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The Residents
Sep 05, 2007, 03:18
Well, it's fifteen years ago this month that i first heard The Commercial Album LP and i have been spending time going through The Resident's back catalogue to commemorate.

At the time i was about 16 years old and i had such a good time searching out 'new' music. I lived near this store that sold mainly new stuff, chart stuff and dancey crap, but they also had a small, but utterly superb second hand section. It was here that i would locate countless bizarre, wonderful and down right rare gems for a couple of quid each (for example: Foetus Hole, Coil's Love's Secret Domain, TG, countless Cantebury related gems, Zappa, Cabaret Voltaire, Beefheart, Faust, Alternative TV's Vibing Up The Senile Man etc etc etc). It was a real treasure trove.

Anyway, whilst rooting through one day, i came across The Commercial Album - great sleeve, 'why have i never seen this before?' Flipped over the sleeve which told me that it featured Fred Frith and Chris Cutler from Henry Cow - ok, i was a big Henry Cow fan at the time and so i knew i had to buy it. Once home, i put it on and out came the rather sinister sounding Easter Woman .... brilliant! When i buy a new album, in the past vinyl and presently, cd, i usually skip through it having played the first track - i didn't do this with the Commercial album - just played it through from start to finish. 40 one minute songs - some superb, some fascinating, some bizarre and numerous just plain weird. Great - this was just what i wanted.

The next day, with a strong desire for more Residents, i visited another local record store and found 3rd Reich N Roll - another huge album and i knew i was onto something good. The very next day (i used to get pretty obsessive when i found a new group - as you can probably tell) i found George & James - not as great, but still very worthy and interesting. It went on and on - i amassed a pretty decent sized Residents collection within a few weeks.

Anyway, i've always had time away from The Residents over the years - maybe not listening to them for a year or so, but they are one of the acts (like Copey, Throbbing Gristle etc) that i ALWAYS return to and cherish, before neglecting them for a few months. A wonderful group. However, i've not heard much past Freak Show (not my fave album, i must say), tho i have heard that their latest albums from the past few years have been pretty good - really?

My top five faves.........

1. Fingerprince
2. Eskimo
3. The Commerical Album
4. Not Available
5. Third Reich N Roll

Yeah, i guess that makes me a Clifford, of whatever the name is .... i don't care, their early albums are works of true genius. After the 1980 period, i really like The Tunes Of Two Cities, Mark Of The Mole, Intermission, George & James, Stars & Hank, the instrumental album from God In Three Persons, Vileness Fats and The Census Taker, but as good as thy are, they don't compete with those early albums.
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