pares down

The Commercial Album

The Commercial Album is an album released by The Residents in 1980. It is commonly considered a follow-up of Duck Stab/Buster & Glen. The album pares down the concept and structure of the average commercial pop song and reduces it to a one-minute redux. It contains a compilation of 40 such sixty-second vignettes. The album used several session musicians, including Chris Cutler, Snakefinger and Fred Frith as well as two anonymous guest vocalists, Lene Lovich ("Picnic Boy") and Andy Partridge ("Margaret Freeman"). The album may have been the main inspiration for They Might Be Giants' 20-track piece "Fingertips" from Apollo 18. Their song could also allude to "Fingertips," Track 36 of The Commercial Album.

The faces on the album cover are John Travolta and Barbra Streisand. The backside of the original LP labels listed the length as "1:00" after each of the 40 song titles. The first edition listed the tracks in the wrong order on the first edition sleeve.

Track listing

  1. "Easter Woman"
  2. "Perfect Love"
  3. "Picnic Boy"
  4. "End of Home"
  5. "Amber"
  6. "Japanese Watercolor"
  7. "Secrets"
  8. "Die in Terror"
  9. "Red Rider"
  10. "My Second Wife"
  11. "Floyd"
  12. "Suburban Bathers"
  13. "Dimples and Toes"
  14. "The Nameless Souls"
  15. "Love Leaks Out"
  16. "Act of Being Polite"
  17. "Medicine Man"
  18. "Tragic Bells"
  19. "Loss of Innocence"
  20. "The Simple Song"
  21. "Ups and Downs"
  22. "Possessions"
  23. "Give It to Someone Else"
  24. "Phantom"
  25. "Less Not More"
  26. "My Work Is So Behind"
  27. "Birds in the Trees"
  28. "Handful of Desire"
  29. "Moisture"
  30. "Love Is..."
  31. "Troubled Man"
  32. "La La"
  33. "Loneliness"
  34. "Nice Old Man"
  35. "The Talk of Creatures"
  36. "Fingertips"
  37. "In Between Dreams"
  38. "Margaret Freeman"
  39. "The Coming of the Crow"
  40. "When We Were Young"
  41. Bonus Tracks (1988 CD release only)
  42. "Shut Up Shut Up"
  43. "And I Was Alone"
  44. "Theme for an American TV Show"
  45. "We're a Happy Family/Bali Ha'i"
  46. "The Sleeper"
  47. "Boy in Love"
  48. "Diskomo (Remix)"
  49. "Jailhouse Rock"
  50. "It's a Man's Man's Man's World"
  51. "Hit the Road Jack"

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