For a group as perennially ambitious as The Residents, it is not surprising that their many abandoned or unfinished projects would develop as much of a cult interest as their vast catalogue of completed works.
This page attempts to list projects by The Residents which have been abandoned or left unfinished... for now.
Vileness Fats (1972-1976) Edit
Vileness Fats was a film project directed by The Residents with Graeme Whifler between 1972 and 1976. Perhaps the most well known of their unfinished works, the film was two-thirds complete when the group abandoned it for multiple reasons in 1976. The footage has since been re-edited into shorter video releases, including Whatever Happened To Vileness Fats? in 1984, and a seventeen minute "concentrate" on the Icky Flix DVD in 2001, but the full film remains unseen.
The Residents had intended to turn their acclaimed Eskimo album into their first touring performance show, and got as far as commissioning Ron Davis to design and create the stage set for this performance, however the idea was abandoned and to date, Eskimo has never been performed live by the group. Ron Davis would later work on Cube-E and Freak Show Live.
Mark of the Mole Atari 2600 game (1983) Edit
In 1983, Gary Easter was developing Mark of the Mole into a music-based video game designed to teach the player "perfect pitch", however the game was abandoned before it could be completed or released.
The Mole Trilogy - Parts 3, 5 and 6 (1981-1985) Edit
In 1981, The Residents began a trilogy of concept albums with the release of Mark of the Mole. The trilogy became a tetralogy with odd-numbered albums telling the story and even-numbered albums presenting the music of the fictional cultures depicted within, and in 1982 the second volume, The Tunes of Two Cities was released, followed by the fourth, The Big Bubble, in 1985. Despite some related releases, parts three, five and six have never been completed or released in any form. Though a handful of pieces of music thought to be from the sessions of the unreleased Part Three have surfaced (officially and unofficially), it is not currently known how much work was completed on the remaining three installments before The Residents abandoned the trilogy in 1985.
Santa Dog '84 (1984) Edit
In 1984, The Residents began to work on a new version of their 1972 song "Fire" (or "Santa Dog"), to release on a new single similar to "Santa Dog '78". At this time The Residents thought they would revisit "Santa Dog" every six years to demonstrate how they had grown as a band in the meantime, however they abandoned Santa Dog '84 when they felt they had not changed enough since the last rendition to warrant a new one. The next attempt to record "Santa Dog" would be in 1988 with the Santa Dog 88 single, which also included the unfinished version from 1984.
The American Composer Series - Volumes 3-10 (1984-1986) Edit
Around the time they decided to abandon The Mole Trilogy, The Residents began work on another ambitious, long-term conceptual series of releases - The American Composer Series, in which they would reinterpret the work of twenty American composers over ten albums. The first two volumes, George & James (pairing George Gershwin and James Brown) and Stars & Hank Forever (featuring John Philip Sousa and Hank Williams Sr.) were released in 1984 and 1986 respectively, but no further volumes were released. Others were known to have been developed and even at least partially recorded, however, including the projected third album in the series, The Trouble With Harrys (featuring Harry Partch and Harry Nilsson), and an album pairing the compositions of Bob Dylan and Barry White tentatively titled Bob & The Blob.
Science Fiction's Greatest Hits (1985) Edit
In 1985, The Residents developed a concept for a series of music video releases, entitled Science Fiction's Greatest Hits. Each video was to be a two to four minute piece edited from classic 1950s and 1960s science fiction films. These clips would be computer enhanced and coloured, with a new song recorded specifically for each one. As a demonstration of the concept, the band created Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers using scenes from Fred F. Sears's 1956 film of the same name. Unfortunately negotiations for any further instalments in the series fell through due in large part to the expense in securing the rights to the films.
Monkey On My Back (1989) Edit
In 1989, Uncle Willie reported to UWEB fan club subscribers on an album The Residents were secretly recording entitled Monkey On My Back. The Residents felt that the release of this information spoiled the conditions under which they wanted to record the album, and they abandoned it entirely as a result. The album as described in the Uncle Willie article was similar to what was ultimately released in 1990 as Our Finest Flowers.
That Slab Called Night (1994) Edit
That Slab Called Night was the provisional title of an album The Residents were recording after the release of Gingerbread Man in 1994. In 1995 they received an offer to record the soundtrack for the Discovery Channel series Hunters: The World of Predators and Prey, which "usurped" the work they had done on That Slab Called Night. The Residents would revisit this unfinished album again in 2007 to create an entirely new album, which was released as Night of the Hunters.
Bad Day On The Midway TV pilot (1997-1998) Edit
The Residents were in discussions with David Lynch's The Picture Factory and Ron Howard's Imagine production companies in 1997 and 1998, with plans to produce a TV pilot based on their 1996 CD-ROM game Bad Day On The Midway. Unfortunately, this project fell through in its early stages of development, when Lynch was contracted to produce a new film.
I Murdered Mommy! CD-ROM (1998) Edit
I Murdered Mommy! was going to be the follow up to Bad Day On The Midway, but was abandoned part-way through development. The Residents had completed some music for the soundtrack, which was released in a limited edition as I Murdered Mommy! in 2004.
Duck Stab! Reimagined (2012) Edit
Around the time of the 35th anniversary of the release of Duck Stab!/Buster & Glen, The Residents began composing sketches for a "reimagining" of the classic album, but abandoned this idea before developing it any further. These sketches were released on the D*ck S*ab 35th anniversary compilation through RSD in 2012.