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THE RESIDENTS

RIO/Avant-Prog • United States


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The Residents picture
The Residents biography
Founded in San Francisco, USA in 1969 - Still active as of 2018

The Residents formed in the late 60's travelling from Louisiana to San Francisco, experimenting with tape and any media they can get their hands on, and recording plenty of music to suit themselves. The Residents had to get out of Louisiana, they were a very odd group of people who couldn't stand that setting and had to get out. On the way The Residents seemed to have made a slight name for themselves as oddities, so a man named Philip "Snakefinger" Lithman decided to come down and check them out from England. On the way he picked up a man named N. Senada, who ended up highly contributing to The Residents' technological absurd recordings by presenting philosophies and theories to The Residents to keep their music highly original and odd. It then set off from there, with tons of concept albums, and quite the iconic presence in the mid '70's known as the four guys in the eyeball masks who have never released their names (they want their music to be recognized, not them). This anonymous group of men toyed with tape experimentation and the latest technology in creating bold and pioneering electronic music covering a whole lot of ground, destroying pop songs with their signature style, creating extremely catchy oddball songs, and later covering people like James Brown, Elvis Presley, and Hank Williams into entire albums, deconstructing their known songs with their signature style. The Residents are highly intelligent and insightful, creating many concept albums in which they devote entire concerts to acting out. These became more often in the early '80's until today, where their rare live appearances can't be missed. The Residents also over their careers are the first pioneers of music video, and mixed media combined with their groundbreaking music. What you're going to be hearing is dissonant, catchy, electronic, extremely odd yet intelligent, the famous Louisiana voice of the main Resident, wickedly conceptual deconstructed pop and adventurous experimentation. There is nothing like The Residents, there is a sound that cannot be copied here. The closest you can get is the absurdity of FRANK ZAPPA, a far more unconventional DEVO, and the writing style of CAPTAIN BEEFHEART, the first and third mentioned The Residents' are huge fans of. The Residents create their music in isolation and have said to not have listened to other people's music in years, just to retain their style. The...
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80 Aching Orphans: 45 Years Of The Residents (4Cd/Hardback Book)80 Aching Orphans: 45 Years Of The Residents (4Cd/Hardback Book)
Cherry Red 2017
$21.66
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I Am A Resident! 2 Disc Special EditionI Am A Resident! 2 Disc Special Edition
Cryptic Corp 2018
$12.39
$12.49 (used)
The Ghost Of HopeThe Ghost Of Hope
Cryptic 2017
$8.95
$8.91 (used)
The Third Reich 'n Roll: pREServed EditionThe Third Reich 'n Roll: pREServed Edition
Cryptic Corp 2018
$12.40
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Meet The ResidentsMeet The Residents
CRYPTIC CORP 2011
$8.84
$9.80 (used)
Title In Limbo Special EditionTitle In Limbo Special Edition
Special Edition
Klanggalerie 2017
$17.79
$17.78 (used)
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THE RESIDENTS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

THE RESIDENTS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.02 | 102 ratings
Meet The Residents
1974
4.13 | 99 ratings
The Third Reich 'N Roll
1976
3.75 | 45 ratings
Fingerprince
1977
3.97 | 104 ratings
Not Available
1978
4.27 | 102 ratings
Duck Stab / Buster & Glen
1978
3.98 | 86 ratings
Eskimo
1979
3.64 | 77 ratings
Commercial Album
1980
3.01 | 54 ratings
Mark Of The Mole
1981
3.51 | 37 ratings
The Tunes of Two Cities
1982
2.42 | 12 ratings
Title In Limbo (With Renaldo And The Loaf)
1983
2.64 | 21 ratings
George And James
1984
2.93 | 22 ratings
Whatever Happened to Vileness Fats?
1984
2.47 | 15 ratings
The Census Taker (Original Soundtrack)
1985
2.00 | 23 ratings
The Big Bubble
1985
4.41 | 26 ratings
Stars & Hank
1986
3.75 | 39 ratings
God In Three Persons
1988
2.71 | 17 ratings
God In Three Persons Soundtrack
1988
3.29 | 26 ratings
The King & Eye
1989
2.86 | 29 ratings
Freak Show
1990
2.57 | 25 ratings
Gingerbread Man
1994
3.03 | 15 ratings
Hunters
1995
2.55 | 20 ratings
Have A Bad Day
1996
3.76 | 32 ratings
Wormwood: Curious Stories From the Bible
1998
2.73 | 14 ratings
Roadworms: The Berlin Sessions
2000
3.73 | 11 ratings
Icky Flix: Original Soundtrack Recording
2001
4.25 | 29 ratings
Demons Dance Alone
2002
4.02 | 19 ratings
WB:RMX
2004
1.82 | 11 ratings
The King & Eye: RMX
2004
4.00 | 15 ratings
The 12 Days of Brumalia
2004
3.81 | 30 ratings
Animal Lover
2005
2.51 | 19 ratings
Tweedles!
2006
2.40 | 14 ratings
The River of Crime: Episodes 1-5
2006
4.01 | 16 ratings
The Voice of Midnight
2007
3.73 | 28 ratings
The Bunny Boy
2008
3.13 | 15 ratings
The Ughs
2009
3.33 | 13 ratings
Lonely Teenager
2011
4.14 | 7 ratings
The Rivers Of Hades
2011
4.03 | 20 ratings
Coochie Brake
2012
4.04 | 7 ratings
The Ghost Of Hope
2017

