Depending on how you look at things, this was either The Residents second, or third album. After Meet The Residents, the band recorded an album's worth of music which was not to be released until they forgot about it. (This worked in accordance with their mentor N. Senada's Theory Of Obscurity, and allowed them to craft music that did not have to meet the expections of the 50 people who bought their first album.) After this recording session, the Residents began work on The Third Reich N' Roll - an album of music about music, with the theory that pop music is facism in disguise. The album was released in 1976.
The Third Reich N' Roll consists of two side-length cover medleys of various 50s and 60s pop songs (with the occasional insertion of a clip from an original). These were recorded in a unique fashion - the original would be recorded on one track, and The Residents would play their cover over top of the original. Then, the track containing the original song would be erased. The result is that the covers manage to be tempoed to the original.
Like Meet The Residents before it, they ran into issues concerning the packaging - this time on a larger scale. The album simply could not be sold in Germany due to the wide use of Nazi imagery. Eventually, a second cover was made. The original featured Dick Clark in a Nazi Uniform holding a carrot. The original German pressings simply covered the Swastikas (and other things) with white bars until the second cover was created. This cover featured figures of Adolph Hitler and Madonna instead.
In addition, the band also created a promotional video for the album, featuring the band in newspaper suits, on a newspaper set, dancing and singing to their cover of Land of 1000 Dances. The film was recorded in color, but since everything on set was in black and white, they used black and white film for subsequent copies. This film caused issues as well, when viewers suspected The Residents had ties with the Klu Klux Klan due to the conical headwear of the newspaper costumes. This is not the case; a conical design is just the easiest way of making a full head newspaper mask.
Aside from the three cover variations, a special collectors edition of The Third Reich N' Roll was made with red marbeled vinyl, silkscreened sleeve, and in a black velvet lined hardwood box. Twenty five of these were made. The first CD rerelease contains the songs from two related singles - "Satisfaction / Loser = Weed", and The Beatles Play The Residents and The Residents Play The Beatles. The current CD rerelease omits these songs, which is a shame as they complement the album very well - particularly the scathing cover of Satisfaction.
1. Swastikas On Parade
2. Hitler Was A Vegetarian
3. Satisfaction (First CD Re-release Only)
4. Loser = Weed (First CD Re-release Only)
5. Beyond The Valley Of A Day In The Life (First CD Re-release Only)
6. Flying (First CD Re-release Only)