Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Stars & Hank Forever
Genres: Alternative Rock, Special Interest, Pop, Rock
Listen to Samples
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The Very Best and Very Worst of the Residents
David Fields | Lincoln, Nebraska United States | 06/15/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Originally, this recording came in a plastic LP format, one side with the works of the late Hank Williams the other with the works of the late John Philip Sousa - the famous composer of marches, both as arranged and performed by the Residents.The Hank Williams side not only works, but is brilliant, and contains the absolute best work the Residents have ever done - at least as far as arranging others music. If you are to get this CD, get it for the Hank Williams stuff. "Kaw-Liga" was actually a hit single in Europe, something we may (unfortunately) never see again.The Sousa stuff doesn't even work for elevator music, and is best left to folks like me who'll be happy listening to the Residents snore or to listen to some obscure sound check done by them in gosh knows when, and gosh knows where.A good idea that didn't quite work."
50% twisted covers, 50% soundscaping, 100% Residents
Bill M. | MA, USA | 11/09/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In the mid 80s The Residents started an "American Composer Series" which only lasted two albums. Each side of each album consisted of cover tunes from one of four different american composers. "Stars and Hank Forever!" consists of Hank Williams songs, followed by Sousa marches.The album opens with a bombastic "Hey Good Lookin'" featuring the chaotic guitar of Snakefinger. "Six More Miles (to the Graveyard)" and "Jambalaya" are very dark but beautiful pieces. But my favorite song on the album, and possibly from The Residents in general, is the very catchy "Kaw-liga". This song also spawned a number of remixes, but the original here is still my favorite.The second side consists of John Philip Sousa compositions, done with The Residents' own electronic instruments. On top of all that, the whole side is meant to sound like you're watching a parade! The songs fade in and out, reverbing in such a way that it sounds like a marching band passing by on the street as each song begins and ends. Before and after each song you can hear what you'd normally hear as an observer in the crowd: applause after each song, some talking, an airplane overhead, etc.Aside from compilations, I think this particular album best represents a good mix of what the band can do and is musically known for: crazy versions of tunes written by other artists, eerie yet disturbingly catchy songs you can sing along to, and vast-sounding instrumental collections that string together conceptually.I only started listening to The Residents two years ago, and they've become my favorite band since then. I have just about all of their albums and other odd releases, but "Stars and Hank Forever!" certainly gets some of the most spins on my CD player. The songs are simply done really well, and are a pleasure to listen to."
Poor old Sousa
Ryan Hennessy | Albany, NY | 11/23/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"So back in the day, after the Residents' prosperous days in the 1970's, the band decided to make a run at covering songs by the most beloved American musicians in history. The plan was to do something like 20 different artists' songs, each artist taking up one side of an LP. The first entry into the American Composer's Series was a collection of George Gershwin and James Brown songs. From what I understand, it isn't much to scream about, save for the Residential version of "It's a Man's World."Stars and Hank Forever! is basically everything you could expect from a collection of Hank Williams and John Phillips Sousa covers by the Residents. Are they being respectful or are they making a joke? Usually it's hard to tell, but with this record it's pretty safe to say that they really are paying homage to the greats.The Hank Williams side is alright, but I don't think it holds up under repeated listenings to well. It sounds just like what you'd expect from this era of the Residents. They get extensive use out of guitar and synths. The arrangements are slightly off and the singing Resident growls through every song. One of the more unfamilar Williams tune sounds immediately familiar because of a perfectly placed sample of the bassline from Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean." It transforms this old cowboy song into some kind of vampire disco song in a New York City club. The story of the wooden Indian is given an especially eerie quality as well.While most people seemed to like the Williams side better, I find the second side of Sousa marches absolutely superior. It's produced as if you're at a parade. You can hear the crowd, and as each track starts, the band comes in from the left and plays their song until leaving to the right, making way for the next marching band. Not only are the arrangements strange, but it sounds the Residents aren't even reading their sheet music right. Every note seems to be a little off, making most of the songs into dark and hectic carnival music. The evil bearded face of John Phil swings in front of you. Nevertheless, the music still holds up, although the cover of "Stars and Stripes Forever" now seems completely unpatriotic. For now, I can't rid myself of the images of the Cuban Missle Crisis-turned shooting gallery from the video of it from the Residents DVD. As for the rest of the disc, expect much more of Sousa's crazily morphed compositions. It's probably enough to give a kid nightmares."