rule and talked. I first met Tom two years ago, when, as a New York based CBS producer, he was responsible for the recording careers of such artists as Peter, Paul and Mary and Bob Dylan. A brilliant recording engineer and musician in his own right, Tom served Dylan from his beginnings as a talented but obscure folk singer to his present position as head of rock. (read more)


1967 December 16


Frank Zappa - the Hitler of song, says Eric
By ?, p 8

 ... Eric himself is very interested in spreading peace through music rather than violence. For this reason he isn't fond of the Frank Zappa – Mothers of Invention approach. "He excites violence as a reaction from the audience. I think that it is easier to get the message across this way but it isn't my way. I think that Zappa is the Adolf Hitler of music. ...




1968 June 15


The Mothers Of Invention "We're Only In It For The Money"
By Norman Jopling & Peter Jones, p 8

 The most shattering thing about this LP is the time and trouble that has gone into the sleeve – a complete and accurate proof of the "Sgt. Pepper", down to the last detail. The same imitation doesn't extend to the record, which is the usual collection of hard, funny, dirge-like Zappa tunes, tempered by excellent recording techniques and some fine instrumental sounds – Eric Clapton plays here too. Several of the numbers they performed on their show here are included, such as "Hey Punk", a parody on "Hey Joe". Interesting, but we all know they're only in it for the money by now.




1968 August 31


From The Underworld: Undergroung Groups by Derek Boltwood
By Derek Boltwood, p 9

 [...] Influence
What this means is that classical music is having its influence on pop. Profoundness! George Gershwin did it. Jazz bands did it in the thirties and forties. And goodness me, even pop groups (some) are doing it. Mason Williams has been a poet, musician and groovy cat for a long time – and “Classical Gas” will be a big hit here as it was in the States. And I heard an album the other day that I will give to my grandmother on her birthday which is October 1, the same day the album is being released on the Verve label. This one is called “Lumpy Gravy”.
“Lumpy Gravy” is a “... curiously inconsisten piece which started out to be a ballet but probably didn't make it ...”, by Frank Zappa and the Abnuceals Emuukha Electric Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. It also
features some of the Mothers of Invention. There's an orchestral theme played by an orchestra – it's interrupted. By people talking, by old 78 revolution tracks by electronic music, by even (gawdelp us) psychedelics.
It’s phase two of the Goon Show. But it's all held together by a beautilully controlled theme. A structure of classical music. [...]



1968 September 14


From New York The Hawk Report
By The Hawk, 1 p

 [...] Frank Zappa reveals that he pays the Mothers of Invention and himself two hundred dollars a week each (about £80) and then every four months they have a big share out of all the money left after expenses have been taken out.
The Zappa "Reuben and the Jets" 50's rock and roll parody LP has a drawing of Zappa on the front with a balloon saying
.. "Is this the Mothers Of Invention recording under a different name in the last attempt to get their crummy music on radio?"  [...]


Source: Fulvio Fiore


1968 October 5


The Great Zappa Put-on
By Derek Roltwood, p 3

Underground Groups
By Derek Roltwood, p 10

 (1) "When people come to see us at one of our concerts, they don't come to listen to our music – they come to see us in the hopes that we might do something obscene and nasty on stage. Even the most ordinary things we do are full of significance as far as the audience is concerned. If my shoe flies off my foot halfway through the act people think it's a satirical comment. A good example of this is when we did our last performance in England at the Royal Albert Hall – about halfway through the show a guy jumped up on stage with a trumpet and decided to join in with us. He wasn't very good – he couldn't play the trumpet – but we made music. (read more)

 (2) ... Interesting thing – as you may have noticed elsewhere in the paper, I had the pleasure of a long chat with Frank Zappa the other day. One afternoon talking to him provides enough material for a book, leave alone a short feature in RM. For example – the Mothers Of Invention are responsible for the whole underground scene. Said Zappa: "The fact that we were able to go on stage and on record doing exactly as we wanted – making sounds that up until then just weren't accepted because they weren't com'mercialopened things up for the whole underground movement. Groups appeared – most of them not particularly good – but all making progressive music rather than teenybopper music."

