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6 Degrees Entertainment

Title - 'Freak Show: pREServed Edition' [3CD]
Artist - The Residents

For those not in the know, formed in the early 1970s, The Residents have been charting a unique path through the musical landscape for almost fifty years.

From far-out, experimental recordings to highly conceptual, innovative multi-platform projects, the band refuses to stand still, and continues to move in several different directions at once.

Produced with The Cryptic Corporation using archival tapes supplied by the group themselves, this brand new 3CD package Freak Show: pREServed Edition (released March 26th, 2021 via Cryptic Corporation/Cherry Red Records UK) explores and expands the classic 1990 album, which formed the basis of a move into multi-media work which characterized The Residents’ ‘90s output.

Freak Show explores a series of character studies of unfortunates and unloveables, all of whom have their origin in The Residents’ own childhood memories of travelling ‘freak shows’, such as they were.

This stunning 3CD set includes the original album and related contemporary tracks, an entire CD detailing the evolution of the album’s musical content throughout 1990 and live interpretations of all of the album’s tracks, including the legendary ‘Ty’s Freak Show’ performance (28 unreleased recordings in all!)

CD 1: Freak Show
1. 'Everyone Comes To The Freak Show'
2. 'Harry The Head'
3. 'Herman The Human Mole'
4. 'Wanda The Worm Woman'
5. 'Jack The Boneless Boy'
6. 'Benny The Bouncing Bump'
7. 'Mickey The Mumbling Midget'
8. 'Lillie'
9. 'Nobody Laughs When They Leave'
10. 'The Mutes' [BONUS TRACK]
11. 'Blowoff' [BONUS TRACK]
12. 'All Tha' Freaks' [BONUS TRACK]
13. 'The Eyes Scream' [BONUS TRACK]
14. 'Jelly Jack (Icky Flix)' [BONUS TRACK]
15. 'Harry The Head (Icky Flix)' [BONUS TRACK]
16. 'Jelly Jack RMX' [BONUS TRACK]

By the turn of the '90s, The Residents were exploring very different concepts than most other bands of their ilk. This is in, and unto itself, a very definitive concept album about a circus show of freaks; and one of the most disturbing albums I have heard! (Definitely not to be played at night).

'Everyone Comes to the Freak Show' opens proceedings with an announcer plying his vocal wears ("Roll up. Roll up. And welcome") and some dissonant music is heard, just to add to the feeling of overall dementedness.

'Harry the Head' has a gorgeous female singer and some repetitive chanting about poor Harry and his head and then we get 'Herman the Human Mole,' which is a low key, nasal vocal similar to that heard on most Residents albums; plus oodles of synth droning.

'Wanda the Worm Woman' is a narrative as Wanda hypnotizes the crowd, with her "Mona Lisa smile" whilst dancing up a storm and picks off her worms to some disturbing music! The female voice is again a nice touch breaking up the usual male nasal intonations.

'Jack the Boneless Boy' has an oddball chant and some jelly-like vocals warbling around within it (the boy lives inside a jar, people stare ("... eyeballs in a pool of flesh surrounded by some hair").

Jack wishes he was a cowboy and we hear his thoughts about a possible life, but he is, obviously, still stuck in a jar. The pitchy choir that sings has a nursery rhyme feel, but this is certainly one of the more disturbing songs from The Residents.

Next up are the jaunty rhythms of 'Benny the Bouncing Bump,' a 6 minute piece of mirth that also comprise some rather unsettling lyrics. About Benny, who is just a lump of flesh and has to bounce to move around, and who collects girly magazines ("... he kept them all in plastic bags and everybody said that Benny talked to them at night before he went to bed"), the music moves into a tonal synth and eerie flourishes very easily.

The original album begins to round out with the announcement of 'Mickey the Mumbling Midget,' backed by some very odd music with dramatic bass and drum. Indeed, the music lurches into a rhythmic Samba percussion sound at one point and yet more high-pitched voices are echoed by a narrator.

'Lillie' is a 7 minute track, and one that will leave you wondering just what her "freakish problem" might me, given that it is not stated in the title. I soon found out for little Lillie grosses out audiences by regurgitating things such as coins ("Her face is too white, like a corpse in sunshine"), whilst her deranged screams of pure, unadulterated hatred are spewed forth.

'Nobody Laughs When They Leave' closes the Freak Show with a statement shrouded in the metaphor of Life is a lot like a Freak Show, as Nobody Laughs When They Leave. Having listened to this album twice through now, inclusive of the other two bonus discs of elongated samples and live cuts, I can echo that sentiment also, for Freak Show is as chilling, and dementedly manic to behold today as it was back then, trust me! [ST]

CD 2: The Freak Show Evolutions
1. 'Spring 1990 Jam 1'
2. 'Spring 1990 Jam 2'
3. 'Spring 1990 Jam 3'
4. 'Rough Mix 1'
5. 'Rough Mix 2'
6. 'Rough Mix 4'
7. 'Rough Mix 7'
8. 'Rough Mix 10'
9. 'Rough Mix 12'
10. 'Rough Mix 13'
11. 'Rough Mix 14'
12. 'Rough Mix 16'
13. 'Rough Mix 19'
14. 'Rough Mix 21'
15. 'Pony Rink 1'
16. 'Pony Rink 3'
17. 'Pony Rink 4'
18. 'Pony Rink 5'
19. 'Pony Rink 6'
20. 'Pony Rink 9'
21. 'Pony Rink 10'
22. 'Pony Rink 11'
23. 'Pony Rink 13'
24. 'Pony Rink 17'
25. 'Pony Rink 20'
26. 'Pony Rink 23'
27. 'Pony Rink 26'

All tracks Previously Unreleased

CD 3: Live Freaks
1. 'Ty's Freak Show Restoration (1991)'*
2. 'Everyone Comes To The Freakshow (1997)'
3. 'Harry (2014)'
4. 'Herman (2014)'
5. 'Wanda (1995)'
6. 'Jack (1997)'
7. 'Benny (2001)'
8. 'Mickey (2018)'
9. 'Lillie (2011)'
10. 'Nobody Laughs When They Leave' (2001)

*Previously Unreleased

Remastered, expanded, and preserved for future generation, this is The Residents as we’ve always wanted to hear them, and the latest in a series of archival reissues that will continue throughout 2021 and beyond.

Look out for forthcoming Gingerbread Man, Wormwood and Icky Flix sets, as well as a number of special vinyl releases.

Official 3CD Purchase Link

www.CherryRed.co.uk





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