Frank Zappa

Tell Me You Love Me

Composed by Frank Zappa

Song Review by

With "Tell Me You Love Me," Zappa changed his approach to doo wop love songs. The lyrics are as basic as can be: boy wants girl for sex ("Tell me you love me/Like I want you to"). There are about six different lines throughout the song, each repeated ad nauseam. Lyric-wise, this could have been on Cruising With Ruben & the Jets or even Freak Out. The big difference comes from the heavy rock anthem propelling the song and the fact that Flo & Eddie are screaming instead of singing, giving the whole thing force of impact, urgency, ludicrousness, and infectious appeal none of Zappa's previous doo wop pastiches ever came close to. Surprisingly, "Tell Me You Love Me" was not performed live during the Flo & Eddie era, at least there are no records of it in the various set lists from 1970-1971 salvaged by fans, even though it was released as a single by Bizarre in 1970 (backed with "Would You Go All the Way?"). Zappa brought the song back for the 1978 tour and used it extensively in 1980 and 1982, a period when his goal seemed to be playing it as fast as possible ("I Ain't Got No Heart" suffered the same fate). The version appearing on the 1981 live LP Tinseltown Rebellion features a pop arrangement with cheesy keyboards during the verses.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Chunga's Revenge 1970 Rykodisc 2:33
Strictly Commercial: The Best of Frank Zappa 1995 Rykodisc 2:33
Zappatite: Frank Zappa's Tastiest Tracks 2016 Zappa Records 2:33
Poughkeepsie 2018 Chrome Dreams / Smokin' 2:43