I wouldn't say that Frank Zappa started the whole thing, myself, but I would agree that the Mothers did help to open the doors to let in much of the beefy goodness of underground. ...




1969 March 1


Underground Groups
By Derek Boltwood, p 10

 [...] "Professional" is the key word. You only play when business is finished – and business always comes first. Examples: Frank Zappa – a prime example of the professional attitude in American underground. The Mothers of Invention, despite the impression their stage act may give, are a big business. If Zappa has an idea in the middle of the night he calls a business meeting, and the idea is thrashed out and made to work. If he has the idea while a party is going on in his house, then the party is removed elsewhere – because business comes first. [...]

Source: Fulvio Fiore


1969 May 31


Cool, But Rare
By Charlie Gillett, p 10

 [...] One group has defied the present: Ruben and the Jets. If the listener hasn't heard any of the group records of the '50s, "Cruising With Ruben And The Jets" may seem to be funny at first, then a bit repetitive, and finally senselessly boring. But this is probably the least funny album that the Mothers of Invention have tried. It's a completely faithful recreation of the spirit, intentions and effect of the group sound. Using the words, phrases, and self-centred feelings of the sound, the Mothers have produced a record which honours, rather than mocks, the culture of early adolescence. The album's authenticy can be tested by comparing it with Liberty's compilation of mid-fifties group records, "Rhythm 'N' Blues: The End Of An Era, Vol. 1". It's hard at first to believe that some of these groups were serious, but after a while it becomes possible to realise what they were doing, and "Please Return" by the Jewels, and "Chimes" by the Pelicans, make sense. [...]



1969 June 7


The Incurable Frank Zappa
By Lon Goddard, p 12

 THE worst has happened – again. Mothers will be taking their kids off the streets, hippies will vacate Piccadilly Circus, orchestras will take lengthy coffee breaks, the great British yawn will hiccough . . . The Mothers of Invention are back in England.

Heading the popular team of stars, as usual, is the body beautiful, the loudest star of the silent screen, the incurable Frank Zappa. Reclining spaghetti-like in his tighter than a sausage jeans, Frank was having a glimpse at the British charts and I innocently inquired as to his opinion of Simon and Garfunkel, who are moving up the RM charts rapidly . . .  (read more)


Source: Javier Marcote


1969 November 5


Zappa and the Crawling Eye
By Lon Goddard, p 6

 "There are still about twelve Mothers LP's in the can", he winked, "we did a lot of stuff.

The Bizarre label had several provisions in it concerning recordings other than the Mothers. These extra releases had to be approved and I needed a vehicle to dispose of the material I wanted to put out, so the answer was Straight Records (first releases are albums by Alice Cooper, Judy Henske & Jerry Yester and Captain Beefheart at last on a legitimate label). In the States, I'm starting a T.V. programme, but I will include the musical things I've wanted to introduce as well. For guests, I have compiled a list and possible first choices are Hubert Humphrey, Captain Kangaroo and Mick Jagger. A lot of it will be political, because that is how you supply the best in comedy." (read more)



1970 January 17


(1) Understanding The Underground
By Frank Zappa, p 16

(2) 21st Century Pop People, P-Z
p 9

 (1) A lot of the underground acts don't care about making a hit record. They're interested in artistic expression. The underground sounds are raw. But the Industry should remember that the music sounds that way because of the environment the kids live in.

They are a different kind of person. Some of their bodies are chemically altered and they have leisure-time activities that would be very foreign to record company executives. They have a concept of music as an art. Most A and R people don't know anything about music, but look for the commercial potential.

You should care about the artistic merit. You call our music noise, but don't bother to look underneath it for the chords or melody lines. You don't understand the underground's music – there is definitely a musical generation gap. (read more)



1971 January 23


Was this the real Reuben Sano standing up at last?
By Keith Altham, p 10

 FRANK ZAPPA sauntered in, poured himself into the chair at the front of the room, folded his arms, crossed his legs and assumed the appearance of an effeminate librarian.

