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The Residents Have A Bad Day album cover
2.53 | 23 ratings | 3 reviews | 13% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1996

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Bad Day on the Midway (1:57)
2. Dagmar, The Dog Woman (3:30)
3. I Ain't Seen No Rats (3:30)
4. Tears of the Taxman (2:50)
5. God's Teardrops (5:14)
6. The Seven Tattoos (3:17)
7. The Marvels of Mayhem (3:38)
8. Lottie the Human Log (4:38)
9. Ugly Liberation (6:15)
10. Daddy's Poems (6:15)
11. The Red Head of Death (3:48)
12. Timmy (3:05)

Total Time: 47:59

Line-up / Musicians

Diana Alden / vocals
Molley Harvey / vocals
Sharon Ludtke / vocals
Mark Morgan / vocals
The Residents / writer, instruments
Jan Sanborn / vocals
John Sanborn / vocals

Releases information

-Released in 1996 on CD by EuroRalph, East Side Digital, and Indigo

Thanks to Retrovertigo for the addition
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THE RESIDENTS Have A Bad Day ratings distribution

(23 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(13%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(17%)
Good, but non-essential (26%)
Collectors/fans only (43%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

THE RESIDENTS Have A Bad Day reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Slartibartfast
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam
3 stars "Put this disc in your player and prepare for your own private hell. Have A Bad Day." CD Booklet.

There's supposed to be a CD-ROM that was available about the time I got the CD. That's a shame, I suspect it would still be interesting if you could get it to run. I was just scratching the surface of the Residents when I picked this one up. It's a concept album about a really freaky carnival that is based on the CD-ROM game. See their web site for more details on the game.

The music is still your typical Resident's weirdness. I think this was one the first with Molly Harvey on vocals. Really helped give the guys a little more depth.

Anyway, I have to say, put this one on if you're having just too darn much of a good day and really need something to bring you down.

Review by Neu!mann
2 stars Those loveable, anonymous nut-jobs behind the giant eyeballs released this 1996 album as the soundtrack to their innovative CD-Rom game "Bad Day at the Midway" (unplayed by this reviewer, but highly regarded by outsider cybernerds). It's actually more of a loosely-related supplement, sadly unable to stand on its own two feet without the crutch provided by the earlier work.

The album concept, presenting a musical tour of a malevolent back-roads carnival (the setting recalls some of the nightmare imagery of a Tod Browning or David Lynch movie) should have been well within the typically twisted Residential (dis)comfort zone. But lacking the visual element of the CD-Rom itself leaves the album, like some of its freak show subjects, a stunted curiosity, with little of the iconoclastic weirdness on which the Residents built their reputation.

My own theory is that the band actually broke up (perhaps more than once) after the difficult gestation of their classic "Eskimo" album in 1979. Certainly a lot of their subsequent efforts, this one included, sound more like the work of a one-man studio band: notice, for example, the more frequent appearance of guest musicians in later years.

All speculation, of course. But the instrumentation here is particularly thin for an ostensible quartet, performed for the most part on what sounds like a limited array of digital synths.

And while I hate playing the comparison/contrast game, it's hard not to be reminded of Nick Cave's evocative song-story "The Carney" (from his 1986 album "Your Funeral...My Trial"). In just over eight minutes the Post-Punk raconteur conjures all the allegorical unease never quite achieved in the 48-total minutes of this album.

Lucky owners of the original "Bad Day" CD-Rom might enjoy it, but for the rest of us this companion disc exists in a creative vacuum, with no real point of reference.

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

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

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

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

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