The Mothers Of Invention "200 Motels" (Sound Track)

By Jim Girard

Scene, 7 October 1971

The Mothers Of Invention
200 MOTELS (Sound Track)
United Artists UAS 9956

The ubiquitous, unrestrained and media conscious Mothers Of Invention have just completed their first full length film 200 MOTELS. A previous attempt was made at creating insanity on film, but was unsucessful (UNCLE MEAT - remember?). With a cast that includes Ringo Starr, Keith Moon and Theodore Bikel, Zappa is sure to succeed with this one.

Another factor which may help to bolster the acceptance of this totally outrageous project will be the double album which will immortalize this slovenly, carnal and hilarious freak film. All four sides contain the most overt and irreverent depiction of THE American city ever; they call it Centerville. The humor brings to the surface most of our basic social ills in the guise of unabashed erotica.

Instrumentally, the music is a collection of Zappa-styled windstorms of sound. However skeptical Zappa makes you, don’t think that his instrumentation yields itself to bastardry. In fact, the sound track is augmented by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and lends a majestic touch to the mania of The Mothers. I do feel that without the accompanying visuals, the entire orchestration seems to be remarkably lame. Perhaps when the film is released, full pleasure and introspection will be possible.

With a $750,000.00 budget, a cast and script that were never quite definite and 34 songs (with little more than carnality to make them cohesive), Frank Zappa has to be given credit for making such a regal, and interesting effort.

If you don’t understand it, after listening, don’t worry; it’s just those social deviants trying to upset the status quo again. If you do enjoy it, just remember that it is a convenient means of checking your values out.