He aimed his nose and stared down it, appraising the curious faces assembled to cross-examine him at the press conference. The Groucho Marx whiskers twitched nervously, but the cemented gaze was unaffected. (read more)


Source: slime.oofytv.set


1971 April 10


Say A Good Word For The Groupies, Frank
By Keith Altham, p 10

 TO THE great grey mass of the general public, Frank Zappa is a bad man suspected of corrupting the morals of our Youth and the perpetrator of musical obscenities from a great height with the aid of his evil crew, the Mothers of Invention.

He is, to a misguided mass, a freak, weirdo or charlatan and they, of course, arrive at this conclusion without ever having met the man or made any attempt to understand his motivation. (read more)


Source: slime.oofytv.set


1972 April 8


Love Over Gold
By Norman Jopling, 1 p

 Five years ago, the magic name of Captain Beefheart was no more than an imported elpee in the window-display of clique-ee one-stop records. There it caught the eye of Peter Meaden, entrepeneur extraordinaire and ex-protege of Andrew Oldham [manager of 'The Rolling Stones']. So fascinated was Peter with the lp (simply titled 'Safe As Milk') that he purchased it and upon listening, realised that Captain Beefheart was, to quote a recent Warner Brothers press handout 'a cosmic genius'. (read more)


Source: eBay


1976 September 25


Frankly Funky - How Zappa Got Railroaded
By David Brown, p 6

 IF YOU'VE been called the worst rock band in the world and constantly been slagged by the critics, who produces your next album? Answer: find someone with a similarly evil reputation, who has also managed to build up a worldwide following (not to mention a healthy bank balance). (read more)




1977 February 19


Frank Zappa. London
By Robin Smith, p 19

 DIG OUT your headband and don't wash for a week - 'cause Frankie's back in town. The old cosmic warrior returned to London at the Hammersmith Odeon, memories of his bad-time swearing ban at the Royal Albert Hall still fresh in his mind. He rambled on about rectums, the Queen and waggled his bum at the audience. (read more)




1978 January 7


Frank zaps in
By ?, p 10

 FRANK ZAPPA is to play three nights at the London Hammersmith Odeon on January 24, 25 and 26, by which time his new double live album 'Zappa In New York' should have been released over here. Ticket prices for the concerts will be £4, £3.50 and £3. The shows will be his only British appearances on a European tour. He'll have an eight-piece band backing him. Included are: Terry Bozzio drums, Pat O'Hearn bass, Peter Wolf keyboards, Tom Mariano keyboards, Ed Mann percussion, Adrian Belew guitar and Roy Estrada vocals.




1978 February 4


Frank Zzzzzappa
By Robin Smith, p 31

Hammersmith Odeon, January 24-27 concerts review. In 2010 recordings of these concerts were published by Zappa Family Trust as Hammersmith Odeon, official release #89.

 Cosmic Time warp time at the Hammersmith Odeon, January 1978. The battered Afghans and RAF coats may be fading, but the spirit's not. They were packing 'em in, to the rafters an Monday night. (read more)




1978 April 15


Frank Zappa: Zappa In New York
By Jon Frewin, p 22

 FRANK ZAPPA believes that the general public are losing musical interest in his albums, or at least that's the impression I get from just reading the sleeve notes on this album. (read more)


Source: Smash Hits remembered


1978 September 16


Out To Lunch
By Tim Lott, p 6

This article is about Knebworth festival, where Zappa had a performance on September 9, 1978.

 [...] Then Zappa got onstage, and was it a drag. The man's got his head together, no shit! He didn't freak out or nothin', didn't play sloppy, didn't even fall off the stage. He just pandered to all these straight wimps by playing stuff they could understand and playing it like he'd practised or something.
Still, he is still cosmic, though. I guess he was ashamed of his hair cos it was all tied back, but he's still a freak inside. He laid down some magical guitaring, like it was magic, he was like a magician if you know what I mean. Am I making my point, man?

He's such a gas if you're close enough to see him. He don't use props, but it's theatre. jus' like the Toobs. You know, man, I don't mean all that Shakespeare thing, but you know, well, you just know man.

