Letter of the Week – Freak Out!

Freak Out!

One of our good customers had this to say about some Hot Stampers he purchased recently:

Hey Tom,   

Who could imagine that I would freak out in Indianapolis? It was a real roll of the dice to pony up the $125 for a Hot Stamper of “Freak Out”–this is a notoriously poor sounding record, and I’ve had 3 cracks at it already. However, it is also one of the 50 most important records of all time — its influence in 1966 on the burgeoning idea that pop music could be treated as an art form, and specifically its influence on pretty much every mover and shaker in music at the time, belies its technical shortcomings. If there was ever a case study in everything you folks profess to be about it is this record. 

Wow. For the first time ever, and I’ve had this record for almost 30 years, I felt like I could actually hear Zappa’s musical vision for this project. I had no idea it was even possible for this album to sound even remotely this good. All of the percussion, the intricate orchestral arrangements, the imposingly powerful bass on “Who Are the Brain Police,” it’s all there like I’d never heard it before!

“How Could I be Such a Fool?” is astonishingly beautiful (indicating that Zappa’s dismissive liner notes were perhaps a reflection of his insecurity). There was so much care taken on this album, and I feel like I may be one of a handful of people in the world who’s really heard it. You’ve provided me with a life experience, worth every penny and more.

Stephen F.