downloaded from the web on april 12 1996 copyright 2910w


When the Residents first suggested to me that they had an idea for a live show that was going to explore the entire history of American music concluding with an overweight Elvis imitator being murdered by the music of English pop stars, I thought they were crazy. Well... they are crazy. I mean that I thought the idea was far-fetched, over-reaching, and riddled with potential pretensions that would make even Sting run in fear.

The Residents had no such fears. A year later the show opened for a short run in San Francisco before leaving on an ambitions European tour. I stood nervously at the back of the theater. Would an audience that had come to see a "band" be satisfied when the curtain opened onto a group of three dancers silhouetted against a giant crescent moon, 100 gallon hats on their heads and an electric campfire at their feet? Would the audience riot at the vision of stereotyped black slaves being twisted through a search for "somethin' to believe in"? But most of all, would the audience accept a kindly grandfather who imitates Elvis Presley teaching a lesson to his two wooden dummy grandchildren about the futility of looking for happiness in places other than within yourself?

At this point in time, those fears seem so unfounded. Of course the audience loved it. The next day the local critics proclaimed it a masterpiece, and the rest is pretty much history. The show created so much enthusiasm in Europe in the fall of '89, that, following a successful American tour, they returned in the spring of '90, to another series of sold-out European shows.

The recordings on this disc are taken from two shows from this second tour. The tour opened at the prestigious Amsterdam Opera House, Het Musiektheater, and that show was recorded using a direct to digital system. The final show of this tour (Valencia, Spain) was also recorded using a direct to digital system. The two recordings have been intercut to create a single impression of the musical side of this staggering performance piece.

It is too bad that you can't see the towering black cube-head giant, or the day-glow tits-and-ass Las Vegas scene, or the mischievous wooden children, Shirley and Shorty while you listen. I guess you have to use your imagination. Imagination is, after all, what the Residents are all about. The next time they come to me with a show idea based on the fall of the Roman Empire or the big bang theory I'm certainly going to pay more attention.

rich shupe manager, the residents © 1996 Tzoq Last revised: 96-02-12


The Residents have released a number of collections of their work through their label, Ralph Records. _________________________________________________________________

The Residents Radio Special (1977)

This was a one-hour cassette which Ralph Records distributed to various radio stations. The initial run was 300 copies, but in 1983 Ralph re-released it to the public, selling about 2000 more.

THE RESIDENTS RADIO SPECIAL * Introduction * Death in Barstow * Interview * Beyond the Valley of a Day in the Life * Flying * Satisfaction * Interview * Loser=Weed * Interview * Melon Collie Lassie * Interview * Santa Dog (medley) * Interview * King Kong * Interview * Kamakazi Lady * Whoopy Snorp * Interview * Walter Westinghouse * Credits


Please Do Not Steal It! aka Nibbles [Notes] (1979)

Please Do Not Steal It! was a promotional album sent to radio stations across the United States. It's title comes from the cover, which reads:

This is a special DJ record of The Residents' alleged music. PLEASE DO NOT STEAL IT! Leave it at your station -- we need the airplay. Much obliged, Ralph Records.

It was released commercially in Europe and Australia under the title Nibbles, complete with new cover art. This is the version I have.

Nibbles' liner notes refer to the album as "another first" for the band: The Residents' first non-concept album. The album is a compilation of songs from the first five albums (not a greatest hits album, it says -- after all, The Residents don't have any hits.).

Emphasized track names below are excerpts from the original numbers. The Spot is performed by Snakefinger and was released as a single under his name in 1978. It was co-written by The Residents.

PLEASE DO NOT STEAL IT! 1. You Yesyesyes 2. Santa Dog '78 3. Gloria 4. Rest Aria 5. Semolina 6. The Spot 7. Never Known Questions 8. Constantinople 1. Laughing Song 2. The Making of a Soul 3. Skratz 4. Good Lovin' 5. Blue Rosebuds 6. Six Things to a Cycle 7. The Electrocutioner


Residue [Notes] [Lyrics] (1983)

Residue is a collection of songs by The Residents which never made it onto any albums. It was compiled by Ralph Records from "mop tapes", tapes used to soak up extra material that's left lying around after an album is put together. Some of the tracks were included in the Bonus Babies section of the Classics re-issue of The Commercial Album. These tracks are the emphasized ones below.


