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The Residents The Big Bubble album cover
1.77 | 29 ratings | 6 reviews | 14% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1985

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Sorry (3:37)
2. Hop a Little (2:45)
3. Go Where Ya Wanna Go (2:37)
4. Gotta Gotta Get (4:22)
5. Cry for the Fire (5:50)
6. Die-Stay-Go (2:59)
7. Vinegar (2:21)
8. Firefly (2:16)
9. The Big Bubble (2:15)
10. Fear for the Future (3:54)
11. Kula Bocca Says So (5:01)

Bonus tracks (on the ESD CD):
12. Safety Is The Cootie Wootie - Pt. 1 - Prelude For A Toddler (3:38)
13. Safety Is The Cootie Wootie - Pt. 2 - Toddler Lullaby (2:30)
14. Safety Is The Cootie Wootie - Pt. 3 - Safety Is The Cootie Wootie (4:11)

Line-up / Musicians

Ray Hanna / vocals
Raoul N. / vocals
The Residents / arranger
Brian Seff / vocals

Releases information

-Released in 1985 on LP by Ralph
-Released in 1985 on cassette by Ralph
-Released in 1985 on LP by Wave
-Released in 1989 on CD by Torso
-Released in 1998 on CD by Bomba in Japan
-Released in 2000 on CD by East Side Digital

Thanks to Retrovertigo for the addition
and to Evolver for the last updates
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THE RESIDENTS The Big Bubble ratings distribution

(29 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(14%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(7%)
Good, but non-essential (14%)
Collectors/fans only (43%)
Poor. Only for completionists (21%)

THE RESIDENTS The Big Bubble reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars This album is billed on it's cover as "Part Four of The Mole Trilogy", and by this time, the whole "Mole" thing was getting as tired as that joke. The music on the album is not bad, primarily played on synthesizers and drums, in a minimalistic symphonic style. But the whole album suffers from sameness. For track after track, each song has a similar sound. Now this works for individual tracks, but the album gets tedious by the end. I first heard the tracks Sorry and Kula Bocca Says So on the "Heaven?" and "Hell!" collections, and expected much more from this album.

My CD is the ESD release, which includes the Safety Is The Cootie Wootie songs. The liner notes say that this is the first time all three parts of the piece were released (part three was releases on a Japanese cassette, and as the B-side of the This Is A Man's World single. This piece is more like what I enjoy from The Residents, a weird, minimalistic, but at the same time, varied and lush set of songs, that also makes me laugh.

Review by Dobermensch
1 stars Bah! More ugly keyboards by the Residents on another early 80's recording. I love keyboards, so when I say ugly, I mean burst eyeball ugly. A far more annoying album than its predecessor 'A Tale of Two Cities' which was, in itself crap. The Residents never scraped the barrel lower in their whole career than with this nonsense.

Homer Flynn (So called manager - but vocalist) on stage with his big Prince Charles ears and greasy hair makes me even angrier listening to this. Stupid, empty music from which I defy anyone to get in touch with me and say it's their favourite album of all time. A complete waste of money and a CD I'll probably never listen to again. The extra tracks are good but are available on another release.

Far better would follow in a few years time, but this is utter garbage. The only explanation that a once wonderful band could create this dirge is that they were completely ripped at the time. Avoid Residents 82-88.

Review by HolyMoly
2 stars In a weird way, this is probably the funniest album in the Residents' catalog. While "Third Reich and Roll" may inspire some chuckles for the out-of-tune renditions of "Hey Jude" and the like, there's an underlying seriousness to that work that belies the insanity on the surface. Here, however, the Residents just sound like they're either totally joking or totally clueless.

This album's contribution to "The Mole Trilogy" (of which only the first part, Mark of the Mole, was really necessary) is the depiction of a fictional pop group called "The Big Bubble" that reflected the cross-cultural mix of the Moles and the Chubs. But oh, the music they make. Repetitive grunts, whines, growls, repeating the same lines over and over again, with musical accompaniment that sounds like one guy fooling around on a keyboard... this is what I like to play when I want to inflict pain on myself (even masochism has its place).

This album is just another of the (unfortunately) many examples of Residents albums that match a fairly neat concept with lazy, indifferent music. Contrast this with the superior "Mark of the Mole": the musical arrangements, textures, and complexity of the latter are nowhere to be found here. As a concept piece, this album is somewhat successful in its admitted goal of documenting a not-very-good fictional band. But you have to wonder why anyone would make an album like that. I'd still recommend this album for confirmed Residents fans, who might enjoy hearing this every once in a while, as I do from time to time, but others should probably stay away from this.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
1 stars The eyeballs have a touch of myopia.

Ok, I am crawling through the mucky world of The Residents back catalogue and have finally hit rock bottom with this album "The Big Bubble". It claims to be the fourth part of the Mole trilogy and to be honest one part of that one was quite enough for me. Here we have a made up band playing really repulsive music that is too monotonous for its own good. It simply isn't enjoyable and Residents are rarely dull for me so I was disappointed at this repetitive album. The vocalist should be banned from further singing as he may inflict serious injury on the listener. Songs are so badly sung that are intolerable and nothing more than a nuisance as the music is not all that bad when you get to hear any over the incessant manic ramblings.

'Sorry' is the beginning of all this, and is an apt title as I was sorry I listened to this; I was not impressed at all but hoped it would improve. 'Go Where Ya Wanna Go' is not much better, just monotone chants over odd synth, but then it gets into high strangeness with 'Gotta Gotta Get' that at times has some compelling synth lines, though ruined by the psychotic ravings. To get through the rest of the album is an endurance test.

'Cry for the Fire' is a darker slice of synth but again voices that destroy it are non stop. 'Die- Stay-Go' has more idiotic ravings that make Captain Beefheart's "Trout Mask Replica" actually make sense. At least you can make out what Beefheart was saying on that album, but in this case the Residents are just having way too much fun spouting nonsense and they obviously don't give a toss if anyone understands. I lost any interest at this point but suffered one awful song after another.

'Vinegar' is funny as the synth line melody is the same as the opening to James Bond's "Goldfinger". It is so recognisable that it can't be a fluke. The raving voice spoils it as usual. The guy is not even trying to sing now and is just noise. The synths build sup though and the pace becomes quick and I started to like this song. Eventually the vocals return "sugar melts and goes away". However this is the best song on the album.

'Firefly' is more awful vocals and dissonant melodies. The melody is actually similar to the previous song being "Goldfinger". 'The Big Bubble' makes me wonder what were these guys thinking and I wonder if anyone associated with the project thought this would please listeners. 'Fear for the Future' has promise with a great opening drone and wonderful synth lines that appealed instantly. The music goes on for longer with this one. I was thinking, please don't sing, keep this instrumental. To my delight it is an instrumental and is definitely streets ahead of the rest of the drivel on this album. It does not have enough variation for 4 minutes though.

I celebrated when I realised I was at the end of this album with 'Kula Bocca Says So', that opens with nice droning synth but the return of the chanting vocals removes any hope of enjoyment. At the very end we actually get some drums! Not much more to say but this is arguably the worst Residents album and one of the worst albums I have ever heard. It pains me to say this as I really love a lot of The Residents work. Get "Commercial Album", "Eskimo", "The Voice of Midnight" or "Third Reich and Roll" if you want to hear excellent Residents and steer clear of this abysmal effort.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
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.

Latest members reviews

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 understan ... (read more)

Report this review (#2051528) | Posted by Kingsnake | Friday, November 2, 2018 | Review Permanlink

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