God In Three Persons was The Residents' first recording project designed from the beginning for CD (although the album was also released as a double LP), free of the usual constrictions of the vinyl medium. It was also the first album that the band recorded digitally, using computers to edit the album into its final form. Before this they had used analog systems, having owned the some of the first 4, 8, and 16-track studios, and did their editing with razors and splicing tape.
Early in the album's production, the group's long-time collaborator Snakefinger (who was slated to record several guitar tracks for the album) tragically passed away of a heart attack in 1988. The finished album would feature guest contributions from song-stylist Laurie Amat and brass and woodwind from Richard Mariott.
The album features the main organ riff from "Double Shot (Of My Baby's Love)" by The Swingin' Medallions as a central motif. This track was previously covered in part by The Residents as part of "Swastikas on Parade" from The Third Reich 'n Roll.
In recent times, the group have noted that God In Three Persons would "make a great movie".
The album is narrated in the first person by Mr. X, who finds a pair of Siamese twins who have miraculous healing powers. He convinces them to let him manage their careers, touring them as holy healers and conducting services during which they cure the masses. Mr. X begins to lust after the "female" twin, then realizes that the twins' sexes are fluid rather than fixed. When he discovers that the twins are far more worldly than he had believed, and therefore less under his control, he plots a vicious rape in which he severs the connection between the two, splitting them forever. In the end, he realizes that his feelings for the twins were not being imposed on him by the twins, but came from within himself.
Mr. X is accompanied throughout with occasional sung commentary by Laurie Amat, who acts as a "Greek Chorus" (and sings the opening credits on the first track).
The project had been initially designed by the group as analogous to "potato chips" - ie. available in a variety of flavours, eventually only a companion soundtrack album (featuring the instrumental backing tracks) and two singles, "Double Shot" and "Holy Kiss of Flesh" were released alongside the album in 1988.
Track listing Edit
- Main Titles (God In Three Persons) (3:52)
- Hard & Tenderly (4:36)
- Devotion? (3:36)
- The Thing About Them (4:05)
- Their Early Years (4:39)
- Loss of a Loved One (4:50)
- The Touch (3:30)
- The Service (5:02)
- Confused (By What I Felt Inside) (4:37)
- Fine Fat Flies (4:26)
- Time (1:18)
- Silver, Sharp and Could Not Care (3:03)
- Kiss of Flesh (9:39)
- Pain and Pleasure (4:35)