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THE RESIDENTS

RIO/Avant-Prog • United States


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The Residents biography
The Residents formed in the early '70'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. Their members are completely unknown, the only named collaboraters are M...read more

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Not AvailableNot Available
Cryptic Corp 2011
Audio CD$6.95
$6.98 (used)
EskimoEskimo
CRYPTIC CORP 2012
Audio CD$7.02
$9.27 (used)
The 12 Days Of BrumaliaThe 12 Days Of Brumalia
CRYPTIC CORP 2014
Audio CD$7.83
$7.82 (used)
Duck StabDuck Stab
CRYPTIC CORP 2012
Audio CD$7.20
$7.19 (used)
Demons Dance AloneDemons Dance Alone
East Side Digital 2002
Audio CD$494.84
$12.95 (used)
Tunes of Two Cities / Big BubbleTunes of Two Cities / Big Bubble
Mute 2005
Audio CD$12.12
$9.99 (used)
Mark of the Mole / IntermissionMark of the Mole / Intermission
Mute (Artist Intelligence) 2005
Audio CD$12.49
$11.50 (used)
Animal LoverAnimal Lover
Mute 2005
Audio CD$13.04
$9.70 (used)
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The Residents - Freak Show (2007) - CD USD $1.51 [0 bids]
1h 52m
The Residents 13th Anniversary Tour Snakefinger USA 2 Cassette Set Ralph 1986 USD $175.95 Buy It Now 3h 54m
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Residents The Big Bubble vinyl LP album record Japanese SP25-6014 WAVE 1985 USD $99.32 Buy It Now 6h 47m
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6h 48m
Eskimo - Residents (CD Used Very Good) USD $9.93 Buy It Now 7h 35m
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Residents Nibbles vinyl LP album record UK VR3 VIRGIN 1979 USD $36.62 Buy It Now 7h 49m
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Residents, The - Intermission USD $25.00 Buy It Now 9h 39m
Whatever Happened To Vileness Fats - Residents (CD Used Very Good) USD $9.03 Buy It Now 9h 40m
Third Reich 'N' Roll - Residents (2012, CD New) USD $11.16 Buy It Now 10h 21m
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The Residents Exotic Sounds From Many Worlds CD USD $3.49 Buy It Now 11h 36m
Residents - Residue Of The Residents [Vinyl New] USD $30.38 Buy It Now 12h 16m
Residents, The - Fingerprince USD $30.00 Buy It Now 12h 21m
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Not Available - Residents New & Sealed LP Free Shipping USD $25.12 Buy It Now 13h 3m
Bobuck, Charles - The Residents Present: Codgers On The Moon USD $11.51 Buy It Now 13h 9m
RESIDENTS: God In 3 Persons (soundtrack & cast vinyl LP) USD $35.00 Buy It Now 13h 50m
Duck Stab - Residents (2008, CD New) USD $16.89 Buy It Now 15h 18m
Residents - Third Reich 'N' Roll [CD New] USD $12.17 Buy It Now 15h 32m
Residents - Whatever Happened To Vileness Fats? US orig' SEALED Ralph LP 1984 USD $19.99 Buy It Now 16h 10m
the Residents - Kaw-Liga Housey Mix Dutch orig' Torso 12" 1989 USD $34.99 Buy It Now 16h 15m
the Residents - Hit The Road Jack Dutch orig' Torso 12" 1987 USD $19.99 Buy It Now 16h 17m
Residents - Tweedles (CD New) USD $17.05 Buy It Now 16h 19m
the Residents - God In 3 Persons Soundtrack US SEALED Rykodisc LP 1988 USD $37.99 Buy It Now 16h 22m
Residents - Duck Stab [CD New] USD $19.58 Buy It Now 19h 39m
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Masterpieces LP RESIDENTS/genesis/PRINCE FAR-I/monty python/SCARS/viv stanshall USD $11.16 Buy It Now 20h 8m
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Meet The Residents, 0760137513919, The Residents USD $28.00 Buy It Now 22h 43m
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THE RESIDENTS Satisfaction/ Loser Weed 45 Yellow Vinyl NM/NM Ralph punk 1978 USD $18.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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Residents LP Intermission RSD 2015 NEW USD $32.11 Buy It Now 1 day
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Whatever Happened to Vileness Fats/Censu, 0760137642725, The Residents USD $14.85 Buy It Now 1 day
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1 day
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Fripp, 1/2 Japanese, The Residents, more 'Miniatures'LP USD $49.95 Buy It Now 1 day
RESIDENTS Meet The LP USD $24.99 Buy It Now 1 day
THE RESIDENTS - DUCK STAB 7" EP - RALPH 1978 LYRICS ON SLEEVE USD $18.00 Buy It Now 1 day
Half Japanese/David Fair - I Can't Stand Cats 1979 zine/book Residents kbd USD $9.99 [0 bids]
1 day
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1 day
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1 day
THE RESIDENTS - ESKIMO lp - RALPH RECORDS - GATEFOLD COVER USD $15.50 [2 bids]
1 day
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RADIO FREE Cult Cuts CD RYKO/BMG Devo FRANK ZAPPA Residents YOKO ONO USD $12.50 Buy It Now 1 day
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RESIDENTS, GOD IN THREE PERSONS SEALED DBL LP RALP 0044 USD $35.00 [0 bids]
1 day
LP residue of the residents
THE RESIDENTS
~ USD $32.58
7" santa dog
THE RESIDENTS
~ USD $21.68
LP third reich r'n roll
THE RESIDENTS
~ USD $23.42


