The Third Reich 'n Roll

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The Third Reich 'n Roll
Thirdreich&roll.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedFebruary 1976
RecordedOctober 1974 (A side)
October 1975 (B side)
GenreNoise rock, avant-garde
Length35:57
LabelRalph, East Side Digital, Mute
ProducerThe Residents
The Residents chronology
Meet the Residents
(1974)
The Third Reich 'n Roll
(1976)
Fingerprince
(1977)
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[1]

The Third Reich 'n Roll is the third studio album (released as the second) by the U.S. avant-garde rock group The Residents, released on Ralph Records in 1976.

Recording[edit]

In 1972, whilst on a break from filming Vileness Fats, the Residents decided to make a 'world' out of newspapers, covering their studio in newspapers and dressing in them. They filmed a short video of them dancing and playing in the 'newspaper world,' which would eventually become the music video for track "Swastikas on Parade." In 1974, the Residents were considering making their follow-up to Meet the Residents as a cover album. They initially wanted their friend Snakefinger to play guitar on the album but as he was in England at the time, it did not seem possible. The Residents searched for a local guitarist and eventually Gary Phillips of Earth Quake was suggested to them. They also used their friend Peggy Honeydew for vocals, since she had appeared in Vileness Fats at the time. The Residents recorded "Swastikas on Parade" in one week during October, 1974. The later year, the Residents returned to the concept and recorded the second strack, titled "Hitler Was a Vegetarian." In order to promote the album, the Residents synced their 1972 short film up with an edited version of "Swastikas on Parade" and filmed additional scenes on the set of Vileness Fats for the outro. [2]

Reception[edit]

In the 31st of December 1977 issue of Sounds Magazine, Jon Savage described the album as "Funny – and frightening" [3] Peter Silverton described the album as The Residents "One unqualified masterpiece", and the best party game of the Seventies.[4]

Concept[edit]

The Third Reich 'n Roll is a parody and satire of pop music and commercials from the 1960s. It consists of two side-long pastiches of various songs from the period; some are obvious, while others are almost unrecognizable. Although none of the songs are named on the album, The Residents' first website listed the tracks as the following:[5]

Swastikas on Parade[edit]

Recorded in 1974.[5]

  1. "Der Twist beginnt" (German version of Let's Twist Again—sampled)
  2. "Land of a Thousand Dances"
  3. "Hanky Panky"
  4. "A Horse with No Name"
  5. "Double Shot (Of My Baby's Love)
  6. "The Letter"
  7. "Psychotic Reaction"
  8. "Little Girl"
  9. "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" (sung in German)
  10. "Talk Talk" (The Music Machine)
  11. "I Want Candy"
  12. "To Sir, with Love"
  13. "Telstar"
  14. "Wipe Out"
  15. "Heroes and Villains"

Hitler Was a Vegetarian[edit]

Recorded in 1975.[5]

  1. "Judy in Disguise (With Glasses)"
  2. "96 Tears"
  3. "It's My Party"
  4. "Light My Fire"
  5. "Ballad of the Green Berets"
  6. "Yummy Yummy Yummy"
  7. "Rock Around the Clock"
  8. "Pushin' Too Hard"
  9. "Good Lovin'"
  10. "Gloria"
  11. "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida"
  12. "Sunshine of Your Love"
  13. "Hey Jude"
  14. "Sympathy for the Devil"

Some of these songs are played simultaneously. America's "A Horse with No Name" is slightly newer than the rest of the hits on the album, but matches The Swinging Medallions' "Double Shot (Of My Baby's Love)" exactly. Vocals from The Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil" are performed during a guitar solo to the tune of The Beatles' "Hey Jude" (performed by Gary Phillips of the band Earth Quake), and "Telstar" is played simultaneously with "Wipe Out".

History and release[edit]

Considered by some to be a very early form of a mashup album, The Third Reich 'n Roll features what is thought to be the first commercially released record to sample James Brown, borrowing a horn hit directly from the original King Records 45 of "...Brand New Bag" on "Swastikas on Parade". This sample predates rap music's adaptations of Brown riffs, beats, and soundbites by about 15 years.

The album generated some controversy due to its cover art, which featured television entertainer Dick Clark in a Nazi uniform holding a carrot while surrounded by swastikas and pictures of a dancing Adolf Hitler in both male and female dress. A version was marketed in the 1980s for German consumption which heavily censored much of the cover art by stamping the word "censored" over every Nazi reference.

