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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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Marching to the SeeMarching to the See
Cryptic Corporation 2014
Audio CD$8.50
$17.34 (used)
Tunes of Two Cities / Big BubbleTunes of Two Cities / Big Bubble
Mute 2005
Audio CD$12.31
$10.48 (used)
Mark of the Mole / IntermissionMark of the Mole / Intermission
Mute 2005
Audio CD$12.95
$13.99 (used)
The 12 Days Of BrumaliaThe 12 Days Of Brumalia
CRYPTIC CORP 2014
Audio CD$12.99
God in Three Persons [Vinyl]God in Three Persons [Vinyl]
Soundtrack
Rykodisc 1990
Vinyl$35.00
$23.73 (used)
Whatever Happened To Vileness Fats?Whatever Happened To Vileness Fats?
CRYPTIC CORP 2014
Audio CD$7.48
$13.57 (used)
The Residents Play WormwoodThe Residents Play Wormwood
Multiple Formats
Mvd Visual 2005
DVD$7.61
$7.14 (used)
EskimoEskimo
CRYPTIC CORP 2012
Audio CD$6.68
$6.99 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
THE RESIDENTS Hit The Road Jack & Excerpt From "For Elsie" 1987 pic disc 7" NM US $9.99 Buy It Now 31m 45s
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1h 51m
The Residents presents part 4 of the Mole Trilogy - The Big Bubble US $10.00 [0 bids]
2h 24m
Meet The Residents, 1977 Ralph Records RR02677 US $22.00 Buy It Now 4h 57m
The Residents, TheThird Reich N Roll, 1976 Ralph Records RR1075 US $27.00 Buy It Now 5h 4m
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The Residents, Not available, 1978 Ralph Records RR1174 US $24.00 Buy It Now 5h 9m
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5h 17m
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5h 19m
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5h 21m
Penelope Houston - BIRDBOYS 1987 Subterranean LP AVENGERS SNAKEFINGER RESIDENTS US $12.00 [0 bids]
6h 30m
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7h 5m
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8h 50m
Ralph Records 7 " Comp The Residents Snakefinger Yello Fred Frith 1980 Punk US $10.00 [0 bids]
9h 4m
THE RESIDENTS Present The Third Reich 'N Roll (LP) US $24.00 Buy It Now 9h 48m
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THE RESIDENTS Fingerprince (LP) US $24.00 Buy It Now 9h 50m
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Whatever Happened To Vileness Fats / Census Taker - Residents SEALED US $15.00 [0 bids]
17h 50m
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19h 11m
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THE RESIDENTS THE KING AND RARE ORIGINAL EX YUGOSLAV 1ST PRESS 1990 NM-/NM US $35.00 Buy It Now 23h 39m
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Tuxedomoon- Half Mute LP Ralph Records original press Residents US $25.00 Buy It Now 1 day
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THE RESIDENTS '87 USA 7" 45 HIT THE ROAD JACK on Ralph US $10.00 Buy It Now 1 day
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The Commercial Album [Remaster] by The Residents (CD, Jul-1988, ESD (East... US $10.00 [0 bids]
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Ralph Records EP 1980 BUY OR DIE Residents Snakefinger Tuxedomoon Pic Sleeve VG+ US $9.99 [0 bids]
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Petting Zoo by The Residents (CD, Apr-2002, East Side Digit) US $5.00 [0 bids]
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RESIDENTS Snakefinger The Man in the Dark Sedan Womb To Worm EX 45 7" '80 RALPH US $25.55 Buy It Now 2 days
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RESIDENTS**DUCK STAB (W/DOWNLOAD)**VINYL US $18.98 Buy It Now 2 days
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RESIDENTS/SONIDOS DE LA NOCHE**COOCHIE BRAKE (W/DOWNLOAD)**VINYL US $18.98 Buy It Now 2 days
RESIDENTS**NOT AVAILABLE(SPECIAL ED/FREE MP3)**VINYL US $15.69 Buy It Now 2 days
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The Residents - From The Plains Of Mexico US $16.29 [0 bids]
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Residents - Eskimo - 12" 33RPM Album - 1979 - Ralph Records - 2nd pressing US $25.00 [0 bids]
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The Residents Stranger than Supper CD UWEB first edition rare Ralph snakefinger US $29.99 [0 bids]
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2 days
THE RESIDENTS FINGERPRINCE LP ORIGINAL RALPH US 1977 2ND PRESSING US $40.78 Buy It Now 2 days
THE RESIDENTS MEET THE RESIDENTS LP RALPH US 1977 2ND PRESSING STILL IN SHRINK US $40.78 Buy It Now 2 days
RESIDENTS Double Shot RARE 3 INCH CD God In 3 Persons experimental avant garde US $8.99 Buy It Now 2 days
RESIDENTS - DUCK STAB NEW CD US $16.26 Buy It Now 3 days
The Residents The King and I (Eye) Cassette Tape Enigma Elvis Presley Covers US $2.99 [1 bids]
3 days
Animal Lover by The Residents (CD, Apr-2005, Mute) US $15.72 Buy It Now 3 days
NM Unplayed Meet The Residents LP Ralph Post Punk US $50.00 Buy It Now 3 days
RESIDENTS Animal Lover PROMO ADVANCE CD Avant Garde EXPERIMENTAL ROCK Mute 2005 US $9.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Duck Stab/Buster & Glen by The Residents Two Mini-disc set on Euroralph OOP 2004 US $49.95 Buy It Now 3 days
the Residents - fingerprince LP Ralph Records RR1276 cryptic corp 1979 Punk US $17.99 Buy It Now 3 days
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THE RESIDENTS shows & tickets