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THE RESIDENTS shows & tickets


  • OFF Festival 2015 on 7 Aug 2015

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 | 77 ratings
Meet The Residents
1974
4.16 | 75 ratings
The Third Reich 'N Roll
1976
3.73 | 33 ratings
Fingerprince
1977
3.96 | 77 ratings
Not Available
1978
4.30 | 71 ratings
Duck Stab / Buster & Glen
1978
4.01 | 68 ratings
Eskimo
1979
3.63 | 60 ratings
Commercial Album
1980
2.93 | 39 ratings
Mark Of The Mole
1981
3.58 | 25 ratings
The Tunes of Two Cities
1982
2.00 | 1 ratings
Title In Limbo (With Renaldo And The Loaf)
1983
2.50 | 14 ratings
George And James
1984
3.90 | 12 ratings
Whatever Happened to Vileness Fats?
1984
2.29 | 9 ratings
The Census Taker (Original Soundtrack)
1985
1.95 | 15 ratings
The Big Bubble
1985
4.33 | 17 ratings
Stars & Hank
1986
3.72 | 28 ratings
God In Three Persons
1988
2.51 | 11 ratings
God In Three Persons Soundtrack
1988
3.20 | 17 ratings
The King & Eye
1989
2.81 | 23 ratings
Freak Show
1990
2.54 | 20 ratings
Gingerbread Man
1994
2.51 | 9 ratings
Hunters
1995
2.41 | 14 ratings
Have A Bad Day
1996
3.59 | 21 ratings
Wormwood: Curious Stories From the Bible
1998
2.46 | 9 ratings
Roadworms: The Berlin Sessions
2000
3.17 | 6 ratings
Icky Flix: Original Soundtrack Recording
2001
4.11 | 17 ratings
Demons Dance Alone
2002
3.57 | 14 ratings
WB:RMX
2004
2.12 | 6 ratings
The King & Eye: RMX
2004
3.97 | 10 ratings
The 12 Days of Brumalia
2004
3.69 | 22 ratings
Animal Lover
2005
2.38 | 14 ratings
Tweedles!
2006
2.28 | 9 ratings
The River of Crime: Episodes 1-5
2006
3.94 | 11 ratings
The Voice of Midnight
2007
3.70 | 21 ratings
The Bunny Boy
2008
3.13 | 10 ratings
The Ughs
2009
3.26 | 10 ratings
Lonely Teenager
2011
3.75 | 4 ratings
The Rivers Of Hades
2011
3.83 | 12 ratings
Coochie Brake
2012

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
Mole Show
1983
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live In The USA: The 13th Anniversary Tour
1986
2.56 | 7 ratings
The 13th Anniversary Show, Live in Tokyo
1986
2.03 | 5 ratings
The 13th Anniversary Show: Live in Holland
1987
3.00 | 5 ratings
The Snakey Wake
1988
4.63 | 7 ratings
The Mole Show: Live in Holland
1989
2.13 | 4 ratings
Cube E: Live In Holland
1990
4.00 | 3 ratings
Live at the Fillmore
1998
3.21 | 5 ratings
Wormwood Live 1999
1999
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Way We Were
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Mole Show (Bag Set)
2009
0.00 | 0 ratings
13th Anniversary Show - Ritz NY - Jan 16, 1986
2010
0.00 | 0 ratings
Brava
2010
0.00 | 0 ratings
Talking Light Bimbo's
2011
0.00 | 0 ratings
Triple Dub-Ya: The Way We Were Melbourne
2012
0.00 | 0 ratings
Demonic! The Residents Live in Oslo!
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
The 13th Anniversary Show - Cleveland (Featuring Snakefinger)
2014
3.00 | 5 ratings
The Wonder of Weird
2014
0.00 | 0 ratings
Shadowland
2015

