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THE RESIDENTS

RIO/Avant-Prog • United States


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

The Residents formed in the late 60's travelling from Louisiana to San Francisco, experimenting with tape and any media they can get their hands on, and recording plenty of music to suit themselves. The Residents had to get out of Louisiana, they were a very odd group of people who couldn't stand that setting and had to get out. On the way The Residents seemed to have made a slight name for themselves as oddities, so a man named Philip "Snakefinger" Lithman decided to come down and check them out from England. On the way he picked up a man named N. Senada, who ended up highly contributing to The Residents' technological absurd recordings by presenting philosophies and theories to The Residents to keep their music highly original and odd. It then set off from there, with tons of concept albums, and quite the iconic presence in the mid '70's known as the four guys in the eyeball masks who have never released their names (they want their music to be recognized, not them). This anonymous group of men toyed with tape experimentation and the latest technology in creating bold and pioneering electronic music covering a whole lot of ground, destroying pop songs with their signature style, creating extremely catchy oddball songs, and later covering people like James Brown, Elvis Presley, and Hank Williams into entire albums, deconstructing their known songs with their signature style. The Residents are highly intelligent and insightful, creating many concept albums in which they devote entire concerts to acting out. These became more often in the early '80's until today, where their rare live appearances can't be missed. The Residents also over their careers are the first pioneers of music video, and mixed media combined with their groundbreaking music. What you're going to be hearing is dissonant, catchy, electronic, extremely odd yet intelligent, the famous Louisiana voice of the main Resident, wickedly conceptual deconstructed pop and adventurous experimentation. There is nothing like The Residents, there is a sound that cannot be copied here. The closest you can get is the absurdity of FRANK ZAPPA, a far more unconventional DEVO, and the writing style of CAPTAIN BEEFHEART, the first and third mentioned The Residents' are huge fans of. The Residents create their music in isolation and have said to not have listened to other people's music in years, just to retain their style. The...
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80 Aching Orphans: 45 Years Of The Residents (4Cd/Hardback Book)80 Aching Orphans: 45 Years Of The Residents (4Cd/Hardback Book)
Cherry Red 2017
$24.38
$41.42 (used)
Commercial Album: 2CD pREServed EditionCommercial Album: 2CD pREServed Edition
Cryptic Corp 2019
$19.99
Eskimo: 2CD pREServed EditionEskimo: 2CD pREServed Edition
Cryptic Corp 2019
$19.99
I Am A Resident! 2 Disc Special EditionI Am A Resident! 2 Disc Special Edition
Cryptic Corp 2018
$13.93
$10.15 (used)
EskimoEskimo
CRYPTIC CORP 2012
$9.29
$9.28 (used)
Not AvailableNot Available
Cryptic Corp 2011
$10.66
$12.96 (used)
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THE RESIDENTS discography


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

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

4.02 | 106 ratings
Meet The Residents
1974
4.13 | 102 ratings
The Third Reich 'N Roll
1976
3.75 | 48 ratings
Fingerprince
1977
3.97 | 107 ratings
Not Available
1978
4.27 | 105 ratings
Duck Stab / Buster & Glen
1978
3.99 | 90 ratings
Eskimo
1979
3.65 | 80 ratings
Commercial Album
1980
3.01 | 56 ratings
Mark Of The Mole
1981
3.49 | 39 ratings
The Tunes of Two Cities
1982
2.45 | 14 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
4.39 | 28 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
2.55 | 21 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
2.52 | 20 ratings
Tweedles!
2006
2.44 | 16 ratings
The River of Crime: Episodes 1-5
2006
4.00 | 17 ratings
The Voice of Midnight
2007
3.73 | 30 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
4.00 | 2 ratings
Buckaroo Blues
1989
5.00 | 1 ratings
Kaw-Liga (Housey Mix)
1989
3.75 | 4 ratings
Don't Be Cruel
1990
4.00 | 2 ratings
Liver Music
1990
4.00 | 2 ratings
Stranger Than Supper
1990
2.21 | 5 ratings
Daydream B-Liver
1991
3.20 | 5 ratings
Santa Dog '92
1992
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
 The Ughs by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.37 | 18 ratings

BUY
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.

