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The Residents - For Elsie CD (album) cover

FOR ELSIE

The Residents

 

RIO/Avant-Prog

3.05 | 3 ratings

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TCat
Special Collaborator
Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
3 stars This EP "For Elsie" was recorded somewhere between 1984-85, and was released as a single-sided 12" single in 1987. The music on it was used as intermission music for their 13th Anniversary Show. It is one of the band's kooky covers, this time of Beethoven's "Fur Elise". There is speculation that it could have been part of the band's failed project "American Composer series". (Yes, we all know Beethoven wasn't American, but why would that stop The Residents?)

The EP is comprised of the one track. The CD version of the album, released later, has 10 more glorious minutes of music that doesn't exist on the vinyl version, but the vinyl version has some cool etching art on the non-playable side, so there! The CD also shows the track divided up into nine parts with the 3rd part based off of "Jingle Bells" and Part 5 coming from another EP, specifically "Santa Dog '84". Everything else here is that typical, cheap sounding synthesizer music you have come to love and expect from this band from this era of their existence.

The music is definitely based on the main theme from Fur Elise and from there, over the course of almost 30 minutes, the famous melody is ripped apart, deconstructed and bastardized to its utmost to produce this timeless and spectacular wreck of an EP. But, it's all fun. It's not until Part 4 that you start to hear snippets of the secondary theme played by a synthetic percussive xylophonic instrument. There is a sort of symphonic feel to the keyboard effects that also throw in a dramatic element to it all, and then, of course, The Residents have to add in the Santa Dog theme, like we needed to be reminded that this it, after all, music played by eyeball impersonators. At least this theme tends to break up the abused theme, because, after all, the band was all about variety in their music, though someone forgot to send them the memo about that. You'll also thrill to the Gershwin stylization which is underlayed by industrial pipe pounding (think Depeche Mode sprinkled by spy movie music) in Part 7.

Would Beethoven approve of this? We may never know, but at least he was mostly deaf, so he would never have to hear it like we do. Seriously, though, it's not too bad considering it comes from a time when The Residents only released sub- par music, plus you get the added bonus of Christmas cheer a la The Residents. You'll probably have a hard time locating this though. Look it up on YouTube so you don't waste your hard earned cash on an overpriced rarity. I'll give it 3 stars though, only because there is a little part of me that relates to their sense of humor.

TCat | 3/5 |

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