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Music / Over-Nite Sensation

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Over-Nite Sensation is a 1973 album by Frank Zappa which is widely considered to be one of his best, as well as a commercial best-seller. It's well known for the Zappa fan favorites "Camarillo Brillo", "Dirty Love", "I'm The Slime", "Dinah-Moe Humm" and "Montana". Often named a companion piece to Apostrophe (') (1974) for its similar heavy rock sound it won Zappa legions of new rock fans.

Together with Apostrophe (') it was subject of an episode of the TV music documentary series Classic Albums.

A 50th Anniversary reissue, including demos, alternate takes, surround and quadrophonic mixes, and two live shows from 1973, was released in November, 2023.


Side One

  1. "Camarillo Brillo" (3:59)
  2. "I'm The Slime" (3:35)
  3. "Dirty Love" (2:59)
  4. "Fifty-Fifty" (6:10)

Side Two

  1. "Zomby Woof" (5:10)
  2. "Dinah-Moe Humm" (6:03)
  3. "Montana" (6:33)


  • Frank Zappa: vocals, guitar
  • George Duke: keyboard, synthesizer
  • Bruce Fowler: trombone
  • Tom Fowler: bass
  • Ralph Humphrey: drums
  • Sal Marquez: trumpet, vocals
  • Jean-Luc Ponty: violin, baritone violin
  • Tina Turner & The Ikettes: backing vocals
  • Ian Underwood: flute, clarinet, alto & tenor sax
  • Ruth Underwood: percussion
  • Kin Vassy: backing vocals
  • Ricky Lancelotti: backing vocals
  • Dave McMacken: album cover design

