Mark of the Mole

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Mark of the Mole
Mark of the Mole.jpg
Studio album by The Residents
Released September 1981
Recorded October 1979-July 1981
Genre Industrial, avant-garde, noise rock
Length 40:49
Label Ralph, East Side Digital
The Residents chronology
The Commercial Album
(1980)The Commercial Album1980
Mark of the Mole
The Tunes of Two Cities
(1982)The Tunes of Two Cities1982
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]

Mark of the Mole is an album by the Residents, released in 1981. It was meant to be the first album in a tetralogy detailing the conflicts between the Moles (a subterranean society whose gods offer salvation through hard labor) and the Chubs (a vapid, hedonistic culture).

After the Moles are forced to abandon their tunnels due to flooding, they enter the land of the Chubs seeking work. At first they are welcomed with open arms because the Chubs despise hard labor. Conflict arises when a Chub scientist invents a machine that can do the work instead, making the Moles obsolete and a drag on Chub society. What follows is a brief war. The short instrumental track "Resolution?" ends the album without giving a clear conclusion to the narrative; the liner notes to the album The Big Bubble (billed as "Part Four of the Mole Trilogy") states that the war ended with no clear winner, and the two ethnic groups live together in uneasy peace.

The work and its follow-up album, The Tunes of Two Cities, became the basis for the Residents' first international tour, the Mole Show. Penn Jillette, who appeared as MC of the Mole Show, has an uncredited appearance as a weatherman on "Voices of the Air."

An Atari 2600 game based on the album was being developed by Greg Easter in 1983, but it was later cancelled.[2]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Voices of the Air" 2:55
2. "The Ultimate Disaster
  • I. "Won't You Keep Us Working? Working Down Below?"
  • II. "First Warning"
  • III. "Back to Normality"
  • IV. "The Sky Falls"
  • V. "Why Are We Crying"
  • VI. "The Tunnels Are Filling"
  • VII. "It Never Stops""
3. "Migration
  • I. "March into the Sea"
  • II. "The Observer"
  • III. "Hole-Worker's New Hymn""
4. "Another Land
  • I. "Rumors"
  • II. "Arrival"
  • III. "Deployment"
  • IV. "Saturation""
5. "The New Machine
  • I. "Idea"
  • II. "Construction"
  • III. "Failure/Reconstruction"
  • IV. "Success""
6. "Final Confrontation
  • I. "Driving the Moles Away"
  • II. "Don't Tread on Me"
  • III. "The Short War"
  • IV. "Resolution""
Total length: 40:49
  • Bonus Tracks (1987 CD release only)
  1. "Lights Out" (Prelude)
  2. "Shorty's Lament" (Intermission)
  3. "The Moles Are Coming" (Intermission)
  4. "Would We Be Alive?" (Intermission)
  5. "The New Hymn" (Recessional)


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Reichert, Matt (2010-11-20). "Mark of the Mole". Retrieved 2011-03-05.