THE RESIDENTS has no upcoming shows, according to LAST.FM syndicated events and shows feed

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)

4.07 | 70 ratings
Meet The Residents
1974
4.12 | 71 ratings
The Third Reich 'N Roll
1976
3.68 | 29 ratings
Fingerprince
1977
3.94 | 76 ratings
Not Available
1978
4.21 | 69 ratings
Duck Stab / Buster & Glen
1978
3.92 | 61 ratings
Eskimo
1979
3.68 | 56 ratings
Commercial Album
1980
2.93 | 33 ratings
Mark Of The Mole
1981
3.59 | 22 ratings
The Tunes of Two Cities
1982
2.90 | 11 ratings
George And James
1984
3.93 | 11 ratings
Whatever Happened to Vileness Fats?
1984
3.14 | 7 ratings
The Census Taker (Original Soundtrack)
1985
1.95 | 14 ratings
The Big Bubble
1985
4.34 | 13 ratings
Stars & Hank
1986
3.81 | 27 ratings
God In Three Persons
1988
2.53 | 10 ratings
God In Three Persons Soundtrack
1988
3.25 | 15 ratings
The King & Eye
1989
3.04 | 19 ratings
Freak Show
1990
2.66 | 17 ratings
Gingerbread Man
1994
2.51 | 9 ratings
Hunters
1995
2.58 | 12 ratings
Have A Bad Day
1996
3.50 | 20 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
3.88 | 14 ratings
Demons Dance Alone
2002
3.57 | 14 ratings
WB:RMX
2004
2.17 | 5 ratings
The King & Eye: RMX
2004
3.86 | 10 ratings
The 12 Days of Brumalia
2004
3.73 | 20 ratings
Animal Lover
2005
2.36 | 12 ratings
Tweedles!
2006
2.28 | 9 ratings
The River of Crime: Episodes 1-5
2006
4.00 | 10 ratings
The Voice of Midnight
2007
3.71 | 20 ratings
The Bunny Boy
2008
3.13 | 10 ratings
The Ughs
2009
3.26 | 10 ratings
Lonely Teenager
2011
2.21 | 5 ratings
Chuck's Ghost Music
2011
3.75 | 4 ratings
The Rivers Of Hades
2011
3.91 | 2 ratings
Dolor Generar- Una Noche Lost en Van Horn Texas
2011
3.59 | 11 ratings
Coochie Brake
2012
3.67 | 3 ratings
Mush-Room: Music from the Need Company Performance
2013

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

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
Demonic! The Residents Live in Oslo!
2013
3.00 | 5 ratings
The Wonder of Weird
2014

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
4.68 | 10 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)

3.17 | 3 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
3.50 | 2 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)

