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The Residents Duck Stab / Buster & Glen album cover
4.30 | 133 ratings | 16 reviews | 35% 5 stars

Essential: a masterpiece of
progressive rock music

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Studio Album, released in 1978

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Constantinople (2:23)
2. Sinister Exaggerator (3:27)
3. Booker Tease (1:09)
4. Blue Rosebuds (3:11)
5. Laughing Song (2:14)
6. Bach Is Dead (1:12)
7. Elvis and His Boss (2:30)
8. Lizard Lady (1:52)
9. Semolina (2:50)
10. Birthday Boy (2:39)
11. Weight Lifting Lulu (3:12)
12. Krafty Cheese (2:00)
13. Hello Skinny (2:40)
14. Electrocutioner (3:18)

Total Time 34:37

Bonus tracks on 1987 reissue:
15. Disaster (3:53)
16. Plants (3:17)
17. Farmers (5:28)
18. Twinkle (2:00)

Line-up / Musicians

- The Residents (anonymous line-up) / composer, performer, producer

- Philip Charles Lithman "Snakefinger" / performer
- Monica Ganas "Ruby" / vocals (14)

Releases information

Tracks 1 to 7 were previously released as 1978 EP "Duck Stab"

Artwork: Pore No Graphics

LP Ralph Records ‎- RR0278 (1978, US)

CD East Side Digital ‎- ESD 80052 (1987, US) With 4 bonus tracks (B side of the 1980 Diskomo / Goosebump 12")
CD East Side Digital ‎- ESD 81262 (1997, US) Remastered, new cover
2CD New Ralph Too ‎- NRT005 (2018, xW) Remastered by Scott Colburn with several bonus tracks spread across 2 discs

Thanks to Retrovertigo for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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THE RESIDENTS Duck Stab / Buster & Glen ratings distribution

(133 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(35%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(48%)
Good, but non-essential (12%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

THE RESIDENTS Duck Stab / Buster & Glen reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Syzygy
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The 7 track Duck Stab ep was advertised in the UK music press with the slogan 'Ignorance of your culture is not considered cool' (or words to that effect; it was a long time ago). The music was baffling and brilliant, the lyrics (more or less audible for the first time on a Residents release) nonsensical and vaguely sinister and the anonymity of the band made them even more interesting. Unfortunately the sound quality of the ep was not great, especially after a few plays, and so it was re released as an album with another, unreleased 7 track ep as the B side.

The Duck Stab tracks are as good an introduction as any to the early Residents (pre Mark of the Mole). Skeletal electronics, bizarre studio effects and occasional interjections on guitar and fiddle from Snakefinger conjure up strange, twisted pictures of disturbed loners on society's margins, and the distorted vocals and twisted nursery rhyme lyrics give them a voice. Lines like 'Your lichen covered corpuscles are filthy to my fist' or 'An ether eating eskimo would gag upon your sight' become positively threatening when delivered in an electronically distorted falsetto voice. This is pop music after a genetic experiment went hideously wrong, but it's also highly compelling listening. Buster and Glen (apparently inspired by an astronaut and his dog) continues in the same vein - only 3 of the tracks last longer than 3 minutes on the whole album, yet each song contains enough ideas to fill entire albums in the hands of the less committed. Stand out tracks are Sinister Exaggerator, Blue Rosebuds and Hello Skinny, but almost 30 years on none of this has dated and could just as easily have been recorded last week.

The Residents have gone further out (Eskimo) and more accessible (Commercial Album) but this is probably the best introduction to their unique output outside of compilations. Buy it, lose friends and disturb people. Nothing will ever seem quite the same again.

Review by The Wizard
4 stars Disturbing. That's the one word that describes The Residents. This record is saturated in madness. Nasal vocals, off key guitars, dissonant electronic toys, and surreal yet disturbing lyrics. This is Dada rock if I have ever seen it. The whole thing feels like some little kid brutally killing a toad and laughing at it. It's some scary crap, but it's addictive also. You'll want more of this insanity inducing madness, and you'll enjoy it. I think the reason the members of this band are hidden is because they don't want people to realize who exactly is behind the music because they would labelled as lunatics.

