The first full length album by The Residents, Meet The Residents is infamous in many aspects. First was it's album cover, a warped version of the infamous Meet The Beatles cover, with crude drawings over the images of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. George Harrison found the album cover to be hilarious, and bought a copy for himself. Capitol Records, however, was not amused, and the album was re-released with a new cover (featuring three crawfish and a starfish with the names John Crawfish, Paul McCrawfish, George Crawfish, and Ringo Starfish).
The album, released on Ralph Records in 1973 sold less than 50 copies in its first year, despite heavy promotion. 7 inch flexi-disc samplers were sent out to music magazines, and the album price was reduced to $1.99, and the album did not sell - mostly because people thought it was a joke. It was only after The Residents second/third album The Third Reich N' Roll was released that sales began to pick up.
The sound of Meet The Residents is hard to describe. Beginning with a mutated cover of Nancy Sinatra's These Boots Are Made For Walking, and going into pieces that seem to be combination of free jazz, musique concrete, and guys banging on their instruments in a vain attempt at cohesion. It's been compared to Captain Beefhart (who worked with The Residents), Frank Zappa, and other experimental music luminaries, but in the end the sounds of Meet The Residents stand on their own as unique. (For those new to The Residents, this may not be the best starting point. Try the Petting Zoo compilation instead.)
There are several versions of Meet The Residents. The original album with the defaced Beatles cover, the re-release with the crawfish cover (and a running time reduced by seven minutes), a 13th anniversary picture disk with both covers (and the original running time), a CD containing the original album and Santa Dog as bonus tracks, a CD of the original album without Santa Dog, and finally (coming full circle) Meet The Residents is being rereleased in Europe on vinyl with the original cover.
The tracklisting is as follows:
2. Numb Erone
3. Guylum Bardot
4. Breath and Length
5. Consuelo's Departure
6. Smelly Tongues
7. Rest Aria
9. Spotted Pinto Bean
10. Infant Tango
11. Seasoned Greetings
12. N-er-gee (Crisis Blues)