3.23 | 7 ratings
Santa Dog 1972
1972
4.50 | 2 ratings
Meet The Residents Sampler
1974
4.04 | 7 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
3.65 | 11 ratings
Duck Stab
1978
3.33 | 6 ratings
Babyfingers
1979
2.26 | 8 ratings
Diskomo
1980
3.75 | 4 ratings
The Commercial Single
1980
3.05 | 9 ratings
Intermission
1982
2.50 | 2 ratings
Kaw-Liga
1986
3.00 | 3 ratings
Hit The Road Jack
1987
3.00 | 2 ratings
Double Shot
1988
4.54 | 4 ratings
Holy Kiss Of Flesh
1988
3.50 | 4 ratings
Santa Dog '88
1988
0.00 | 0 ratings
Buckaroo Blues
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
3.50 | 2 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
2.67 | 3 ratings
Diskomo 2000
2000
3.25 | 4 ratings
High Horses
2001
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Golden Goat
2003
2.50 | 2 ratings
I Murdered Mommy!
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
3.33 | 3 ratings
Dollar General
2010
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Rivers Of Hades
2011

THE RESIDENTS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The 12 Days of Brumalia by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.86 | 10 ratings

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The 12 Days of Brumalia
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by admireArt

4 stars Sophisticated as Hell!

By now, the production excellence of almost all recorded material, mainstream and not, is no "big" news for no one. In fact most of the times the concerns have to do more with if the production could have been better or if it was overly done. Because like it or not, excellent production is almost by rule now a "market device", which phantoms or enhances, the virtues or mediocrity of anyone, depending on your pick and taste.

But of course, when it comes to "The Residents", things could not have been better. As this "The 12 Days of Brumalia", fully demostrates. For 12 days, starting on December 25th, 2003, a new song was posted on Residents.com web site along with an illustration and a quote. At the end, the 12 songs were put together and released as a single "album".

Now, what usually happens to me, with great albums, is the same as with great books or films, I myself do not want to be foretold nothing about them. So, I will point some references, not to spoil no one's fun.

Imagine the intention of the "Commercial Album", with perfectly detailed arrangements, tainted with splashes of very RiO, very Resident like, string work, along great moments of pure contemporary electronics, some creative hard-electric guitar touches and catchy riffs, mixed up into a multi-oriented musical language, among a vast field of "covers" and original songwriting. All enhanced to unexpected levels, due to its "undercovered" excellent mastering and production. Really, even the satires and spoofs, sound like an alternate "serious" version of their originals, yet they remain spoofs and satires, The Resident's "midas" touch.

To close things down, 12 flawless, very inspired, rich and creative, fragmented-minimal songs, compressed into single songs, enhanced to the top, with great arrangements, very humorous details and a very creative use of "production".

That for me, adds up for a ****4, plus my review, PA stars project.

.

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 The Third Reich 'N Roll by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Studio Album, 1976
4.12 | 71 ratings

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

Review by Sheets of Blue

4 stars In 1974, The Residents, an avant-garde rock band from Louisiana, released their debut album, Meet the Residents, to little acclaim. Only forty copies were sold, with others being returned unopened in its first year. Only did it gain critical acclaim decades later.

Its follow-up, The Third Reich 'n Roll, released in 1976, used more of the experimental methods used on the band's debut, and with those methods, deconstructed and destroyed several songs of the 1960s. A parody of pop music and commercials of said time period, the album consists of two side-long epics, Swastikas on Parade, and Hitler Was a Vegetarian.

On both sides were the butchering of many classic songs of the 60s, as well as some obscure tracks such as Telstar and 96 Tears. This time around, the band garnered controversy for the cover art in which it depicted Dick Clark, a well-renowned entertainer, in a Nazi uniform holding a carrot while being surrounded by swastikas, pictures of a dancing Adolf Hitler in both male and female dress, as well as other forms of paraphernalia. This would lead to the German pressing being heavily censored with every Nazi reference being covered with the word "censored".

The Residents utilize their many instruments to thoroughly massacre the thirty songs integrated into both tracks on Third Reich. Like Meet the Residents, Third Reich 'n Roll didn't gather much attention, although the controversy surrounding the art helped the band gain some attention publicly, helping their album sales and nurturing a growing fan base.

The Third Reich 'n Roll gives the listener thirty-six minutes of noise, a destruction of the pop hits of the 1960s, putting their own odd and quirky spin on them, making them their own. It's horrifying to say the least, to the point where it works as a serious album. It works so well that anyone could listen to it, being one of their most accessible albums along with Duck Stab and Eskimo. The sound of the album may put one off at first, but given the time, one can grow to appreciate it as not only noise, but art as well.

