Fingerprince (1977)

The first taste of the Residents' 'sound', taking the experiments of previous 6 years and forging them into something vaguely familiar. A few weak songs let this down slightly, but not enough to stop it being a great listen.

Where MtR and 3R'n'R are both albums of two sides, Fingerprince is an album of three. The third side, Babyfingers, contains the very popular Walter Westinghouse — always a delight to hear and scratch your head over. On the face of it, less weird than its predecessors (and a little less frantic/frenetic) but still 'strange'. Not immediately compelling, I found, but it pays off repeat listenings.

The third side of (what would have been) the "Tourniquet Of Roses" album was released three years later, as the Babyfingers EP. The first side of Fingerprince is taken up with short and snappy tracks, like the exotic You Yesyesyes, which has some wonderful slide guitar playing by Snakefinger. The second side of the album is taken up by a single track, Six Things To A Cycle, an instrumental score to a non-existent ballet. Lashings of primitive percussion, vibes, and xylophones give way to a haunting passage. Strange and beautiful.