The Mothers of Invention / Frank Zappa

Status Back Baby

Song Review by

On the 1967 LP Absolutely Free, "Status Back Baby" initiated a suite of three short simple songs that are closer to the Mothers of Invention's first album, Freak Out. This song addresses the "issue" of social status at the high school. It is a sunny piece of pop, but not that innocent: it takes a sudden left turn at the bridge section to quote a theme from Stravinsky's ballet Petrushka, before coming back to the chorus line "I'm losing status at the high school." Zappa loved that kind of sublime/ludicrous contrasts. "Status Back Baby" was performed by the original Mothers in 1967-1968 (there's a live recording of it on the official bootleg The Ark), and in 1970 with Flo & Eddie, but their vocal range didn't fit the song very well, as can be heard on Playground Psychotics. It literally vanished after 1970.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Absolutely Free 1967 Hip-O / Zappa Records 2:53
Playground Psychotics Universal / Zappa Records 2:49