“Liner Notes From Frederic Nietzsche’s Debut Solo Album,” by Yaki Margulies

Oct 23rd, 2019 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

Best known for his world-changing philosophies and cultural criticisms, Frederic Nietzsche is now throwing his Tyrolean hat into the ring of modern music.  In his piece, “On Music and Words,” Nietzsche wrote that music was the essence of everything – including drama – and therefore all tragedy emanated from music.

Inspired by his own text, Frederic was compelled to write and record an album of original songs, furthering his understanding of the calamity of life.  German philosopher, and sound engineer during the album sessions, Ernst Stefan Schulte, takes us through the album, song by song:

Side A

“Good On Top”
(F. Nietzsche/C. King/G. Goffin)

In the album opener, Nietzsche instructs listeners about the fluidity of the notions of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ over playful keyboard lines and Wurlitzer organ.  Some of the headier concepts may get lost in this rock & roll medium, but the lyrics speak of two classes, the ruling class that sees good as “power, money, comfort, wealth / Not the lazy, poor, weak, pathetic self” and the lower class that embodies “humbleness, charity, piety, and restraint / Ain’t gonna be selfish, greedy, donning war paint.”  After the fiery music break, in which Frederic solos on his Gibson Flying V using Middle-Eastern scales, he sings, “We should all agree / On using one morality / Unless you’re exceptional / And then you make your own ethical code.”  Nietzsche demanded a children’s choir to accompany him on the refrain.

“God Is Dead”
(F. Nietzsche)

The first single released from the album, this blues-based guitar stomper further invalidates the idea of objective truth.  Nietzsche’s lyrics first describe everyone’s changing values, based on unique perspectives and circumstances.  “Nothing’s universal,” he howls through distorted vocal effects, “It’s all subjective / Makes you want to be a Nihilist / But power through, baby, and you’ll find / A true foundation on which to thrive.”  The surprising, rise-above-nihilism twist at the end makes for a (comparatively) buoyant tune from Nietzsche.

“Light And Wine”
(F. Nietzsche/D. Dale)

Frederic described this song to me during recording as a battle involving the Greek gods Apollo and Dionysus.  The universe struggles between order and chaos.  Over spacey, reverb-drenched surf guitar licks, Nietzsche coos, “Delight in the destruction of your own individuality / accept the passionate and the logical / there is no good without the bad.”  It was at this point that Freddie told me this might become a concept album.

“Everything’s Been Done Before”
(F. Nietzsche)

Side A ends with this cosmic rocker about what Freddie calls, “The Eternal Return.”  Wailing like Thom Yorke at the end of “Creep,” Nietzsche screams, “If the universe is infinite in time and space / Then everything has already happened and will happen ever more / Each time wearing the same face / But hopefully slightly better than before.”  In the studio, Frederic made us record this song in complete darkness.  Listen to the vulnerability in his voice as he sings, “One day a man will be born in the future / He’ll be just like me / Only I hope that he has a little less / Foolishness in his head.”

Side B

“Lords Of The Earth”
(F. Nietzsche)

In the studio, Nietzsche constantly enlightened us about the Overman, or Ubermensch – the next step in evolution.  So it’s only fitting that he wrote this stadium anthem about humanity continuing to evolve.  “We don’t want no apathetic people / Who don’t commit or dream / who waste their lives at work to stay comfy / who won’t become the Superman we need.”  Interestingly, the bridge of this rocker goes, “I hope no evil people read just a fraction of my work / and misinterpret it as a means to do terrible things.”  Is Frederic foreshadowing something?  I don’t know; I could not ask him.

“Pop Life”
(F. Nietzsche/P. Nelson)

Nietzsche strongly dislikes the popular culture of our modern society.  He wanted to share this with his listeners in this free jazz nugget about how the pop life is leading us all to conformity and mediocrity, a lack of intellectual progress, and the general decline of the human species.  That’s all.  Keep your heads above the rising tide of mass culture, folks!

“Twilight Of The Idols”
(F. Nietzsche)

The album ends with this puzzling, sixteen-minute progressive-rock jam in which Freddie solos on multiple instruments for minutes at a time, while overdubbing some primal screams and animal noises.  At the end, he sings the only lyric of the song, “If I should ever see a man flogging a horse / I might just lose it completely.”  After one take of that couplet, Frederic silently walked out of the studio and never returned.  I collected the session recordings and put together the tracks we had, surmising Nietzsche’s criterion.  We proudly present this album to you now.


Yaki Margulies is a writer and performer originally from Seattle, Wasginton, now living in Los Angeles, California.  His writing has previously appeared in Word Riot, Flash Fiction Magazine, Drunk Monkeys, Point In Case, Cleaver Magazine, and many other publications.  You can check out his various projects at yakimargulies.com.

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