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But did it work?
have you ever heard of them before reading this?
Ask me in 10 minutes if Ive heard of this band and I probably won't remember
4th comment and I already forgot their name.
They send their original demo to Warner Brothers without a band name on the tape. When WB returned the tape, they wrote To the residents of ... (the address). Since then, they called the band The Residents.
Now you may remember.
I’m thinking the band name is Eugenics?
That’s that South American band from the fifties right?
Edit: with that wacky German vocalist right?
I still do.
Funnily enough, that's actually the concept of one of their albums. They recorded an album with the idea that they'd put it on the shelf and only release it once they had forgotten about it. "an artist can only produce pure art when the expectations and influences of the outside world are not taken into consideration"
I like how people use this as a measure of a band's worth.
It’s not a question of the band’s worth, it’s a question of if the advertising worked. In this case, clearly not.
You're asking on Reddit about something that happened in 1980, in one city on one radio station.
Having said that, the joke's on you: the album is called Commercial Album. The whole 'joke' is they were never a mainstream band. They were weird and they weren't actually trying to become well-known. They simply found a way to insert themselves into the mainstream airwaves for a brief time. They're a band that started in 1969 and still exists.
not really, the residents have become legendary in the underground for being prolific while undeniably strange. they managed to be anonymous for quite some time (not anymore, after their leader has died) and have been a pretty significant influence on many bands with their aesthetic as well as their music, i think ween is a pretty well known example of this.
not available is also a fantastic album.
And Eskimo is just...out there.
I'm willing to bet that they did this more as a funny experiment/joke/exploration of the industry than a legitimate attempt to advertise themselves. They make inherently unmarketable music, and they know it
The residents are pretty well known though..
When I was a kid in the 1980s our house had a subscription to MuchMusic (Canada's version of MTV) before it was offered for free though basic cable.
Anyway, one night they had Homer Flynn and the rest of the costumed members of The Residents on the show for a solid hour or so (if you look for it, you can find it on YouTube). It was definitely surreal and fascinating. MuchMusic would also play a lot of their videos during certain show segments like ones that focused on indie music.
But yeah, that mainstream spotlight was a brief point in history and they just kind of fell back into obscurity after that.
MuchMusic was so much better than MTV. I think we had satellite or something, because I remember watching stuff like this and loving it. Maybe I’m just a Canadian that was born in the wrong part of the world...
It's always weird when people say "gee, I've never heard of them!" that it's like, Gotcha! You obviously suck, cause you're not really famous!
But yeah, I've known about them for a long time.
I know they're not so well known, but in the greater scheme of things they were pretty extremely famous, and played huge roles in the evolution of music, as well as the evolution of weirdos.
No. But I did just hear about them from hearing some trippy cool song that was playing at a brewery. Oddly coincidental.
Rumor had it Phish was going to cover one of their albums for Halloween last year. They didn't
Oh! I have!
Yes, if you're into experimental music these guys are beyond well-known.
yes they’re a very famous band
Mentioned in one obscure Primus song I got curious. Pretty impressive body of work.
Not sure which song he's referring to but Primus covered Hello Skinny and Constantinople on their first album. They've also covered Sinister Exaggerator.
E: found it in the comments, probably. "The Air is Getting Slippery".
I think they stuck Hello Skinny into the middle of another song but I can't remember what song it was, despite covering it with a band I used to play in.
Aye, the air is getting slippery.
They've heard about them now.
The Residents is my fathers favorite band. He even has one of those eyeball posters above the fireplace. I've heard enough about them to last a lifetime.
Listen to the songs and you tell me:
That is some of the most horrifying music I’ve ever heard.
Yeah, they clearly didn't do the commercial-buy to somehow try and force-engineer a hit. If so, they would have recorded much more accessible music. So maybe the idea was to make some kind of commentary on contemporary Top 40 music.
So maybe the idea was to make some kind of commentary on contemporary Top 40 music.
Payola was still a widespread practice back then, too, and they may commenting on that practice in their own way.
The Residents are far from the only band to buy ad-slots to play their music. It's still happening.
I kinda think it would make for some awesome segways in DJ set.
Its interesting at least. Doesn't really sound like something that would fit most definitions of music I've heard, but enjoyable nonetheless
Hey, I like it better than most of the auto-tuned crap I hear these days anyway.
It’s very adult swimmy
I suggest "Perfect Love" and "The Act of Being Polite". I saw a show they did with Penn & Teller. The climax of the show included Teller singing and the unmasked face of one of the Residents as they switched places as part of a trick.
IMO no, but it didn't fail horribly either.
If anyone wants a Residents album that succeeds, Duck Stab is where it's at.
The Residents aren't super well known, but they are hugely respected and pulled in pretty bug crowds for most if their career
this is also true
It's called The Commercial Album and it became a commercial, so yeah I'd say so
I think you missed the point
I've been to a lot of concerts and the residents weren't the best show i've ever been to but they were by far the most out-there. They weren't banging instruments around. They weren't making noise. They played an entirely new genre I couldn't conceptualize and haven't ever heard before or since. See them if you can.
I saw them knowing nothing a number of years ago and man was the show out there. It was The Bunny Boy and felt more like a weird theatre piece than a concert.