In 1980, a Third Reich 'N' Roll Collectors Box was produced in a limited edition of 30 copies of which 25 were released. These came with a hand pressed red marbled vinyl edition of the record with silk screened sleeve and labels, in a velvet-lined black wooden box with a sliding panel featuring hand-screened version of the cover art. Also enclosed are two signed and numbered lithographs by Irene Dogmatic. The entire box was enclosed in a drawstring bag made from a piece of Christo's work Running Fence.[6]

The Residents recorded a full version of The Swingin' Medallions' "Double Shot (Of My Baby's Love)" in 1987 during the sessions for God in Three Persons, and incorporated it into the score of their 1989 touring production Cube-E.

The 1993 CD reissue by Euro Ralph included brand new cover art, featuring Adolf Hitler holding a carrot and Madonna holding a Resident eyeball head. All swastikas were eliminated from this version of the cover. An ultimate special edition hardbook containing all the original artwork and the full photo-session was released on Mute Records in September 2005.

The album was definitively reissued in 2018 as part of The Residents' pREServed remaster campaign, featuring the "Satisfaction" and The Beatles Play The Residents and The Residents Play The Beatles singles, the 1976 "Oh Mummy, Oh Daddy" live performance, and a number of previously unheard outtakes. This reissue also featured a newly updated cover design, derived from the early 1980s German censored version.

Connections with other Residents projects[edit]

  • At their 1976 "Oh Mummy" Show The Residents performed "It's My Party" from "Hitler Was a Vegetarian" as well as "Wipe Out" from "Swastikas On Parade"
  • In 1982 Penn Jillette listened to this album for "Ralph Records 10th Anniversary Radio Special!"
  • "The Letter", from the "Swastikas on Parade" side was re-recorded on its on by The Residents anticipating a potential tour in 1981, eventually appearing on their "Assorted Secrets" Tape.
  • In 1988 The Residents re-recorded "Double Shot" again from the "Swastikas on Parade" side, and released it as a single
  • Their 1988 album God In Three Persons uses the instrumental from "Double Shot" as a main theme.
  • For their 2001 film "Icky Flix" The Residents re-recorded the excerpts from "Swastikas On Parade" that appear in the Music Video.
  • In their 2001 "Icky Flix" Tour The Residents performed excerpts from Swastikas On Parade
  • The Residents released several other cover albums after this. "George & James", covers the songs of George Gershwin and James Brown,"Stars & Hank Forever" covers songs by John Philip Sousa and Hank Williams, The King & Eye features covers of Elvis songs, Pollex Christi covers songs by their mentor "N. Senada"

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Swastikas on Parade" – 17:30
  2. "Hitler Was a Vegetarian" – 18:27

Bonus tracks (1988 CD release only)[edit]

  1. "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" – 4:30 (mono)
  2. "Loser ≅ Weed" – 2:09 (mono)
  3. "Beyond the Valley of a Day in the Life" – 3:56
  4. "Flying" – 3:22

Personnel[edit]

  • The Residents - Vocals, Drums, Soprano Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Cornet, French Horn, Clarinet, Trombone, Synthesizer, Organ [Pipe Organ], Xylophone, Violin [Electric], Piano, Organ, Guitar, Oud, Bass, Koto, Accordion, Performer [Piped Snooter, Garbage Drums, Stretch Globel, Hanging Lamp, Rubboard]
  • Peggy Honeydew - Vocals
  • Pamela Zeibak - Vocals
  • Gary Phillips - Guitar

See also[edit]

References and footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ pREServed Edition booklet
  3. ^ "Residents: Meet the Residents *****; Third Reich 'N' Roll *****; Finger Prince *****. By Jon Savage : Articles, reviews and interviews from Rock's Backpages". www.rocksbackpages.com. Retrieved 2019-07-28.
  4. ^ "The Residents: Not Available. By Peter Silverton : Articles, reviews and interviews from Rock's Backpages". www.rocksbackpages.com. Retrieved 2019-07-28.
  5. ^ a b c Redekop, James H.G. (February 6, 1997). "The Third Reich 'N' Roll (1976)". RzWeb: A Guide to the Works of the Residents. Toronto, Canada. Archived from the original on March 27, 1997.
  6. ^ Residents History Archived 2009-04-15 at the Wayback Machine