The Sleeper Written in 1979, this song was inspired by the rhythmic patterns in Ennio Morriconi's Magic and Ecstasy.

Whoopy Snorp From Blorp Essette, a 1977 collection of songs from a free music society in Los Angeles. On the album the song's title was misspelled as "Whoopy Snort".

Kamakazi Lady From Baby Sex, an unreleased tape album recorded in 1971.

Boy in Love Written around the time of The Mark of the Mole.

Shut Up! Shut Up! An extra track not included in The Commercial Album because it sounded too trendy. Instead it was released on the Commercial Single.

Anvil Forest Cut from The Tunes of Two Cities due to lack of space. It was restored on the CD release.

Diskomo [Prev] [Next] A remix of the original single.

Jailhouse Rock Recorded in 1982 while taking a break from rehearsing The Mole Show. It also appears on the Bonus Babies tracks on the Classic Series re-issue of The Commercial Album

Ups & Downs This is the original 3:04 version which was later cut down to one minute for The Commercial Album. It features vocals by Snakefinger.

Walter Westinghouse A remix of the version from Fingerprince.

Saint Nix Recorded after Richard Nixon resigned. The original mop tape was not very clear, so the version here is actually a re-working of the song.

Open Up Also cut from The Tunes of Two Cities (and restored on the CD).


Assorted Secrets (1984)

After the financial disaster that was the Mole Show tour, Ralph Records needed to raise funds in a hurry. In order to do this, they released this collection of existing material as well as licensing collections to other labels, as they did with Memorial Hits.

ASSORTED SECRETS 1. The Mark of the Mole 2. The Letter 3. Ship's A'Going Down 4. Bach Is Dead 5. Birthday Boy 6. Constantinople 7. Die in Terror 8. Give it to Someone Else 9. Smack Your Lips 10. Song of the Wild 11. Happy Home


Memorial Hits (1985)

Memorial Hits was not released by Ralph Records but by Wave, the Japanese record label which persuaded The Residents to go on tour with the 13th Anniversary Show. This collection coincided with the Japanese leg of the tour and included a rather inaccurate lyric sheet which Wave produced themselves.

MEMORIAL HITS 1. Festival of Death (Excerpt) 2. It's a Man's Man's Man's World 3. Elvis and His Boss 4. Whatever Happened to Vileness Fats? 5. Satisfaction 6. Serenade for Missy 7. Diskomo 8. Six Things to a Cycle


Heaven? & Hell! (1986)

Heaven? and Hell! are two excellent collections of songs by The Residents released by Ryko, with material taken from every album, show, or anything else they could find.

In the lists below emphasized titles are excerpts from the original tracks. Some of the tracks are remixes as well. _________________________________________________________________

HEAVEN? 1. H.E.L.L. No! (2:26) 2. The Importance of Evergreen (1:56) 3. It's a Man's Man's Man's World (3:41) 4. Japanese Watercolor (1:00) 5. I Got Rhythm (3:00) 6. Ups & Downs (3:00) 7. Serenade for Missy (3:08) 8. Easter Woman (1:00) 9. Amber (1:00) 10. The Census Taker (3:31) 11. The Moles are Coming (3:20) 12. Resolution? (2:20) 13. Happy Home (4:34) 14. Crashing (1:40) 15. Red Rider (1:00) 16. Floyd (1:00) 17. Mahogany Wood (4:09) 18. Kula Bocca Says So (4:58) 19. Love Leaks Out (1:00) 20. Simple Song (1:00) 21. New Hymn (4:18) 22. Whatever Happened to Vileness Fats (4:09) 23. Festival of Death (3:25) 24. Twinkle (1:58)