THE RESIDENTS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 4 ratings
Mole Show
1983
4.75 | 4 ratings
Live In The USA: The 13th Anniversary Tour
1986
2.86 | 12 ratings
The 13th Anniversary Show, Live in Tokyo
1986
2.25 | 8 ratings
The 13th Anniversary Show: Live in Holland
1987
3.22 | 9 ratings
The Snakey Wake
1988
4.68 | 10 ratings
The Mole Show: Live in Holland
1989
2.42 | 7 ratings
Cube E: Live In Holland
1990
4.40 | 5 ratings
Live at the Fillmore
1998
3.29 | 8 ratings
Wormwood Live 1999
1999
5.00 | 2 ratings
The Way We Were
2005
5.00 | 2 ratings
The Mole Show (Bag Set)
2009
3.67 | 3 ratings
13th Anniversary Show - Ritz NY - Jan 16, 1986
2010
5.00 | 2 ratings
Brava
2010
5.00 | 2 ratings
Talking Light Bimbo's
2011
4.00 | 3 ratings
Triple Dub-Ya: The Way We Were Melbourne
2012
3.67 | 3 ratings
Demonic! The Residents Live in Oslo!
2013
3.75 | 4 ratings
The 13th Anniversary Show - Cleveland (Featuring Snakefinger)
2014
4.17 | 6 ratings
The Wonder of Weird
2014
3.80 | 5 ratings
Shadowland
2015

THE RESIDENTS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

5.00 | 1 ratings
Moleshow/Whatever Happened To Vileness Fats
1984
4.00 | 3 ratings
Video Voodoo Volume I
1987
4.59 | 13 ratings
Icky Flix
2001
4.00 | 8 ratings
Eskimo
2002
4.61 | 10 ratings
Demons Dance Alone
2003
2.76 | 9 ratings
The Commercial Album
2004
4.14 | 7 ratings
The Residents Play Wormwood: Curious Stories From The Bible
2005
3.18 | 2 ratings
Is Anybody Out There?
2009
4.00 | 2 ratings
Icky Flix Live
2009
5.00 | 1 ratings
The Residents' Talking Light presents Randy's Ghost Stories
2010

THE RESIDENTS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.33 | 6 ratings
Residue
1983
5.00 | 1 ratings
Assorted Secrets
1984
4.00 | 2 ratings
Heaven?
1986
3.33 | 3 ratings
Hell!
1986
3.13 | 8 ratings
Our Finest Flowers
1992
4.46 | 6 ratings
Our Tired, Our Poor, Our Huddled Masses
1997
4.14 | 7 ratings
Residue Deux
1998
4.00 | 2 ratings
Land of Mystery
1999
4.00 | 2 ratings
Refused
1999
2.26 | 4 ratings
Dot.com
2000
3.69 | 8 ratings
Petting Zoo
2002
4.00 | 3 ratings
Kettles of Fish on the Outskirts of Town
2003
3.18 | 2 ratings
CUBE E, The History of Amerian Music in 3-EZ Pieces
2006
2.14 | 2 ratings
Ten Little Piggies: Tunes From Future Projects
2009
5.00 | 1 ratings
Heaven / Hell!
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
DOT.COM
2017

THE RESIDENTS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.28 | 10 ratings
Santa Dog 1972
1972
4.67 | 3 ratings
Meet The Residents Sampler
1974
3.33 | 3 ratings
Satisfaction
1976
4.00 | 11 ratings
The Beatles Play the Residents and the Residents Play the Beatles
1977
3.07 | 7 ratings
The Residents Radio Special / Eat Exuding Oinks
1977
3.66 | 15 ratings
Duck Stab
1978
3.50 | 2 ratings
Santa Dog '78
1978
2.38 | 10 ratings
Babyfingers
1979
2.37 | 11 ratings
Diskomo
1980
3.83 | 6 ratings
The Commercial Single
1980
0.00 | 0 ratings
Shut Up, Shut Up
1980
3.08 | 11 ratings
Intermission
1982
2.00 | 1 ratings
The White Single
1984
0.00 | 0 ratings
It's A Man's Man's Man's World
1984
3.09 | 3 ratings
Kaw-Liga (Dancemix)
1986
5.00 | 1 ratings
Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers
1986
5.00 | 1 ratings
This Is A Mans Mans Mans World
1986
3.50 | 4 ratings
Kaw-Liga
1986
3.40 | 5 ratings
Hit The Road Jack
1987
3.50 | 2 ratings
For Elsie
1987
3.25 | 4 ratings
Double Shot
1988
2.49 | 7 ratings
Holy Kiss Of Flesh
1988
3.67 | 6 ratings
Santa Dog '88
1988
4.00 | 2 ratings
Buckaroo Blues
1989
5.00 | 1 ratings
Kaw-Liga (Housey Mix)
1989
3.75 | 4 ratings
Don't Be Cruel
1990
4.00 | 2 ratings
Liver Music
1990
4.00 | 2 ratings
Stranger Than Supper
1990
2.21 | 5 ratings
Daydream B-Liver
1991
3.20 | 5 ratings
Santa Dog '92
1992
4.00 | 2 ratings
Prelude to "The Teds"
1993
2.43 | 5 ratings
Poor Kaw Liga´s Pain
1994
3.05 | 3 ratings
Louisiana's Lick
1995
3.31 | 7 ratings
Pollex Christi
1997
4.00 | 2 ratings
I Hate Heaven
1998
1.32 | 6 ratings
In Between Screams: Intermission Music From The Residents' Wormwood
1999
3.04 | 6 ratings
Diskomo 2000
2000
3.08 | 7 ratings
High Horses
2001
5.00 | 1 ratings
The Golden Goat
2003
3.00 | 5 ratings
I Murdered Mommy!
2004
4.50 | 2 ratings
Viva Las Vegas RMX
2004
4.00 | 3 ratings
Best Left Unspoken, vol.2
2006
3.50 | 2 ratings
Best Left Unspoken, Vol. 1
2006
4.00 | 2 ratings
Best Left Unspoken, vol. 3
2007
5.00 | 1 ratings
Night Of The Hunters
2007
3.75 | 4 ratings
Animal Lover Instrumental
2008
3.75 | 4 ratings
Smell My Picture
2008
3.85 | 4 ratings
Postcards from Patmos
2008
2.74 | 3 ratings
Arkansas
2009
2.00 | 1 ratings
1997: The Missing Year - The Fillmore Dress Rehearsal (Act One)
2009
3.00 | 2 ratings
1997: The Missing Year - Adobe Disfigured Night
2009
3.50 | 2 ratings
Tabasco: Tweedles Instrumental
2010
2.29 | 5 ratings
Dollar General
2010
3.04 | 7 ratings
Chuck's Ghost Music
2011
4.00 | 3 ratings
Dolor Generar- Una Noche Lost en Van Horn Texas
2011
5.00 | 1 ratings
CUBE E Dynasone 3EZ
2011
4.00 | 2 ratings
Ozark
2011
5.00 | 1 ratings
The Rivers Of Hades
2011
5.00 | 1 ratings
Night Train To Nowhere!
2012
4.00 | 2 ratings
Wolverines (Fix)
2013
4.00 | 1 ratings
Halloween
2013
3.50 | 2 ratings
There's Blood (On The Bunny)
2013
3.50 | 2 ratings
My Window
2013
3.50 | 2 ratings
Magic Finger
2013
4.00 | 2 ratings
The Bunny Boy
2013
4.00 | 2 ratings
The Weatherman
2013
3.60 | 5 ratings
Mush-Room: Music from the Need Company Performance
2013
3.50 | 2 ratings
My Brother Paul
2014
4.00 | 2 ratings
Manz Whirled
2014
3.50 | 2 ratings
Boneless Boy (Jelly Jack)
2014
5.00 | 2 ratings
Lizard Lady (Live)
2015
0.00 | 0 ratings
Rushing Like A Banshee
2016
0.00 | 0 ratings
Santa Dog 17
2017

