BACH IS DEAD
The Residents Discography
Last updated: May 2011
For the most part, we're concerned with being able to tell the difference between the various pressings and editions of the releases. This list is broken down into sections, according to years. Items are generally (but not always) listed in the order in which they were released. One glaring exception to this is the "Not Available" album, which is listed as their second LP (as it is purported to being) though it wasnt released until several years after (right before "Eskimo" in fact). For the most part, as new releases come about, they will be added to the end of the list.
Sounds simple, and it should be. But it's not.
The Residents have contacted Bach Is Dead through their management company (the good folks at the Cryptic Corporation) to say that they disagree with this setup. Apparently, they view their releases as concepts, not as commodities. In other words, if they had it their way, we would put all of the "God in 3 Persons" stuff together, all of the "13th Anniversary Live" stuff together, etc.
And just when you think you "get it." there's another wrinkle: the Residents have taken to re-releasing some items years later in special or changed editions, etc. When this is the case, the later edition item will be listed with it's original version. (Case in point, "Freak Show" was released as a CD in 1991, and later as a special edition 2-CD with more than double the original length in 2002. The special edition is listed along with the original release, not with the 2002 list). Still, roughly chronological is the way Marc originally set it up, and we're sticking with it. If you don't know where to look, use the search option above or e-mail me to ask!
What we have here is, generally, a way to tell one release from another. So, if you have a copy of "the Commercial Album" in your hands, you should be able to tell which one of the many editions is the one you've got.
This, too, can get complicated. For instance, it happens sometimes that an album will be re-relased, but since there are no distinguishing differences between one pressing and the next, it's virtually impossible to say what's what.
Likewise, and more significant for this discography, it often happens that there will be a mild variation within a single pressing. If the variation is significant, we'll try to let you know. What is the difference between significant and insignificant? Well that's up for debate.
Some people think that a pressing of "The Big Bubble" on CD, for instance, should have a separate listing because some back covers have a "Made in Canada" sticker and others have it printed directly onto the back tray card. The problem with this is, since none of us worked at ESD for example, we don't know what came when. Furthermore, this type of variation is often the result of different "runs," not different pressings. For example, if you have a copy of "Diskomo" that has a more colorful cover than another copy, is this a separate pressing? Likely not (it was probably a matter of a color batch running low, or the guy doing the job went on break, or whatever - if you want to pay attention to such details, you need medication, seriously). Sometimes a label will order 5000 copies of a CD to be pressed by the disk manufacturer, but will only order up an initial 2000 covers, in case something goes wrong with the batch, or to keep an open option to go to a competing printer for more economical printing, etc... This is likely the reason why some will say "Made in Canada" and some won't, or why one copy has a skinnier spine than another, etc. These differences are insignificant and will not be made mention of.
Some records are pressed by the same label, at the same plant, on the same plates, and have the same art, but will have a different address on the back cover, or a different graphic on the label, etc... THESE differences are significant to the rabid collector, and will be addressed whenever possible.
This list will forever be a work in progress, so don't go betting your life on it.
All the best, PAULIE KRAYNAK
E-mail updates, corrections etc. to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.