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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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Buy THE RESIDENTS Music


The Complete Mole Trilogy pREServedThe Complete Mole Trilogy pREServed
Cryptic Corp 2019
$32.89
Eskimo: 2CD pREServed EditionEskimo: 2CD pREServed Edition
Cryptic Corp 2019
$13.28
$18.26 (used)
Commercial Album: 2CD pREServed EditionCommercial Album: 2CD pREServed Edition
Cryptic Corp 2019
$13.21
$18.18 (used)
Not AvailableNot Available
Cryptic Corp 2011
$10.23
$10.28 (used)
Duck Stab/Buster & Glen: 2CD pREServed EditionDuck Stab/Buster & Glen: 2CD pREServed Edition
Cryptic Corp 2018
$12.19
$19.85 (used)
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The Residents Talking Light 2011 with Randy Chuck & Bob lanyard Hardy Fox NEW USD $39.55 Buy It Now
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RESIDENTS: Stranger than Supper UWEB Experimental Electronic LP NM USD $20.00 Buy It Now
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THE RESIDENTS Whatever Happened to Vileness Fats VINYL LP record album Ralph NM USD $24.99 Buy It Now 13h 20m
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meet the residents Japan OBI mini lp Boxset USD $350.00 Buy It Now 14h 56m
The Residents-George & James(American Composer Series -Volume 1) US LP 1984 /4* USD $18.99 Buy It Now 15h 5m
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18h 53m
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The Residents Intermission(Lights out)Ralph 8252 w/Ralph Inner sleeve M- USD $30.00 [0 bids]
22h 46m
RESIDENTS ~ MEET THE RESIDENTS. 1977 1st US RE vinyl LP. M. USD $65.94 Buy It Now 22h 52m
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Residents The Commercial Album Advert NME Cutting 1980 USD $15.52 Buy It Now 1 day
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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 | 106 ratings
Meet The Residents
1974
4.13 | 103 ratings
The Third Reich 'N Roll
1976
3.75 | 48 ratings
Fingerprince
1977
3.96 | 107 ratings
Not Available
1978
4.27 | 105 ratings
Duck Stab / Buster & Glen
1978
3.93 | 91 ratings
Eskimo
1979
3.65 | 81 ratings
Commercial Album
1980
3.01 | 56 ratings
Mark Of The Mole
1981
3.28 | 40 ratings
The Tunes of Two Cities
1982
3.04 | 15 ratings
Title In Limbo (With Renaldo And The Loaf)
1983
2.66 | 23 ratings
George And James
1984
2.92 | 24 ratings
Whatever Happened to Vileness Fats?
1984
2.44 | 17 ratings
The Census Taker (Original Soundtrack)
1985
1.77 | 29 ratings
The Big Bubble
1985
4.40 | 29 ratings
Stars & Hank
1986
3.74 | 42 ratings
God In Three Persons
1988
2.72 | 18 ratings
God In Three Persons Soundtrack
1988
3.29 | 27 ratings
The King & Eye
1989
2.84 | 32 ratings
Freak Show
1990
2.58 | 26 ratings
Gingerbread Man
1994
3.03 | 16 ratings
Hunters
1995
2.54 | 22 ratings
Have A Bad Day
1996
3.74 | 34 ratings
Wormwood: Curious Stories From the Bible
1998
2.74 | 15 ratings
Roadworms: The Berlin Sessions
2000
3.75 | 12 ratings
Icky Flix: Original Soundtrack Recording
2001
4.25 | 30 ratings
Demons Dance Alone
2002
4.01 | 20 ratings
WB:RMX
2004
1.82 | 12 ratings
The King & Eye: RMX
2004
4.00 | 17 ratings
The 12 Days of Brumalia
2004
3.80 | 33 ratings
Animal Lover
2005
2.64 | 21 ratings
Tweedles!
2006
2.44 | 16 ratings
The River of Crime: Episodes 1-5
2006
4.00 | 18 ratings
The Voice of Midnight
2007
3.78 | 31 ratings
The Bunny Boy
2008
3.37 | 18 ratings
The Ughs
2009
3.33 | 14 ratings
Lonely Teenager
2011
4.11 | 9 ratings
The Rivers Of Hades
2011
4.03 | 22 ratings
Coochie Brake
2012
4.00 | 9 ratings
The Ghost Of Hope
2017
3.00 | 1 ratings
Intruders
2018