THE RESIDENTS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Voice of Midnight by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.01 | 16 ratings

BUY
The Voice of Midnight
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars So, after a few fairly good albums, The Residents put out this album. 'The Voice of Midnight' tells the story of a boy named Nate (played and sung by Corey Rosen) who thinks The Sandman is out to kill him like The Sandman killed his father. He has a girlfriend named Claire (played by Gerry Lawler) who he alienates when she discovers he has feeling for a mannequin or a robot, not sure which, named Olympia (played by Carla Fabrizo). All of the actors, or players, worked with The Residents previously on 'River of Crime' and 'Tweedles'. Vocals are both sung and spoken, as in a play or drama.

The first track 'The Sandman' is the track that tells the backstory of this whole drama. The main character Nate, is telling his girlfriend Claire on the telephone, just what his problem is with The Sandman. The music in the background is quite chaotic and noisy as Nate gets frantic and calms down when he's not. There is a lot of noisy guitar in this track among other cacophony. Later, Nate sings, and his voice is vulnerable and nervous, like you would expect in this character. The music calms down here, but remains eerie and strange, with synths, guitar and strings providing instrumentals. The regular vocalist for The Residents provides some processed spooky vocals. The other characters sing/speak during their parts. The music gets dark and heavy at the end.

This first track, lasting over 8 minutes, is a good example of what to expect in this album. The music is definitely avant-prog, and goes along with the text and lyrics of the story. This was The Residents forte during this time of their long existence. Telling dramatic stories to music and spoken parts. Yes, the stories are strange, funny and just plain weird, but if they weren't, this wouldn't be The Residents. The albums of this era of the collective had, thank goodness, moved onto more developed music, where real instruments were involved, and not just the annoying amateur sounding synthesizers of their albums from the middle of their discography.

Now, here's a spoiler alert. The rest of this review deals with the story as it goes through the scenes, or tracks of this album. Remember, this is a story by The Residents, so consider this your warning. Some images can be disturbing.

In the next track 'Mental Decay', Nate is on a picnic with Claire and he writes her a poem to get on her good side. It's a stupid poem and Claire chides him for believing that The Sandman is out to get him. 'Claire's Response' is when she tells him to get lost and he tries to apologize but to no avail. 'In the Dark' tells how Nick's friend Brad calls him and tells him his apartment is on fire, but not to worry because Brad rescued all of his stuff in time and now Nick can live with him. Nick lives there and discovers that his Biology professor lives across the street, so he goes over to talk with him. In 'Professor Caligari' he talks to his professor and asks him about his daughter that lives upstairs that he spotted petting a white cat. In 'The Telescope' Nick buys a pocket telescope that he can use to spy on the professor's mysterious 'Daughter'. The Sandman entices him to go watch the girl with the white cat who he becomes obsessed with.

Later, in 'True Love' which lasts over 11 minutes, Nate receives an invitation from Olympia (which is the 'daughter's' name) to come to a party. Olympia sings him the song 'Beautiful Dreamer' with altered lyrics and with the melody changed to a minor key sounding really hypnotic and spooky. After the song, heavy and dark guitars play the altered melody, then a synthesized chorus sing the refrain. This part is actually quite clever. After that, things get really bizarre as the Sandman gets into Nate's head. My guess is that Nate gets memerized and hypnotized and sees the Sandman feeding his children eyeballs and thinks, 'Hey, they gotta eat too.' So all of this is to make him feel empathy for The Sandman and to lure him in.

