MOTHERS OF INVENTION - Cruising With Ruben and The Jets (Verve 710020) Germany 1968 LP (F. Zappa)
vinyl: VG++ | cover: VG+ (gatefold)
Cruising with Ruben & the Jets is the fourth studio album by the Mothers of Invention. Released on December 2, 1968 on Bizarre and Verve Records with distribution by MGM Records, it was subsequently remixed by Frank Zappa and reissued independently.
As with the band's previous three albums, it is a concept album, influenced by 1950s doo wop and rock and roll. The album's concept deals with a fictitious Chicano doo wop band called Ruben & the Jets, represented by the cover illustration by Cal Schenkel, which depicts the Mothers of Invention as anthropomorphic dogs. It was conceived as part of a project called No Commercial Potential, which produced three other albums: Lumpy Gravy, We're Only in It for the Money and Uncle Meat.
The album and its singles received some radio success, due to its doo wop sound. The band Ruben and the Jets were named after this album.
The vinyl and CD versions are extremely different. In 1984, Zappa enlisted Arthur Barrow and Chad Wackerman to re-record the original bass and drum parts (although they were not credited) for the "Old Masters Box One" re-issue of the album. In addition to the new drums and bass, Zappa added several vocal overdubs and heavily remixed the album.
The remix of "Cruising with Ruben & the Jets" was the only version of the album available from 1984 until 2010, when "Greasy Love Songs" was released.