This is probably the easiest Residents record to get into, but that's not really saying much. It's the most melodic but the melodies are twisted. Everything is dissonant and discomforting. The style and glory of the Residents is best represented here, but they would still reach greater heights. Highly recommended to fans of 'weird rock' (Zappa, Beefheart, etc.).

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars When I first heard "Blue Rosebuds" on a local Sarajevo radio station in early 1980s, I was like "what the hell is this?" The most unusual "pop" song I ever heard until that time! Only recently however I listened to the entire LP (originally issued as an extended edition of "Duck Stab" EP) and I can say this is probably the most accessible RESIDENTS of the 1970s. More than that, it is loaded with wonderful, bittersweet, deranged songs sounding like mutants of pop music. "Constantinople", "Blue Rosebuds", "Laughing Song", "Bach Is Dead", "Elvis and His Boss", "Semolina", "Birthday Boy", "Krafty Cheese", "Hello Skinny" are all essential RESIDENTS' minimalist masterpieces. If you never heard this band of lunatics before, this is the place to start. But, caution: before entering the Residents territory, you should leave behind all your pre-conceptions about what the music (including progressive rock) really is!
Review by clarke2001
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The term body language often refers to a sexual attraction, however, in the case of THE RESIDENTS; there's no such things - unless you have a fetish for mutilated farm animals. Here, body language is not body talk - it's a body shouting: Press STOP!

But the other side of your body (body, not mind, because your mind had been eaten so far) is refusing to do it, because you're both shocked and amazed. Yes, that's the music of THE RESIDENTS.

There's a common misconception about the identity of the bandmembers; people think they're staying in anonymity because of some artistic reasons. No. They just forgot their Christian names, the names of their parents, what planet are they from, or the number of their limbs. You have a full right to question their sanity.

Beyond all that dementia, there are really intelligent stories going on; crazy dynamics, arrangements, hypnotic repetitive sounds, bursts of chaotic hiss, some great, rhythmical, 8-syllables-in-a-verse lyrics and those crazy, dissonant intervals that fit in the overall (gory) picture so nicely.

I'm often wondering how on Earth they produced all that sounds. Overdriven sounds, bent out of shape, that could possibly be keyboards, guitars or bended saws. Toy trumpets, stringy things in the background, cheapo electric organs, analog synths (used in a great and unconventional way), tuned percussions. Add to the plethora of the instruments a plethora of dynamic range and different song parts - and you have really beautiful yet insane collage. This is certainly worth your time. Their music should be heard, at least once in a lifetime.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
5 stars "Your heart is like a silken sponge that calls saliva love."

If music can truly be characterized as deranged, then this is an album that is deranged. The liner notes claim that the album contains "modern day nursery rhymes". If so, this album is for the Addams Family children. Lyrically twisted, and musically off the charts, this album will frighten children, and confuse adults.

It's one of my favorite Residents albums.

The songs, on the surface, sound simplistic. But listen deeply and you will hear microtonal chords and scales, and some of the weirdest sounding instruments anywhere. The best songs? If I had to choose, they would be Constantinople (yes, that song), Sinister Exaggerator (quoted above) and Hello Skinny. But don't get me wrong, the entire album, from start to finish, is great.

My copy, the ESD 1987 release, has the EP "Goosebumps" as a bonus. This is "a re- recording of Mother Goose with the original sinister overtones left intact". It makes the album even better.

Review by Dobermensch
5 stars After first hearing 'Duck Stab' in 1995 it changed everything I listened to afterwards.

Trying to describe it is a very difficult thing. It's extremely creepy, but curiously tuneful at the same time. I think it's the vocals that do it. They're quite frankly maniacal. This is one of the most "off the wall" albums you could wish to hear. In fact any one of the Residents first 7 albums up to 1980 are just plain over the rainbow crazy.

There's guitars that sound all queer and high pitched, drum machines with no high pitches whatsoever, repetitive bass, some seriously damaged keyboards that sound one octave out continuously and loads of deranged almost cartoonish vocals that belong on a Warner Brothers animation.

Most importantly of all I can almost certainly confirm the identity of the never seen before lead singer... He is the weird guy playing guitar on 'Moisture' in the 'One Minute Movies' (from the 'Commercial Album' 1980) easily accesible on YouTube for the curious. He's the same guy interviewed by Penn and Teller in a wobbly 80's video documentary where he pretends to be the bands manager. The bodily actions and the voice are identical.