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
Moleshow/Whatever Happened To Vileness Fats
1984
3.95 | 2 ratings
Video Voodoo Volume I
1987
4.55 | 11 ratings
Icky Flix
2001
3.96 | 7 ratings
Eskimo
2002
4.58 | 8 ratings
Demons Dance Alone
2003
2.73 | 7 ratings
The Commercial Album
2004
3.80 | 5 ratings
The Residents Play Wormwood: Curious Stories From The Bible
2005
3.00 | 1 ratings
Is Anybody Out There?
2009
3.00 | 1 ratings
Icky Flix Live
2009
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Residents' Talking Light presents Randy's Ghost Stories
2010

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

3.23 | 4 ratings
Residue
1983
0.00 | 0 ratings
Assorted Secrets
1984
0.00 | 0 ratings
Heaven?
1986
3.00 | 1 ratings
Hell!
1986
3.05 | 6 ratings
Our Finest Flowers
1992
4.43 | 5 ratings
Our Tired, Our Poor, Our Huddled Masses
1997
4.00 | 3 ratings
Residue Deux
1998
0.00 | 0 ratings
Land of Mystery
1999
3.00 | 1 ratings
Refused
1999
2.25 | 3 ratings
Dot.com
2000
3.67 | 5 ratings
Petting Zoo
2002
3.50 | 2 ratings
Kettles of Fish on the Outskirts of Town
2003
3.00 | 1 ratings
CUBE E, The History of Amerian Music in 3-EZ Pieces
2006
2.00 | 1 ratings
Ten Little Piggies: Tunes From Future Projects
2009
0.00 | 0 ratings
Heaven / Hell!
2013

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

3.26 | 8 ratings
Santa Dog 1972
1972
4.50 | 2 ratings
Meet The Residents Sampler
1974
3.00 | 1 ratings
Satisfaction
1976
4.00 | 8 ratings
The Beatles Play the Residents and the Residents Play the Beatles
1977
3.05 | 4 ratings
The Residents Radio Special / Eat Exuding Oinks
1977
3.64 | 12 ratings
Duck Stab
1978
0.00 | 0 ratings
Santa Dog '78
1978
3.33 | 6 ratings
Babyfingers
1979
2.26 | 8 ratings
Diskomo
1980
3.75 | 4 ratings
The Commercial Single
1980
0.00 | 0 ratings
Shut Up, Shut Up
1980
3.05 | 9 ratings
Intermission
1982
0.00 | 0 ratings
The White Single
1984
0.00 | 0 ratings
It's A Man's Man's Man's World
1984
0.00 | 0 ratings
Kaw-Liga (Dancemix)
1986
0.00 | 0 ratings
Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers
1986
0.00 | 0 ratings
This Is A Mans Mans Mans World
1986
2.50 | 2 ratings
Kaw-Liga
1986
3.00 | 3 ratings
Hit The Road Jack
1987
0.00 | 0 ratings
For Elsie
1987
3.00 | 2 ratings
Double Shot
1988
2.39 | 5 ratings
Holy Kiss Of Flesh
1988
3.50 | 4 ratings
Santa Dog '88
1988
0.00 | 0 ratings
Buckaroo Blues
1989
0.00 | 0 ratings
Kaw-Liga (Housey Mix)
1989
3.50 | 2 ratings
Don't Be Cruel
1990
2.00 | 2 ratings
Liver Music
1990
3.00 | 1 ratings
Stranger Than Supper
1990
2.25 | 3 ratings
Daydream B-Liver
1991
3.00 | 3 ratings
Santa Dog '92
1992
0.00 | 0 ratings
Prelude to "The Teds"
1993
2.17 | 3 ratings
Poor Kaw Liga´s Pain
1994
3.00 | 1 ratings
Louisiana's Lick
1995
3.21 | 5 ratings
Pollex Christi
1997
0.00 | 0 ratings
I Hate Heaven
1998
2.00 | 2 ratings
In Between Screams: Intermission Music From The Residents' Wormwood
1999
2.92 | 4 ratings
Diskomo 2000
2000
3.04 | 6 ratings
High Horses
2001
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Golden Goat
2003
2.50 | 2 ratings
I Murdered Mommy!
2004
0.00 | 0 ratings
Viva Las Vegas RMX
2004
4.00 | 1 ratings
Best Left Unspoken, vol.2
2006
0.00 | 0 ratings
Best Left Unspoken, Vol. 1
2006
0.00 | 0 ratings
Best Left Unspoken, vol. 3
2007
0.00 | 0 ratings
Night Of The Hunters
2007
3.33 | 3 ratings
Animal Lover Instrumental
2008
3.50 | 2 ratings
Smell My Picture
2008
3.91 | 2 ratings
Postcards from Patmos
2008
2.00 | 1 ratings
Arkansas
2009
0.00 | 0 ratings
1997: The Missing Year - The Fillmore Dress Rehearsal (Act One)
2009
0.00 | 0 ratings
1997: The Missing Year - Adobe Disfigured Night
2009
0.00 | 0 ratings
Tabasco: Tweedles Instrumental
2010
2.31 | 4 ratings
Dollar General
2010
2.74 | 6 ratings
Chuck's Ghost Music
2011
3.95 | 2 ratings
Dolor Generar- Una Noche Lost en Van Horn Texas
2011
0.00 | 0 ratings
CUBE E Dynasone 3EZ
2011
0.00 | 0 ratings
Ozark
2011
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Rivers Of Hades
2011
0.00 | 0 ratings
Night Train To Nowhere!
2012
0.00 | 0 ratings
Wolverines (Fix)
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
Halloween
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
There's Blood (On The Bunny)
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
My Window
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
Magic Finger
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Bunny Boy
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Weatherman
2013
3.67 | 3 ratings
Mush-Room: Music from the Need Company Performance
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
My Brother Paul
2014
0.00 | 0 ratings
Manz Whirled
2014
0.00 | 0 ratings
Boneless Boy (Jelly Jack)
2014
0.00 | 0 ratings
Lizard Lady (Live)
2015