HELL! 1. The Ultimate Disaster (4:37) 2. Lights Out (5:30) 3. Where is She? (1:00) 4. The Coming of the Crow (1:00) 5. Lizard Lady (1:52) 6. Shut up! Shut up! (1:00) 7. Shorty's Lament (6:43) 8. Kamakazi Lady (1:37) 9. Secret Seed (2:00) 10. Sorry (3:32) 11. Smelly Tongues (1:35) 12. Monkey & Bunny (4:57) 13. Farmers (5:22) 14. Sinister Exaggerator (3:27) 15. Hello Skinny (2:30) 16. Die in Terror (2:30) 17. Loss of Innocence (1:00) 18. The Sleeper (2:54) 19. Satisfaction (4:30) 20. Final Confrontation (6:00)


Louisiana's Lick (1995)

This is a brand-new promotional compilation of The Residents music from East Side Digital. The tracks are in reverse chronological order, each supposed to represent a major Residential album. However, whoever compiled the collection obviously didn't look to deeply into what comprises an album -- many of the tracks appear as bonus tracks on the ESD Classic Series releases of the albums, but are not from the albums themselves. Some of the bonus tracks are from as much as 10 years after the albums they were included with, which kind of throws the chronological ordering. This problem is also aggravated by the fact that each track is accompanied by notes about the album it is supposedly from -- mostly taken from Uncle Willie's Highly Opinionated Guide to The Residents -- which means that the descriptions you're reading often have nothing to do with the music on the CD. For instance, it lists Mahogany Wood as coming off of Not Available, an album recorded in 1974 and described "the most hauntingly beautiful of all their albums" and "bound by the Theory of Obscurity. In actual fact, it's from Title in Limbo, a 1983 album the band recorded with the band Renaldo & the Loaf, which does not match any of the descriptions in the notes. Even more off is the attribution of Hellno to the sound track of The Residents' aborted film, Vileness Fats, when it's actually from the soundtrack to the film The Census Taker, made almost a decade after Fats was abandoned, and not by The Residents.

In spite of this problem, it is a good collection. Just ignore the liner notes. In the program below, the first album name after the track title is the album the notes say it represents, and the second is where it is actually from.

LOUISIANA'S LICK 1. The Aging Musician (Gingerbread Man) 2. Harry the Head (Freak Show) 3. Perfect Goat (Our Finest Flowers) 4. The Big Bubble (The Big Bubble) 5. Smack Your Lips (Clap Your Teeth) (The Mole Show: Live in Holland) 6. Hellno (Whatever Happened to Vileness Fats? / The Census Taker) 7. Mousetrap (The Tunes of Two Cities) 8. Shorty's Lament (Mark of the Mole / Intermission) 9. This is a Man's Man's Man's World (The Commercial Album / This is a Man's Man's Man's World) 10. Dumbo the Clown (Who Loved Christmas) (Eskimo / Subterranean Modern) 11. Hello Skinny (Duck Stab / Buster & Glen) 12. Mahogany Wood (Not Available / Title in Limbo) 13. Boo Who? (Fingerprince) 14. Satisfaction (The Third Reich 'N' Roll / Satisfaction) 15. Beyond the Valley of a Day in the Life (The Third Reich 'N' Roll / The Beatles Play The Residents and The Residents Play The Beatles) 16. Seasoned Greetings (Meet the Residents)

© 1996 Tzoq Last revised: 96-02-12



In February, 1982 Ralph Records contacted Mr. Penn Jillette, a nationally known entertainer and announcer, to see if he was interested in involvement in Ralph's 10th Anniversary Radio Special. The format of the special, as specified in Mr. Jillette's contract, was unusual, but the salary was sufficient, so Mr. Jillette agreed.

At 8:00 AM on Monday, March 1, Mr. Jillette entered room 312 of the Bentley Motor Inn at 465 Groove Street (directly across the street from the Ralph Headquarters) in San Francisco. The door was locked behind him.