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 Meet The Residents by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.07 | 70 ratings

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Meet The Residents
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars With compositions like the riotous Infant Tango (which combines Beefheartian vocals, surf rock guitar, and pulsating, Mothers of Invention-ish percussion bubbling underneath the surface) and cover art directly blaspheming against the Beatles, few avant-garde experimental rock groups can claim to have made a debut more provocative than Meet the Residents. Nobody in 1974 could have expected a band informed by the strangest moments of Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band (perhaps one of the few acts the album is comparable to) would sound anywhere near this good, but good it is, an able demonstration that you can strike a balance between weird and accessible without compromising either.

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 WB:RMX by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.57 | 14 ratings

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WB:RMX
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

3 stars If you believe the Creation Myth of The Residents, you'll appreciate the value of these recordings, supposedly representing some of the earliest (ersatz) music ever created by those anonymous screwballs from San Mateo, California: hometown heroes to this native-son-in-exile from the same Bay Area suburb. The original 'album', a dense collage of amateur avant-rock satire and obscure private jokes, was sent unsolicited to Warner Bros. Records in 1971, where it was (understandably) rejected and returned to the unknown sender, addressed by necessity merely to 'Residents'. And thus a new ensemble was suddenly baptized.

A little skepticism is encouraged here, if only because the source of the story is the band itself. But thirty-plus years later the legendary Warner Bros. album was finally allowed a legitimate release, albeit after a radical 21st century facelift combining additional dance beats, new instrumentation, and merciless editing. A fossil of the original recording can be glimpsed in places, but most of the earlier (pseudo) music was effectively camouflaged in the remix, often to its benefit.

On its own terms the new version actually works very well, being surprisingly accessible on top but, like most of The Residents' catalogue, predictably weird under the skin. And yet I would accuse the Eyeballs of myopia here. They missed an opportunity to present at least a portion of the raw, original tapes, perhaps as an archival bonus track for comparison purposes. The official excuse was their embarrassment over the abysmal sound quality and primitive musicianship, but my own suspicions revolve around legal issues with ex-bandmates, keeping in mind the fact that the original 'album' was produced before a band even existed.

The unedited tapes, first recorded on cheap reel-to-reel audio equipment, still exist in cyberland, bootlegged from extremely rare indie radio broadcasts. And they are indeed cruder than you can possibly imagine. But something uniquely Residential didn't quite survive the high-tech surgery, and the dynamic update shows evidence of retroactive sanitation, perhaps with good reason. In these conservative times not even a fringe group like The Residents could get away with naming a song 'Every Day I Masturbate on a Merican Fag' (the title on the remix eliminates the onanism). Along with songs like 'Snot and Feces' (included from the original) and 'Stuffed Genital' (not), you can plainly see where their juvenile heads were at in 1971.

But the iconoclastic creativity and Zappa-influenced cultural sabotage that would become an early Residents hallmark was already incubating in these sessions. A generation later, the '04 remix provided a pinhole glimpse at what must have been a heady time of undisciplined freedom for the embryonic quartet, still vivid even with the digital bandages in place. But I wouldn't expect a similar revision of the notorious 'Baby Sex' tapes any time soon.

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 Intermission by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1982
3.05 | 9 ratings

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Intermission
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars 'Intermission' is one of those albums that was not designed to see the light of day but thanks to the growing Residents' fanbase, it just has. It is not a bad album either by any standards but is really just the music and effects used during the scenes in the excessive lavish stage show promoting the Mole saga. Interestingly enough the material in the intermission and between scenes is at times better than that on the studio album 'Mark of the Mole'.

Tracks such as tribalistic 'Lights Out' and the jumpy quirky 'Shorty's Lament' are real gems. It is great that one can listen to this music although it was only meant to be inbetween the actual scenes in the show. 'The Moles Are Coming' has a terrific rhythmic pulse, and well executed keyboards driving it; sounding more like vintage Devo than any Residents track.. 'Would We Be Alive?' has a chilling keyboard chord and scratchy percussion. Vocals have that familiar Resident's twang from so many of their earlier albums. The atmosphere is dark and brooding like that heard on 'Commercial Album'. The foreboding vocoder effect on the vocals is unsettling, and I particularly like the playful glockenspiel sounds. 'The New Hymn' uses a Mellotron, and staccato percussion beats. The choir of voices suits the odd timbre in the music.