THE RESIDENTS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Holy Kiss Of Flesh by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1988
2.39 | 5 ratings

BUY
Holy Kiss Of Flesh
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

1 stars This is a remix of the track "Kiss of Flesh" from the "God in 3 Persons" album. It is a complete remix of the track made to a mostly steady beat. This short 15 minute record which consists only of the remix was released 5 years after the original album. It is the same idea that they had for "Eskimo" and turning it into "Discomo", it is pretty much in the same vein. The biggest difference here is that "Eskimo" was an excellent project and translated over well to the remix. This time, even though "God in 3 Persons" was somewhat highly reguarded especially by Residents fans, the remix just doesn't have as interesting source material to work with. There are snatches of the annoying narration heard throughout the remix, but at least it isn't as annoying because it isn't the main concentration of the remix. But, anyway, I don't find it worth the difficult search you will have trying to find it, unless you absolutely have to have every thing they have recorded, in which case, I wish you the best of luck. This is not one for the casual listener, or even for someone who is interested in their music. Bypass this one and spend your time trying to obtain The Residents better albums. 1 star only.

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 High Horses by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2001
3.04 | 6 ratings

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High Horses
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Wanna hear something really weird? Here's another bizarre Residents recording. Is that surprising?

Apparently, The Residents have always had this love for carousel music. So they made an EP of carousel sounding music, which is made in 3-D so that it sounds like you are going around in circles on a carousel. Usually, music for a carousel is programmed by holes punched into a card and fed into a machine which produces the sound as it reads the card. The Residents did the same thing, but used a computer to read the card, hence the music you hear on this album.

This is an E.P that is about 18 minutes long, and that is long enough. Any longer and it would have worn out it's welcome. The crazy thing is that a limited amount of the EP was made and then sold for over 20 dollars. Kind of a rip off I suppose, but then Residents fans just had to have it.

Overall, it's not a bad album and it's not as annoying as you would think. The tunes are interesting enough, but other than the strange concept and the odd music, this isn't much in the way of being progressive. It is a fun novelty though, I suppose, but any more than 18 minutes would have been too much, so the brevity of the album works to it's benefit. However, you probably will have a hard time finding this one. It is available on one of their many collections, but it's probably hard to find that way too.

The tracks are divided into 6 parts with no distinguishing names except for Part 1, Part 2 and so on. The music sounds a lot like it's electronic and it is all programmed. Other than the carnival stylings and feelings, there are some synthesized, wordless vocals in Part 5 which gives you a feeling of the carousel spinning down into Hell. This moves us into Part 6 which is actually more of a progressive track, but it still keeps the overall sound, but it gets somewhat chaotic and out of control and ends with an evil clown laughing.

So, it's not just calliope music, but there are other electronic sounds also, sometimes playing along with the melody and other times driving it along. There is electronic percussion throughout the music also. Of course you got to get the strange humor of The Residents in there. There is a dark thread throughout the entire EP, so you get the overall feeling that, even though a carousel is a happy ride at a funpark, in this case, it sounds like it belongs in Ray Bradbury's "Something Wicked This Way Comes". There is something evil just lurking under the surface.

Again, it's not as bad as it sounds and thank goodness it is short. They didn't draw this experiment out too long, but they did overcharge for the EP and I'm not sure what they were trying to accomplish with that except for the strange alienation they always attempt with the masses, but which always seems to draw their fans (or cult following) after everything they produce. There is a little bit of genius to this wackiness, so I have to give it 3 stars. If it were any longer though, I would have had to give it less than that. I know, it's main drawback (the shortness of the album) is one of it's strengths. Go figure. But it is The Residents after all.