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

4.00 | 4 ratings
Mole Show
1983
4.60 | 5 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
4.00 | 3 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)

3.30 | 11 ratings
Santa Dog 1972
1972
4.67 | 3 ratings
Meet The Residents Sampler
1974
3.33 | 3 ratings
Satisfaction
1976
4.03 | 12 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
3.09 | 3 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
2.00 | 2 ratings
The Blowoff
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
The Rivers Of Hades
2011
5.00 | 1 ratings
CUBE E Dynasone 3EZ
2011
4.00 | 2 ratings
Ozark
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
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Intruder
2018

THE RESIDENTS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Eskimo by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.93 | 91 ratings

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Eskimo
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by patrickq

2 stars It's really easy to dismiss something like this album as a bunch of noise thrown together in an afternoon. Even by progressive-rock standards, Eskimo is avant-garde. It makes Zappa sound like a pandering pop-peddler. And even if the Residents had a tiny fanbase, their music could still be art - - but I'm willing to concede that their music speaks to far too many people to simply be an inside joke.

Right?

Eskimo is creative, and even clever, in concept, but it eventually wears thin. I'll admit, too, to being unnerved by some of the animal noises - - maybe that's part of my ambivalence about the album. I should also say that for some reason, Eskimo struck me as having a plot similar to that of Nancy Kress's sci-fi novel Steal Across the Sky, which is something that endeared me toward the album. The story in the liner notes turns out to be totally different, of course.

Ultimately, there just isn't enough substance here for a forty-minute album, although there's nothing about the concept, per se, which should limit it. Two stars for audacity and originality.

 Title In Limbo (With Renaldo And The Loaf) by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.04 | 15 ratings

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Title In Limbo (With Renaldo And The Loaf)
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars So most of us know who The Residents are. But do we know who Renaldo and the Loaf are? Well for one thing, they were an actual duo who did an album together with The Residents way back in 1983. Renaldo and the Loaf is a band made up of two people just about as nutty as The Residents. The band consists of Pathologist David Janssen (Ted, the Loaf) and Architect Brian Poole (Renaldo Malpractice). They were active in the 70s and 80s. They were considered to be an avant-garde and experimental band using synthesizers to get strange sounds out of mostly acoustic instruments. Poole dropped off a demo to The Residents label Ralph Records and got signed. They decided to do an album together which they eventually called "Title in Limbo".

R&tL was on a 4-day vacation and did some recording during this time, but they had to leave. The Residents were having financial difficulties, and thought that the cheery songs would be a successful record, so they got some tapeloops from Janssen and Poole went back to sing vocals and help out. Thus, "Title in Limbo" was born. It was released after "The Mark of the Mole" and its follow up album were released and had failed quite miserably. The band was down to using cheap sounding synthesizers, so this sounded like a great idea. They recruited Snakefinger to come back and play guitar on a few tracks.

Starting with "Intro: Version", we get an interesting starter for the album. A mix of serious and ridiculous sounding music, it's brightness showed promise after The Resident's cheap sounding albums of the time. "The Shoe Salesman" is a darker sound with The Resident's singer doing a spooky whispered vocal with minimal mysterious effects. After a while, things do get a bit brighter with a plucky, repetitive loop as the lyrics and music get more goofy sounding like a perverted polka, and viola, you hear where Primus got some of their inspiration. Its quite a fun track once it gets going. "Crashing" utilizes guest vocalist Nessie Lessons for a dreamy, yet short track. It's a bit cheerful sounding, but the lyrics seem quite dark.

"Monkey and Bunny" comes next with a Devo-like repeating synth riff and a crashing percussive noise. The vocals are somewhere between monotone hollering and singing. Things get more eerie as it continues and this is reflected in the dissonant synthesizers. The middle section has a dark ambient feel, but things intensify towards the creepy ending involving a person fit for an asylum and his two pets. "Mahogony Wood" again shows the influence that The Residents had on Primus as it sounds like Primus got together with The Beatles. The song, of course, is a satire of "Norwegian Wood" done more like an upbeat dirge and even uses processed sitar effects. "Sitting on the Sand" features Snakefinger on guitar. Now you can hear the influence they have on "Idiot Flesh" and "Sleepytime Gorilla Museum" with its uncomfortably sinister guitar and warped carnival music.