Overall, an unsettling but entertaining glimpse into the Mole show that made such an impact on the Residents' music over the years. It is worth a listen and is surprisingly better than many of the other Resident's material in their extensive catalogue.

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 The Voice of Midnight by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.00 | 10 ratings

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The Voice of Midnight
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars 'The Voice of Midnight' is a soundtrack play by The Residents and a very unique album in their extensive catalogue. It is studio album number 32 and their only release in 2007. The vocals are as weird as ever for this band, ranging from male growls, strangled cries, falsetto melancholia and a gorgeous female consciousness. All of these characters are introduced in the first song The Sandman clocking 8 and a half minutes. The chilling story concerns the fears of the Sandman and how this morbid tale to scare kids to sleep is a real creature that sprinkles sand in children's eyes causing death. This idea comes from E.T.A. Hoffman's "Der Sandmann" but you don't need to know about that to understand what is going on.

It plays out more as a theatrical production than other Resident's albums with characters singing and speaking lines. The music is strange synths and percussion on screwball melodies and dissonant sounds. On Mental Decay there are some quirky odd violins and singing that is repeated phrases along with a narration 'I look away, I look a way I've never looked before'. In Claire's Response she retorts 'you're disgusting!' and then sinister vocals state that the sandman is coming. The minimalist lead guitar is classic Residents and then an Oriental musicscape enters. Claire's vocals are off kilter and warped amidst the irregular music. The protagonist Nathaniel renounces his belief in the sandman and apologises.

In the Dark has a jarring phone call opening it with some noise on the line and a ghostly siren 'my apartment's on fire!' Lots of expletives are heard as he realises all his stuff is being burned. The guitar is mournful and there is an ominous string synth heard. A creepy voice is heard 'she slips in the shadows, she slips in the dark.'

We hear in Professor Caligari (based on the German Expressionist film perhaps) Nathaniel's dad has conducted experiments in alchemy. His father's friend Coppelius was with Nathaniel's dad during a chemical accident and the identity of Coppelius becomes submersed within Nathaniel's subconscious combining this with the Sandman folklore, they become infused as one and the Sandman is envisaged as a creature that pours sand in children's eyes and they bleed from their heads. The Sandman then carries these victims to the moon and they are devoured. Not exactly bedtime listening.

In The Telescope Nathaniel buys a telescope and then becomes possessed to ponder on the Sandman's deeds. Nathaniel receives an invitation to a party from Olympia, a girl who will sing and play piano. Her singing and piano playing is then heard as a ghostly apparition in Nathaniel's mind. On True Love, She sings a warped version of Beautiful Dreamer that is barely recognisable, in a high pitched register. There's a cool guitar lead break that is one of the best moments on the album.

Seven Cats has a purring sound and some half decent singing and a narration about heaps of cats doing all sorts of things. Nathaniel sees all these cats and is amazed there are so many doing all these things. He sees a hunched up character coming up the street 'slinking from shadow to shadow' and we can assume it's the guy who sold the telescope. He breaks into the professor's basement and Nathaniel shouts 'I've got to stop him!' He goes in and demands the box from the thief, the box's contents are eyeballs, and Olympia's body without eyes. Then to his horror he sees all these heads on the shelves and the Sandman comes in, perhaps the most disturbing moment on the album; the creature screeches 'eyeless souls and they can't look back at all'. Nathaniel is going mad seeing seaweed, eels coming from a cloudy mass, 'that became a blister bursting open and revealed a dark and luscious liquid that became my favourite meal.'

Catatonia is next, a girl speaking of how she feels about the professor's psychotic behaviour is heard. Nathaniel is now catatonic 'sometimes he wakes up but there's no one there.' We hear inside Nathaniel's head, the sandman is in his mind imploring him to sleep 'just like a rat'. The Proposal has a happy Birthday song sounding as bleak as The Birthday Boy from another Residents album. The boy is recovering; 'it's almost a miracle!' The Sandman warns 'they live for a while then they wander away,

Nathaniel asks for Claire's hand in marriage and in The Tower the dialogue between them is uneasy as to where they could be married. They go to climb a tower, and the foreboding atmosphere signals disaster. The Sandman is still appearing and I can only assume Claire will be thrown off the high tower. Nathaniel says its peaceful looking down at the world. Claire tells him to look at the hill 'does it remind you of something round and full?' She is pregnant and going to have twins, wonderful news but Nathaniel is furious. He accuses her of having sex with the Sandman; 'you want to have his babies, snip snip snip!' He moves her to the tower and threatens her, then he goes stark raving mad 'I'll kill him!' and in an act of sacrifice he throws himself off to rid himself of the Sandman and the torture forever.