Zircon-encrusted tropes

  • All Men Are Perverts: "Dinah-Moe Humm"
    She could prove it any time/ all men were scum
  • Answer Cut: "I'm The Slime"
    I'm the best you can get.
    Have you guessed me, yet?
    I'm the Slime oozin' out from your TV set.
  • Anti-Love Song:
    • "Dirty Love".
    I don't need you sweet devotion
    And I don't want you cheap emotion
    Whip me up your dragon lotion
    For your dirty love, your dirty love
    • "Fifty-Fifty"
    Ain't gonna sing you no love song
    How my heart is all sore
    Will not beg your indulgence
    'cause you heard it before
  • Artistic License – Engineering: Surprise, surprise: "Montana" is not an accurate description of how "dental floss" is made.
  • Bawdy Song: "Camarillo Brillo" and "Dinah-Moe Humm" are both about sexual encounters, while "Dirty Love" is about lust.
  • Broken Aesop: "Fifty Fifty".
    I've taken your time, I've sung you my song
    Ain't no great revelation, but it wasn't too long
    And that's alright, people!
  • Call-Back and Continuity Nod:
    • The album cover shows huge hands, something that pops up often on Zappa album covers, from Burnt Weeny Sandwich to One Size Fits All. A "Holiday Inn" can be spotted in the background, a throwback to the hotel mentioned on Fillmore East, June 1971. The tv is oozing with slime, in reference to "I'm The Slime". An extinguisher can be seen as well, in reference to imagery from "Camarillo Brillo".
    • "Now is that a real poncho or is that a Sears Poncho?" and "the toads of the short forest" in "Camarillo Brillo" would be referenced again on Apostrophe (') during "Cosmik Debris" . The toads of the short forest being referenced earlier on Weasels Ripped My Flesh (1970). A star on the album back cover of One Size Fits All (1975) is called "Henna Brillo".
    • A "frenzy" is mentioned during "Camarillo Brillo" and would return again in Zappa songs like "Father O' Blivion" (from Apostrophe (') (1974)) "Honey Don't You Want A Man Like Me?" (from Zappa in New York (1978))), "Watermelon in Easter Hay" (from Joe's Garage (1979)), "Smell My Beard" (from You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore, Volume 4 (1991)).
    • Fido the poodle and his call "Here Fido, Here Fido" are introduced in "Dirty Love". He made his first appearance on the album back cover of Absolutely Free (1967), where one of the advertisements reads "Buy a Fydo fits swell". The dog and his call "Here Fido, Here Fido" would reappear again during "Nanook Rubs It" and "Stink-Foot" from Apostrophe (') and the track "Cheepnis" from Roxy & Elsewhere (1974). The line "the poodle bites, the poodle chews it" from "Dirty Love" would reappear again at the end of "Stink-Foot" on Apostrophe (').
    • An "aroma" is mentioned during "Dirty Love", a conceptual continuity nod that was referenced earlier during "Dental Hygiene Dilemma" from 200 Motels ("It's still damp! What an aroma!") and would be reprised later during "Jewish Princess" from Sheik Yerbouti (1979) ("With a garlic aroma that could level Tacoma") and "For The Young Sophisticate" from Tinseltown Rebellion (1981) ("A radiator bad aroma").
    • "Well my dandruff is loose" in "Fifty-Fifty" would receive a Call-Back in "Disco Boy" on Zoot Allures (1976): "Some dandruff might be hiding there."
    • "Zomby Woof" evokes monster movie imagery, which Zappa used time and time again in his music.
    • "My right foot is bigger than my other foot is" in "Zomby Woof" would receive a continuity nod during Dancin' Fool from "Sheik Yerbouti" (1979) with the line "one of my legs is shorter than the other/ and both of my feet is too long".
    • Zircon-encrusted tweezers are mentioned in "Dinah-Moe Humm" and "Montana" and would appear again on the album cover of One Size Fits All (1975), where "Zircon" is a constellation and at the left bottom of the back cover a tweezer can be seen cutting the archeries/holes.
    • In The Story Of Uncle Meat, inside the liner notes of Uncle Meat the following line can be read: We are travelling across the wasteland toward a huge hydro-electric dam. Dynamo hum increases as we near it. This is referenced again during "Dinah-Moe Humm" on this album.
    • Pubic lice ("cooties") are mentioned in "Dinah-Moe Humm". These creatures were referenced other times in Zappa's work:
      • "Who Needs The Peace Corps?" on We're Only in It for the Money ("I'll stay a week and get the crabs, and take a bus back home").
      • "Our Bizarre Relationship" on Uncle Meat (Suzy: "... and we had a cat and we had fleas and we had lots of crabs that we proceeded to give to everyone in Laurel Canyon except for Elmer and Phil...").
      • "Does This Kind Of Life Look Interesting To You?" on 200 Motels ("... A dog, a car, an epidemic of body lice with your own record company, your name on the door, electric buzzer to the inner office...").
      • "Attack! Attack! Attack!" on Civilization Phaze III (Roy: "That's why they have a lot of crabs...", Louie: "Yes, and uhm...", Roy: "A set of crabs?!").
    • Dental floss is mentioned in "Montana", a call back to "Dental Hygiene Dilemma" from 200 Motels.
    • Zappa rides a pygmy pony in "Montana", which brings back the ponies from Lumpy Gravy.
  • Careful with That Axe: Some of the singing in "Fifty-Fifty" and "Zomby Woof".
  • Exhausted Eye Bags: "Zomby Woof".
    Did you ever wake up in the morning
    With a zomby woof behind your eyes?
  • The Immodest Orgasm: "Dinah-Moe Humm", where Dinah and her sister are excited into orgasmic ecstasy.
  • Intercourse with You: "Camarillo Brillo", "Dirty Love" and "Dinah-Moe Humm".
  • Location Song: "Montana", where Zappa imagines himself moving to this state to raise dental floss on a farm.
  • Mind-Control Device: "I'm The Slime".
    I'm the tool of the government and industry too
  • Mister Muffykins: Zappa introduced the concept of Fido the poodle in the lyrics of "Dirty Love", which would become a Running Gag on later albums too. A reference to a dog named Fido happened earlier on the album back cover of Absolutely Free. He would later elaborate on the question why humans would modify this dog species according to their own kitschy desires?
  • Motor Mouth: The Ikettes, in "Montana":
    I'm ridinasmall tiny hoss / His name is Mighty Little / He'sagoodhoss / Even though
    He'sabitdinkytostrapabigsaddleorblanketonanyway / He'sabitdinkytostrapabigsaddleorblanketonanyway / Anyway
  • Mundane Made Awesome: "Montana", a song about raising dental floss.
  • Never Sleep Again: "Zomby Woof"
    You know I'll never sleep no more
  • Nightmare Face: Zappa on the TV set on the album cover.
  • Non-Appearing Title: "Over-Nite Sensation" is never mentioned in any of the titles or lyrics.
  • Our Monsters Are Different, Our Monsters Are Weird and Our Zombies Are Different: "Zomby Woof".
  • Pun-Based Title: "Dinah-Moe Humm", a pun on the dynamo of a car humming.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Special Guest: Tina Turner and the Ikettes on background vocals, although they're uncredited, by order of Ike Turner.
  • Wham Line:
    • "I'm The Slime".
    Your mind is totally controlled/ You have been stuffed into my mold/ And you will do as you are told/ until the rights to you are sold.
    • "Dinah-Moe Humm"
    'Cause I can't get into it unless I get out of it
    An' I gotta get out of it before I get into it
    'Cause I never get into it unless I get out of it
    An' I gotta be out of it to get myself into it
  • You Watch Too Much X: "I'm The Slime".