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 Have A Bad Day by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Studio Album, 1996
2.41 | 14 ratings

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Have A Bad Day
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Long before the corporate product by the name of Bon Jovi suggested we "Have a Nice Day", the oddball eyeballs suggested we "Have a Bad Day. Other than having opposite titles, the two albums have absolutely nothing in common. In fact, they might just be exact opposites. As bad as Bon Jovi is though, it doesn't necessarily mean that this Residents album is good. On it's own, it is taken out of the total context, and to listen to it on it's own is a little tough, but with The Residents producing multi-media works during this time, that seems to be the case with the albums produced by the band at this time.

In this case, "Have a Bad Day" is a soundtrack from the CD-Rom game called "Bad Day at the Midway". Being produced by The Residents, you know right off the bat you are going to get some of the darkest humor out there. The Residents seem to take a fairly safe situation like a child's tale (The Gingerbread Man) or a happy occasion like going to the circus (Freakshow) and turn it into something scary and disturbing. Such is the case here. The game is actually and interactive story that has 5 outcomes which all end up in death. (I have not played the game, I'm just going off of reviews.) Apparently, the story was also going to be used for some kind of series (TV I think) under the production of Ron Howard. The Residents were only going to be used as consultants in the making of the series. This never happened.

As you can expect, the music definitely loses it's meaning without the media that it is attached to, and what you end up with is a bunch of mostly electronic music that sounds like a soundtrack. Most of the album is instrumental, but there are some lines from the story and some spoken word. This is very reminiscent of the previously mentioned albums put out in the same period, dark, odd and strangely disconnected when played without the companion media that it is tied to. So, you can expect weirdness without purpose when listening to this without the game. It might make more sense if you are familiar with the story in the game, or it might not. It is definitely interesting enough, and it is typical mediocre output from The Residents that was for the most part expected and probably intentional knowing The Residents.

It's always funny to me when someone mentions a band and say something like "These guys are really different." After becoming familiar with The Resident's music, I believe that it doesn't get any weirder. Sometimes it works very well as in "Demons Dance Alone", but in most cases, it is hard to listen to, dark and depressing and yet it's satirical. Someday I might find the game and maybe I'll get it, but on it's own, it is just like any typical soundtrack done with electronics and keyboards. Not a favorite of mine though there are a few highlights, but not enough to keep things interesting. Let's keep this one for the collectors and fans only. 2 stars.

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 God In Three Persons by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Studio Album, 1988
3.72 | 28 ratings

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God In Three Persons
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The Residents definitely have some interesting and original ideas and this album is an example of that. Sometimes, their weirdness speaks to me and other times I just don't know what to think. This album is a concept album, as are a good many of their albums, but it is formatted in a rock opera or play so to speak. Most of the album is spoken word set to music, and most of the music is electronic, but this time it isn't quite as minimalistic as some later albums would be. The spoken word is the narrator of the story, the very strange story, of a preacher and his relationship with conjoined twins who he believes have healing powers. Of course, strange emotions come about and you get a somewhat graphic story of love, lust, pain and desire, even though it is very strange and results in a separation of the twins. Yes, it's very odd.

The album starts out with an excellent track, well produced and very well orchestrated. The narration doesn't start in this track and it is actually the best track on here. The parts are sung by Laurie Amut who is credited as the song stylist. Her vocals are treated and also harmonized by multi-tracking. It gives a sound like a chorus of singers. The funny thing is that they sing the opening credits. The next track is where the narration starts and he gives a basic synopsis of the overall story. This one isn't a bad track either. The narrator has a southern drawl that persists throughout the album. At this point, the best way to listen to the album is with the lyrics, otherwise the sound of this somewhat deadpan delivery gets very annoying even faster than it does if you have them. So, either way, you have to deal with this delivery. There is some lyrical quality to the delivery however as it is done in a "talking blues" style, and the poem is written with the same stylization and meter as Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven". This 2nd track will give you a fair idea of what the rest of the album is like. If you don't like this, you should just stop listening now. If you do like it, chances are you will be sick of it soon enough.

Even though the instrumental passages are much better developed in this album than some of The Residents other electronically lead albums, the narration is too distracting to really enjoy the instrumentals. The Residents remedied this by doing an instrumental version of the album, but was available in a very limited supply. Anyway, the album continues in this vein and I don't really find the story interesting enough to listen to more than once. You might be interested in the poetic delivery of the story, and no doubt a lot of time and talent went into writing the lyrics. But I just can't take the sound of the narrator's voice and the fact that even though the lyrical delivery is pretty spot on, the voice itself is annoying to me.

