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The Residents The Third Reich 'N Roll album cover
4.13 | 98 ratings | 18 reviews | 35% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1976

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Swastikas on Parade (17:30)
2. Hitler Was a Vegetarian (18:27)
*3. Satisfaction
*4. Loser is Congruent to Weed
*5. Beyond the Valley of a Day in the Life
*6. Flying

*Bonus tracks from the non-1997 CD releases. The bonus tracks are the Satisfaction single, and the The Beatles Play The Residents and The Residents Play The Beatles single.

Line-up / Musicians

- M. Holmes / harp
- Peggy Honeydew / vocals
- Don Jackovich / percussion
- Philip "Snakefinger" Lithman / guitar, violin, vocals
- The Pointless Sisters / vocals
- The Residents / everything else
- Pamela Zeibak / vocals

Releases information

- Released in 1976 on LP by Ralph, first pressing of 1000 copies, second pressing with grey carrot, third with orange carrot, and fourth with grey carrot
- Released in 1976 on cassette by Ralph.
- Released in 1987 on CD by East Side Digital, first pressing with small swastica on disc, second with large swastica on disc.
- Released in 1987 on LP and CD by Torso.
- Released in 1993 on CD by EuroRalph with 3000 copies with different cover art.
- Released in 1997 on CD by Bomba in Japan.
- Released in 1997 on CD by East Side Digital.
- Released in 2005 on CD in a Limited Edition Digibook by Mute.

The version to have is the 1993 EuroRalph CD with the 4 bonus tracks.

Thanks to Retrovertigo for the addition
and to Joren for the last updates
Edit this entry

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THE RESIDENTS The Third Reich 'N Roll ratings distribution

(98 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(35%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(35%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

THE RESIDENTS The Third Reich 'N Roll reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars You know well the history of 1960s pop music? You like to play "hide and seek"? Then get this album and start investigating into what the famous and popular hits are hidden behind this cacophonic spectrum of noise and aggression. Some well trained ear-sensitive detectives claim there are more than 15 songs burried in the grooves of this album. Far from discovering so many, I am content with the Eyeballs' rendition of "In a Gadda da Vidda" and "The Horse With No Name" - laughing to tears - hilarious!
Review by thellama73
COLLABORATOR Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars A classic of experimental rock, and widely regarded as the Residents' finest album, Third Reich 'N Roll is the very definition of warped. The album consists of about 40 hit tunes from the 60's performed back to back, without pause in the Residents' own unique style. See how many you recognize! This is a record that is sure to either delight or infuriate you depending on your taste, but even its detractors have to admit that there it sounds like almost nothing else ever done.
Review by Easy Money
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars If you have any taste for deconstructionist satire in rock, then Third Reich n Roll is a must have. I don't think anything else The Residents have ever done has come close to the insightful brilliance of this sarcastic slash n burn masterpiece. What we have here is a collage of late 60s pop songs stripped of their contrived hipness and exposed for the vacuous manipulative trite they really are. One song blends into the next while highly suggestive sounds from WW II remind us that there is another form of fascism, the mind-numbing manipulation of easily influenced youth in search of identity.

I actually got to meet a couple of The Residents once (sans costume eyeball disguises) but it didn't give me any insight into who appears incognito on their various albums. My theory has always been that although there may be a couple of steady members of this group, the outer members may change a bit from album to album. If that is the case, then the alumni on this album must be an all-star cast. The compositional techniques on here are just a bit better than your average Residents album, and the brilliant collaging from one tune to the next sure reminds me of similar techniques I have heard on Fred Frith albums. I have no idea if Frith contributed, but if you like his ability to subtly shift and join material from one musical idea to the next in an almost dream like fashion, then you will find much to like here.

This album is funny as hell as familiar overplayed 'chestnuts' from the commercial side of the hippy era get the roasting they so badly deserve. Not just funny and sarcastic though, this album also contains some very brilliant post modern compositional techniques that go far beyond the cookie cutter pseudo weirdness that The Residents settled on later in their very lengthy career.

Review by Rune2000
4 stars I was speechless after hearing The Third Reich 'N Roll for the first time. I would love to do a second-by-second review of this album but feel that there isn't much interest among the readers and therefore I shall restrain myself from this delightful proposal.

The story behind how this music was created is enough to spark an interest from any listener. If that wasn't enough then the album cover featuring a picture of Dick Clark in a Nazi uniform holding a carrot while surrounded by swastikas and pictures of a dancing Adolf Hitler is bound to get anyone into submission. My favorite part of the album is probably the Light My Fire-segment because it feels as though The Residents just couldn't blend it in with the rest of material so they decided to do a separate intro and outro for that particular segment!