Snakefinger also guests on violin on "Africa Tree". This is a strange instrumental, and of course the violin pretty much clashes with everything else. It has a playful yet dissonant mid-Eastern sound to it. "Woman's Weapon" is minimal with some strange vocals, as you would expect and a simple guitar effect on loop. "Horizontal Logic" has a cool warbly synth effect with some interesting percussion. This is one of those kooky sounding songs that you just have to love. "The Sailor Song" is the longest track on here at just over 6 minutes. A thumping bass, vibes and goofy effects drive it forward with added layers and loops increasing as it continues. Before you get to the 2 minute mark things go minimal, there is a dark organ playing with seagulls screeching around it, then real, melodic vocals start. Somebody turned on your grandma's Wurlitzer organ's percussion section again. Then the grating vocals start. Welcome back Mr. Resident's Vocal Guy. The last minute of the track gets more cheerful. The last track is "Extra: Version", again featuring Snakefinger on guitar. No one could play the dissonance like Snakefinger could. His guitar sound matched the kookiness of The Resident's music.

The entire album doesn't even add up to 40 minutes, but it is still more enjoyable than the some of the purposefully bad music that they were putting out at the time, and the addition of Renalto and the Loaf is a welcome thing in the discography at the time it was released. Anyway, it is a good album to demonstrate how different bands were inspired by their off-beat music. It has a bit of variety so that you don't get bored of the same sound. Still, its not quite as clever as some of their earlier material and also some of their more recent albums, but it is still a worthwhile album for Residents fans and also for the curious.

 The Bunny Boy by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.78 | 31 ratings

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The Bunny Boy
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The Bunny Boy by The Residents was released in 2008, the time when The Residents was once again putting out better output, even though it was still very satirical, at least the quality of the music was better. Many people would argue that this was one of their better albums, and I have to agree. The electronics had gotten better and the vocals were not quite as annoying, but not only that, the stories were (usually) more imaginative and they also incorporated real instruments along with electronics to help flesh things out, and they also included other singers sometimes as lead and other time as simply background.

In this album, the songs are all quite short, so they tend to move a long better and the album doesn't drag on so much. The album is also quite verbose, and the singing is mostly done by The Residents' vocalist, but it's not as annoying as say 'God in 3 Persons' in that he doesn't just narrate, he also sings, and this is all made more listenable with the background singers giving more substance to the music. Overall, the music is still somewhat minimal, at least now you get some wailing guitars in different songs and the percussion is better, in that it doesn't sound so much like your grandma's cheap Wurlitzer organ. There is also an extensive use of processed vocals, but not always in a bad way, it gives more depth to the music.

The avant garde nature of the music is also present and it is better utilized. You still get a kooky story line here too. Originally, the music supported a vido story that was posted in serial on The Residents' web site (66 episodes). The videos are not there anymore, but the music still stands alone quite well. The story is basically about a kid known as The Bunny Boy who posts videos on YouTube, who asks his followers to help him locate his Armageddon-obsessed brother who was lost on the island of Patmos. By the time the album is over, you are not really sure if there was a brother or if Bunny Boy was actually the lost person. Or maybe he killed his brother? Who knows? The Residents keep everything shrouded in mystery. The songs have to do with different emails and ideas that his followers put into his head. Yeah, it's all weird, just what you would expect from The Residents. But the music is some of their best with short songs that are complicated enough to be considered avant garde. Some are quite up beat, while others are slow and brooding, but it all stays interesting music-wise through the entire album. You still feel like the music is also bordering on the edge of sanity which is also expected from the band.

Even though it is not one of the best albums in their discography, it is good enough to at least be one of their better ones. It doesn't quite hold up to 'Duck Stab', 'Eskimo', 'Coochie Brake' or 'Wormwood', but it is one that a newcomer could listen to, if they wanted to get an idea of The Residents strange music, especially in the latter years. It tends to drag a bit at the end, but at least it's a lot easier to get through than some of their less interesting albums, and the music is also among the better quality of the band. It also is not a 'one-trick-pony' joke either and the music stands well on it's own, unlike some of their other projects. Anyway, this is a good one for the curious, but also a good one for the fans. 4 stars.

 Buckaroo Blues by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1989
3.09 | 3 ratings

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Buckaroo Blues
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Here come The Residents again with their umpteen-millionth release. "Buckaroo Blues" was a Fan Club album released in 1989 and given out only to those enrolled in their fan club. It is a collection of 3 long tracks that total 42 minutes all together. But, hey, that's not quite as bad as it sounds.

