The Residents

Profile:
"Four interior decorators of the apocalypse"

US avant-garde group based in San Francisco.

The official inception of the Residents was the release of Meet The Residents in 1974, but members of the group had worked together since 1969 or perhaps earlier. The band is known for its wide range of named guest stars and collaborators, its multitude of concept albums, its ambitious multimedia, audiovisual, and stage projects and the mystery surrounding much of its activities, from its history as a band to the identity of its members

The band has consistently related that it took its name from a rejection letter that it had received from Warner Bros. Records. They sent the label a demo tape anonymously--the letter thus simply addressed them as "Residents."
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The Residents Discography Tracks

Albums

The Residents - Meet The Residents album art The Residents Meet The Residents (Album) Ralph Records US 1974 Sell This Version
The Residents - The Third Reich 'N' Roll album art The Residents The Third Reich 'N' Roll (Album) Ralph Records US 1976 Sell This Version
The Residents - Fingerprince album art The Residents Fingerprince (Album) Ralph Records US 1977 Sell This Version
The Residents - Duck Stab / Buster & Glen album art The Residents Duck Stab / Buster & Glen (Album) Ralph Records US 1978 Sell This Version
The Residents - Not Available album art The Residents Not Available (Album) Ralph Records US 1978 Sell This Version
The Residents - Eskimo album art The Residents Eskimo (Album) Ralph Records US 1979 Sell This Version
The Residents - Commercial Album album art The Residents Commercial Album (Album) Ralph Records Germany 1980 Sell This Version
The Residents - Mark Of The Mole album art The Residents Mark Of The Mole (Album) Ralph Records US 1981 Sell This Version
The Residents - The Tunes Of Two Cities album art The Residents The Tunes Of Two Cities (Album) Ralph Records US 1982 Sell This Version
The Residents - Title In Limbo album art The Residents & Renaldo And The Loaf* The Residents & Renaldo And The Loaf* - Title In Limbo (Album) Ralph Records US 1983 Sell This Version
The Residents - Mole Show album art The Residents Mole Show (Album) Ralph Records US 1983 Sell This Version
The Residents - Whatever Happened To Vileness Fats? album art The Residents Whatever Happened To Vileness Fats? (Album, Comp) Ralph Records US 1984 Sell This Version
The Residents - Assorted Secrets album art The Residents Assorted Secrets Ralph Records US 1984 Sell This Version
The Residents - George & James (American Composer Series -  Volume 1) album art The Residents George & James (American Composer Series - Volume 1) (Album) Ralph Records US 1984 Sell This Version
The Residents - The Big Bubble (Part Four Of The Mole Trilogy) album art The Residents The Big Bubble (Part Four Of The Mole Trilogy) (Album) Ralph Records US 1985 Sell This Version
The Residents - The Census Taker (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) album art The Residents The Census Taker (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (Album) Episode Records (2) US 1985 Sell This Version
The Residents - 13th Anniversary Show - Live In Japan album art The Residents Featuring Snakefinger The Residents Featuring Snakefinger - 13th Anniversary Show - Live In Japan (Album) Ralph Records Greece 1986 Sell This Version
The Residents - Live In The USA! 13th Anniversary Tour album art The Residents Featuring Snakefinger The Residents Featuring Snakefinger - Live In The USA! 13th Anniversary Tour (Album) Ralph Records US 1986 Sell This Version
The Residents - Stars & Hank Forever! (The American Composer's Series - Volume II) album art The Residents Stars & Hank Forever! (The American Composer's Series - Volume II) (Album) Ralph Records Australia 1986 Sell This Version
The Residents - 13th Anniversary Show - Live In Holland album art The Residents Featuring Snakefinger The Residents Featuring Snakefinger - 13th Anniversary Show - Live In Holland (Album) Torso Netherlands 1987 Sell This Version
The Residents - God In Three Persons album art The Residents God In Three Persons (Album) Ryko Analogue US 1988 Sell This Version
The Residents - The Snakey Wake album art The Residents The Snakey Wake UWEB, UWEB US 1988 Sell This Version
The Residents - Mole Show (Live In Holland June 6th 1983) album art The Residents Mole Show (Live In Holland June 6th 1983) (Album) Torso Netherlands 1989 Sell This Version
The Residents - The King & Eye album art The Residents The King & Eye (Album) Torso US 1989 Sell This Version
The Residents - Cube-E (The History Of American Music In 3 E-Z Pieces) - Live In Holland album art The Residents Cube-E (The History Of American Music In 3 E-Z Pieces) - Live In Holland (Album) Torso Netherlands 1990 Sell This Version

Reviews Show All 19 Reviews

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bubcentral

bubcentral

September 26, 2018
I kind of get the impression that The Residents could only have existed because of lsd and the hippy days of the late 1960s. They sound like a bunch of conceptual artists turned musicians with very warped minds. Not that I'm complaining, my tastes are very eclectic and they are certainly something.
I do find that not all of the bands output is great, my first stab at the band was a dvd compilation that was ok but had far too many cover versions and not that good ones on it.

I guess if I had to sum up the band to newcomers I would say they were a much weirder version of Devo that verges on a strange variant of jazz rock. I think there's hardly any UK bands that come close to their conceptual odd music but that's great because original bands are hard to find.

