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The Residents' album Not Available was originally recorded as a follow-up to 1974's Meet the Residents. However, following the Theory of Obscurity, it was immediately locked away in a bank vault with no plans to issue it until the members of the band had completely forgotten about its existence. It did surface in 1978 due to continued delays on the Eskimo album and the Cryptic Corporation's desire to have some sort of Residents release, as the re-release of the single "Satisfaction" the same year had garnered some attention in Europe. The album itself is a dense concept album featuring a more musical and cohesive approach than that found on most Residents albums from the 1970s.
In 1978, the "official" word was that The Residents had stated that Not Available could never be released. The group claimed that they had recorded the album in secrecy as a way of exercising their "theory of obscurity" to its fullest, and, in strict accordance with the theory, the work could never be released until its creators no longer recalled its existence. However, the reissued album's liner notes state that the album was an exercise in group therapy, and the Residents didn't want to release it because they felt it was too personally revealing.
In October 2010, The Residents' Ralph Records announced that a special extended version of Not Available would be released on vinyl and CD in January 2011.
- "Part One: Edweena" - 9:31
- "Part Two: The Making of a Soul" - 10:00
- "Part Three: Ship's a'Going Down" - 6:38
- "Part Four: Never Known Questions" - 7:02
- "Epilogue" - 2:30
The 1987 CD reissue features the tracks The Residents recorded for their collaboration with Renaldo and the Loaf, Title In Limbo.
- "Intro: Version"
- "The Shoe Salesman"
- "Monkey and Bunny"
- "Mahogany Wood"
- "The Sailor Song"
The 2011 CD/LP reissue omits the 1987 bonus tracks, but extends "Edweena", "Ship's a'Going Down", and "Never Known Questions" by a combined seven minutes.