Recommended for all the open-minded people out there!

***** star songs: Swastikas On Parade (17:30)

**** star songs: Hitler Was A Vegetarian (18:27)

Total rating: 4,49

Review by zravkapt
3 stars One of my favourite 'cover' albums but not my favourite Residents album. The music here is de- constructed 60s pop music. A lot of the songs are unrecognizable, others are easy to make out. You get everything from "96 Tears" and "Hanky Panky" to the Beatles and The Doors. At one point during "Swastikas On Parade" you hear a sample of the beginning of James Brown's "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag". The cover shows Dick Clark dressed in a Nazi uniform. The Nazi references and imagery seem to suggest that the Residents are making a parallel between fascism and mainstream music. In both cases, "thinking outside the box" is not tolerated; you will like what everybody else likes or become an outcast.

There are only two tracks here(I have not heard the bonus tracks on some CD versions). "Swastikas On Parade" is slightly more experimental and has a woman singing in German at one point. "Hitler Was A Vegetarian"(which you can hear on PA), has a great ending with their version of "Hey Jude". Snakefinger does the "nah nah nah nah" part on guitar. Most people don't realize that Hitler is the world's most famous vegetarian. It's hard to describe what the music sounds like. Apart from the odd melody here and there, the original songs are performed in a completely different way, with the trademark weird vocals that the Residents use. The synths and drum machines stand out, but there is guitar, piano and drums as well. The synth sounds here in particular are really good.

The whole album is a contradiction: well known pop songs performed in an avant-garde style. This is crazy music, but the Residents have done crazier. They have better albums than this but this may be a good introduction to the group. I think The Commercial Album would be an even better starting point. The music and concept deserves 4 stars. But as original as the music sounds most of the time, it is of course not new music. This gets a star removed for working with already existing songs. Sometimes when I listen to this, like on the "In-A-Gadda- Da-Vidda" part for example, I rather listen to the original. Overall it's a great idea for an album but it's not one of my most played Residents albums. 3.5 but compared to other Residents albums this will get 3 stars.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars This is an amazing and disturbing album from the eyeball guys. It's an amazing deconstruction of a number of sixies and early seventies popular song, recorded in pure Residents style. It's disturbing both for it's harshness of sound, and the Nazi imagery that pervades the album art, and makes it's way into the album's two tracks.

The two main tracks are bizarre concoctions of songs like Land Of 1000 Dances, It's My Party, In A Gadda Da Vida, and a whole slew of others. Part of the fun is in figuring out just what song the Residents are playing. A favorite section to me is when they mix Let It Be and Sympathy For The Devil together.

The remainder of the CD are from two early singles, mostly referencing The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, so they fit the theme.

I don't want to give away too much about what appears on this great album. Just let me warn you: your girlfriend will probably hate it.

Review by penguindf12
5 stars This is the greatest album. From the moment I hear Side Two, I knew I had to own it.

The Residents have turned pop music into the greatest avant-rock music I can think of. The entire thing sounds as if it was recorded in a cave - clunky string synths abound, tapes of war, everything designed to blast the pop hits of yesteryear into steaming piles.

Chubby Hitler asks us to dance before taking a huge audio dump. "Land of a Thousand Dances" is killed -- NA NA NA NA NA. "Hanky Panky" becomes a Nazi march tune before the most hideous of voices dances around in full stereo. "Horse with No Name" is quoted for no reason at all. Best of Frat Rock hits become demonic dirges. I LOVE THIS ALBUM!!!

Side Two -- "Hitler was a Vegetarian" -- provides us with some classics of the '60s... Ah, I can't continue! Just listen, and purchase this album! If you liked anything I said -- most of you wouldn't -- but if you did, MY LORD WHY ARE YOU STILL READING??

The ending, dissonant rendition of "Hey Jude" often leaves me in tears.

I own the version with bonus tracks: they are ALL EXCELLENT. "Satisfaction" will rip your mind out. "Loser" is the best of forgotten Residents. And they invent plunderphonia with "Valley." GET THIS ALBUM NOW.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
3 stars The Residents - The Third Reich 'N Roll is a strange beast with some insane sections in true Residents style.