"Buckaroo Blues" is actually a suite of short tracks, totaling 19 minutes together. The song was used in the Cube-E tour. It is made up of various cowboy poetry/songs that The Residents found while going through a random person's attic (well probably not, but you never know). The track is broken down as such: a) The Buckaroo Blues Theme, b) Stampede, c) Trail Dance, d) Bury Me Not, e) Cowboy Waltz, f) Saddle Sores, g) Theme from Buckaroo Blues (Reprise). It starts off with the instrumental theme, that would normally be quite cinematic and symphonic, but The Residents kept things cheap, so it is all done with the cheapest and most antique electronic keyboards possible. Even the electronically produced wolf howls sound stupid but silly as you would expect. The following tracks continue with that bad electronic sound with vocals done in the bad cowboy accent vocals that most everyone loves to hate. The stories tell of cowboy tales that may either be authentic, but most likely are not. They sound pretty consistent with the off-the-wall satirical humor that was prevalent in The Residents music at the time. Actually, the songs don't sound too bad all of the time, and the better ones are the ones without the obnoxious singing, and those are kind of funny.

The other two tracks were supposed to be used in the "God in Three Persons" tour which got cancelled because of lack of interest. Track 2 actually consists of 2 songs that were released together as a single. The first part is a cover of the old song "Land of 1,000 Dances" originally recorded by Chris Kenner, then Wilson Pickett, then Cannibal & the Headhunters, and finally by Ted Nugent. Seriously. Suddenly his love of Trump makes sense. He's just stupid. Anyway, political wanderings aside, The Residents' version of this utilizes the drum machine on your grandmother's Wurlitzer set to the disco setting, some electronics and annoyingly abrasive guitar riffs. Bad singing ensues as you would expect, but it's funny because it is almost totally lacking any inflection or emotion. The second part of the track is "Double Shot" which was the b-side to the single. It's not much different from the a-side, but then disco was just like that now, wasn't it? The best part of this one is at the last when things seem to become quite unhinged.

The last track is 10 minutes of incidental overture music from the "God in 3 Persons" tour. It has been "enhanced" to some extent, but you will recognize instrumental snippets from some of your beloved (ha ha yeah right) favorites from that defunct show. At least you don't have to listen to the narrator from the "God in 3 Persons" album on this since it is instrumental. The Residents do prove here that they did create some cool music to fit their strange stories that would have sounded great if they could afford an orchestra. Unfortunately, you only get to hear the electronically produced version using that same cheap equipment.

This release isn't really so bad in that there is more of a variety from different bits that The Residents performed, so at least the joke doesn't get as worn out this time around. Seriously, the music isn't that bad, but you definitely need a weird sense of humor to appreciate how good it is at being so bad. I do tend to like the instrumental music from this era of The Residents career, its when that stupid narrator comes on with the annoying accent and then he goes on and on and on and on, or when a joke gets worn out before the end of an album, that is where it gets to the point that I just find it annoying. Not so much with this album, I can actually manage to give it 4 stars mainly because there is more variation in the overall album.

 The Tunes of Two Cities by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.28 | 40 ratings

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The Tunes of Two Cities
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

2 stars 'The Mark of the Mole' was the beginning of a proposed project by The Residents that originally was supposed to be spread out among 6 albums. Because of the financial disaster of the concerts that were supporting this project, the project got prematurely terminated. The only albums released were Part 1: The Mark of the Mole, Part II: The Tunes of Two Cities (this one) and Part IV: The Big Bubble. There was also an EP released which had intermission music from the concerts. This project was also the beginning of a decade of mostly bad albums from The Residents. Most of the music from this era was really bad sounding electronics and synthesizers.

So, 'The Tunes of Two Cities' is supposed to represent the two opposing cultures that were developed in the story of 'The Mark of the Mole' by showing their differences in the kind of music the cultures listened to. So this kooky album's tracks alternate between the music of the chubs, which is elevator music style jazz, and the music of the mole people, which is industrial hymns, that are bizarre avant garde pieces done electronically.

The best track on the album is the opener 'Serenade for Missy' which seems to be the only track that uses a standard, organic instrument, the brass solo. This first one is the chub style. After that, it alternates. Most of the rest of the album is comprised of really bad synthesized instruments. The music is goofy, and tends to wear out its welcome quite quickly. This is the 'anti- music' that The Residents were trying to create, music so bad that it represents the bad pop music that is out there. The Residents were great at lampooning popular music and popular society, but during this segment of their career, it was done to the extreme that it was not so funny after the first few minutes, and the fact that people had a hard time not taking the music seriously.

