Ready for the House is the debut album by Jandek, and was released in 1978 by his own Corwood Industries label, with the catalog number #0739. The artist has said in letters that the number was meaningless. Corwood Industries reissued the album three times on CD, first in 1999, then sometime in the early 2000's, and again in 2005. Jackpot Records, with exclusive permission from Corwood, reissued the album on LP in 2008.
The album was not originally attributed to Jandek at all, but rather to "the Units." The name Jandek replaced that of the Units on all future releases after a California new wave group of the same name gave Corwood Industries a cease and desist order; all subsequent reissues of Ready... now bear the Jandek name.
The music on the album consists of Jandek's wavering voice and a guitar pick gently plucking very oddly tuned guitar strings. The guitar playing, which many refer to as "untuned" is in fact tuned to what the artist has referred to as a "black key sound." Eight of the nine tracks largely repeat the same slow, slightly bluesy tempo with similar vocal delivery.
On the ending track, "European Jewel (Incomplete)," Jandek switches from the acoustic to a more standardly tuned strummed electric guitar. In the middle of the line "just a shaky sha-" the song cuts off and the album is over. The song would be finished on Chair Beside a Window and revisited three more times on the album The Rocks Crumble.
Jandek says he printed a thousand copies of Ready for the House and sold only two in the first two years. Then it received its first review, when Phil X. Milstein wrote about it in Op magazine issue L. Shortly after, outsider DJ Irwin Chusid of WFMU began corresponding with Corwood Industries, a label that has held the same PO box since this release, and which releases nothing but Jandek records. Through this attention, the artist was encouraged to return to music.