I don't know the old guy's stuff too well I guess, I just thought he was into endless jams, right, the sort of stuff I can really identity with, but it ain't so. Sure he goes on some, but the trouble is, he keeps it all under control, keeps to the point. Like he was a goddam professional or something. l mean, where's that at?

Like I guessed if anybody was gonna do 'Roll Over Beethoven' for an encore it just hadda be him, right! But no way! The old walrus did a new number, which was pretty good OK, but I sure couldn't BOOGIE to it. Man. Reading was never like that. [...]



1978 October 28


Frank Zappa: Studio Tan
By Steve Gett, p 24

 WITH 'Studio Tan', Frank Zappa has failed to summon up enough of the effervescent wit and delightful guitar playing, that made one enjoy 'Zoot Allures' and other recent recordings. (read more)




1979 February 24


Hail the not so hippy sheik
By John Wishart, p 32

 FRANK ZAPPA Hammersmith Odeon London
OVER TEN years ago I first nursed a desire to see Frank Zappa perform live. Unlike most vinyl heroes of the late sixties Zappa has continued to exert a strong fascination, one which I'm glad to say has lasted through and beyond his non-stop two-hour set at the weekend. (read more)




1979 May 12


Frank Zappa: Dancin' Fool (single)
By Paul Sexton, p 8

 FRANK ZAPPA: 'Dancin' Fool' (CBS)
Yowsah, yowsah, yowsah, moans Frank. Not a disco record, a parody of one, but Zap's cranky voice is genial and endearing as he laments his dancing lameness. The idea of Zappa in the singles chart is more bizarre than the record but it's strangely commercial. Sheik sheik sheik, sheik yerbouti.




1979 October 20


Frank Zappa 'Joe's Garage'
By Graham Stevens, p 8

 SIT BACK nice and quiet now for Mr Zappa is about to tell you a story in his nice, deep, soothing vice. You've never heard of Mr Zee, much less his famed deep voice? Ah well, let me clarify things a little. He is, I'm afraid, incomparable to current trends and frankly, if you want comparisons, Mr Zappa's records have holes in middle and describe circular motions, but that's about as far as it goes. (read more)




1980 January 12


Frank Zappa: Joe's Garage (single)
By Robin Smith, p 8

 FRANK ZAPPA: ‘Joe’s‘ Garage’ (CBS). I haven‘t had many good things to say about Frankie lately. I've been extremely rude about his concerts, and made several objectionable comments about his lanky person (he can't help looking like a pipe cleaner with a moustache). And then he brings out this amusing little sideawipe about life during his early career. Funny and tender with more than a hint of emotional nostalgia. Perhaps it needed a little delicate editing to make it acceptable for radio airplay, but it could still be there amongst the big 'uns this year.



1980 June 14


 Zappa's picture on page 42




1980 June 21


Frank Zappa: I Don't Wanna Get Drafted (single)
By Chris Westwood, p 10

 FRANK ZAPPA: ‘I Don’t Wanna Get Drafted’ (CBS) ... In which snappy, zappy Frank tries to be “current” and “funny“ at the same time; he’s actually neither. ‘I Don’t Wanna Get Drafted’ — a slab of produced discofunk ordinaire; archetypal latterday Zappa — is the signature of a dirty old man who’s taken the piss out of so many people for so many years that the only person left to parody is himself.



1980 December 6


Frank Zappa. The Palladium, New York
By Ira Meyer, p 37

 FRANK ZAPPA resumed his annual Halloween antics after a one year hiatus - taking to the Palladium stage with a six piece band that sounded brassier than Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey's big bands put together. (read more)




1981 May 23


Frank Zappa. 'Tinsel Town Rebellion'
By Chas de Whalley, p 22

 LIVE ALBUMS and Frank Zappa go hand in hand. The erstwhile Mother of Invention records every gig he plays, you see, and invariably employs a band who are not onlys good at their instruments as he is himself but are also disciplined enough to deliver his neo-orchestral arrangements exactly as he wants them. (read more)