Frank Zappa first disbanded the Mothers in 1969, with the influential group mired in financial struggle, personality clashes and creative squabbling. But the bandleader was as crafty as he was prolific: Determined to make the most of unused live and studio recordings, Zappa started tinkering with the archival material, resulting in two 1970 LPs, Burnt Weeny Sandwich and its demented younger brother Weasels Ripped My Flesh.
Zappa’s original plan for the post-Mothers era was to release all the material in a massive, 12-record set. But he nixed the idea after considering the financial logistics.
“We did a cost breakdown on doing that and in order to press 10,000 of each of the 12 records, plus coverage – it would come to about a quarter of a million dollars,” Zappa said in a 1970 interview with Jazz and Pop. “Now anybody who would invest a quarter of a million dollars in any Mothers of Invention project on a record level has got to be desperate. So, we just tossed that one into the garbage can.
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