'Seven Cats' tells how while Nate is watching Olympia through his telescope, she is not there one night but there are cats everywhere. The man that sold him the telescope is walking up the street and picks the lock on the professor's door. Nate goes over to stop him and finds Olympia's body on the floor without eyes and there is also a box that the person dropped that is full of eyeballs. He is also in some kind of laboratory with heads on the shelves and then he is captured by creeping seaweed.

In 'Catatonia', Nate has been captured by the police and they are questioning Claire as to why he was found in the professor's laboratory hugging a mannequin with a bunch of mannequin heads all over the ground. Meanwhile, in Nate's mind, all is not right as the Sandman continues to lull him to sleep. In 'The Proposal', it seems like all has returned to normal as Nate sees everyone celebrating his birthday, Claire is there and has forgiven him now that Nate is better and is ready to marry him. But the music and The Sandman's voice alludes to the fact that everything is not alright.

'The Tower' tells how Nate takes Claire to the top of a tower to watch the sunset. While there, Claire tells him she is pregnant and Nate goes crazy and says the babies belong to The Sandman. He tries to kill Claire claiming she slept with him while she pleads to him that it's not true. As he almost kills her, he looks down and sees The Sandman. As he goes to attack The Sandman, he goes over the railing of the tower and falls to his death.

'Epilogue' fast forwards to the future where Claire is talking to her children and tells them she is going out for a little while and she leaves them with her grandma, who proceeds to tell them the story of . . . . ''The Sandman.

Okay, just so you know, no one can tell a spooky story like The Residents, especially one that is as wacky as this. The album has plenty of odd melodies, sounds, and avant-prog-ness to keep everyone interested, but chances are, you will be entranced by the story. It's not their best, and after the first listen, it loses it's charm, but it's fun and interesting if nothing else, and might be a good Halloween story for you to share with your friends, that is, if you are into that kind of entertainment. But, everyone will probably just look at you funny. Oh well. There's always a place for us weirdoes, isn't there?

 WB:RMX by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.02 | 19 ratings

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WB:RMX
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

5 stars The Residents.

Usually that would pretty much say everything.

But this album is something that worked, and I think that was totally unintentional. Way back before The Residents were just a glitter in the eye of their eyeball mother, they sent in a demo tape to Warner Brothers. It got rejected. You all know how bad their music can be right? Well this was worse. The WB exec sent the demo back in an envelope marked to "Residents" and that is where the band got their name. As a trivial side fact here, the executive included a note that said that at least he gave them an "A for Ariginality".

So, since the band was embarrassed (? I know, right?), they hid this demo tape from the public for years and years. Of course, as these cult-ish things tend to do, it started to circulate in bootlegged form. So The Residents gave a collective sigh and collectively said, let's take these awful demos and make a remix album out of them. Thus, you have this album. The problem is, there really aren't that many tracks on here that use those demos as source material. (Ha, ha, ha, aren't those Residents funny?) What you do get however, is a bunch of tracks that use different sources as original material and layer a bunch of sounds and bad singing on top of them (usually redneck accent style singing), do some rearranging, and, viola, an album.

The funniest thing about this is it turned out to be quite good. There is a lot of variety, which is something that is usually missing on any single individual Residents album. You get some danceable beats from time to time, but the music is really odd, so you won't be hearing any of this in your local Rave Hall or Roller Skating Rink any time soon.

Now, The Residents, when they make a joke, they go out of their way to completely milk it for all that it's worth. You end up getting an album with something that seems funny on paper, but at the end of the album, you are ready to poke out an eyeball (see what "eye" did there?). But this time, these stupid remixes are quite hilarious, all the way through the album. If you are familiar with remixes at all, you should understand this humor. With memorable songs like "Snot and Feces", "Ohm is Where the Heart is", and "Baby Skeletons and Dogs", you just know that you are in quality territory when it comes to remixing something so it sounds nothing at all like it's source material.

The album still manages to be Avant Prog as you get some interesting things going on here that are anything but typical. It's not very often that The Residents sound like they know what they are doing, but this is one of their albums that proves that they are not as dumb as they think they are. You get so used to hearing their weirdness, that when they do something that is good, you suspect it was on accident.

You might think that an album of almost 1 hour play time (including bonus tracks when applicable) would wear out it's welcome with this satirical look at remix albums. But it doesn't because there is enough variety here to keep things interesting. And, if you listen to this as simply an art rock album, you might not think that it was supposed to be satirizing remix albums. That might be a stretch, I suppose, but regardless, I still enjoy this album that doesn't wear out it's welcome as some of the other many Residents albums do. Not all of them, mind you, but they have so many albums, EPs, and so on, that you can still say "wear out its welcome as some of the other many Residents albums do" and still be right, and yet still come out of it with a better discography than some other bands could come up with. Anyway, search this one out. Chances are that, if nothing else, you will come out with at least a segment of this album that you will like. As for me, I'll add this one to the bands five star albums like "Eskimo" and "Duck Stab" and some others.

 Babyfingers by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1979
2.38 | 10 ratings

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Babyfingers
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Since The Residents release everything they have ever recorded, whether it's good or not, here is another EP full of songs that were meant to be on the "Fingerprince" album, but weren't quite ready yet. As if that ever made a difference to The Residents before. What did they have to get ready, I wonder. Anyway, "Fingerprince" was originally supposed to be a 3 sided album, but since these songs weren't ready in 1977, they held on to them until 1979 and released this EP. The original release was limited to 40 copies, and were sent out to those who ordered "The Third Reich and Roll" Box Sets. Later, a reprinting was made available to members of the W.E.I.R.D. club in 1981. Then a 3rd reprinting was done on pink vinyl in 1985. Eventually, it was added to CD copies of "Fingerprince" after 1988. The question to ask yourself is...."Why?" This question will remain unanswered in order to protect the innocent.

