God in Three Persons

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God in Three Persons
Residents god in 3 persons.jpg
Studio album by
ProducerThe Residents
The Residents chronology
13th Anniversary Show - Live In Holland
God in Three Persons
The King & Eye
Singles from God in Three Persons
  1. "Holy Kiss Of Flesh"
    Released: 1988
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic5/5 stars[1]

God in Three Persons is a rock opera/concept album by The Residents, released in 1988. It is about a man—arbitrarily named 'Mr. X'—who befriends two conjoined twins. The songs are all sung in a rhythmic spoken word fashion, similar to talking blues. The entire lyrical content of the album is written in trochaic octameter, a rare poetic meter most famously used in Edgar Allen Poe's poem The Raven. A central motif of the album is the organ riff from "Double Shot (Of My Baby's Love)" by 1960s frat rock band The Swingin' Medallions. A companion soundtrack album, featuring most of the instrumental backing tracks, was also released.

God in Three Persons received a 5-star rating from AllMusic.[1]


The album is the story of a Colonel Tom Parker-type character called Mr. X, who finds a pair of Siamese twins who have miraculous healing powers. He convinces them to let him manage their careers, touring them as holy healers and conducting services during which they cure the masses. Mr. X begins to lust after the "female" twin, then realizes that the twins' sexes are fluid rather than fixed. When he discovers that the twins are far more worldly than he had believed, and therefore less under his control, he plots a vicious rape in which he severs the connection between the two, splitting them forever. In the denouement, he realizes that his feelings for the twins were not being imposed on him by the twins, but came from within himself.

The story is narrated in the first person by Mr. X. He is accompanied throughout by instrumental music and sung commentary by Laurie Amat, who acts as a "Greek Chorus" (and sings the opening credits on the first track).

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Main Title from 'God in 3 Persons'" - 3:52
  2. "Hard & Tenderly" - 4:36
  3. "Devotion?" - 3:36
  4. "The Thing About Them" - 4:05
  5. "Their Early Years" - 4:39
  6. "Loss of a Loved One" - 4:50
  7. "The Touch" - 3:30
  8. "The Service" - 5:02
  9. "Confused (By What I Felt Inside)" - 4:37
  10. "Fine Fat Flies" - 4:26
  11. "Time" - 1:18
  12. "Silver, Sharp and Could Not Care" - 3:03
  13. "Kiss of Flesh" - 9:39
  14. "Pain and Pleasure" - 4:35
  • Soundtrack tracks:
  1. "Main Titles (God in Three Persons)" - 3:38
  2. "Hard and Tenderly" - 3:44
  3. "The Thing About Them" - 3:25
  4. "Their Early Years" - 2:43
  5. "Loss of a Loved One" - 3:10
  6. "The Touch" - 2:08
  7. "The Service (Part 1)" - 2:51
  8. "The Service (Part 2)" - 1:28
  9. "Confused by What I Felt Inside" - 5:37
  10. "Kiss of Flesh" - 9:25
  11. "Pain and Pleasure" - 2:00

Live Performances[edit]

Starting in May 2019, The Residents undertook a short tour performing exclusively tracks from the album, beginning at a Residents themed event at Bourges, France with a significantly shortened version of the album.[2][3][4]

The next performances of the show were in January 2020, featuring a significantly reworked more theatrical set design. The first of these performances was a public dress rehearsal at The Lab in San Francisco,[5] the rehearsal was received well, earning a favourable review from The New Yorker[6]

The professional performances taking place at the Museum Of Modern Art,[7] the show received a lot more attention than the band's usual output, being reviewed by The Rolling Stone,[8] The Brooklyn Vegan,[9] and The Art Forum.[10]


  1. ^ a b The Residents – God in Three Persons: Review at AllMusic
  2. ^ "News Machine - The Residents". residents.com, web.archive.org. Archived from the original on 2019-07-25. Retrieved 2020-02-03.
  3. ^ "BANDITS-MAGES present THE RESIDENTS | BANDITS MAGESBANDITS MAGES". web.archive.org. 2019-07-25. Retrieved 2020-02-03.
  4. ^ Mages, Bandits (June 17, 2019). "Performance - God In Three Persons by The Residents". Vimeo. Retrieved June 17, 2019.
  5. ^ "The Residents: God in 3 Persons". The Lab. Retrieved 2020-02-03.
  6. ^ Larson, Sarah. "The Residents "Stumble Through" a Rock Opera". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2020-02-03.
  7. ^ "News Machine - The Residents". web.archive.org. 2020-02-01. Retrieved 2020-02-03.
  8. ^ Blistein, Jon (2020-01-30). "Watch the Residents Perform 'God in Three Persons' Live for the First Time". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2020-02-03.
  9. ^ "The Residents brought 'God in 3 Persons' to MoMA (pics, video), playing LPR". BrooklynVegan. Retrieved 2020-02-03.
  10. ^ "Canada Choate on the Residents' God in Three Persons". www.artforum.com. Retrieved 2020-02-03.