Going to see them next month! They're doing a 50th anniversary tour
Go! They're fucking bizarre. Definitely the most feel-bad shit I've ever been to.
I agree with everything you wrote. It was also probably the most unpleasant concert I've been to and had to leave for a little bit.
Unfortunately, half of the original members of The Residents just passed away late last year. If they still are touring, it's without Hardy Fox, who was the man who wrote the music for the original band.
They did release a few live albums and I believe at least one DVD.
How would you know if they passed away? I understood that their identities were long hidden secrets.
Hardy Fox announced that he was one half of the band The Residents, and this was confirmed by the official Facebook account of The Residents. He died late last year.
I understood that their identities were long hidden secrets.
It's been a pretty open "secret." We all sort of pretend like we don't know who's the creative force behind the music. They've been acting as the "spokesmen" on behalf of the "anonymous" band for many, many decades.
One guy admitted before he died last fall that he was responsible for much of The Residents music, the other has admitted he's responsible for the artwork. People who played with the band live have remained much more anonymous.
My buddy has some of their albums on vinyl. I was shown them last year and am fascinated with how weird this band's sounds make me feel.
Oh it's that kind of music.
Yeah. Avant-garde music. It's Avant-garde music. Like Andy Warhol made music.
What kind of music is it though? You didn’t really answer that
You didn't ask. Avant garde translate to advanced guard. If you take that as a literal translation then musicians in the avant-garde protect the world from the Renegades of funk. :D
haha, I love it. That guitar solo is great.
Tierra Whack should take notes
It is a brilliant album. the liner says that all of the one minute songs could be repeated 3 times to create a pop song. the songs were created to only have a intro, a chorus, then a exit. they said that this was all that was needed. the residents were interesting in that they never revealed who was in actually in the band as they would always perform in costume.
Last year, one of the original members revealed who he was (confirmed by the official social media accounts) because he was dying from brain cancer.
The movie The Theory of Obscurity delves into the history of The Residents hiding their identities because they were a collective about the music and art, not about the personalities.
RIP Hardy Fox.
The Residents was one of the bands that influenced Primus. https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/qa-les-claypool-of-primus-94054/
Les Claypool singing voice is basically "How much can I rip off from the Residents? All of it? Well, ok!"
He's acknowledged the influence several times.
Weren't they the guys who were dressed up as eyeballs in the Jefferson Starship video?
Buddy of mine first introduced me to them back in the late '90s with their song Constantinople(NSFW, Not Safe For Brain?) and they've kinda been at the periphery of my brain ever since.
They're definitely an acquired taste, I think.
I’ve loved The Residents ever since I first heard them back in high school.
oh my god these videos are horrifying and brilliant. easter woman is my go-to for creeping people out. it's actually one of my first reddit posts!
There's a great Residents docu called Theory of Obscurity: A Film About the Residents that's currently on Prime. Definitely worth watching if you're curious.
Dig out your CD-ROM drives and get yourself a copy of their “Freak Show” disc. One of the earliest yet to this day most powerful and eerie interactive digital art experiences.
I remember this making me feel very weird when I was a kid
Their music is weird.
Wouldn't that be considered payola and therefore in violation of FCC rules?
Yes, if such things were actually enforced anymore.
But isn't that how advertising works.
Nope. It happened before Payola was "outlawed."
It still happens though. Buying "ads" is still a loophole. It's probably the number one thing keeping Spotify afloat.
My favorite band! Listen to Duck Stab!
If you've studied your Floyd property, you'd know that pigs could fly
Now if you want an encore, you might hear Is it Luck
But me, I’d rather play Residents, ‘cause I don’t give a...
What is the reference here? I'm out of the loop.
It’s from a Primus song called The Air is Getting Slippery, which has a passing reference to The Residents. Primus has also covered a few Residents songs.
Actually a fan of Primus but I only know a few songs. Will definitely check that out.
I see the sea, the sea sees me.
Never listened to them, but their track lengths reminds me of GBV
The album is called The Commercial Album. They made it after their previous record, Eskimo, which was mostly just tribal screeches and drums. People told them to make something “more commercial”, so they did.
If anyone here is a fan of primus you have this band to thank.
BRB gotta tell a bunch of grindcore bands with really short songs about this.
I want to say who the fuck listens to weird shit like this, but then I'm putting Fucked By An Anchor pirate metal on loop so who am I to say
Check out their music videos for this album, you might like them. Fucked by an Anchor is a banger btw
I want to say who the fuck listens to weird shit like this
Heh, I do.
It helps if you understand the technology, and the limits of that technology, they were using at the time so you understand just how fucking far out they were pushing the boundaries.
The Third Reich 'n Roll was one of the earliest "mashup" albums. For many of the songs they laid the original track down, in mono, on one of the 4 tracks of their tape machine. They then performed their "cover" on the other 3 tracks, eventually removing the original track.
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So.. vanity pressing?
Nah, they had proper pressings. Some of the pressings even had a bunch of bonus songs included. It's kinda a pain to collect them.
Rykodisc released a bunch. If you're of the right age and had esoteric tastes you might remember them as the label that had translucent green-tinted jewel cases. They released a bunch of Frank Zappa, Morphine, David Bowie, Jayhawks, etc.
When I read "...had the station play..."
I seriously read it as, "had the PlayStation"
That's probably bad.