"Monstrous Intro" is a short instrumental with no point. "Death in Barstow" is a good example of where Les Claypool was inspired when he listened to The Residents music. No, it doesn't have any cool bass lines, but you can definitely hear Primus' inspiration in the goofy song with a weird lilting waltz-like non-waltz. It can't be a waltz silly, it's not in 3 / 4 time. "Melon Collie Lassie" is a dark song with stupid preprogrammed percussion and a fake accordion. Talk about tacky, but that's the whole point, right? Again, I must ask, what wasn't ready? If this is finished, I can only imagine what the unfinished version sounded like. Then you get the "Flight of the Bumble Roach". This is definite Avant Prog with the obvious sarcastic wink at the classical classic song "Flight of the Bumblebee", and lots of delirious non-harmony. "Walter Westinghouse" is the only track that cracks the 3 minute mark, approaching 8 minutes of awful poetry and tacky accompaniment. The two obnoxious voices just get more obnoxious as the redneck reader and another reader that sounds like Grover on acid get louder and more obnoxious.

Yes this is bad music at it's finest. It's like your stupid cousins got together, broke out your grandmothers Wurlitzer and made a tape recording 50 years ago. Unless you are a collector, there is no point in looking for this EP, you are better off picking up a copy of "Fingerprince" that has this attached to it. For tacky and awful music, it just doesn't get much better than this. But this EP is not worth the trouble since it has been made obsolete.

 Whatever Happened to Vileness Fats? by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Studio Album, 1984
2.93 | 22 ratings

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Whatever Happened to Vileness Fats?
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

1 stars Here's a weird story.

There was a bunch of people that lived in a village called Vileness Flats near a bridge that was their only way in or out. There were a bunch of intelligent objects that lived on the other side of the bridge. These objects were shopping carts that had drills connected to the fronts of them, and they would harass the people that lived there. They were called the Atomic Shopping Carts. The bridge would keep the carts away, but the villagers hired the Siamese twin tag team wrestlers by the names of Arf and Omega to attack the shopping carts, and when they fight them off, the Bell Boys, a bunch of villains also living on the other side of the bridge, start to come in an steal all of the villagers meat, so they have to live on vegetables. The mayor, who's name is Steve, is in cahoots with the Bell Boys, and when Arf and Omega agree to fight them off, Steve hatches a plan to get the wrestlers go against each other. They end up killing each other off in a knife fight, and Steve, depressed from having dual personalities, throws himself into a volcano.

This story, ladies and gentlemen, was being made into a movie, and 14 hours of footage were actually shot in the making of this strange tale. This was not the end of the tale either, but that's how far everything got before that crazy band of eyeballs known as The Residents shut the project down. What we have left, is a 37 minute short film of this story condensed, and a soundtrack album. This is a review of the soundtrack called 'Whatever Happened to Vileness Fats?'.

So, in 1984, The Residents were putting out some pretty trashy music. This was not the band at the heights of their music output, but they didn't care. Many times, their music was intended to be awful. So, how do you rate music that is intended to be bad that was attached to a film that was supposed to be stupid? In most cases, this might be tough, but in the case of The Residents, even when their music was supposed to be bad, they actually succeeded in making a great album. Take 'Eskimo' as the best example, or maybe even 'Duck Stab'. Was actually making a good album on purpose or did it happen by accident? This is something I've often wondered when listening to The Residents. So, I rate them on how tough each album is to sit through.

This album was made when The Residents were going through their minimal music years. In other words, they used as few instruments as possible, say one single synthesizer. And that synthesizer is played in a very tacky manner. Like someone's grandma is playing it like an old Wurlitzer Fun Time organ and seeing what crazy sounds she can get out of it, but its not your grandma because she is probably more talented. That, and an organ like that is probably worth a lot more money than the equipment The Residents used. That pretty much sums up how this album sounds. Yes, it's tackiness at its worst, and actually quite laughable at some points, like in the track 'The Importance of Evergreen'. There are times when it sounds like, if this was actually orchestrated, that it would actually be quite impressive, but The Residents aren't out to impress anyone, so why bother? That's just it, they don't bother. The problem here, and what makes this album so bad compared to other albums that are considered better, is that this is only really funny one time. And the joke wears thin even at just 37 minutes. But again, The Residents are experts at making things as bad as possible.

The music is all instrumental, except for a spoken word section in 'The Importance of Evergreen' and some strange vocal noises in 'Saxophone and Broccoli'. The purpose of the movie was to tell the story in music, which is what The Residents would become much better at later (as in 'Wormwood'). I think the intention was to have lyrics, but they never got that far, as far as I know. I haven't seen the short film, so I don't know if there were even lyrics in that, but I do know that no story is really being told by listening to this album.

As time would go on, The Residents actually got better at using synths, and they also went back to using other instruments. Some of their albums actually got interesting again. Don't look to this album as being one of those. The tackiness is funny the first time you listen to it, after that, it's just boring. Oh, it is probably difficult to find too. Some bonus tracks were added later. These bonus tracks come from another soundtrack called 'The Census Taker', which actually did get made into a full- length movie. But the music on that is just as bad as this, so you are just getting bonus tracks of more trash. That was The Residents' intention I suppose. Anyway, none of it is worth looking for. If you are curious, consider this a warning. Don't waste your time. The Residents did succeed in their endeavor in making something totally tacky, but that doesn't mean it's any good. If you just got to have one of their bad albums, just to see how bad it can be, then just get any one of them (I'm not going to list them out here because there are many, just check out their page on Prog Archives). Other than that, this album is only good for completionists.