So if this review has served no other purpose, at least you can get to see the guy's face with no eyeball on his head! I'm just surprised no one else has mentioned this.

Review by frippism
4 stars The Residents... If you were ever weird, well then you weren't. That simple. The Residents are at least 500 times weirder than you. Their music is such a distorted nightmare... but strangely it's a nightmare you'll enjoy very much if you have a stomach for it. The Residents are one of the toughest bands to get into, it took months over months for me to finally understand what they were trying to do, a listen here a listen there and then it just all slammed into place. Therefore my first review of one of my truly favourite bands of all time will be a review of their most accessible and fun albums: The two combined EPs which are Duck Stab and Buster and Glen.

Who are the Residents? How the hell should I know? They are your weirdest acid trip more or less. They sound like they've been listening to R&B records through a record player which had heroin injected to it. Add a bunch of synths and electronic experimentations, creepy Louisiana accents (the band's home state), and you're a step closer to understand who the Residents are: a bunch of boys who were probably rather socially awkward and had rather creative and manic minds. No bands ever truly managed to do what the Residents did, but the number of artists influenced by the Residents is countless. Their advancements in electronic music, their strange vocal delivery, their oddball image, showed people what weirdness truly is.

On this record you have some of the more fun and accessible material as I said. The songs are around 2-3/3:30 minutes, and all have something similar to a melody to enjoy. They're all at least great, some better than others. Some definite highlights are: The forever addictive "Constantinople", the eerie and frightening "Blue Rosebuds", the violin filled "Laughing Song", the short and sweet "Bach Is Dead", The bluesy "Sinister Exaggerator", The hilarious "Birthday Boy", the strangely beautiful "The Electrocutioner". But honestly there's nothing really bad in this album at all and almost everything is quite the masterpiece, except for a few songs which are great and still very enjoyable ("Semolina" for example). It's all to be listened to.

The Residents are master producers and composers. The production isn't out of this world, but it really only adds to the Residents fun. The lo-fi is adds a special sort of intimate feature to the Residents, most of the times at least (the Residents discography is big and there aren't missing any less than spectacular releases, but the amount of great albums is staggering). Also the late great Snakefinger does some very cool guitar parts. Strange and creepy bluesy riffs sometimes pop up and add to the party. The songs aren't technically complex, but the use of synths and guitars and percussion are so enjoyable and intricate that it's always a joy to listen to their stuff again and again, and such is the case with this album.

Anyone wanting to start with the Residents should start here, and don't let anybody tell you otherwise!

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
4 stars Music with a severe case of dementia.

"Duck Stab/Buster & Glen" is one of The Residents albums that I looked forward to hearing after listening to a heap of others that alternate from plain ridiculous to ingenious. This one is hailed as one of their best so it was one I had to indulge in. it opens with 'Constantinople' with that nasal twang on all earlier albums "here I come Constantinople". Okay, it is not too bad, next is creepy weirdness in 'Sinister Exaggerator' and it is perhaps only for true addicts of this band being so oddball. Snakefinger's guitar work is always great though.

'Booker Tease' is a short stab reminding me of "Commercial Album"'s content. I like the guitar and rhythm that is actually a more commercial sound but the brass are unmistakeable as a Residents style of jazz. 'Blue Rosebuds' is more like Residents with a bubbling synth and deep bass, and the vocals are the same style as on "Commercial Album" that I have grown used to.

'Laughing Song' is wonderfully delirious, lots of laughter and nasal singing, and a nice little comical touch on the synths. 'Bach Is Dead' is whimsical with staccato brass and a synth sounding like a chicken clucking and the chant "Bach is dead" is chilling. Sounds like anything you are likely to hear from "Commercial Album".

'Elvis and His Boss' has an Elvis blues feel but with odd out of tune synths. The voice mimics Elvis similar to material on "Third Reich and Roll".

'Lizard Lady' has a classic disturbing Residents sound with weird verses sung nasally and echoed by atonal synth lines. Don't try and make sense of the lyrics as its pointless. 'Semolina' has quirky vocals multilayered and off kilter to the tuneless synths, a maddening low point on the album. Must admit the seagulls and waves enhance the sound.

