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The Residents The King & Eye album cover
3.33 | 31 ratings | 5 reviews | 10% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1989

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Blue Suede Shoes
2. The Baby King, Part 1
3. Don't Be Cruel
4. Heartbreak Hotel
5. All Shook Up
6. Return to Sender
7. The Baby King, Part 2
8. (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear
9. (You're The) Devil in Disguise
10. Stuck on You
11. Big Hunk O' Love
12. (Now and Then There's) A Fool Such as I
13. The Baby King, Part 3
14. Little Sister
15. His Latest Flame
16. Burning Love
17. Viva Las Vegas
18. The Baby King, Part 4
19. Love Me Tender
20. The Baby King, Part 5
21. Hound Dog

Total time: 52:25

Line-up / Musicians

Laurie Amat / vocals
Bruce Anderson / guitar
The Residents / everything else

Releases information

-Released in 1989 on CD, LP, and cassette by Torso
-Released in 1989 on CD, LP, and cassette by Enigma
-Released in 1989 on LP by Kompass
-Released in 1989 on LP by Virgin

Thanks to Retrovertigo for the addition
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Buy THE RESIDENTS The King & Eye Music

THE RESIDENTS The King & Eye ratings distribution

(31 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(10%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(29%)
Good, but non-essential (39%)
Collectors/fans only (19%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

THE RESIDENTS The King & Eye reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars You would think, given their history of recording some pretty bizarre cover songs, that The Residents could really make a wild album based on Elvis presley's music, But this album falls short. Way short.

The big problem is synthesizers. Where on earlier albums, The Residents created their own sounds, coming up wi'h pieces where the listener might think "How did they do that?", here the tones are all recognizable synth patches. And the synth patches provide a sameness to the songs, from which 'he band rarely breaks away.

The concept is a man telling the story of Elvis, called here "The Baby King", to two small children. The album was shortened and used as one of the segments of the "Cube-E" live tour. At least here the vocalist doesn't completely wreck the songs by shouting them all in an angry death metal growl. Here he speaks most of them in a cowboy poem sort of style. And the music, for the most part, bears little resemblance to the songs they are representing.

I can't say it's all bad. About two thirds of the way through, the group hits their stride, and Little Sister breaks out of 'he sameness, and becomes an eerie, ominous piece wi'h the dark warning "Little sister don't do what your big sister done". And His Latest Flame also stands out, with one piece of the melody taken out of it's musical context, get's layered and layered into a nice round sort of piece.

So while this is far better than Cube-E, I'd only rate i' 2.5 s'ars. And because it's The Residents, I'll round that up.

Review by Dobermensch
4 stars A far superior album to the vaguely connected 'American Composers' recordings released in the mid 80's, both of which failed miserably (George & James + Stars & Hank - which possibly sported the two worst album sleeves you're likely to see in your lifetime)

Seeing as there's so few reviews for this, I should point out that this is an album of Elvis Presley cover versions.

The King and Eye, however, has a cool smoothness during all tracks and the 'cod' Elvis vocals really grow on you each time you hear it. As is usual with the Residents there's many a deformity and off kilter note throughout.

There are a couple of moments of rare beauty by the Residents on this one in the form of 'A Fool Such as I' and 'Viva Las Vegas'. Up until this point I didn't think the Residents could record anything pretty.

It's certainly not as wonky as their 70's output, but this is far more refined and precise. There are very few guitars present, with mostly keyboards, bass and drum machines which make for a very unusual Presley listening experience. The whole album is full of tunes that I find myself whistling to on my bicycle.

Play it to Elvis fans and you're guaranteed to annoy the hell out of them. THEY WILL HATE THIS! and that's why I love it so much.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars So, this is a tough one. It is genius and hilarious what The Residents are doing here, but it's hard to tell if they are paying homage to Elvis, or making fun sometimes. This is an album full of Elvis covers, with the typical (usually) minimalistic approach. They dismantle the songs, make them dark, occasionally throw some loud and strange guitar passages in there. Throughout the album, there is some spoken word skits where a person is sitting there telling the story of the King with some children listening in and making comments. KInd of a strange bedtime story.

The covers are interesting, but the album gets old fast. As much as you want to like what you are hearing, the rendering of the songs by what seems to be satirical takes on the music, it tends to run on too long, and it also is not an album you will want to listen to very often. However, hearing the songs this way emphasizes the darkness of some of the lyrics, while with others, the rendering changes the meanings completely. There are some very decent tracks here however, namely "Devil in Disguise", "Little Sister", "His Latest Flame" (with a surprisingly emotional guest vocalist) and "Viva Las Vegas". But the few high points here don't save the overall album.

I am surprised that you don't hear much mention from reviewers, professional or amateur, about how there are suggestions of religious sarcasm here, how there are hints of comparisons with Jesus and God, but if you listen to the story and the way the songs are delivered, surely you will hear this. Just another way The Residents make fun of music and society.

Anyway, it is an interesting concept, but it loses it's appeal after so long and it has a very short appeal as far as returning to the album later. It is kind of fun to play for Elvis fans though and a sick joke. Anyway, we'll give this one 3 stars. Good, but not terrific.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Review #164! What The Residents are doing here is redefining the word 'cover'. An Elvis cover album chock-full of mysterious, dark renditions of his hits, with very Residenty interludes splotched throughout the album ('The Baby King', 1-5). Although some songs feel a bit drowned out and ... (read more)

Report this review (#2982751) | Posted by Boi_da_boi_124 | Sunday, January 14, 2024 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This album was my first introduction to The Residents. I read a brief review of it in Rolling Stone magazine (3 stars) and it sounded intriguing. When I put it on it blew my mind. In hindsight, it is one of their more average releases, one that I barely listen too. The third in their American co ... (read more)

Report this review (#43117) | Posted by DantesRing | Tuesday, August 16, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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