 Arkansas by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2009
2.74 | 3 ratings

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Arkansas
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This is probably considered an EP since the run time is around 34 minutes. But it is more than just that. It is a collection of outtakes and alternate versions of songs recorded during "The Bunny Boy" sessions. I won't go into the story of "The Bunny Boy" other than to say it is a strange story based on a person looking for his brother that got lost on the island of Patmos or something like that. The entire thing is based upon an internet adventure that The Residents produced, and the music on this album and The Bunny Boy album are from those serialized internet adventure.

The music on it's own does little to explain the story. But it is still interesting music as far as The Residents go. Thankfully, there is more to it than just the strange electronic instrumentation of earlier Resident's albums, though there is still quite a bit of it here, at least it's not as cheesy as some of the earlier albums. There is a lot of strange singing, and a lot of it has to do with characterization. Simply purchasing this EP and the album that is based on will only confuse the listener and make them wonder what it is all about.

Those of you that have heard The Bunny Boy album will realize that the songs on here are in the same style as the regular album, and depending on whether you like that album or not will determine whether you like this collection of rarities. The outtakes are good enough to have been included on the album and are actually used in the show that was performed when touring was done for the entire multimedia experience and the alternative versions are pretty much as interesting as the original versions.

This series of work by The Residents, which also includes a video and another album based on the series, is a very good collection of music and it makes a lot more sense when you know where it is coming from. It is also one of the better Residents projects. However, it is good to go into it knowing that each part of the work comes from a greater whole and is not an end in of itself. I suppose if you like avant prog enough, you might enjoy the weirdness of it all anyway. I have to say I really enjoy this album and the other things connected to it all. It is not as annoying as say "God in 3 Persons" or some of the work put out around that period. The instrumentation is much better. The sound of cheap synths and bad electronic work is mostly gone.

The music is strange, mostly electronic, but with real instruments added in from time to time. The music is far from ordinary, even strange and very dark at times, at others it is satirical and light hearted. And another nice thing about it all is The Residents actually seem to take the project seriously, even if the story is kind of kooky.

However, I am afraid this one will probably only be attractive to fans. I can boost this up from 2 to 3 stars, because even taken out of context, I still find the music enjoyable and interesting. But, if you are interested in this project, I would suggest you get "The Bunny Boy" before you get this one. This EP is just more of the same, and if you like the companion album, then you will like this too.

 Animal Lover by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.81 | 30 ratings

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Animal Lover
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars At this point, The Residents have moved past their MIDI stage. There are still a lot of synths being used, but now they have brought back in guitar parts, albeit processed. But they have ventured into other sounds as well. The music is sounding much better and there is a lot more depth now, and a lot more experimentation. They also have been using other vocalists now, especially Molly Harvey, who is often used as characterization for female characters in the songs. They have also matured somewhat into more intelligent concepts, though they still deal with the very dark side of the human condition.

This time around, the album looks at the relationship between humans and animals. The booklet that comes with this album is a very important part of the entire experience, in that each song has an introduction as narrated by an animal, or the way an animal would try to explain each situation. The songs themselves are usually sung from the viewpoint of the human though. As usual, with the Residents, you get into some very dark and disgusting human habits, and, also as usual, this album is not for the faint of heart, stomach, or ear. But, it's interesting to see these bizarre human actions through the eyes of an animal, or at least, the way The Residents think an animal would think.

Even though that is the concept, not all songs follow that pattern. 'Two Lips' for example is about the Tulip Mania financial crisis in the Netherlands in 1637. The songs are more progressive here now, as if The Residents have finally found a genre that explains their music, this is no doubt Avant-Garde Prog, and they embrace it completely now. The music is strange, and as was the case with 'Wormwood', one of their best later albums, very dark, dramatic and almost performed as a short stage musical. This is more the feeling of their concerts as they are truly stage shows.

There are a lot more female led vocals on this album, thank goodness. That means you don't have to hear the designated Resident sing. But when he does, it's usually very processed, so it adds to the characterization of the song. There are also choirs, or at least group singing and even children's choirs as in 'What Have My Chickens Done Now?' There are also some instrumentals that separate the sections of the album. The song 'Inner Space' is actually a song that can generate emotions in the listener, as it is a very beautifully sung with emotional lyrics. A huge surprise from the Residents. 'Elmer's Song' is almost spiritual sounding with a plucked string instrument.

No doubt that this is one of the best Residents albums. It is good to hear them take the actual composition of their music seriously, even though the lyrics can be quite demented at times. But at least, the music matches the feeling of the songs more than previously. However, be warned, that this is a very morose album, depressing, scary and dark. It still is not music for everyone, but it might be a good point for the curious to enter into their huge, but demented discography.

The use of more instruments, the orchestration, the addition of other vocalists and choirs add to the variety. Even though this is worlds better than the late 80s and early 90s output, it's still hard to give it 5 stars. It's not always the easiest stuff to listen to, not from complexity, but from subject matter. And doggone it, I wish there could be something a little more upbeat added in there. This probably would have gotten 5 stars if it wasn't so depressing. I am excited to hear some actual emotion put into their lyrics, singing and orchestration. That is a huge plus. Residents fans should love this album, new fans could also be generated from this album, but only those that can keep an open mind. The Residents music is usually a study of the depravity of human beings and that can be really hard to listen to for a long length of time, it does tend to wear on a person after awhile.

 Wormwood:  Curious Stories From the Bible by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.76 | 32 ratings

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Wormwood: Curious Stories From the Bible
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Released by The Residents during their MIDI years, this one is another strange one, but with a very interesting concept. They decide to explore 18 of some of the strangest Bible stories in the big black book. These are the stories that you didn't hear about in Sunday School, or in any religious school for that manner. They don't try to expand on them, they instead bring them to life in song, singing in first person. It's best to follow along with lyrics so that you understand them best.

