The Mothers of Invention

Who Needs the Peace Corps?

Composed by Frank Zappa

Song Review by

How can you become a hippie, fashion-wise? That's the subject of "Who Needs the Peace Corps?," a ferocious attack on hippiedom, and all those wannabes trying to be hippies on the outside without even attempting to understand the social reflection behind the concept. Released on the 1968 LP We're Only in It for the Money, the song tried to stab the whole hippie movement as "psychedelic dungeons [were] popping out on every street." Backed by a rolling beat, the song included a monologue where an aspiring hippie explains what he will do to reach his goal: buy some beads, find a rock group, and become their manager. Since the hippie trend faded quickly, "Who Needs the Peace Corps?" was only performed during the Mothers' early years. It was resurrected for Zappa's last tour in 1988, with the rap part reproduced syllable by syllable over a reggae motif (at least this is how it appears on The Best Band You Never Heard in Your Life).

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
We're Only in It for the Money 1968 Hip-O / Zappa Records 2:34
We're Only in It for the Money/Lumpy Gravy 1986 Rykodisc 2:35
Threesome, Vol. 1 2002 Rykodisc 2:34