Commercial Album

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Commercial Album
Thecommercialalbum.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 1980
RecordedSeptember 1979 – October 1980
Genre
Length42:12
LabelRalph (original US release)
Pre Records (original UK release)
Charisma Records (original European release)
East Side Digital (CD reissue)
ProducerThe Residents
The Residents chronology
Eskimo
(1979)
Commercial Album
(1980)
Mark of the Mole
(1981)
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 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"). Brian Eno is also thought to appear on the album, but this was never been conclusively confirmed until the release of the 2-CD pREServed Edition in 2019, the liner notes of which confirmed that Eno played synthesizer on "The Coming Of The Crow" as well as David Byrne's appearance on harmony vocals on "Suburban Bathers"..

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]

  • Chris Cutler – drums
  • Fred Frith – bass, guitar
  • Phil "Snakefinger" Lithman – guitar, violin, vocals (lead Vocals on "Ups and Downs")
  • Lene Lovich – vocals on "Picnic Boy" (uncredited)
  • Don Preston – synthesizer
  • The Residents – arrangers, composers, producers, writers
  • Andy Partridge – vocals, guitar on "Margaret Freeman" (as Sandy Sandwich)
  • Brian Eno - synthesizer on "The Coming of the Crow" (uncredited)
  • David Byrne - backing vocals on "Suburban Bathers" (uncredited)

References[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 0006-2510. Retrieved 28 March 2012.