So, with the background singers giving some interesting parts and the instrumental passages being quite decent, I suppose there is something to this album. I find it hard to tune out the narrator though, which is the focus of the album after all. I can only give this a 3 star rating and can't help but wonder if the rating would have been better if the characterization of the narrator was better.

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 Gingerbread Man by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Studio Album, 1994
2.54 | 20 ratings

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Gingerbread Man
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

2 stars The Gingerbread Man originally was a children's morality tale. Of course The Residents have to twist it all up until there is no semblance to the original story at all and then they have to make it depressing and dark. This is a concept album where the main character of the story, the gingerbread man of course, listens in on various other characters which have certain characteristics as noted in the titles of the songs. Each one of these tracks follow the same basic formula: start off with a variation of the main theme, then the character sings one verse of his own melody followed by the character talking about his or her fears and paranoia. Charming, isn't it? At the end, the main character sums everything up. The voices are done by 3 different guest singers, one of them being Todd Rundgren. And no I am not a Rundgren fan, so that doesn't help.

The instrumentation isn't too bad, it does have a little more to it that a lot of the minimalistic mood of a lot of The Residents albums. Of course, since it is from the period of time when they were exploring a lot of electronic sounds, there is a lot of processed sounds and fabricated instruments that sound like synthesized music. There is more to the music here however, but since the main theme is repeated so many times and it seems that each character's themes flow from that theme causing each song to sound similar in atmosphere....usually dramatic and dark. There are some interesting moments, but the same formula gets old after a few tracks.

There was a interactive CD-Rom that went along with the music that apparently shines some light on the music, as far as the meaning and the lyrics which at times are hard to understand. The interactive program had a lot of outcomes depending on how you interacted with it, but it isn't enough to save this one. The production is good as far as the music goes, but it just isn't one of The Residents better endeavors, even though they worked hard to get their cult following by producing strange albums usually with some thread of an idea flowing through. I have to admit it is fun to explore their music because their discography is so immense, and sometimes they hit on something very interesting and innovative, but, this one is just too dark and repetitive to want to listen to very often. I can only squeeze 2 stars out of this one because most people just won't be that interested in this unless they are fans or collectors.

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 George And James by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Studio Album, 1984
2.50 | 14 ratings

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George And James
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

2 stars This album was to be the first volume in a series of albums by The Residents called "American Composers Series" which was be a long string of albums released from 1984 to 2000 profiling and deconstructing songs from a group of famous songwriters. There just wasn't enough money to fund this expensive endeavor and only 2 albums were released. This album features two very different composers that have nothing to do with each other.....George Gerswin and James Brown....yep, there you go, The Residents offbeat humor once again.

So, yeah, deconstructing George Gerswin and James Brown, sounds like a difficult job to strip selected works from these excellent prolific composers down to the basic bare bones played mostly on keyboards and electronics, and it's an excess....an excess of minimalism, another example of The Residents humor. All dynamics, feeling and flourish ripped away to produce flat sounding music performed badly all on purpose. Quite hilarious at first, but it grows old long before it's over. This is humor taken to extreme to where it isn't even funny anymore, but you got to fill space right, so it continues and the joke remains throughout the album.

"Rhapsody in Blue" maintains most of the main themes which many will recognize throughout the 10 minute deconstruction of this normally emotional and beautiful composition. It's all played cheaply on cheesy keyboards, kind of lampooning electronic artists like Tomita and Wendy Carlos who did the same kind of thing, but were completely serious about it. This classical/jazz fusion masterpiece becomes one of the cheesiest songs ever. They also destroy "I Got Rhythm" as they strip away all of the rhythm and most of the syncopation from this jazz standard. Then they take on the famous aria from "Porgy and Bess" called "Summertime" and remove all of the sultriness and emotion from the song and turn it into blandness with a lot of dissonance mixed in. At least there is some interplay with a piano here.

The 2nd part of the album takes on side one of the album "James Brown at the Apollo". All of the fun and emotion and excitement is sucked right out of the vocals and delivered in a deep voice in complete deadpan stereo for you deconstructive enjoyment. Again, very funny at first, and after that only funny because it continues on all the way through without letting up. This is what James Brown would have sounded like if he had no soul. In fact, the background singers have more soul in this album than the fake James Brown. Oh, and this version of James Brown can't sing either. The crowd noise is also electronic.