His mangled body lies at the foot of the tower and Sandman torments him even in death. Epilogue completes the dark tale with a piano, monotonous synth and some creepy chants. I was surprised at the contents of this album that tell such a coherent story. The characters are well performed, and the irony of the ending when granny Claire tells her boys to go straight to sleep or the Sandman will come and eat their eyeballs is one that is unsettling. It all makes perfect sense for once, unlike most of the other Residents' concept albums.

The horror story will appeal to many but it is creepy throughout and not designed for young ears. I was really delighted with this album as it has a compelling story and is definitely one of the scariest albums from The Residents, one of the better albums in this era of the band, recommended for those who love a good concept album.

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 The Bunny Boy by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.71 | 20 ratings

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The Bunny Boy
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars "The Bunny Boy" is a bunch of downbeat songs about life and dying and whatever else springs into the minds of these nutters. The accompanying internet interaction and DVD would be helpful to comprehend what this is all about but it is hard to locate these days so we are stuck with just the audio and it is baffling but bedazzling at the same time. The story involves the search for a brother who has mysteriously disappeared. The Residents are always going to surprise with their unique brand of music. This album certainly has its fair share of bizarre moments but is a much more polished production with some music that actually is well played, not sounding like a kid banging on a xylophone or out of tune guitars competing with dissonant synths, and nasally Louisianan twang in the singing and a ton of repetitive chanting. This is perhaps a more accessible album as those are the normal attributes of a Resident's project and they are for the most part absent here. It opens with

Boxes of Armageddon that draws us into the enigmatic atmosphere of bleak ravings set to music. I'm Not Crazy is ironic as I always thought they were, and Pictures From a Little Girl has a little girl with a disturbing demeanour.

The Yankee twang is here on songs like Secret Room but the music is not soaked in doomy synths. The lyrics are nonsense as usual and there is an odd array of instrumentation but it kind of shimmers and sparkles rather than sounding bleak such as on My Nigerian Friend. The instrumentals such as I Like Black are quite endearing. The lead guitar at times sounds well played, but its not Snakefinger.

Golden Guy sounds more like vintage Residents with its quirky lyrics with repeated phrases and nasal vox along with eerie sounds emanating. The mention of Elvis cements this sentiment as he has been a target of Residents since the beginning. The Bunny Boy is more gravelly singing over dissonant lead guitar and low synth tones. It develops into a heavier vibe with crashing drums and distorted guitars and then a pitchy reverberated voice chanting. The time sig changes and moves into an atonal anti-music passage.

Blood on the Bunny takes things to a more unsettling level, then I Killed Him comes in with driving guitar screeches and xylophone sounds, tinkering over the unusual vocals. The story is developing but its impossible to understand without prior knowledge or the DVD.

The Dark Man sounds like it's been lifted from one of the earlier Residents albums, apart from the clearer production. It's very bleak and repetitive, lots of tinkering, sustained synths, guttural singing and nonsensical narrations. Secret Message has a cool melody, deceptively sweet in nature for a while, then the squiggly sound and vocals enter throwing it off balance. Patmos is monotonous melodies and the album closes with growling sinister vocals on the deliriously nasty Black Behind; "everything is black!" What are they saying? Basically that everything is black; "there is nothing but the black behind, snaking, creeping, hiding in the shadows and waiting for the na´ve, the unaware, the careless and those who aren't scared to be sucked into the black behind." The angelic choir at the end may signify that the boy found his brother in the blackness of death.

Overall a 3 star album that is way more accessible musically than usual, and still highly strange in terms of content and vocals. Not the place to start for this band but nevertheless a decent exploration of searching and the pain of loss.

