Rev. Syung Myung Me: This was intended to be the first 3-sided LP, but while the Residents were busy figuring out how the logistics of this would work, Monty Python released Matching Tie And Handkerchief, both answering the question of how to do it and taking the title of "first 3-sided album", so the Residents just put Fingerprince out as a standard LP. (The material for the 3rd side ended up being released as a limited edition 7" called Babyfingers – the CD version combines the two releases and reconstructs the album as it was originally intended.) There isn't really an overriding concept, aside from both releases having one side of songs and one side of a longer work. Fingerprince has the ballet "Six Things To A Cycle" (which is very, very good, actually, and sketches out the rise and fall of a civilization), while Babyfingers has the long pop-song-format "Walter Westinghouse", a cryptic song about a husband and wife falling out.
I really enjoy this album; I'm not sure if I'd recommend it as a starting place, but you could do worse. One of the odder things with it, though, is that it does have the occasional theme of racism in it – "Flight of the Bumble Roach" has some potentially upsetting lyrics, and "Walter Westinghouse" uses the term "Nigger Nuts", a colloquialism in the American South for Brazil Nuts. This shouldn't be seen that the Residents are racist – I think they're commenting on American Racism as well as going for shock value and exploring taboos. But still, it might be a little awkward to put this record on at a dinner party. (Anyway, if you're actually offended by stuff like that, considering there's no malice intended by The Rz, I've gotta wonder what you're doin' here…)