I can't say this is a very loving tribute and maybe it's only making fun of the many bad tribute albums out there, which is what I tend to believe. Whatever it is, it is very funny, but it wears out quickly. Maybe it would have been better to have an album full of tributes to different artists done poorly instead of just choosing 2 artists at a time. The next album in the series features.....can you guess? John Philip Sousa and Hank Williams. Yeah I know. Anyway, this is more of a novelty item than anything else. Makes me wonder what other artists were going to get The Residents treatment....I'm sure Dark Side of the Moon would have been in there somewhere. Sorry guys....only 2 stars this time....but the first time around, it is a funny study in minimalism, but after the first time, it is only annoying.

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 The Third Reich 'N Roll by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.16 | 75 ratings

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The Third Reich 'N Roll
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Lear'sFool

5 stars What exactly was the point of this album? Did The Residents truly think that popular music, including a breadth of choices beyond the bubblegum, was acting as if a mind control conspiracy wrought by the Dick Clark Reich? Were they instead, as a few have ventured to guess, setting up this crazed concept album as a veiled, satirical attack on the mindset of the soon-to-be Tipper Brigade? Both? Or neither, and this was just a group of wild Louisiana musical outcasts throwing whatever at the wall for the heck of it, not caring if a lick of it stuck? Enough questions, as this is simply a meisterwerk of avant-garde, deconstructionist music with gallons of fun instead of kilolitres of pretention. Here everyone's favourite singing crawfishes ran riot over America's Top 40 - we're not talking Attila or Genghis here, we're talking Timur Lang - and so the only result is a laugh riot for us listeners. They packed the songs in here like they were sardines, and each tastes like Yog-Sothoth's ambrosia. The band, Snakefinger, and their twisted backing band that foreshadowed the Elephant 6 Orchestra all did exactly what they had to do to pull this wonderful mess off. Knocks your socks off. My pick for best moment is that ending, Snakefinger pining away on his guitar to "Hey Jude" while the eyeballs themselves join in with half-hearted "woo- hoo"s a la "Sympathy For The Devil"; that, ladies and gentlemen, is the sound of the '60's dying. A must listen for anyone familiar with '60's and '70's Top 40, with plunderphonics, with any lick of love of experimentation in their mind, heart, and soul. *toilet flushes*

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 Freak Show by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Studio Album, 1990
2.81 | 23 ratings

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Freak Show
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Anyone familiar with The Residents knows that you can always expect strangeness and crazy themes as a constant in their music. Sometimes they can do the strange thing very well and other times they fall flat. So, when they came along with a concept album about a bunch of circus sideshow freaks, it just had to be a great thing, because if any one would be able to do that concept, it would be The Residents, right? Yeah, that's what I thought. Well, this album leaves a lot to be desired.

This album is the first album to be evidence of The Residents reliance on computer technology and pretty much most of the instrumentals is done completely with the MIDI, even the percussion. So, you get that terrible plastic percussion sound through the entire album. You also get nothing but synthesized instruments. Fortunately, the changing of voices and the use of female vocals along with male vocals keep things from getting totally stagnant. The songs are interesting enough and have their share of rhythm, thematic and meter changes. With actual instruments, this could have been one of their best albums, I believe. But the fake percussion is annoying and the instrumental sections have a clinical feeling to them.

The album starts out fine enough, even with the faux instrumentals. The first track "Everyone Comes to the Freak Show" shows promise in the vocals, the delivery and the progressive elements. The 2nd track "Harry the Head" is upbeat and full of humor, so you start to think you might have a good album on your hands here. But, after that, the songs tend to drag, starting out with interesting themes at first, that tend to ramble on too long before changing to another theme or idea. The lyrics are dark and humorous at least, but the music itself just isn't interesting enough and I keep finding myself wondering if I am getting to the end yet whenever I listen to this. Not a good sign! The last half of the concluding piece "Nobody Laughs When They Leave" is the only other highlight of the album as dramatic music starts to fill in, but it's too little too late to save anything.

Yes it's funny and weird, but it just doesn't live up to the better Residents albums, and this would be the case with a lot of the albums to come along for a while because of their fixation with technology. Yes The Residents usually use a lot of minimalism and synthesizer all of the time, but it's done much better. Complacency seems to be setting in during this period of their discography, but they were able to prove later that they still had some better music to come. The expectations for this album should be high, but unfortunately, the album does not live up to those expectations this time. 2 stars only.

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 Fingerprince by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.73 | 33 ratings

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Fingerprince
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The third full album in The Residents discography is strange.....but since it's The Residents, then it's actually normal to be strange. In reality, if it could be called normal then it would have been the strangest album in their discography. So, just forget what I just said.

The music here was recorded between the years 1974-76 and released in 1977. It was supposed to be a double album but with only 3 sides. The record company decided it would be to costly to produce an album like that, so 4 songs were removed from the track list to make this into a single album, then in 1979, the EP "Babyfingers" was released and contained those missing 4 tracks. When the album was reissued as a CD in 1988, the original tracklist was restored. I'm going to review the single disc vinyl version here.

