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Meet The Residents

4.3 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 5, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

Reissue of the Residents' classic debut originally released on Ralph Records in 1974. The whole, bizarre Residents trip started here (at least officially)! Mixing everything from Frank Zappa and Captain Beefheart to Raymond Scott and Sun Ra in the world's most bizarre blender, this one is the place to start in the wild and weird world of the Residents.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 5, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: CRYPTIC CORP
  • ASIN: B004J5C2S0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,917 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
The Residents' early work is perhaps their most bizarre andchallenging. Mixing elements of Frank Zappa, Capt. Beefheart, JohnCage, and Sun Ra with their twisted sense of song structure, they craft an odd and often indescribable musical collage unmatched by anything that came before them. Allegedly, the band sent a tape (bluntly-titled "The Warner Bros. Album") to Warner Bros., who ended up passing on the record. Since no name had been written on the package, the rejection slip was sent to 'residents' at the return address. The group adopted the name and decided to put out their stuff themselves, forming Ralph Records in 1972. This album is much more primitive sounding, in both the music and the production technology, than their later synthesizer work. Most of the tracks utilize analog tape effects and more traditional instruments like piano, guitar and horns. The album's infamous cover, a defacing of "Meet The Beatles," enraged Capitol Records (although, supposedly one of the Beatles found it funny and bought a copy). This new re-release benefits greatly from the 20-bit mastering, clearing up much of the previously muddy sound. The original CD release had paired this record with the four songs from their first single, "Santa Dog," but they are no longer included (they can now be found on the 1999 Residents collection, "Refused"). Despite the proliferation of contemporary oddball acts that these guys have influenced (Primus, Ween, Mr. Bungle), this disc still sounds as warped and otherworldly as ever.
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Format: Audio CD
I just want to say that I am not an art student or a philosopher. I am a high schooler with a wide-ranging palette of musical tastes, but I have to admit that when I bought this CD, I wanted my thirteen dollars back. I didn't get the irony of the whole CD, and I thought that it was immature noise. However, I listened to the CD a couple of times because I figured that I might as well, I bought it after all. I found that beneath the avant-garde sound and dada-esque cover was a catchy and fun, albeit warped, pop album. Now, it is one of my desert island discs, and I think this album really helped me open my mind to other types of music. My family still thinks it sounds like something a retard in a studio would make, and I am still surprised when I hear myself humming the piano part from "Numb Erone". This is an essential album, and there's nothing else like it.
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Format: Audio CD
I've found the 2011 CD to be a bit of a disappointment. I own 2 previously available CD releases of this album. The first CD is the original 1988 CD issue, which contains the original mono mix, plus bonus tracks of Santa Dog. The 2nd, has the stereo remix, no bonus tracks. This new 2011 CD contains the mono mix, but no bonus tracks.

There are 2 good things about the new CD reissue. One is that it puts the mono mix back in print. Second is that the EQ has been tweaked a bit. I found the 1988 CD was a bit dull, and made my own CD-R from it where I tweaked the high end up a bit with EQ. With this CD, it has been tweaked to just about the same EQ that I had tweaked my CD-R to.

Now the bad. Obviously, the lack of bonus tracks. Santa Dog remains out of print. I don't understand why The Residents have abandoned bonus tracks, especially of material that continues to stay out of print. Also, this CD suffers from compression. It's not brick wall limited, but comparing the .wav files with the .wav files of the 1988 CD shows that this new issue definitely has less dynamic range. For example, in N-ER-GEE (Crisis Blues), there is an explosion sound. Looking at the .wav files, you clearly see where the explosion happens, it gets much louder from the music up to that point. In this new CD, you can't even see where the explosion begins, only by listening do you hear the explosion. Which certainly makes the explosion have much less of an impact as it was originally intended to have.

What I have noticed in my .wav file comparisons, though, is that the audio of both of these CDs sync up exactly. The only exception is some tracks have more of a gap between them than others. What this says to me is that this CD uses the same digital source as the 1988 CD.
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1 Comment 12 of 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
For all of us impoverished Residents fans who work extra jobs to try to keep up with the latest of their releases, I say this: good job! The Residents sold only 50 of this album upon its first release. To date, they've sold thousands of this released effort, and for good reason: for its sheer inventiveness, and for its clear breaking from traditional pop music this is the Residents best effort. From the habit forming "Smelly Tongues" to the almost classical "Rest Aria" the Residents showed the world (or 50 people to start with) the range of their talents.
Missing in this recording is the presence of moog-like instruments creating artificial sounds. The One Eyed Ones had to use real instruments, real singing, and real sound (well, okay, they did edit the tapes somewhat) to make up this album, and they stood up to the challange and (dare we say it?) TOOK OVER THE WORLD.
True, its an invisible empire (gad, hope no one take's *that* the wrong way) but Residents fans live among us, and the empire has grown from its humble origins (this album and a Santa Dog double single set) in the 1970's.
Listen to this album with an open mind, and open heart, and open ears. And remember: Residents fans are *everywhere*.
The essential album for Residents fans.
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