Ahead of Their Time
Frank Zappa, Ahead of Their Time.jpg
Live album by
ReleasedMarch 23, 1993
RecordedOctober 25, 1968
LabelBarking Pumpkin
ProducerFrank Zappa
Frank Zappa chronology
Playground Psychotics
Ahead of Their Time
The Yellow Shark
The Mothers of Invention chronology
Playground Psychotics
Ahead of Their Time
Carnegie Hall
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Ahead of Their Time is a live album by The Mothers of Invention. It was recorded at the Royal Festival Hall, London, England, on October 25, 1968, and released in 1993 on CD by Barking Pumpkin. It was reissued on Rykodisc in 1995.


The first part of the set is a one-off performance of a musical play retrospectively entitled Progress?, and featuring members of the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Portions of this performance originally found their way on to the Mystery Disc (1998) contained on the second 1986 box of The Old Masters and the Honker Home Video release of Uncle Meat (1969). Much of the humor and storyline of the play is lost to the casual listener due to primitive recording techniques and the visual nature of some of the performance, necessitating extensive liner notes by Zappa.

According to Zappa's liner notes, the remainder of the set is "A fair – not outstanding – 1968 Mothers of Invention rock concert performance". Different edits of snatches from the second part of the performance ("The Orange County Lumber Truck" and "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Sexually Aroused Gas Mask") were originally released on Weasels Ripped My Flesh (1970). "Holiday in Berlin" also appears on Burnt Weeny Sandwich (1970).

Track listing

All tracks written, composed and arranged by Frank Zappa.

3."Like It or Not"2:21
4."The Jimmy Carl Black Philosophy Lesson"2:01
5."Holding The Group Back"2:00
6."Holiday in Berlin"0:56
7."The Rejected Mexican Pope Leaves the Stage"2:55
8."Undaunted, the Band Plays On"4:34
9."Agency Man"3:17
1968 performance
No.TitleOriginal albumLength
11."King Kong"Uncle Meat8:13
12."Help, I'm a Rock"Freak Out!1:38
13."Transylvania Boogie"Chunga's Revenge3:07
14."Pound for a Brown"Uncle Meat6:50
15."Sleeping in a Jar"Uncle Meat2:24
16."Let's Make the Water Turn Black"We're Only in It for the Money1:51
17."Harry, You're a Beast"We're Only in It for the Money0:53
18."The Orange County Lumber Truck (Part I)"Weasels Ripped My Flesh0:46
19."Oh No"Lumpy Gravy3:22
20."The Orange County Lumber Truck (Part II)"Weasels Ripped My Flesh10:36