Commercial Album

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Commercial Album
Studio album by The Residents
Released October 1980
Recorded September 1979-October 1980
Genre Avant-garde music, noise rock, experimental rock
Length 42:12
Label Ralph Records (original US release)
Pre Records (original UK release)
Charisma Records (original European release)
East Side Digital (CD reissue)
Producer The Residents
The Residents chronology
Babyfingers
(1979)
Commercial Album
(1980)
Mark of the Mole
(1981)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars link

Commercial Album is an album released by The Residents in 1980. It is commonly considered a follow-up of Duck Stab/Buster & Glen. The album pares down the concept and structure of the average commercial pop song and reduces it to a one-minute redux. It contains a compilation of 40 such sixty-second vignettes. The album used several session musicians, including Chris Cutler, Snakefinger (who sings lead on many tracks) and Fred Frith as well as two anonymous guest vocalists, Lene Lovich ("Picnic Boy") and Andy Partridge ("Margaret Freeman").

The faces on the album cover are John Travolta and Barbra Streisand. The backside of the original LP labels listed the length as "1:00" after each of the 40 song titles. The first edition sleeve listed the tracks in the wrong order.

The liner notes state that songs should be repeated three times in a row to form a "pop song". The Residents purchased 40 one-minute advertising slots on San Francisco's most popular Top-40 radio station at the time, KFRC, such that the station played each track of their album over three days. This prompted an editorial in Billboard magazine questioning whether the act was art or advertising.[1]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by The Residents except where noted

  1. "Easter Woman" – 1:03
  2. "Perfect Love" – 1:03
  3. "Picnic Boy" – 1:01
  4. "End of Home" – 1:04
  5. "Amber" – 1:02
  6. "Japanese Watercolor" – 1:02
  7. "Secrets" – 1:03
  8. "Die in Terror" – 1:03
  9. "Red Rider" – 1:02
  10. "My Second Wife" – 1:02
  11. "Floyd" – 1:03
  12. "Suburban Bathers" – 1:04
  13. "Dimples and Toes" – 1:03
  14. "The Nameless Souls" – 1:04
  15. "Love Leaks Out" – 1:04
  16. "Act of Being Polite" – 1:03
  17. "Medicine Man" – 1:04
  18. "Tragic Bells" – 1:03
  19. "Loss of Innocence" – 1:04
  20. "The Simple Song" – 1:02
  21. "Ups and Downs" – 1:04
  22. "Possessions" – 1:03
  23. "Give It to Someone Else" – 1:03
  24. "Phantom" – 1:04
  25. "Less Not More" – 1:03
  26. "My Work Is So Behind" – 1:04
  27. "Birds in the Trees" – 1:04
  28. "Handful of Desire" – 1:04
  29. "Moisture" – 1:04
  30. "Love Is..." – 1:03
  31. "Troubled Man" – 1:04
  32. "La La" – 1:04
  33. "Loneliness" – 1:04
  34. "Nice Old Man" – 1:04
  35. "The Talk of Creatures" – 1:04
  36. "Fingertips" – 1:04
  37. "In Between Dreams" – 1:03
  38. "Margaret Freeman" – 1:03
  39. "The Coming of the Crow" – 1:04
  40. "When We Were Young" – 1:02
  • Bonus Tracks (1988 CD release only)
  1. "Shut Up Shut Up"
  2. "And I Was Alone"
  3. "Theme for an American TV Show"
  4. "We're a Happy Family/Bali Ha'i" (The Ramones)
  5. "The Sleeper"
  6. "Boy in Love"
  7. "Diskomo (Remix)"
  8. "Jailhouse Rock" (Leiber/Stoller)
  9. "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" (James Brown, Betty Jean Newsome)
  10. "Hit the Road Jack" (Percy Mayfield)

Personnel[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Jack McDonough (15 November 1980). Air Time, Ad Time Fuse In Residents' S.F. Promo. Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. pp. 22–. ISSN 00062510. Retrieved 28 March 2012.