The tracks are interesting, and there is some variety here even though the music is all computerized or electronic. The vocal duties are shared with the usual Residents' vocalist and other guest vocalists to give the music the feeling of characterization. This makes perfect sense to bring meaning to the songs. The concept is intriguing and the topics of the songs are controversial considering the source material, but they are topics that Christians like to ignore, or pass by quickly when reading the Bible. In my opinion, we would understand a lot more if we really understood the meaning of these strange events. Since the music itself sounds quite similar throughout, I want to concentrate on the song topics, because that is what makes this album so great and interesting. I will mention a few things about the music as it stands out in the tracks too.

The first track 'In the Beginning' is more of an instrumental introduction, though listening to it, I don't really understand what other function it serves other than a prelude to the entire craziness and I'm sure in their shows, they use it quite effectively. 'Firefall' is the story of Lot, but not just the pillar of salt story. No, that would be too normal. This is the story of how Lot invites two angels into his home and how the townspeople find out about it and pester Lot to let them rape the angels. Lot instead offers up his daughters to appease the crowd. God rains fire from the sky and Lot and his family escape and, well you know what happens to his wife next.

'They are the Meat' is about Ezekiel's violent visions. The vocal melody is very repetitive, but the instrumental part is interesting enough. 'Melancholy Clumps' is about Noah building the ark and how it will be 'the home of melancholy clumps of bone'. Interesting choice of words. Treated vocals and other strange sounds. 'How to Get a Head' is about Salome dancing in order to get anything she wishes and requests John the Baptists head. This is sung by a female vocalist and is quite morbid, but sounds kind of cheery what with snapping fingers going along with the beat. The organ at the end gives it the church-y but scary sound. 'Cain and Abel' is of course a descriptive account of how Cain felt after murdering his brother. This one is slow and pensive.

'Mr. Misery' is about Job who as most know was the poor, tortured man that God gave the Devil free reign to agonize. The tune is a bit upbeat for such a poor man. I guess this reflect his attitude to always be righteous no matter what happened to him. 'Tent Peg in the Temple' is about a woman who took in a poor man who was her enemy in battle, he was just trying to find some dry clothes, he ended up in her bed and she killed him with a tent peg driven through his temple. Ouch. This one is also a female vocalist. 'God's Magic Finger' is about the King of Babylon asking David to interpret a message written on his wall by a floating hand. The message said that the king's days were numbered. This one is a little annoying because the chorus is repeated too many times.

'Spilling the Seed' is about Onan who was supposed to marry his brother's widow. He was to impregnate her but instead pulls out, and because he disobeyed God, he was struck dead. This one is a simple melody with a catchy rhythm until the sad ending. 'Dinah and the Unclean Skin' is a disgusting Biblical story about how, after the rape of Dinah, an agreement is made between two warring sides that all the men of a village should be circumcised and while they were in bed recovering, they were killed by their opponents. 'Bathsheba Bathes' is about David being tempted by watching Bathsheba bathe on the roof (the pervert) and how his jealousy influences him to send her husband to the front line of the army where he is killed. The song is sparse with chime like sounds. The voice singing David's part is the typical Resident's vocal but is mostly subdued almost a whisper, but the narrator is a strange obscure voice that has been treated.

'Bridegroom of Blood' is a very strange account of Moses and his wife. She circumcises her baby son wipes the blood on Moses' feet calling him her bridegroom of blood. If this is disturbing, remember it's right from the bible and the references are in the program notes for each of these stories. A loop of a crying child only makes this one more chilling. Vocals are shared between female and male vocalists as represented by the characters. This one is very graphic and disturbing to say the least. 'Hanging By His Hair' is about David's son who during a rebellion against his father gets his hair stuck in a tree. He is then killed by David's general. This one is more dramatic as far as the music goes and utilizes dynamics better than most of the songs on this album.

'Seven Ugly Cows' is about a dream interpreted by Joseph about 7 years of plenty followed by 7 years of famine. This is another sparse song. 'Burn Baby Burn' is the story about sacrificing a family member that doesn't end as well as the Abraham/Isaac story. Jephthah returns from war with the oath that he would sacrifice whatever came out to greet him first, he thought it would be an animal, but it is his daughter, whom he promptly sacrifices. This one has a reggae feel to it, of course all done with MIDI. 'KILL HIM' is about the test of Abraham and Isaac as mentioned just before, but it details animal sacrifices as per instructions in the scriptures. This one is sung as if Abraham is mentally disturbed. 'I Hate Heaven' is based on The Song of Solomon as from the lover's point of view. This music sounds almost like it was inspired by early 60s rock n roll girl groups. The last story is 'Judas Saves' as Judas contemplates his role in salvation because it is necessary for him to betray Christ in order for him to die for mankind's sins. 'Now it is so clear/He must appear/To be betrayed/So we can be saved'. Interesting concept. The last track is the outro instrumental called 'Revelation'. Again, this is added for purposes of the shows that were given to promote this material.

Overall, there are places where things can get kind of stale because of the sameness of the instrumental. Since this album was produced during the time when The Resident's relied way too much on MIDI programming, they do get that quality. Where this album excels in The Resident's huge discography is in the orchestration (even though if it were orchestrated with real instruments would have been much much better), and the concept. This album, because of those things, is a very strong album. It is not for everyone, especially those that are offended easily or with weak stomachs, but it is true that all of this is in The Bible. The Resident's, being the type of eyeballs that they are, thought this was perfect material for them, and it was probably the best they would do during this period of their recording history. This album definitely deserves a 4 star rating for the concept and orchestration and not for the presentation of the orchestration itself. That's why it is 4 stars and not 5.

