zdbd – Absolutely Free (1967) – summary

Absolutely Free, Zappa’s second record, is another great effort, pushing the boundaries of complexity in composition, as well as his trademark sociopolitical satire. Consisting largely of catchy, poppy numbers, laden with satirical lyrics, Absolutely Free features the Duke of Prunes medley, the experimental Invocation & Ritual Dance of the Young Pumpkin, and of course, Brown Shoes Don’t Make It. The record is neatly divided into two halves, with bookended leitmotifs, with a lot of short, punchy tunes, and a couple of longer, complicated ones. Though it’s not as long as 1966 Freak Out!, it offers a palpable evolution of Zappa’s style, and presages much of the avant garde lunacy to come.

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