While it is true that some of the Mole people's music is similar to the music in 'Eskimo', now it was just too fake sounding, and really seemed to serve no purpose like it did in the 'Eskimo' album. The flatness of the early electronica equipment also left the music sounding non-dynamic and this gets quite boring after a while.

I must say however, that at least this is a bit better that 'The Big Bubble' which came later. The music on that album had awful, indiscernible lyrics and really, really bad singing because it was supposed to represent another society's music. At least on this album, you don't have to sit through the bad singing, and a couple of the tracks are at least a bit interesting. This album also was the first to feature the use of a sampling device called the E-mulator, although it is quite prehistoric sounding. So at least it has some historical value, even if it doesn't have much hysterical value.

Anyway, it is very difficult to sit through listening to the album, and it is one that doesn't see the light of the CD-rom laser very often. Once in a while, I just have to remind myself how bad it can get.

 Tweedles! by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2006
2.64 | 21 ratings

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Tweedles!
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Just when you thought The Residents might be acquiring a little taste in their subject matter, they turn around and release "Tweedles" in 2006 to prove that no material is too creepy for them. This time around, the topic is that of the torn feelings of a sexually deviant clown.

The Residents had been left without a studio as theirs was being remodeled to be up to par with new Earthquake requirements, and a friend of theirs invited them to tour his new studio in Romania, so while there, they decided to record a new album. Keeping with the themes of spookiness and Romania, they decided to do a concept album about a different kind of vampire, one that used people's desires and feelings against them by loving them and then leaving them destitute. A kind of soul sucking jerk, if you will. So, this disturbing concept seemed to fit into their weirdness, probably the most disturbing of all of their albums. The decision to do it as a first person account, from the perspective of the deviant clown, was pretty typical for the band. The clown can't help himself and acts disconnected from his actions, yet he knows what he is doing is a bad thing.

There was a choice to bring in more acoustic instruments and not rely on electronics so much, which was a good choice and it made their music much better. They also enlisted the help of The Film Orchestra of Budapest which brought a whole new side to their music. The first two tracks, "Dreams" and "Almost Perfect" utilize a piano and some interesting effects and textural vocals. The vocals are quite deep and eerie, as you would expect from a mentally disturbed clown. Instrumentally, these tracks are quite pensive and lovely, but the vocals are creepy, both the solo vocals and background vocals. Then the lyrics of "The Mark of the Male" take you unaware and by the end of this track, you will know if you want to continue listening or not. Though somewhat comedic, they can be offensive, and the screeching and sudden loudness of the instrumentals will help you decide if you want to continue this escapade. Remember, this is avant garde music, so you can expect the harshness, dissonance, and strangeness of that music. The vocals also vary from sung lyrics to spoken word passages. The CD booklet has the spoken word passages printed at the front, and the sung lyrics toward the back. Not sure why they did it this way.

"Isolation" utilizes the orchestra along with electronics, and gives a cinematic feel to the story. It changes from ambient to dramatic several times and is mostly instrumental. "Stop Signs" is utterly spooky and creepy, but again the orchestration is perfect. This general feel of a disturbing atmosphere continues through the rest of the album with instrumental sections spot on, but the vocals and subject matter hard to listen to. I had this same problem with "God in 3 Persons" which this album is similar to, but with the use of orchestra.

Some might find this entertaining, but I have a hard time with the vocals staying somewhere in a narrative nature. The lyrics will make you uncomfortable, no doubt about that, and I have found that to be true in other albums from The Resdients, but I also find some of them listenable and effective, as in the "Wormwood" album, but on this one, I find it annoying. Since the instrumental sections are good, and the vocals are annoying, I can at least give this a 3 star rating, but it isn't one that I take the time to listen to very often.

 The Ughs by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.37 | 18 ratings

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The Ughs
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Some years ago, The Residents put together some music that was supposed to be part of a new project similar to 'Eskimo' which was released way back in the 70s. This new project was called 'The Ughs!' and The Residents were going to dress up like the characters this was based on. For some reason, that idea was dropped and the basis of the music was used for a new project called 'The Voice of Midnight'. That particular project was used and released in 2007. When 2009 came around, The Residents needed some new ideas, so they revisited the original recordings and found they sounded completely different than the finished product for The Voice of Midnight, so they though, why not go back to the original 'Ughs!' Project. Thus this mostly instrumental album was released. I say mostly instrumental because, as in 'Eskimo', the vocals are done in the made- up language of the Ughs.

