Artist: The Residents

Label: Ralph

Produced By: The Residents


  1. Easter Woman
  2. Perfect Love
  3. Picnic Boy
  4. End Of Home
  5. Amber
  6. Japanese Watercolor
  7. Secrets
  8. Die In Terror
  9. Red Rider
  10. My Second Wife
  11. Floyd
  12. Suburban Bathers
  13. Dimples And Toes
  14. The Nameless Souls
  15. Love Leaks Out
  16. Act Of Being Polite
  17. Medicine Man
  18. Tragic Bells
  19. Loss Of Innocence
  20. The Simple Song
  21. Ups And Downs
  22. Possessions
  23. Give It To Someone Else
  24. Phantom
  25. Less Not More
  26. My Work Is So Behind
  27. Birds In The Trees
  28. Handful Of Desire
  29. Moisture
  30. Love Is...
  31. Troubled Man
  32. La La
  33. Loneliness
  34. Nice Old Man
  35. The Talk Of Creatures
  36. Fingertips
  37. In Between Dreams
  38. Margaret Freeman
  39. The Coming Of The Crow
  40. When We Were Young

(Yes, that's 40 tracks. No, it's not a double.)


This was the album that caused the critical backlash—just because, well, it seems folks don't like it if a group gets TOO critically acclaimed. It's actually a very good album—perhaps a little repetitive with some of the musical themes—and one of my favorites. This is another I could see someone starting with.

The idea behind it is that pop music is basically a verse-chorus-verse-chorus-verse-chorus-chorus, and the themes of the lyrics are usually pretty repetitive as well, so you could just cut the fat out of a standard 3 minute pop song and have a 1 minute song that gets in, says what it has to say, and gets out. So, the Residents recorded their own Top 40, 20 on each side, and released it as the Commercial Album (punning on both the Commercial Nature of pop music and the fact that, at the time, most radio spots were 1 minute long (now most are 30 seconds, but you still have some minute-long ones). In fact, to promote this album, the Residents bought 40 one-minute spots on KROQ, which prompted an article about payola in Billboard magazine.

In 2004, they put out a DVD of a bunch of videos (including the original four One Minute Movies, which are also on display at MoMA) made by the Residents and other people for each of the songs, including the two songs only released on the The Commercial Single. Not all of the videos are great (I can't stand the three or so by the guy who just taped his baby daughter), but some of them are outstanding, and the navigation is both fun and maddening (though the Residents were polite enough to include an easy navigation menu as well). - Rev. Syung Myung Me

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