In the liner notes to the Mothers of Invention's first LP Freak Out, Frank Zappa describes "I'm Not Satisfied" as being "okay and safe" and "designed that way on purpose." It is indeed a straightforward pop song. The subject, dissatisfaction with one's life, is universal: "I don"t like the way life has been abusing me" could be anyone's protest. Of course, the Mothers spiced it up with kazoos, growling "yeahs," and the usual deviant touch found on other Freak Out tracks such as "Hungry Freaks, Daddy" and "You"re Probably Wondering Why I'm Here." The fast-paced rock number became a sloppy doo wop ballad on Cruising With Ruben & the Jets, the weakest adaptation of the set. The song never was a favorite among fans, but Zappa liked it enough to perform it live occasionally in 1972, and more extensively from 1974 to 1976 (a version from this era is found on the official bootleg Unmitigated Audacity). The British post-punk cult band the Fall recorded a back-to-basics cover of it on their CD Cerebral Caustic.