The Mothers of Invention

Help, I'm a Rock

Composed by Frank Zappa

Song Review by

Basically, "Help, I'm a Rock" is an absurd joke. In terms of structure, it is made of one single 3/4 measure repeated over and over until everyone gets bored. It provides a frame for vocal interaction on the subject of being a rock, how it would be better to be a cop instead, how it doesn't matter anyway. On the 1966 LP Freak Out, the song lasted about four minutes. In live settings (1966-1969) it was usually shorter and appeared in suites of segued songs (such a rendition is included on Ahead of Their Time). On the studio record, the song segued into "It Can't Happen Here." Some CD reissues released prior to the 1995 Ryko releases included both songs on the same track under the title "Help I'm a Rock." The song's 3/4 rhythm pattern does briefly resurface in "It Can't Happen Here" to accommodate a free-form piano solo, but they remain separate pieces: "Help I'm a Rock" had live potential, "It Can't Happen Here" was essentially a studio piece. For some obscure reason (or the consequence of a twisted sense of humor), "Help I'm a Rock" was released as the B-side to the 1966 DJ-only single "How Could I Be Such a Fool." It was nice silliness, but nothing more.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Freak Out! 1966 Zappa Records 4:43
Ahead of Their Time 1993 Ryko Distribution / Rykodisc 1:38
Threesome, Vol. 1 2002 Ryko Distribution / Rykodisc 4:43
Ahead of Their Time Zappa Records 1:38
blue highlight denotes editor's pick