Over-Nite Sensation
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 7, 1973
RecordedMarch 19–June 1, 1973
StudioBolic Sound, Inglewood, CA and Whitney Studios, Glendale, CA
GenreProgressive rock, comedy rock, hard rock, jazz fusion, funk rock
ProducerFrank Zappa
Frank Zappa chronology
The Grand Wazoo
Over-Nite Sensation
Apostrophe (')
The Mothers of Invention chronology
The Grand Wazoo
Over-Nite Sensation
Roxy & Elsewhere
Singles from Over-Nite Sensation
  1. "I'm the Slime"
    Released: 1973 (Alternative Mix)

Over-Nite Sensation is a studio album by Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention, released in September 1973. It was followed by Zappa's solo album Apostrophe (') (1974), which was recorded during the same sessions.


Frank Zappa wanted to use backup singers on the songs "I'm the Slime", "Dirty Love", "Zomby Woof", "Dinah-Moe Humm" and "Montana". His road manager suggested The Ikettes, and Ike & Tina Turner were contacted. Ike Turner insisted that Zappa pay the singers, including Tina Turner, no more than $25 per song.[1] However, an invoice shows that they were actually paid $25 per hour, and in total $187.50 each for 7 1/2 hours of service.[2] During the recording sessions at Bolic Sound, Tina brought Ike into the studio to hear the highly difficult middle section of "Montana" which had taken the Ikettes a few days to learn and master. Ike listened to the tape and responded "What is this shit?" before leaving the studio.[1] Ike later insisted that Zappa not credit the Ikettes on the released album.[1]

The recording sessions which produced Over-Nite Sensation also produced Zappa's followup, Apostrophe (') (1974),[1] released as a solo album rather than a Mothers of Invention release.

Music and lyrics

Much of the album's lyrics deal with sex.[1][3] For example, "Dinah-Moe Humm" describes a woman who wagers that the narrator can't give her an orgasm and is ultimately aroused by watching him have sex with her sister.

On other topics, "I'm the Slime" criticizes television, and the playful and musically adventurous "Montana" describes moving to Montana to grow dental floss.[1]

The music of Over-Nite Sensation draws from rock, jazz and pop music.[3] "Zomby Woof" has been described as a "heavy metal hybrid of Louis Jordan and Fats Waller".[3]


The cover was done by Dave McMacken as somewhat in vein of Salvador Dalí's surreal imagery depicting a two-headed man sitting on a waterbed in a Holiday Inn hotel room surrounded by various objects like a Mothers backstage pass and a television set showing Zappa's face with slime oozing out of it. The entire painting is depicted in a frame showing many sexual acts.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Robert Christgau(C)[5]

The album initially received mixed reviews due to its lyrical content, which some critics found puerile.[3] Rolling Stone magazine disliked the album, describing Zappa as a "spent force", and saying that his best work had been recorded with earlier incarnations of the Mothers.[3] New Musical Express said that the album was "not one of Frank's most outstanding efforts."[3] Robert Christgau gave the album a C, mocking the notion that Zappa's humor underscores serious commentary by asking "where's the serious stuff?"[5]

Later reviews evaluated the album far better, with AllMusic writer Steve Huey writing, "Love it or hate it, Over-Nite Sensation was a watershed album for Frank Zappa, the point where his post-'60s aesthetic was truly established".[4] Kelly Fisher Lowe, in The Words and Music of Frank Zappa, wrote that "Over-Nite and Apostrophe (') are important [...] as a return to Mothers of Invention form and as close to traditional pop albums as Zappa would ever come."[3]

The record was certified gold on November 9, 1976.[6]


Over-Nite Sensation (1973) and Apostrophe (') (1974) are the subject of a Classic Albums series documentary from Eagle Rock Entertainment, released on DVD May 1, 2007.

The lines "She was buns-up kneelin' / Buns up! / I was wheelin an' dealin'" from "Dinah-Moe Humm" are quoted (as "So there she was / buns up and kneelin' / I was wheelin' and a-dealin'") in "Girl Keeps Coming Apart", on Aerosmith's Permanent Vacation.

Track listing

All tracks are written by Frank Zappa.

Side one
1."Camarillo Brillo"4:01
2."I'm the Slime"3:35
3."Dirty Love"3:00
Side two
1."Zomby Woof"5:11
2."Dinah-Moe Humm"6:05
Total length:34:37





See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f Miles, Barry (September 2005). "Zappa: A Biography". ISBN 9780802142153. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. ^ "Over-Nite Sensation: Notes & Comments". www.donlope.net. Retrieved March 6, 2021.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Lowe, Kelly Fisher (2007). "The Words and Music of Frank Zappa". ISBN 0803260059. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^ a b Huey, S. (2011). "Over-Nite Sensation - Frank Zappa & the Mothers | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved July 21, 2011.
  5. ^ a b Christgau, R. (2011). "Robert Christgau: CG: Artist 4155". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved July 21, 2011.
  6. ^ "Over-Night Sensation - RIAA Database". riaa.com. Retrieved 15 April 2016.
  7. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 209. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  8. ^ "The Mothers Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved August 9, 2021.
  9. ^ "Top Billboard 200 Albums – Year-End 1974". Billboard. Retrieved August 9, 2021.