So, what can you expect from another release from the oddball eyeballs? Well, the unexpected is the usual answer. This unusual is made up of 10 interesting tracks, that are definitely off-kilter if you know not what you are getting into. But, now you have some idea. The music is definitely avant-ish in the same way as 'Eskimo' was. The starting track 'The Ughs' gives you a pretty good idea of what you will be hearing. People saying Ugh and other interesting noises going on is what this introductory track gives you.

'The Dancing Duck' has some quasi-chanting sounds and noises, plus a metallic instrumental sound which I have no idea how it was produced. You have flutes, chimes, and synth going on in there too, but the sound is quite tribal, and not really that bad. Where 'Eskimo' seemed almost to be an unintentional masterpiece, The Ughs gives you the feeling The Residents know what they are doing now. All of these unconventional instruments and sounds (including a processed quacking duck or something) play around a melody delivered by a flute and some other sort of tribal instrument accompanied also by tribal percussion.

'Floating Down the Nile, Pt. 2' uses a cool guitar sound that gives a sliding effect. A percussive bell rings in the background as a more traditional sounding guitar repeats the melody, and this is again repeated with both guitar styles and a violin. The tempo is dirge-like, or a slow processional march. Later, there is more tribal percussion as interesting sounds and textures are used coaxed out of traditional instruments and what-not. A tribal vocal chanting follows the percussion pattern.

'Squeaky Wheels' sounds like a melody made from . . . well, squeaky wheels. That's how it starts, but it quiets quickly with a throbbing beat and a melody from a reed instrument, a sitar and atmospheric synths. Grumbling vocals stay somewhat subdued.

'The Lonely Lotus' establishes itself with a 'hooting' sound pattern and a shrieking guitar is played. Later, other tribal sounding instruments are used, but things are kept somewhat ambient as interesting instrumental sounds take turns. After a few minutes, a rhythm is established and all of the sounds come together in a melodic theme. Then the hooting melody comes back accompanied by timpani and piano. This establishes a base for other interesting things to occur around, the influence of oriental or Indian music is obvious.

'Rendering the Bacon' begins with a low drone and soon a juice harp (or something similar) is used. Beastly sounds come in and percussion and more interesting instruments are used to establish a theme that recurs throughout the track. Towards the middle, things get more odd and minimal as odd vocal sounds and thumping come in. The thematic elements come back later with more intensity.

'The Horns of Haynesville' comes in with tribal percussion again and a high Tarzan-like squeal. More odd vocal noises are emitted. At this point, the novelty is starting to wear off as this goes on for a while, but then some unique instrumental sounds are introduced, but things remain peaceful as you hear crickets and birds in the background. A more succinct vocal melody comes in and is repeated between two vocalists, then more vocalists join and the raspy blare of a metallic sounding instrument repeats. Other chants and singing come in, but the overall feel is still somewhat peaceful even with some of the harshness of the instruments. This one meanders on too long at over 10 minutes though without much change in overall style.

'The Wondering Jew' starts out with soft atmospherics, but a sudden crash of percussion made my cat jump just as she was settling into the music. After peeling her claws out of my leg, the music starts to feel more dramatic with a synth led crescendo. But this soon quiets down to tropical sounds and a lute sounding instrument establishes a chord pattern while reeds play. Finally after 3:30, an interesting percussion pattern and mellotron take things over keeping the dramatic feel of the music.

'Charlie Chan' is an out-of-place title for this one, as it starts with a mid-eastern vibe. What is surprising is how they make layers of this strange instrument into harmonies. Processed vocals stay in the background of this mostly well-orchestrated percussive track. Processed chanting and weird vocals continue.

My cat left the room giving me an odd glare.

The last track is the 10 minute 'In the Dark'. It starts with an upbeat percussive pattern and low ebbing drones. More interesting and odd noises and textures continue. After a while, an orchestral vibe is introduced, probably produced by synths. Ominous drones and sounds of thunder follow with subdued percussion. As things continue, so do the tribal sounds and textures.