Mr. Jillette was to spend the next six days alone in this room. Each day he received a new package of records from Ralph. His job was to listen to and comment on these recordings.

The Ralph Records 10th Anniversary Radio Special was compiled from more than 50 hours of tape recorded while Mr. Jillette was a lone in his motel room.

© 1996 Tzoq Last revised: 96-02-12




Frank Johnson's Favorites


Frank Johnson is the Ralph Records computer.

A long time ago there was another Frank Johnson. He was the imaginary housemate of The Residents. Frank was smarter than The Residents in a sort of stupid logical way. The original Frank died in 1970.

A short time ago when the Ralph computer first arrived, everybody was a little afraid of it. Afraid in the way that The Residents used to fear Frank.

No reason to resist the obvious (reincarnation being what it is, and all). Frank Johnson is the Ralph Records computer.

Frank was asked to select songs for an LP from all the material in the vault. Frank thought for about four seconds and selected the cuts you find on this record.

Frank also selected two additional tracks which are not on this album. There is no record of the songs ever having existed.

It is just like Frank to peek and poke at the future. © 1996 Tzoq Last revised: 96-02-12




* Point one: Pop music is mostly a repetition of two types of musical and lyrical phrases, the verse and the chorus. * Point two: These elements usually repeat three times in a three minute song, the type usually found on top-40 radio. * Point three: Cut out the fat and a pop song is only one minute long. Then record albums can hold their own top-40, twenty minutes per side. * Point four: One minute is also the length of most commercials, and therefore their corresponding jingles. * point five: Jingles are the music of America. * Conclusion: This compact disc is terrific in shuffle play. To convert the jingles to pop music, program each song to repeat three times.


Bonus Babies

YET FOUR MORE 1-MINUTE SONGS * THEME FOR AN AMERICAN TV SHOW actually was composed for a weekly comedy TV show. The Producers rejected it as too strange. The British cassette magazine, Touch, included it on Rituals. * AND I WAS ALONE & SHUT UP SHUT UP were extra tracks from the Commercial Album sessions. They ended up on singles in England and France. * WE'RE A HAPPY FAMILY was recorded for Morgan Fisher's Miniatures project.

THREE COVERS OF AMERICAN COMMERCIAL SINGLES * JAILHOUSE ROCK was recorded in 1982 and appeared on Residue. * THIS IS A MAN'S MAN'S MAN'S WORLD was a big hit single for The Residents in 1984. * HIT THE ROAD JACK was recorded in 1987 and released only as a single.

THE RESIDENTS THOUGHT THERE SHOULD BE 50 SONGS SO HERE ARE 3 MORE * THE SLEEPER was written in 1979 and is included on the Residue collection. * BOY IN LOVE is from 1981 and on Residue. * DISKOMO was recorded in 1980, the same time as The Commercial Album, and released as a 12" dance record. This particular shorter version appeared on Residue.

© 1996 Tzoq Last revised: 96-02-12




Buckaroo Blues

The Residents seem to be endlessly puttering with ideas. When a book was discovered that contained a collection of authentic cowboy poems and songs, they started a process of distillation which produced an odd assortment of uneven chunks of music based, or at least inspired, by the rogues of the old West. Several of these chunks were strung together and performed for the first time November 26, 1988, for the Boudisque Anniversary bash in Amsterdam. Buckaroo Blues continues to evolve and is currently becoming a major addition for the band's repertory.

land of 1000 dances * double shot

Double Shot spins out of God in Three Persons. Somehow it got attached to this new rhythm based version of Land of 1000 Dances and the whole thing ended up being performed at the Boudisque party.

god in three person's over

This odd and awkward title is easily explained. God in Three Persons was being planned as a live stage presentation. One of the new pieces for the show that was almost completed when the decision was made not to perform G3P, was its "overture". The small step from "overture" to an announcement of G3P's being "over" provided the title. Fortunately, is also gave us this final squirt of God in Three Persons.

© 1996 Tzoq Last revised: 96-02-12