I like the new Meet The Residents CD but something tells me it's a sign of a band running out of ideas if they need to ask fans to contribute towards their new lp. But then it does sound good so what the hell.
LiamDavies

LiamDavies

January 19, 2018
any residents fans that don't know yet, cherry red records in the uk are doing an extensive re-issue of their entire back catalogue including rare, unheard material all releases 2 discs, including live performances from the era the albums were released. so far meet the residents and swastikas on parade have been released, and duck stab and fingerprince are now available for pre-order. as i'm listening to the meet the residents cd that came today, the sound quality is fantastic as are the extras . all the remasters are from the original tapes and the booklets are fantastic. finally getting the re-release they deserve !!! also 80 aching orphans the compilation is from the same label. a fantastic 4 cd box set !
nagyphilip

nagyphilip

November 20, 2016
One of the most creative bands in the history of music. Certainly one of the greatest of all time. Their 1970's albums especially were always good to great.
Citizen_Pariah

Citizen_Pariah

October 1, 2016
It's a scientific fact music reached perfection in 1974. Maybe in another millennium or two lightening will strike again.
iggi_unpop

iggi_unpop

June 14, 2016
The Residents are simply the greatest band of all times!
JorgAusfelt

JorgAusfelt

October 7, 2013
It's strange that people still think they're a foursome - or that they ever were - when the setup actually always shifted, AND you can see them "in the flesh" on YouTube snippets...

I also used to believe that when I started listening to them in 1980, AND I thought two of the guys left in the early 80s since it was obvious they used dancing women in tuxedo and eyeball on their 13th anniversary show. I saw both this one AND their previous The Mole Show (with Penn Jilette) in Copenhagen, Denmark.

After a great Black Barry/The King and Eye Show in Sweden, I kinda lost interest in them after all the Wormwood/Woodworm records, and having seen a boring Wormwood show at Roskilde Festival (also Denmark) with that (only?) original guy screaming most of the time, but I still enjoyed the DVDs and the CD collections with odd material they continued to pour out.

Since four or five years, I've regained interest in them and bought most of the stuff I missed out on. But that 40th ann. show recently seems almost as boring as the Wormwood show (again, YouTube...), so I really didn't know what to think about the future...when I stumbled upon the excellent 'Coochie Brake' last spring, their best in quite a few years! Also, I really liked the 'Demons Dance Alone 2002-2012 - Live in Oslo' double CD, so now I'm eagerly awaiting their forthcoming 'Mush-Room', due for release in four weeks. I've heard soundbites on Amazon, and it appears promising, being an instrumental recording for a Belgian dance/theatre performance. It's slightly reminiscing of their 1995 'Hunters' CD.

Residents for presidents!
terrysuki

terrysuki

August 12, 2013
I have to take issue with Crijevo below when he says "Not that anybody cares these days" about The Residents. Speak for yourself, buddy, as I care and know plenty of other who do also. The Residents continue to be the source of fascination they've always been, and even though they're past their prime (I know the feeling !) they're still more than capable of throwing in a curveball or two and their back catalogue is a thing of wonder that new generations will be discovering for years to come. So, three cheers for The Residents ! And "Lang May Yer Lum Reek" as we say in Poland !
holer

holer

February 19, 2013
I would extend the first 'phase' of the Residents to include 'Mark of the Mole' and 'Tunes of Two Cities', as I believe these were the last recordings by the original Pre-Fab Four. After that, they became decidedly less interesting, but I know they have gone through several incarnations since then, and the latest, whoever it was that recorded 'Coochie Break', seems to have come full circle. 'Coochie..' is easily their best album in years...
shoestringrecords

shoestringrecords

December 23, 2010
When one is dealing with the Residents, there are different "eras" in which to venture.

Era 1: The "Early" Years (1972-1980). Offerings like the mixed bag debut LP "Meet The Residents", the classic "The Third Reich N' Roll", "Duck Stab/Buster & Glen", unique "Eskimo", and the great "The Commercial Album".

Era 2: The "Mole" Era (1981-1984). Here, the Residents start to change, developing into story-oriented material, with the Mole Trilogy. Also at the tail end of this era (not an era of it's own) are the "American Composers" two albums, which are touch and go (at least, with me).

Era 3: The "Middle" Period (1986-1989). Mixed bag of things like "God In Three Persons" and "The King And Eye", which tells the Elvis Presley story an interesting way.

Era 4: The "Storyteller" Era (1990-Present). Basically what they've been doing ever since "Freak Show". While I haven't heard all of the releases, I found some, like "The River Of Crime", to be one-time only listens.

Everything Else: Large number of limited editions, live recordings, demos, outtakes, single-only releases, soundtracks, etc.

Crijevo

Crijevo

May 12, 2009
With their image, I guess, The Residents can go on for ages to come. Imagine the year 2345 and their legacy up to that point. Nobody will still know who the hell they are (or were) and the 'freak' show will continue... Not that anybody cares these days, anyway.

The Residents' catalogue is something of equally fascinating and annoying matter. While they remain so unseriously arty, their concept rages between bizarre adult cartoon episodes, grotesque fairy tales and total parody of pop-culture.

We cannot tell them by the colour of their eyeballs, size or by detection of voice - a deliberate, obscure, yet very intelligent camouflage that can manage their funky business spinning for centuries. Depending on the patience of every next protagonist accepting the fact of being anonymously famous.

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