200 Motels/Soundtrack Notes

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

< 200 Motels

Synopsis

200 Motels is a 1971 British musical film featuring Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention, produced at Pinewood Studios, England. Directed and written by Frank Zappa and Tony Palmer, with special material written by Howard Kaylan, Mark Volman, and Jeff Simmons. Actors included Ringo Starr, Theodore Bikel and Keith Moon. A double album of the soundtrack was released in the same year.

200 Motels DVD.jpg
Motels9.jpg
Motels6.jpg
200m 2.jpg
Motels8.jpg
200cd.jpg

Soundtrack

Side one

1. "Semi-Fraudulent/Direct-From-Hollywood Overture" – 2:01 2. "Mystery Roach" – 2:32 3. "Dance of the Rock & Roll Interviewers" – 0:48 4. "This Town Is a Sealed Tuna Sandwich (Prologue)" – 0:55 5. "Tuna Fish Promenade" – 2:29 6. "Dance of the Just Plain Folks" – 4:40 7. "This Town Is a Sealed Tuna Sandwich (Reprise)" – 0:58 8. "The Sealed Tuna Bolero" – 1:40 9. "Lonesome Cowboy Burt" – 3:54

Side two

1. "Touring Can Make You Crazy" – 2:54 2. "Would You Like a Snack?" – 1:23 3. "Redneck Eats" – 3:02 4. "Centerville" – 2:31 5. "She Painted up Her Face" – 1:41 6. "Janet's Big Dance Number" – 1:18 7. "Half a Dozen Provocative Squats" – 1:57 8. "Mysterioso" – 0:48 9. "Shove It Right In" – 2:32 10. "Lucy's Seduction of a Bored Violinist & Postlude" – 4:01

Side three

1. "I'm Stealing the Towels" – 2:15 2. "Dental Hygiene Dilemma" – 5:11 3. "Does This Kind of Life Look Interesting to You?" – 2:59 4. "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy" – 3:11 5. "Penis Dimension" – 4:37 6. "What Will This Evening Bring Me This Morning" – 3:29

Side four

1. "A Nun Suit Painted on Some Old Boxes" – 1:08 2. "Magic Fingers" – 3:53 3. "Motorhead's Midnight Ranch" – 1:28 4. "Dew on the Newts We Got" – 1:09 5. "The Lad Searches the Night for His Newts" – 0:41 6. "The Girl Wants to Fix Him Some Broth" – 1:10 7. "The Girl's Dream" – 0:54 8. "Little Green Scratchy Sweaters & Corduroy Ponce" – 1:00 9. "Strictly Genteel (The Finale)" – 11:08

Bonus tracks on CD reissue

200 Motels promotional radio spots

1. "Coming Soon! [Cut 1]" – 0:56 2. "The Wide Screen [Cut 2]" – 0:57 3. "Coming Soon! [Cut 3]" – 0:31 4. "Frank Zappa's 200 Motels [Cut 4]" – 0:11 5. "Magic Fingers [Single Edit]" – 2:57 6. ENHANCED TRACK: Original Theatrical Trailer 3:28

Personnel

  • Bob Auger – Engineer
  • Theodore Bikel – Narrator
  • Jimmy Carl Black – Vocals
  • George Duke – Trombone, Keyboards
  • Aynsley Dunbar – Drums
  • Howard Kaylan – Vocals
  • Barry Keene – Overdubs, Remixing
  • David McMacken – Design, Illustrations
  • Patrick Pending – Liner Notes
  • Jim Pons – Voices
  • Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Cal Schenkel – Design
  • Ian Underwood – Keyboards, Woodwind
  • Ruth Underwood – Percussion
  • Mark Volman – Vocals, Photography
  • Frank Zappa – Bass, Guitar, Producer, Orchestration

The music on the soundtrack is in a different sequence than the film. In addition, Zappa explained in the soundtrack album notes that, not all the music in the film is on the album, and not all the music on the album is in the film. Some of the music written for the project is not in the movie or on the soundtrack album.

This was not the first time that Zappa combined orchestral and rock music on film. He did this in his very first film score The World's Greatest Sinner in 1962. The music in 200 Motels also has similarities to earlier Zappa works, such as the orchestral score to Run Home Slow (1965) as well as his first solo LP, Lumpy Gravy, from 1968.

The double album soundtrack, like the film, was completed in a week. The production took place at Pinewood studios in England and the recording of the band without the orchestra took place after the day's filming was complete. This was done with a rented remote recording studio/truck owned by the Rolling Stones which was driven into the movie studio and parked there for a week.

A large variety of musical styles and satirical parodies of musical styles on the album, including the faux country "Lonesome Cowboy Burt" with a vocal by Jimmy Carl Black. Rock band selections include "Do You Like My New Car", "Shove It Right In" and "Magic Fingers". Little space is given to guitar solos on the album and lyrics throughout the album are typically obsessed with sexual behaviour, critical of American society.

Zappa's orchestral compositions exhibit the influence of composers he admired such as Varèse, Stravinsky and Webern. The soundtrack also includes operatic vocals by a group of "serious" singers on some pieces and the entire panoply of modern chamber music, twentieth century orchestra, avante-garde and twelve-tone repertoire are also represented on the soundtrack.

Newsletter
  • Grindhouse Database Newsletter
  • Exploitation books
  • Kung fu movies
  • Giallo BluRay