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 The Ughs by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.13 | 10 ratings

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The Ughs
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars "The Ughs" is The Residents' 34th studio album and actually feels a lot more accessible with nowhere near as much strangeness and disturbia as "Duck Stab", "Third Reich and Roll", "Commercial Album", or "Freak Show" or "Mark of the Mole". Perhaps that is a good thing but I do enjoy the strangeness of the band and when it is given a better production and more studio trickery it detracts from the experience for me. All that is left is a lot of dissonant music and the occasional grunt or non-sensical vocal. I like the nasal Louisiana tones on other albums and the doomy synths but this album has little of that so doesn't even sound like a Residents album.

The first decent song on the album is Floating Down The Nile, Part 2, and don't ask where Part 1 got to as it could be anywhere. The Nile rhymes with Denial so could be an allegory about grief or loss, but you can never tell with these oddball eyeballs. Repeated sound sand musical motifs make up most of the song which wears out its welcome before the warbling flute chimes in. Squeaky Wheels sounds like a cart with a dicky wheel coming along. Very repetitive and quite a slog to get through. 'The Lonely Lotus' has a great squealing guitar in it and creepy violin slicing. The harmonica is a nice touch and the melody is strangely familiar; 'Love will tear us apart" from Joy Division springs to mind.

'Rendering the Bacon' has a twanging mouthbow sound making it sound like it comes from some country hick waiting to pounce on a city slicker. The creepy sound that follows is unsettling and then a percussion locks in with rather nice violin melodies. 'Hornes oh Hanynes' has a percussion and warblings along with a guttural death rattle like someone Cheyne Stoking on their death bed.

After this is the warbling of The Wondering Jew, and I have no idea either. There are some pastoral textures, birdsong, bush noises and minimalist guitars. The flute is subliminal. 'Charlie Chan' is really boring but is followed by 'In The dark' that is a native tribal percussion thing, lots or repetition but interesting. 10:22 of this is stretching the patience a bit but it ends on a mesmirising note.

A low point in Residents' extensive catalogue, that may hypnotise you to sleep, but I can manage 2 stars for the few decent songs.

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 Fingerprince by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.68 | 29 ratings

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Fingerprince
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars A 1977 early Residents album is an intriguing listening experience. Snakefinger's guitar is here and that's a good start for "Fingerprince". There's a lot of brass instruments and the voices are audible and legible. The CD version features a bunch of extra songs that were actually from the EP "Baby Fingers". Originally intended as a three sided LP the project somehow was interfered with so this CD kind of gives it to us the way it was intended. Side one has short songs, side two has a lengthy epic in 6 parts and side 3 is an EP.

You Yesyesyes (3:00) opens the album with quirky synths and toy trumpets. Home Age Conversation (2:02) has oddball warblings on vocals, and repeated keyboard phrases. Godsong (3:42) is very weird, phased vocals chant and a rhythm of dissonant synths and brass try to make sense of it.

The short ones follow with instrumental March De La Winni (0:59), and minimalist chanting Bossy and (1:02), one minute movies really signalling the forthcoming "Commercial Album" in 1980 that was all songs less than a minute like a bunch of ads. Its amazing what you can slot into one minute; Residents are masters of this.

Boo Who? (2:49) is a quirky thing with boo hoo as the main chant and bizarre vocals in the verses; too monotonous to return to. Tourniquet Of Roses (3:14) has a jazzy sound, agonising brass, tortured synth and strangled vocals.

From "Butterfingers" EP is the addition of Monstrous Intro/Death In Barstow (2:03), Melon Collie Lassie (2:54), Flight Of The Bumble Roach (2:13), and Walter Westinghouse (7:56). Monstrous Intro/Death In Barstow is very different to the other album with a more lo fi minimalist vibe and thin drawling vocals. Melon Collie Lassie has more thin vocals and a deep rumbling bass synth that reminds me of the Residents albums to follow in the 80s. .

The real highlights of the EP are Flight Of The Bumble Roach, which is a manic demented voice over a rumbling and monotonous synth sequencer. This is highly experimental but all the more endearing as a stand out. Walter Westinghouse is an excellent track, perhaps the best on the whole album, and the Louisiana accent is a feature and lyrics making fun of Elvis; a target of The Residents along with The Beatles. This is an 8 minute song so has a lot of various sections. There's whispering, clinking, deep synths, loud strange nasal vocals, minimalist instruments, unnerving melodies, dark nursery rhymes, quirky humour, nonsensical lyrics and various characters; sounds like a Residents song to me. The last two minutes are almost unlistenable.