The first side consisted of the first 7 tracks as listed here, then as the 8th track had "You Yesyesyes Again" as the final track on that side. This group of songs consists of short songs. The first one spotlights Snakefinger who was the bands "resident" guitarist. It features an odd hook as the driving force of the song. As all of the songs on this first side, they are all quite simple anti-pop songs. Listening to these songs, you can hear foretellings of what the band Primus would sound like. There are definitely hints of Les Claypool throughout these songs. After the first track, the music remains quite minimalistic for the most part, which is not what Primus would sound like, but the sound they would adopt is more the cynical and satirical sound of The Residents, even the vocal delivery is similar. Track 8, which is a more "acoustical" (for want of a better term) reprise of the 1st track with a warped revisit of the strange hook and the addition of percussion similar to the ballet/suite that makes up the 2nd side of the album.

So, side 2 stays with an odd sound like you suspect. But in reality, it is quite different from the first side. This is made up of a six-part suite which was actually a modern ballet soundtrack of sorts. This music is very percussive with some electronics thrown in to create an anti melody. The Residents continue to create what sounds like the opposite of popular music....music that could be considered easy listening if it wasn't so avant garde. The suite is very much a foreshadowing of the masterpiece to come called "Eskimo" and it is interesting to hear how that sound began before it's maturity. I don't know if there is a better example of anti-pop than this. The music on this suite is much better composed than anything on the first half of the album, and these contrasts make the entire album quite interesting.

This entire album is not an easy listen, but if you realize that this music is the opposite of popular music, then it makes a little more sense, albeit a very warped sense. I find something intriguing and enticing about this music. It is strange though it isn't completely inaccessible either. But if you play it for a group of listeners that have not been warned, you will get weird looks and possibly banned from the people who consider themselves normal. So be warned. If you like this, then keep it to yourself. It's safer that way. In the meantime, I still think it's an excellent form of early avant-prog music that gives you an idea where future bands would get some of their inspiration. Most Residents fans are used to being fans in secret anyway, so don't feel bad, you are among geniuses like Mr. Claypool, Mike Patton, and the like.

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 Eskimo by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Studio Album, 1979
4.01 | 68 ratings

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Eskimo
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

5 stars This is as avant prog or art rock as things get. "Eskimo" is a unique album by The Residents, the kings of strangeness. This is not music in any conventional sense, it is a musical painting which depicts the life in the cold, cold north country, way up north. This is an album full of electronics, percussion, sound effects and talking/chanting in another language, mostly processed vocal sounds that become part of the music/picture.

The Residents have been around for a long time and they are still producing music to this day. Those who know The Residents know that they have explored some interesting territory, but as weird as their music can be, it usually has some conventionality to it. This album, however, goes on beyond those conventions and it ended up getting The Residents some credibility and high praise among the critics. Listening to the album, you get an odd sense of loneliness and remoteness, but also some insight into a different style of life. I don't know how accurate it is in portraying their lifestyle, but it is how I would imagine as far as the feeling of the music. Some of it does seem satirical, it is The Residents afterall, but the orchestration and composition of the music is admirable.

The gatefold on the vinyl contains some text that help explain the story behind the concept of the album and what is represented in each section of the album. I don't know if that text exists on any other format that might be out there, but it might help give some insight to the music. As unconventional as this music is, it still has a certain attractiveness to it that makes it appealing to listen to. Not everyone is going to understand the music, but it is definitely a masterpiece in originality. I would only suggest it to those that have had some experience in The Residents sound so that it is not a complete shock.

I have to say that the first time I listened to it, I knew it was going to be different, but I underestimated the fact that it is not a complete farce. I unknowingly played the record at 45 rpm and was thinking that it was a complete waste of time until more than halfway through, I realized it was playing too fast. That's how unconventional it is, there was no reference point that I could recognize that would prove that the speed was way to fast. Of course, it sounded a lot better at slow speed lol.

As other reviewers have said, the first time you hear this, you probably won't get it. But the more you listen to it, and the more you listen to other Residents albums, the more it makes sense. Again, think of it as Art Rock, that the sounds are a depiction of Eskimo life, and it will make more sense. If you listen to this out of that context, you might think it is a bunch of aliens worshipping the great god of the outer darkness of the Ramula solar system or something. (on acid). But knowing what the concept is certainly gives it a lot more meaning. If anything in The Residents discography should be considered a masterpiece, then this is it. (I can think of others, but this is the one that should be the pinnacle of their massive discography.) 5 stars for originality and a groundbreaking avant-prog album (released in 1979 and ahead of it's time).

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Thanks to Retrovertigo for the artist addition.

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