Roddy Williams – The Atheist Poet

Albums To Hear Before You Die #008 – The Residents – Duck Stab! (1978)


I was introduced to this extraordinary album in the late Nineteen Seventies, an experience which led to a lifelong love affair with this most individual of bands.
The full title of the original album was ‘Duck Stab!/Buster and Glen’, the original Duck Stab having been a seven track EP, and Buster and Glen a postulated follow up. The band remixed these tracks, added Buster and Glen and released the vinyl album with the EP contents on each side.
Although they tend to get lumped in with the punk and new wave movements of the Seventies and Early Eighties The Residents are a unique beast. If anything their work is more related to the Surrealist/Dadaist principles of The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, particularly in their reinterpretations of other artists’ work.
In terms of that aspect of their career in 1984 they embarked on a proposed project to celebrate US composers comparing and contrasting two composers on each album. Only two of these were completed, the best of which is probably ‘Stars and Hank Forever’ which features the work of Hank Williams and a medley of Souza marches.
Duckstab, although it features no covers, set their style though.
Redolent of late Tom Waits, the music is a chaotic mix of distorted vocals, guitars and percussion, and surreal and sometimes dark and disturbing lyrics with accents of bleak humour.
They are undoubtedly one of the most innovative and original bands in US history, redefining even during the punk age what music is, and what music can do.
Here is where to start

Track Listing

1. “Constantinople” – 2:23
2. “Sinister Exaggerator” – 3:28
3. “The Booker Tease” – 1:04
4. “Blue Rosebuds” – 3:08
5. “Laughing Song” – 2:12
6. “Bach Is Dead” – 1:12
7. “Elvis and His Boss” – 2:29
8. “Lizard Lady” – 1:54
9. “Semolina” – 2:48
10. “Birthday Boy” – 2:41
11. “Weight-Lifting Lulu” – 3:11
12. “Krafty Cheese” – 1:59
13. “Hello Skinny” – 2:41
14. “The Electrocutioner” – 3:20


One response

  1. When I first bought the Duck Stab e.p. it came as a package with a poster and a t-shirt. It was my favourite t-shirt ever.

    October 8, 2014 at 12:21 pm

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