Swastikas on Parade (recorded 1974) fills side one and it is deconstructions of 60s classics the way you have never heard them and may never want to again. It begins with Let's Twist Again German style, and segues inyo a chaotic version of Land of a Thousand Dances and Hanky Panky. Immediately we are deluged with A Horse with No Name played simultaneously as Double Shot Of My Baby's Love. The Letter features manic vocals that are hilarious and just a little disconcerting. The perplexing choice of Psychotic Reaction while machine gun blasts are heard is a mystery and Little Girl has a great dark riff to wrap your ears around. Papa's Got a Brand New Bag is a strange one with a German female soprano. Talk Talk (The Music Machine) has spacey effects and a low guitar fuzz, with echoed guttural voices and weird keyboard and brass. Telstar/Wipe Out has great pounding drums and blowfly synth, and I recognised the Telstar tune from the Tornadoes and it was a great piece of nostalgia.

Hitler Was A Vegetarian (recorded 1975) is side two with more merged non stop 60s nostalgia. Judy In Disguise (With Glasses), 96 Tears, and It's My Party are destroyed in no time. Light My Fire is a very dark version, followed by Ballad of the Green Berets, Yummy Yummy Yummy and Rock Around the Clock/Pushing Too Hard which is acid rock at its most demented. Good Lovin', Gloria and In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida are hardly recognizable but I instantly heard the infamous riff of Sunshine of Your Love. Hey Jude/Sympathy for the Devil make a dark theme with one of the more disturbing melodies given the Residents treatment.

I have been compelled to listen to Residents from the 70s so returning to it years later is a wonderful experience, but this one may turn many off as it is challenging and too weird in places. Definitely worth a listen but I prefer 'The Commercial Album' which are original tunes with the ferocious Residents sound.

Review by Dobermensch
3 stars Here the Residents smash to pieces a bunch of mostly American pop songs from the 60's. They're re-assembled to form Boris Karloff as Frankenstein's monster where the spots on his face aren't just plukes - they're smashed cherries..

'Third Reich and Roll' should really be classed under 'plunderphonics'. All the tunes are taken from the aforementioned decade.

Similar in many ways to Nurse With Wound's cut up LP 'Sylvie and Babs' from '85. Wonky collages are rife throughout this recording. It's basically the Resident's homage to 60's pop in the same way Bowie's 'Pin Ups' was in '73, but this one is pretty deranged.

The Beatles 'Hey Jude' is wrung through a mangler and comes out the other end looking like a strip of brightly coloured plastercine.

For once, an experimental album that will probably make more sense to Americans than Europeans. The cover depicts Dick 'Wagstaff' Clark - a radio and TV presenter who hosted the USA's longest running variety show 'American Bandstand' for 30 years!. He just died this year aged 82. I wonder what he thought of this record sleeve when he saw it - being depicted as a Nazi carrot muncher?

A mostly confusing album, where many might not get the joke. If the Residents paid royalties on this one they must have been seriously out of pocket considering the amount of tunes they cannibalized.

One way or another this will get a reaction from the listener. You'll either love it or hate it. 'Third Reich and Roll' is probably their most overrated album, but it's still good for a laugh and great for parties when everyone's utterly smashed and willing to listen to atonal mash-ups..

Review by Neu!mann
5 stars The Residents began their anonymous vigil on the outer fringes of pop culture by cloaking their identity behind defaced portraits of The Beatles (see: "Meet the Residents"). For their second studio album, ignoring for now the myths about the 'Not Available' LP, the band carried that same love/hate relationship with Rock 'n Roll to its logical climax.

Almost fifty studio albums later (and counting) this may still be the one essential Residents experience, in two side-long medleys collecting some of the greatest hits of the 1960s, all of them sliced, diced, and gleefully eviscerated in the usual avant-art Residential blender. Contrary to the sleeve notes it's not a parody album, which would have been too easy and superficial. The joke extends much further than that, to a canny satire of the business behind the music, with the provocative album title and troubling references to National Socialism reminding listeners about the corporate dictatorship controlling their musical tastes (the album is dedicated "to the thousands of little power-mad minds of the music industry").

But there's also an explicit suggestion that this mish-mash of twisted alternative pop is what American Top-40 radio would have sounded like in the more creative environment of Krautrock Germany. There's Dick Clark on the front cover, wearing a Nazi armband and clutching a bright orange carrot. And here's Chubby Checker, introducing "Let's Twist Again" in a mock Teutonic accent, just before the song is flushed down the studio toilet. And who's the soprano doing that warped operatic imitation of James Brown (again, singing in German)?