Six Things To A Cycle was originally in 6 parts on the vinyl but is put together as a 17:50 epic on the CD. It starts with innocent birds and percussion, then a scream that unnerves you. Lots of bells and tinkerings follow, and I am already totally lost and we still have 15 minutes to go. The bells tinker away for quite a while and are joined by odd chants. This is like an endurance test until we get to an ascending droning noise; a melancholy sound. It sounds like hitting glasses filled with levels of water with a triangle striker, and a sad synth played in another room somewhere. After a while this lengthy piece is too much for the ears and I am well and truly over it before the 10 minute mark. It ends with a repeated synth brass motif and it just goes on and on ad infinitum.

'You yesyesyes again' closes the album, bookending the thing as a kind of cycle. Overall this album is very inconsistent with some great moments and others you wish had not made it to the final cut. It is what it is and like most Residents albums is a hit and miss affair. I can manage 3 stars for some of the better material and the addition of the EP but this CD is quite a slog to get through in its entirety.

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 Freak Show by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Studio Album, 1990
3.04 | 19 ratings

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Freak Show
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars "Freak Show" is a 1990s Residents album and by this time they were exploring very different concepts. This is a definitive concept album about a circus show of freaks and one of the most disturbing albums I have heard. Definitely not to be played at night.

'Everyone Comes to the Freak Show' opens proceedings with an announcer "roll up rollup and welcome" and some dissonant music to add to the feeling of dementia. 'Harry the Head' has a gorgeous female singer and some repetitive chanting about poor harry and his head. On my 2006 version this is followed by 'Herman watches TV' which is a couple having sex while watching TV it sounds like, and then a crowd applauses. 'Herman the Human Mole' is a low key nasal vocal similar to that heard on most Residents albums, and lots of synths droning.

'Wanda does her act' is an addition on the 2006 version, an announcer with repulsive glee introduces the slug woman; this is grisly stuff and the music is ascending synths layered over. 'Wanda the Worm Woman' is a narrative as Wanda hypnotises the crowd, with her "Mona Lisa smile", and dances up a storm and picks off her worms to some disturbing music. The female voice is again a nice touch breaking up the usual male nasal intonations.

'Jack amuses the crowd' is another addition to this release, basically an announcer, crowd laughter and weird samba music. 'Jelly Jack the Boneless Boy' has an oddball chant and some jelly like vocals warbling. The boy lives inside a jar, people stare, "eyeballs in a pool of flesh surrounded by some hair." Jack wishes he was a cowboy and we hear his thoughts about a possible life, but he is stuck in a jar. He wants to "look down and laugh at all the silly humans as they trudge around". However every night he realises he is entrapped in his jelly form. The pitchy choir that sings has a nursery rhyme feel, but this is certainly one of the more disturbing songs from Residents. A voice speaks, "Sucking sections of my soul, salivate and drool and press against itself."

Brrrrrrrrr...I need a break from this.

OK I am back and listening to 'Benny Bounces', yet another addition, the announcer and some circus music are heard. It is quite funny really when the jaunty rhythms of 'Benny the Bouncing Bump' come in. this is a long 6 minute piece of mirth. The lyrics are still unsettling about Benny who is just a lump of flesh and has to bounce to move around and people laugh at him and "stood and stared". Benny collects girly magazines, "he kept them all in plastic bags and everybody said that Benny talked to them at night before he went to bed". The music moves into a atonal synth and eerie flourishes. The high pitched voices are disturbing, then a gruff Louisiana accent is heard, a parody of Americana.

'Mickey the Mumbling Midget' is announced next and then very odd music with dramatic bass and drum is heard. The music lurches into a rhythmic Samba percussion sound, and more high pitched voices echoed by a narrator.

'Lillie' is a 7 minute track, and I wondered what was her freakish problem as it is not stated in the title. I soon found out. Little Lillie grosses out audiences by regurgitating things such as coins. Her face is "too white, like a corpse in sunshine". We hear Lillie talking about all sorts of nonsense and then there is a rocked up section as heavy as Residents get as far as tempo. She sounds deranged and screams out her hatred.

'Nobody Laughs When They Leave' closes the Freak Show with a statement shrouded in a metaphor "life is a lot like a freak show as Nobody Laughs When They Leave". I can guarantee that sentiment too with this album. This is as chilling and demented as it gets.

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