'Birthday Boy' is funny but warped not to be played at birthdays. It sounds like a birthday at an asylum. I love the oddball music in particular but thankfully these songs are short before they wear thin.

'Weight Lifting Lulu' is great with its cool swinging surfie guitar sound, and layered whispered vocals. The atmosphere is incredibly unnerving, a trademark Residents vibe. 'Krafty Cheese' is more demented tuneless stuff, with a droning bass, and deep resonance in the vocals. The eyeballs revel in this type of sound.

'Hello Skinny' is one that I had heard elsewhere so it had a nice familiar sound. The pragonist is so skinny he can be sucked into an eye dropper. The melody is endearing and quite catchy and I love those vocals reminding me of much of "Commercial Album".

'Electrocutioner' ends the album with some really creepy music and as the song builds up there is the musical definition of an electrocution.

Not an album to be played at funerals.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars This album is actually a combination of two E.P.s of the same names. However, only "Duck Stab!" had been previously released alone where "Buster & Glen" was not yet released. The studio decided to release them together, one per record side. The track order was also changed for "Duck Stab!" The band wanted them released separate, but the two E.P.s actually work together well, and since each track is not over 4 minutes, the crazy off the wall sound of The Residents doesn't wear itself out on this album.

So, the people that seem to like this album (like myself) tend to like it for it's strange eclectic sound. Throughout this album, pretty much everything is distorted in one way or another. This works well with the scary, yet zany lyrics. Vocal harmonies, instruments, melodies are off just enough so that you know things are not quite right. If these songs were standard, this would almost be a pop album, but with everything off kilter and over processed, what you get is a bunch of art-pop....experimentation with pop music. With earlier Residents sound (which this album is), you not only get the usual sparse electronic sound, but you get odd guitar licks and hooks from Snakefinger. The weirdness is what makes this album so attractive to those people that tend to like this album, and when you listen to it, there is that certain something about it.

For those wanting to dive into The Residents massive discography, this is a good place to start. The "Duck Stab!" portion of this is actually the better part with the "Buster & Glen" portion not being quite as interesting, but still has it's share of surprises like the warped singing of "Happy Birthday" and the hello dolly sound of "Hello Skinny". Most editions also have the "Goosebumps" suite which is a B side to "Diskomo" which jacks the value of the 2nd side back up to the 1st side. The 3 songs that make up the suite are hilarious takes on nursery rhymes that crack me up everytime I hear them. These are not nursery rhymes to share with your kids though unless you want them to grow up to be strange.

The combination of these two E.P.s along with the added B-side makes this collection (or album if you prefer) well worth while especially for beginners to The Residents sound. I guarantee you if you don't like this, then it's probably best to not look any further in their catalogue. But if it does appeal to you in that weird way that it appeals to lovers of avant-prog music, then you have a lot of work to do listening to their discography. Even though there are a lot of bombs in the discography, there are a lot of gems too. It's worth checking out. In the meantime, this gets 4.5 stars, but I'll round it up to 5 because the "Duck Stab!" side and the Goosebumps suite are priceless.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars This was my first taste of THE RESIDENTS and it was an excellent place to start as it is one of their more accessible records. This album is made up of two Eps both with seven songs each, with "Duck Stab" having been released prior to this while "Buster & Glen" was first released here. I can't believe these guys are from Louisiana. Anyway for someone like myself who likes to describe the music this is a nightmare. The off-kiltered rhythms, manipulated instruments, treated vocals and humerous lyrics make this very unique sounding. And it's very catchy to the point of a few of these songs getting stuck in my head. PRIMUS are very big fans of these guys and covered a few of their songs.