Now I have to cut this review short at this point as the lightning outside is getting really close....I'm not joking.

 Whatever Happened to Vileness Fats? by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Studio Album, 1984
2.93 | 22 ratings

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Whatever Happened to Vileness Fats?
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Lewian

3 stars I am ready to acknowledge of course that the Residents are supercool, mysterious, clever, original, bold and experimental. But does this mean they are good? I'm not so sure. In fact there's quite a bit of their stuff that I don't really like to listen to, although I understand why it qualifies as "cool". Despite my experimental leanings, trash esthetic isn't quite right for me, and that rules out a considerable portion of their output. Well perhaps not so much... I listen to a lot of Residents these days and change my mind about them all the time. Sometimes I hate them, sometimes I realise what geniuses they are; neither of these sentiments goes away for long.

"Whatever Happens to Vileness Fats" is one of their less trashy and more accessible releases, if not the most, and potentially also their most consistent. It's mostly electronic with some reference to Kraftwerk. It comes with a small amount of vocals here and there, and there is rather little ambition this time to destroy sounds on purpose to generate nastiness. Sure the keyboards sound somewhat thin, dirty and occasionally noisy, they have a reputation to lose so that's what they do. There's also a little atonal sax that works rather well in Eloise, which also has some trashy vocals but still qualifies as a highlight.

This was recorded as a soundtrack for what was finally published as a 40 minutes or so extract from a much earlier grandiose but failed film project, "Vileness Fats". It surely sounds like very suitable music for a film and having not seen it, I can imagine my own wacky animation film for this. The downside is that sometimes it seems like something is missing, like this is meant to work together with the visuals that are not there on the album. One issue that I have with the Residents is that much of what they do doesn't seem to be about the music alone, but rather about storytelling, theater, other visual effects, provocation etc. Which is fine for those who love that kind of stuff but loses them some marks from those like me who are in the first place if not exclusively interested in the music.

There is a rather consistent sound with some themes recurring throughout the album. It has a rather minimalist flavour with very transparent and sometimes repetitive arrangements carrying small melodies and motifs, but it isn't without surprising twists. The mood is cloudy to dark with the odd musical joke thrown in. The title track is really awesome and memorable. and there are further very good moments. Overall the album runs smoothly, I'm tempted to say almost a bit too smoothly; the listener isn't put off at any point but may crave for some more of the spice of which some other Residents albums have rather too much. Well, ultimately it's still the Residents and warped enough. Surely it's a good and unique album with some highlights, but over the full distance something is missing to make it really great. 3.3 stars.

PS: This is about the old Ralph album without the "Census Taker" bonus tracks.

 The Ghost Of Hope by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.04 | 7 ratings

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The Ghost Of Hope
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Tapfret
Special Collaborator Eclectic & C/JRF Prog Team

4 stars A Real "Trainwreck" of an Album

The Residents exist in a niche within a niche as one of the most divisive acts in our little archive. Generally regarded as surreal, darkly theatrical, and musically quite a bit more minimalist than the typical prog rock fare, they tend to evoke a "love 'em/hate 'em" response from listeners, particularly first timers. The consistency that one finds with The Residents is their affinity for unifying themes and full-on concept albums to go along with their dark theatrics. Their 2017 release, The Ghost of Hope, fits the mold to the letter.

In the current political climate of "out with the new, in with the old", the first thought that might come to mind is there is a political theme to this album with a name like The Ghost of Hope. Perhaps, but not on a superficial or immediately transparent way. No, The Residents are a great deal more clever than that. The album is a cautionary tale weaved from a conglomeration of turn of the century (19th-20th) rail disasters. Disasters ultimately resultant of hubris and decaying infrastructure, used as a parallel to current technological advancements and inability to apply the throttle in moderation. The seven disasters were chosen not for their quantity of carnage, but instead for the quality thereof. The scenes are painted in particularly gory, often fiery detail. Those familiar with The Residents ability to apply the aforementioned dark theatrics will not be surprised by their ability to create deeply morbid textures into 100-plus year-old stories. Often presented in the ubiquitous monotone, semi-spoken word vocal stylings of "Randy Rose", the stories take on that 90's, early 2000's backwater storytelling motif that became The Residents' staple. Combined with background sound effects of locomotive whistles, crowd noise (even an elephant), and rail clatter, one is transported to the scene of the horrifying incidents as described.

Musically the core instrumentation is consistent with the synth driven textures common to The Residents the late- 80's and forward material. Rarely are the tempos redundant. There are a few surprises. For example, a section of driving hard rock precipitated by the cycling of metal wheels on rail of a speeding train. But overall it falls within the expectations of their later material with long sections of ambiance to color the background canvas of accompanied sound effects.

What sets this album apart is the booklet packaging. The CD is sleeved in a hardcover book presentation. Anyone who has ever seen the coffee table books of railroad enthusiasts will recognize the publication styling. The booklet is 20-pages long, complete with the lyrics, stories and accounts of the accidents the songs describe, as well as accident scene photos with our friendly tuxedoed giant eyeballs photoshopped in for good measure.

For the music alone this is a good to excellent 3.5 star album. Perhaps nothing new under the sun, but beautifully textured and explicit example of the storytelling ability of The Residents. But I highly recommend the full CD package to even fringe appreciators of the band for its collector value. For that, I give the album a solid 4-stars.

 Duck Stab / Buster & Glen by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.27 | 102 ratings

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Duck Stab / Buster & Glen
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

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.
Thanks to Retrovertigo for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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