I've been really into Frank Zappa lately, and I've been wondering if "the mothers of invention" are different than "the mothers". For example, this lineup:

Frank Zappa
Ray Collins
Jimmy Carl Black
Roy Estrada

is on most of the earlier albums that are labeled on the spine as being "the mothers of invention". While on, just another band from L.A. , where on the spine it is labeled as being by "the mothers", this lineup is featured:

Frank Zappa
Mark Volman
Howard Kaylan
Ian Underwood
Aynsley Dunbar
Don Preston
Jim Pons

Yet on "One Size Fits All", the lineup is:

Frank Zappa
George Duke
Napoleon Murphy Brock
Chester Thompson
Tom Fowler
Ruth Underwood
Bloodshot Rollin' Red

and it is labled as "The Mothers Of Invention"

Kind of a weird question, I know, I was just curious.
I'm pretty sure The Mothers is just a shortened form of the Mothers of Invention, but I could be wrong.
Tiger style.
the mothers of invention used to be just "the mothers", then they changed to the mothers of invention. Their lineup changed alot also..
Yeah, it's quite common to see bands change names without changing the line-up, change names with changing the line-up, keep the name and change the line-up, or just keep the name and keep the line-up.

Zappa's "bands" (as in Mothers, Mothers of Invention) were constantly changing anyways - the names weren't entirely representative of who was in the band and when.
sorry this doesn't have anything to do with zappa but deadhead i watched that vid on youtube and i thought it was hilarious. thats you i'm guessing?
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Well originally the mothers was the name of his band, but the record company refused to believe that people would play anything on the radio if the band name was the mothers, so they changed it to the mothers of invention.

The lineup was constantly changing though so I see how you could think that.
Quote by syyz1
You're right, I mean, I can imagine eating children, but listening to good music seems a little too much. You, Iruleeverything, are the master of torture.
Well I think people knew that Mothers was short for Mother****ers (as in, he can player like a Mother****er), so they added the Mothers of Invention to make it less offensive. I don't remember if he shortened it back to Mothers later, but the lineup changed a lot.
I consider the mothers kind of like Zappa's Magic Band.The line-up was constantly changing,and there was even a point where he fired everyone in the band.No more than musicians to play Zappa's music.