"Constantinople" is a word that will bring this song to mind if I ever here it again. Man this is so catchy and repetitive and it makes me smile. Very strange instrumental sounds and these guys have a talent for making catchy but strange rhythms. "Sinister Exaggerator" opens with a beat and guitar but neither are even close to being conventional. It almost sounds like violin briefly. Catchy stuff with vocals arriving before 1 1/2 minutes. There's that weird violin-like sound again after the vocals stop. "Booker Tease" is brighter with again a head-bobbing rhythm. The dissonance before a minute makes me squint. "Blue Rosebuds" is a dark toe-tapper with reserved and somewhat normal vocals. There's also some high-pitched helium- like vocals that are quite amusing. "Laughing Song" has what sounds like demented accordion then this laughter kicks in and the rhythm mimics the laughter. Funny stuff. "Bach Is Dead" is simple but so enjoyable as "Bach is dead" is repeated over and over. Who knew singing about someone being dead would be so funny. The final track of the first Ep is "Elvis And His Boss" which is so strange including the vocals. The instrumental work is way out there people.

"Lizard Lady" has fast paced vocals and an urgent sound. Sounds like a Minion a minute in(haha). The intensity rises late. "Semolina" is one that while catchy is also my least favourite mainly because of the way he sings the chorus. It still gets stuck in my head though damn it! "Birthday Boy" is funny and a highlight of the "Buster & Glen" Ep for me. Again we get this strange sounding rhythm and humerous lyrics. "Weight Lifting Lulu" has a different vibe to it along with this dark undercurrent. Normal vocals and it's catchy. Dissonant string-like sounds arrive after 2 minutes. "Krafty Cheese" is so difficult to describe with those deep sounds and also the experimental ones. Deep voices and those helium-like ones are part of this. "Hello Skinny" doesn't amuse me as far as the lyrics go but man instrumentally this is once again very innovative. "Electrocutioner" has a beat and what sounds like horns as the vocals join in. This is catchy but man there's plenty of dissonance in it. A change after 1 1/2 minutes as we get vocals and what sounds like mellotron(I'm sure it's not). A beat and more follows.

I absolutely love this stuff and while I feel the second Ep isn't as strong as the first this is easily 4 stars.

Review by Warthur
4 stars In principle divided into two sides - Duck Stab is side A, Buster & Glen is side B - you'd have to listen pretty carefully to work out whether there's any real logical distinction between the two halves of this bizarre little album. Mashing 14 offbeat musical outbursts into just over 35 minutes, the album ranges from almost-mainstream catchy numbers like Weight Lifting Lulu to weird goof-offs like Bach Is Dead and dissonant experiments like Electrocutioner. It's all very, very odd, but somehow compelling right to the end, and whilst I don't think I "get it" just yet, I don't think I lose anything from not getting it - I'm glad just to let it go and let the stabbed ducks waddle over me.

Latest members reviews

4 stars After a couple of years interacting musically with madness, experimentation, sound effects and wars consequences, The Residents seem to have arrived at what is the greatest work of their discography. Pop has rarely been an accomplice of such a perfectly expressed degree of madness. What s ... (read more)

Report this review (#2636118) | Posted by Argentinfonico | Monday, November 22, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars HERE I COME GOD DAMN CONSTANTINOPLE!!! Not an album for the faint hearted. So that you understand how inaccessible this band is in general, this is actually one of their most accessible records. The album features polyphony, twisted vocals, acid instrumentation and a very enjoyable silliness pr ... (read more)

Report this review (#2594310) | Posted by Gorgut Muncher | Monday, September 13, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is one of the weirdest albums you will ever hear in your life. The first track by itself should tell you that. It's not a normal avant-garde album, it's even more structureless and random. Surprisingly, it's one of The Residents most accessible records, and a great place to start if you wa ... (read more)

Report this review (#2593728) | Posted by Ian McGregor | Saturday, September 11, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Q: Are We Pop? A: No, We Are THE RESIDENTS! (... so... yes): 9/10 Holy Mother of God. Now that's bizarre, atonal and ominous music. Initially, THE RESIDENTS' compositions sociopathic coldness and detachment from "what humans commonly perceive as pleasant music" is quite a brutal shock, but af ... (read more)

Report this review (#2239682) | Posted by Luqueasaur | Monday, July 22, 2019 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A great album full of rythm, weird, dark or funny lyrics and incredible use of sound effects. It begins with one of the most catchy Resident song: Constantinople (wich is in fact a strange samba). It's a bit a satyre of some kinds of songs (like ballads, samba, blues or rock and roll). The effects a ... (read more)

Report this review (#305182) | Posted by The_Jester | Monday, October 18, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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