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THE TUNES OF TWO CITIES

The Residents

RIO/Avant-Prog


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The Residents The Tunes of Two Cities album cover
3.59 | 22 ratings | 5 reviews | 18% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1982

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Serenade for Missy (3:16)
2. A Maze of Jigsaws (2:52)
3. Mousetrap (3:32)
4. God of Darkness (3:18)
5. Smack Your Lips (Clap Your Teeth) (3:59)
6. Praise for the Curse (2:52)
7. The Secret Seed (2:47)
8. Smokebeams (2:43)
9. Mourning the Undead (3:05)
10. Song of the Wild (3:24)
11. The Evil Disposer (3:16)
12. Happy Home [Excerpt from Act II of Innisfree] (4:46)
*13. Open Up
*14. Anvil Forest
*15. Scent of Mint

*CD only tracks from non-1997 releases.

Lyrics

Search THE RESIDENTS The Tunes of Two Cities lyrics

Music tabs (tablatures)

Search THE RESIDENTS The Tunes of Two Cities tabs

Line-up / Musicians

Chris Cutler / drums
Fred Frith / guitar
Don Jackovich / percussion
Snakefinger / guitar, violin, vocals
The Residents / arranger
Normal Salant / saxophone

Releases information

-Released in 1982 on LP by Ralph
-Released in 1983 on cassette by Ralph
-Released in 1988 on LP by Torso
-Released in 1988 on CD by Torso
-Released in 1988 on CD by East Side Digital
-Released in 1997 on CD by Bomba in Japan
-Released in 1997 on CD by East Side Digital

Thanks to Retrovertigo for the addition
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THE RESIDENTS The Tunes of Two Cities ratings distribution


3.59
(22 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(18%)
18%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(23%)
23%
Good, but non-essential (45%)
45%
Collectors/fans only (14%)
14%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

THE RESIDENTS The Tunes of Two Cities reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by thellama73
COLLABORATOR Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars Arguably the most successful of the albums that make up the Mole Trilogy. The Tunes of Two Cities presents the "native" music of the fictional cultures, the Moles and the Chubs, from a ethno-musicological standpoint.

Putting aside the utterly fascinating nature of the concept behind the album, there is some really fun music here. Of course it is all terribly quirky, for the Residents can write in no other way. I particularly enjoy the Chub music, due to its jazzy, catchy melodies and warped big band feeling. Smack Your Lips, Clap Your Teeth is particularly successful. The music of the Moles, by contrast is dark and rhythmic, showing the ritualistic nature of their culture. Less catchy, but still quite interesting.

The major flaw in the album is the lack of acoustic instruments. The Residents instead opt for synthesizers that now sound rather dated and cheap. Whether this was due to budget constraints or if they thought it contributed to the superficial cultures being portrayed is unclear. Perhaps they were just using tools that were considered cutting edge at the time. In any case, we can only imagine how good these tunes would have sounded with a real horn section.

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Send comments to thellama73 (BETA) | Report this review (#141721) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
4 stars This album, the followup to "Mark Of The Mole", attempts to show the differences between the two cultures featued on the previous album, one living above ground, the other below. The songs alternate between the two societies, but both are odd and disturbing, but great to listen to.

The above ground songs are lighter, more open, and almost joyful, while the underground pieces are dark and mechanical. Both are heavily infused with themes from the previous album, which are often disguised, but become apparent the more you listen to both albums.

Even without knowing the story told on the first album, this is a great example of some of the Residents' bizarre form of music.

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Send comments to Evolver (BETA) | Report this review (#374996) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, January 06, 2011

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
3 stars Another part of the Mole Trilogy in four parts'. Hmmm, I was not expecting much as parts 1 and 4 were very droll. However, I was determined to listen to this to complete the series; all in one sitting I might add so this was quite an ordeal. I like what The Residents do with their music in that they turn convention on its head and break through barriers and nobody can argue that they are an acquired taste. I wonder though what was in their minds when releasing this saga about the two races, the Chubs and The Moles. To reiterate for the uninitiated, the Chubs are the swinging jazz lovers that have the high life above ground and do what they want and have a blast not giving a toss about the hapless Moles who are 'working down below' and are determined to find some solace in the high life above. In Part 1 the Moles were forced out of their flooded tunnels to the surface and an uprising occurred where a war broke out and devastation resulted; a war of racial intolerance.

On this next part in the saga 'The Tunes of Two Cities' we have the inimitable Snakefinger which for me was a breath of fresh air as I always loved his part in the band as guitarist and vocalist. The Tunes are from the two races; the Moles are dark, deep resonating tunes, and the Chubs are jazz fusion atonalities. A nice idea that works better than the other albums in the saga. The album opens with instrumentals 'Serenade for Missy', jazzy dissonance, and 'A Maze of Jigsaws' just plain weirdness from the Moles side. 'Mousetrap' is a piano and synth competition. It has the quirky whimsical jazzy humour that the Residents are only capable of. I began to realise that this was an instrumental album primarily with just a few moments of la la las and that suits me fine as often Residents ruin albums with raving and monotonous chants such as on the abysmal 'The Big Bubble' that should be avoided like the plague.

On with the album, and we have 'God of Darkness' which is more tribal native music from the intrepid Moles clan. It is similar to a lot of what we hear on the first part of the trilogy, complete with chants and odd repeated noises. The saving grace of jazz atonality follows with 'Smack Your Lips (Clap Your Teeth)', from the Chubs race, that have more musical sense for my tastes. Snakefinger's guitar is a highlight as always, just a weird phased sound and there's some cool little synth lines and horns to add to the soundscape. The pieces representing The Moles are certainly as droll as those off of 'Mark of the Mole'. 'Praise for the Curse' is dark and dreary synth burblings with a drum beat, 'The Secret Seed' is chimes that twinkle and clank over a bass drum rhythm and is too long and monotonus. The swinging jazz of the Chubs is wonderful such as 'Smokebeams' with its cool jazz flavour, lots of horns, trumpets and jazz time sigs.

'Mourning the Undead' is a clattering machine noise that drones on like being in a factory reminding me of 'New Machine' from the first album in the trilogy. This is highly strange but compelling as one out of the box among these tracks. It would make a great song to play in a factory; Residents capture the monotonous atmosphere perfectly. 'Song of the Wild' is a sad little tune with some interesting effects on the synths. The sounds are high pitched and unsettling. 'The Evil Disposer' returns to the native sounds of Moles with a lot of percussion and doomy factory like synths. Home [Excerpt from Act II of Innisfree]' is a bass drum and improvised music on horn synths, and repeated noises.

Of the whole four albums in the so called trilogy, this part is most successful but I still regard 'Tunes of two Cities' as a weaker entry in The Residents massive catalogue. 2.5 stars for the Chubs songs with that weird jazz sound. Round it off to 3 for the delirious unique atmospheres.

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#1070597) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, November 02, 2013

Latest members reviews

2 stars Part two of the so called 'Mole Trilogy' of which there were only two parts. This part is utter tripe. Massively spoiled by some horrendous keyboards that sound like something Rod, Jane and Freddy would conjure up in the British kids programme 'Rainbow'. In 'A Tale of Two Cities' the story br ... (read more)

Report this review (#456665) | Posted by Dobermensch | Friday, June 03, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This is my first review. Its primary motivation is the Poll question, asking for music that is a Guilty Pleasure - i.e. non -Prog but loved. I would have assuredly put the Residents, but upon further review, I notice that they are listed ! However, they are only minimally reviewed here, and ... (read more)

Report this review (#124658) | Posted by Nicholas Linear | Monday, June 04, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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