Probably the most radical album ever recorded. A declaration of intent by the Residents. In a way it kick-started a 25 year long habit of messing around with other people's music. Better get used to the idea. A very agressive and ugly record! Very hard to access!
Pop music of the sixties is lovingly warped and mangled to their design and interspersed with the sound of machine guns and crashing warplanes. A dazzling album that has been described as one of the cornerstones of The Residents reputation. Many numbers are gunned down in cold blood (though many deserve it). Light My Fire by The Doors is reduced to a forty second ditty and Telstar by The Tornados gets all mixed up with Wipe Out by Surfaris. A little suite of teenage angst takes place featuring 96 Tears and It's My Party before Yummy Yummy Yummy gets truly trashed. The album ends with the painful dirge that is Hey Jude (and that goes for the original version in my opinion) albeit aided and abetted with sarcastic little "whoo whoos" stolen from Sympathy For The Devil. The video of their manic interpretation of The Land Of A 1000 Dances now resides, along with other innovative Residential efforts, in permanant exhibition at the Museum Of Modern Art in New York.
The LP makes more sense if you think of it as two separate LPs. The first side, recorded in 1974, was a sonic progression from Meet The Residents. It is a grand experiment in recording technique as a musical instrument. Those guys must have had a ball, playing with their gadgets saying "Whoa what a great noise, let's use that!". After completion of Swastikas On Parade, I suspect it was shelved while they started work on Not Available.
A year later, they must have decided to pick up the Third Reich again and started on Hitler Was A Vegetatarian. This side is much more similar to Not Available in production. They seem to have acquired a bit of expensive gear for this project, including synthesizers and quality tape recorders. The composition is much less disguised, opting for a more straightforward duplication of the original songs.