It is good to hear The Residents actually taking things seriously in the album, and it seems a lot of work and effort went into this one with the nice orchestration and use of different instruments and sounds. There is a problem in this album with some passages lasting too long, and things do sag a bit in the middle of the album. But, for the most part, interest in what is going on does tend to come back in the end. The album is surprisingly good, seriously experimental, and well produced. Yeah the sounds at times can be comical, but there is a personality to this album and to the 'culture' the band has made up that makes you feel like they really came close to another masterpiece like 'Eskimo'. Like I said though, it is easy to let your interest slip on some of the longer passages, and in places where not much happens in the music. But I have to say that this is one of The Residents better albums that is more on the serious side of music and makes you think that maybe they really did know what they were doing all along.

 Meet The Residents by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.02 | 106 ratings

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Meet The Residents
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Well this is where it all started for THE RESIDENTS, releasing their strange music on an unexpecting World back in 1974. Fractured song structures, twisted melodies, funny vocals, plenty of noise and oh... that album cover? Yeah these guys were sort of the anti-THE BEATLES weren't they? Captain Beefheart even sings on one track and yes Frank Zappa might come to mind once in a while but this all sounds pretty original.

I have to say I had no idea this was the Nancy Sinatra song that's how much they deconstructed this piece. The first six songs are all short and blend into each other often making this feel like one piece of music. We even get female vocals on "Breath And Length". During this first section we get lots of horns, electronics, beats and piano all made to sound anything but melodic. "Rest Aria" is fairly melodic and clocks in at over 5 minutes the first song to hit over 2 minutes so far. Piano and horns stand out in this one.

"Skratz" will be the last short tune as we get four more tracks to end it with nothing less than 5 minutes long. "Spotted Pinto Bean" has these operatic male and female vocals and the male vocals make me laugh. "Infant Tango" is too catchy with Captain Beefheart singing. It's all instrumental from one minute to the end. "Seasoned Greetings" is perfect for this time of year. Oh man those hilarious vocals on "N-Er-Gee(Crisis Blues)" is the icing on the cake. They appear before 6 1/2 minutes.

So not their best in my opinion but a great start to their careers which I understand still continues.

 The Blowoff by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1992
2.00 | 2 ratings

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The Blowoff
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

2 stars The Blowoff is a single CD that was available originally only as a bonus CD that was attached to the back cover of the "Freak Show" graphic novel released back in 1992 by Dark Horse Comics. It was later made available through the Ralph America catalog. It consists of 1 track just over 13 minutes long. The book was released as a companion to the "Freak Show" album.

In circus freak shows, a blowoff is a deeper part of the show which people usually needed to pay more money to see. The track itself is a piece that collects ideas and themes from the band's recording sessions for the Freak Show album. It is mostly instrumental, but there are also a few processed vocals which are high pitched and layered to make harmonics. There is also some spoken words of a carny announcing the side show. There are also crowd noises presumably inserted to represent the audience to this freak show. There is also a section with some moaning and groaning, you know, of an adult nature.

The music itself consists of synthesized themes done electronically, and some percussion. The music has got that circus feel to it, and even though it is joyful, it has a dark undertone to it. I'm not sure if the percussion is on real drums, but it does sound like it. All of the rest of the music is produced by synthesizers, but it is a bit more complex than the more synthesized simple music the band put out in the 80s. At the 11 minute mark, there are actually some sung lyrics, by the usual Residents vocalist, which tells a story that was probably written for the Freak Show album.

The CD also included an advertisement and membership for the UWEB fan club site, which went defunct shortly after the book/CDs release.

Admittedly, it is one of the band's more interesting synthesized songs, but it is questionable if it is something that would be of interest to anyone other than fans. Of course, collectors will have to have it, but I can't see it being of interest to any other people.

 The Big Bubble by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Studio Album, 1985
1.77 | 29 ratings

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The Big Bubble
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Kingsnake

1 stars This must be the worst I have ever heard in my life. I can understand the need to experiment and I also understand the need to make anti-music. But this album is terrible, abysmal, unlistenable. I read that this album sold terrible and the accompanying tour was a financial failure. I can understand why.

I have listened to music by The Residents out of curiosity, and sometimes it's funny (reminding me of Primus without the guitars), but this album has nothing funny at all.

I never would have thought I'd rate an album this low (except for Metallica and Loud Reed for example) but this album is the absolute worst I have ever heard by any band.

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

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