Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Melody Maker - Unknown Pleasures - 20 Great Lost Albums Rediscovered - # 11 The Residents - Eskimo

The Residents are the band for the 'cooler than thou' contingent. I suppose I count myself among that number. Though I'm not going to start playing The Residents on a regular basis having listened through to Eskimo in its entirety while writing this. It's often thought of as their best album and it was released in 1979 after a long congestion period. It's certainly not a record that can have them being accused of selling out on their weird founding principles.

It's a concept of sorts, reputed to be a historical document on arctic life and highlight ignorance to indigenous people living there. I wanted to take it off after 25 minutes of listening to it on headphones, return to the relative normality of the Feelies album on my record deck and fall asleep on my sofa. I resisted that urge and ploughed through the whole of it. I suspect that will be the first and last time I'll ever listen to it.

Everett True wrote the article about it here. He was a man with history and eccentric form. As The Legend! he had been the artist responsible for the first single release on Creation Records. He championed Nirvana from their early days and wheeled Kurt Cobain onstage in their notorious Reading Festival performance. He then proceeded to a highly individual journalistic career, slagging The Smashing Pumpkins off at every opportunity, writing for the national press and his own blogs, remaining very much his own man.

He had much history with The Residents as they had been a major formative influence inspiring him to form his first band at school. He makes no great claims for either The Residents or the album apart from vouching for the weirdness of both. He's not wrong in either respect. But I'd have to say that personally I was very pleased when I got through the record and could return my attention to The Feelies.

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