 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 TCat
Prog Reviewer

1 stars It's the middle of the 80's decade, and The Residents music is at its worst. But that is what they wanted at the time, just cheap keyboards (cheaper than your Granny's Wurlitzer) and an occasional guitar. The Residents were working on this weird concept about this society of the Mole People and had already released two albums based on this concept. The first was called "Mark of the Mole" and the 2nd was "Tale of Two Cities". There was also a third album which was never released. "The Big Bubble" is the 4th album in the series. Without going into much detail, the Mole People started integrating themselves into the culture of "The Chubs". Crossbreeding started to happen, as is to be expected, and the result was called the "Zenkinites". "The Big Bubble" is the name of this album, but is also the name of the fictional band who is supposedly responsible for this album. The band is at the forefront of the Zenkinite movement who breaks the law by singing in a banned language. This is the music that is on this album. That explains why it is so foreign to human ears. But I can tell you, if you are a native to this movement, you won't like it either.

Now I am going to attempt to describe the tracks to this album.

"Sorry" is a Zenkinite ballad and you'll be "sorry" you listened to it. After you are done laughing the first time you hear it, you will never want to hear it again. "Hop a Little" is a snappy little piece of trash with cute little falsetto vocals, that will make you want to hop a bit, right out of the room that is. "Go Where You Wanna Go" is a playful ditty that will make you want to whistle the tune behind bars when the cops come to call because your neighbors think you are crazy to be listening to this. "Gotta Gotta Get" is a sing-along anthem for those stadium concerts that The Residents put on while touring for this album. Unfortunately, no one showed up to the concerts to sing-along. But the words are pretty easy to remember, however the tune might be hard to follow along with. The guys that put you in the white jacket will appreciate it though. "Cry for the Fire" is a dark tune that will make you wish a fire would destroy the album. At least that way, you could collect the 2 cents that the insurance will give you for your opinion about it all. The acapella part is especially annoying. The fact that it is almost 6 minutes long will give you time to go feed your cats. At least there is a somewhat cool guitar part at the end. "Die-Stay-Go" has that distinct tribal sound similar to "Eskimo", the only difference is this is stupid.

"Vinegar" is something you use for making pickles. Did you know it can also be added to your laundry to make it smell fresh and feel soft? "Firefly" is not in any way related to the excellent yet woefully short-lived TV series of the same name. "The Big Bubble" is the title track. "So what?" you ask, and to that I answer "Exactly!" "Fear for the Future" is a dirge, like a funeral march for this song because it died before it started. Wrap your mind around that for a minute. Finally you come to the last track. [Wild Applause] "Kula Bocca Says So" is the name of the track. This is a thoughtful tune. And I think you should stop applauding now because if you don't, they might think you want to hear an encore. Oops, too late. Now look at what you did, there are 3 bonus tracks.

The 3 bonus tracks are a 3 part suite called "Safety is a Cootie Wootie". These tracks are short, but are actually the best part of the album in that it has nothing to do with the concept. But then the bar set by this album is pretty low and this suite is available on better collections than this. It is a decent avant-prog suite however. But we can't say too much about it because this review is about bad music.

The whole Mole concept didn't do very well, especially the tour, which I mentioned previously. There was a plan to release a 5th and 6th part, but that was abandoned, Can I get a Hallelujah! Yeah sure the whole thing is funny at first, but the joke got old long ago, so now it's just annoying. The Residents were into this anti music thing during this decade and didn't even take themselves seriously. Anyway, I guess they reached their goal of making the most annoying music ever, which they did. Congratulations!

Now go listen to something you really love.

 The Voice of Midnight by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.00 | 17 ratings

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The Voice of Midnight
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 WB:RMX by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Studio Album, 2004
4.01 | 20 ratings

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WB:RMX
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

5 stars The Residents.

Usually that would pretty much say everything.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Babyfingers
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

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

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

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

 Whatever Happened to Vileness Fats? by RESIDENTS, THE album cover Studio Album, 1984
2.92 | 24 ratings

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

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

1 stars Here's a weird story.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Arkansas
The Residents RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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