One Size Fits All (Frank Zappa album)

One Size Fits All is the fourteenth album by the Mothers of Invention, and the twentieth overall album by Frank Zappa, released in June 1975. The album reached #26 on the Billboard Top LPs & Tape chart in the United States in August 1975.

One Size Fits All
Studio album with live elements by
ReleasedJune 25, 1975
RecordedAugust 27, 1974–
April 1975
StudioRecord Plant Studios, Los Angeles, CA;
Caribou Ranch, Nederland, CO; and
Paramount Studios, Los Angeles, CA
ProducerFrank Zappa
Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention chronology
Roxy & Elsewhere
One Size Fits All
Bongo Fury
Singles from One Size Fits All
  1. "Du Bist Mein Sofa"
    Released: 1975
Professional ratings
Review scores
Christgau's Record GuideC+[2]



The album features the summer/fall 1974 lineup of the Mothers of Invention, with keyboardist/vocalist George Duke, drummer Chester Thompson, percussionist Ruth Underwood, bass guitarist Tom Fowler and saxophonist/vocalist Napoleon Murphy Brock. “Can’t Afford No Shoes” features bassist James Youman, who temporarily joined when Fowler broke his hand while on tour (an incident referenced by Zappa in the credits).

Album content


The album features one of Zappa's most complex tracks, "Inca Roads". The basic tracks of this piece originated from a TV recording at the KCET studios in Los Angeles on August 27, 1974, while the guitar solo came from a concert in Helsinki on September 22 or 23, 1974. "Florentine Pogen"'s basic tracks were also from the KCET recording, which would later be a source of Zappa's video release The Dub Room Special, while in 1988 Zappa released You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 2 from the Helsinki concerts, including the unedited "Inca Roads" solo.

One of Zappa's heroes, Johnny "Guitar" Watson, guests on two tracks ("flambé" vocals on the out-choruses of "San Ber'dino" and "Andy").[4] Captain Beefheart also appears under a pseudonym.

Zappa was very proud of this album[5] and he complained bitterly to fans about the lack of promotion given to it by the distributor Warner Bros. Records.[6]

Zappa stated in the liner notes that the album was recorded simultaneously with his next studio album, but this "next album" would be replaced by Bongo Fury, consisting mostly of live recordings with Beefheart from May 1975. From comments Zappa made in radio interviews in April 1975, it seems likely that the unreleased next album would have included "Greggery Peccary," which first appeared three years later on Studio Tan.



Early U.S. LP pressings of One Size Fits All are notable in that they have the catalog number "BS 2879" inscribed - and crossed out - in the runoff matrix, indicating that at one point One Size Fits All was planned for release on the Warner Bros. label. An April 1975 interview with Zappa confirms this.[5] The Warner subsidiary Reprise Records distributed Zappa's DiscReet Records label. The album was ultimately released on DiscReet with a catalog number in Reprise's sequence, DS 2216. Warner Bros. did not reassign the number BS 2879 to another album.

In addition to the usual stereo version, a four-channel quadraphonic version of this album was also advertised but never released. The quadraphonic version was assigned catalog number BS4-2879 for release on LP in the Compatible Discrete 4 format and L9B-2879 Quadraphonic 8-track tape format.[7]

One Size Fits All was first released on CD by Rykodisc in 1988. It was reissued by Rykodisc in 1995 with restored cover art, but with identical sound quality. In 1996 a 24-karat gold Au20 edition was released with significantly improved sound quality. In 2012 it was remastered and reissued yet again by the Universal Music Group under the Zappa Records imprint.

Critical reception


Village Voice critic Robert Christgau wrote in his review: "Zappa's music has gotten a little slicker rhythmically—which is what happens when you consort with jazz guys—but basically it's unchanged. And his satire has neither improved nor deteriorated—if his contempt would be beneath an overbright high school junior, there's also a brief lieder parody that I'd love to jam onto WQXR."[2] ("Evelyn, A Modified Dog" is the "lieder parody" Christgau evidently had in mind.)

Track listing


All tracks are written by Frank Zappa

Side one
1."Inca Roads"8:45
2."Can't Afford No Shoes"2:38
3."Sofa No. 1"2:39
4."Po-Jama People"7:39
Total length:22:15
Side two
5."Florentine Pogen"5:27
6."Evelyn, A Modified Dog"1:04
7."San Ber'dino"5:57
9."Sofa No. 2"2:42
Total length:21:40






  • Kerry McNabb – engineer, remixing
  • Cal Schenkel – design, illustrations, paintings
  • Mike D. Stone of the Record Plant – engineer
  • Michael Braunstein – engineer
  • Unity – assistant engineer
  • Dick Barber – assistant engineer, assistant
  • Gary O. – engineer
  • Ferenc Dobronyi – design
  • J.E. Tully – design
  • Coy Featherstone – assistant engineer
  • Paul Hof – assistant engineer, assistant
  • Matti Laipio – voices, assistant engineer
  • Bill Romero – voices, assistant engineer
  • Richard "Tex" Abel – assistant engineer, assistant
  • Jukka – engineer


Chart (1975) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[8] 81
US Top LPs & Tape (Billboard)[9] 26


  1. ^ Couture, François (2011). "One Size Fits All - The Mothers of Invention | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
  2. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: Z". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved March 23, 2019 – via
  3. ^ Henderson, Paul (28 January 1989). "Slippery Customers". Kerrang!. No. 223. p. 18. ISSN 0262-6624.
  4. ^ "One Size Fits All".
  5. ^ a b Fudger, David. "One Size Fits All - Frank Zappa, A Sofa And References To The Universe In General". Disc, April 26, 1975. Retrieved 2024-03-27.
  6. ^ Audio recording "Irate Phone Calls" on Zappa in New York - 40th Anniversary Edition
  7. ^ "Unreleased Records". Retrieved 2016-04-11.
  8. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 348. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  9. ^ "Charts and Awards for One Size Fits All". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-08-22.