The whole thing is a lo-fi laff riot. Nobody ever demolished a musical icon quite like The Residents, and their tinker-toy arrangement of "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" is hereby offered as proof. And yet even at its silliest the album correctly identifies the acne-scarred adolescent longing and lust at the heart of all those bubblegum ditties: listen to the raw animal lechery in the chorus of "Good Lovin'", or the drooling menace behind the invitation to "Come on, baby, Light My Fire..." Who knows? The Residents might actually challenge your perceptions of what music could and should be, while dressed like Clansmen in nothing but recycled newspapers (see their "Third Reich 'n Roll" promotional video).

And beyond the obvious subversion of the concept itself the album can also be enjoyed as an ice-breaker at any dull party: in between rounds of Twister you and your friends can play Spot-That-Tune! Don't worry about the uneasy sense of disorientation and nausea you might feel while hearing it. But if the music starts to sound halfway normal after a couple of spins, be very afraid.

Review by LearsFool
COLLABORATOR Post/Math Rock Team
5 stars What exactly was the point of this album? Did The Residents truly think that popular music, including a breadth of choices beyond the bubblegum, was acting as if a mind control conspiracy wrought by the Dick Clark Reich? Were they instead, as a few have ventured to guess, setting up this crazed concept album as a veiled, satirical attack on the mindset of the soon-to-be Tipper Brigade? Both? Or neither, and this was just a group of wild Louisiana musical outcasts throwing whatever at the wall for the heck of it, not caring if a lick of it stuck? Enough questions, as this is simply a meisterwerk of avant-garde, deconstructionist music with gallons of fun instead of kilolitres of pretention. Here everyone's favourite singing crawfishes ran riot over America's Top 40 - we're not talking Attila or Genghis here, we're talking Timur Lang - and so the only result is a laugh riot for us listeners. They packed the songs in here like they were sardines, and each tastes like Yog-Sothoth's ambrosia. The band, Snakefinger, and their twisted backing band that foreshadowed the Elephant 6 Orchestra all did exactly what they had to do to pull this wonderful mess off. Knocks your socks off. My pick for best moment is that ending, Snakefinger pining away on his guitar to "Hey Jude" while the eyeballs themselves join in with half-hearted "woo- hoo"s a la "Sympathy For The Devil"; that, ladies and gentlemen, is the sound of the '60's dying. A must listen for anyone familiar with '60's and '70's Top 40, with plunderphonics, with any lick of love of experimentation in their mind, heart, and soul. *toilet flushes*

Latest members reviews

4 stars In 1974, The Residents, an avant-garde rock band from Louisiana, released their debut album, Meet the Residents, to little acclaim. Only forty copies were sold, with others being returned unopened in its first year. Only did it gain critical acclaim decades later. Its follow-up, The Third Re ... (read more)

Report this review (#1132054) | Posted by Sheets of Blue | Saturday, February 15, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The Residents are... different. No word better fits this group than 'different'. The music on this album is different than other prog; it is very humorous, ever changing and sometimes outright scary. This music is dissonant, primitive and yet at the same time highly complex and melodic. It has onl ... (read more)

Report this review (#129346) | Posted by Axel Dyberg | Friday, July 20, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The Third Reich N' Roll is what I guess you could describe as a cover album of 100% original material, if that paradoxical statement makes sense to anyone out there. The Residents take well known pop hits of the 60s, with artists including Iron Butterfly, The Doors, and The Beatles, completely de ... (read more)

Report this review (#117359) | Posted by Equality 7-2521 | Wednesday, April 4, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars If I were only able to use the phrase, "not for the faint of heart," to describe only one album, I think it would have to be this one. It is one of the most warped and twisted albums I know, and yet also one of the best. It is brilliant, zany, crazy, and forces you to wonder just what was wron ... (read more)

Report this review (#115875) | Posted by Pnoom! | Wednesday, March 21, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is a fantastic two epic album! This album takes pop songs from the decade previous and turns them into a progressive rock nightmare of World War II via dissonant keyboards, bizarre transitions, neolithic and childish vocals, and the guitar genius of Snakefinger. The concept and its surroun ... (read more)

Report this review (#95996) | Posted by Atomic_Rooster | Friday, October 27, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars The Residents are a band that takes some time to get used to, for some people. There certainly isn't anything else out there that sounds even remotely like them However, once you get into their music, you discover something very fresh and rewarding. "Hitler Was a Vegetarian" is quite possibl ... (read more)

Report this review (#64836) | Posted by Harry Hood | Sunday, January 15, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Although I never really considered THE RESIDENTS to be a prog rock band this is one great album never the less! It's The Residents send up (take off?) on all of those great golden oldies from the 1960's ( and some 1950's ). You know,all of the AM radio stuff. Anything from the heavies to the ... (read more)

Report this review (#41091) | Posted by bob x | Sunday, July 31, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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