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George and James

Rev. Syung Myung Me: This is the first album of the American Composer Series (With Stars and Hank Forever), and one of the worst things the Residents have recorded. The ACS was intended to be a series of something like 20 LPs, made up of covers of songs by two different American composers that influenced the Residents, split along the A- and B-sides. Unfortunately, they only recorded two albums in it, because the new CD format was causing royalties to skyrocket and they couldn't afford to buy the rights to do this. (Also, since the CD only has one side, it cramped the style for the whole "one-side-for-one-composer-the-other-for-another" thing.)

This one is George Gershwin and James Brown. The Gershwin side is basically similar to MIDI files of his songs, and the James Brown side is a shortened cover of the Live At The Apollo album, done in a growling, groaning, unintelligible style. (The single "This Is A Man Man Man's World" does NOT appear on this album; in fact, if the James side had been closer in style to that, it would have actually been pretty good.) It's pretty boring, actually – there's very little to hang on to and the album just sounds sort of lazy (coupled with the hideous cover art, as well, one gets the impression that the Residents weren't really expending all the effort they could on this one). I would recommend people not really bother with this one, to be honest. The annoying thing for me is that for a long time, this was only available in Japan, so I actually bought the Japanese import of it, only to find out that not only was it awful, but that about six months to a year later, it was being released domestically.