Not that the Residents' discography is that easy to sort through in the first place, but here's a release where things become particularly confusing. Back in 1971, they recorded an album (actually, before they were officially the Residents) and sent it anonymously and unsolicited to Harve Halverstadt at Atlantic Records based on his association with noted musical outsider Captain Beefheart. Of course, the tape was rejected and returned to the band, care of "Residents, 20 Sycamore St., San Francisco," thus giving the band their famously anonymous moniker. But despite the future "success" of the Residents, the album remained unreleased. Fast forward 30-plus years to a time when the Residents were not only courting a newfound sense of accessibility with works like Demons Dance Alone and Wormwood, but they also seemed to be pondering their own mortality and ultimate place as artists, as evidenced by the Kettles of Fish live retrospective and a willingness to share actual personal details both there and in the Demons Dance Alone tour (while still maintaining anonymity, of course). In the midst of this, apparently the Residents decided to revisit the Warner Brothers Album, as it came to be called. But, when you're the Residents, a straight issuing of the original album seems tremendously uninspired, so in 2003, they took the original tracks and made a "dance mix" of the entire album. Now, anyone who has heard early Residents' material realizes that they were about as far from a dance band as any musical ensemble in the history of the world at that point. Which makes this remix all the more amazing in that they were able to take tapes that surely would be deemed completely unlistenable by most everyone, and craft a fun, accessible "dance" album out of them. Yes, many of the sounds are very strange, and often unplaceable. Yes, you hear the singing resident, sounding much as he has throughout their career, along with bleating, out-of-tune saxophones and deranged, near-yodeled vocals. But they somehow take these often-abrasive sounds and construct melodies and song forms that almost certainly weren't there in the first place. Or were they? That's part of the fun: you hear sound elements like string ensembles and bits off pop records that had to have been "sampled" (remember, this is 1971) along with other sounds/noises that are impossible to place, but one never knows whether the sound was tweaked and treated in 1971, or in 2003 (snatches of the Beatles and the I Love Lucy theme also appear in the murk). Then there are little details like the fact that the clapped-out rhythm that accompanies "A Merican Fag" sounds suspiciously like the Village People's "we want you, we want you" rhythm from "In the Navy," although "In the Navy" didn't appear until 1979. And how they manage to take the utterly inept sax playing of "Christmas Morning Photo," marry it to galloping beats of "Maggie's Farm," and make it catchy is anyone's guess. Such is the genius and mystery of the Residents. Very strange, very fun, and quite danceable, WB:RMX is a must-hear for fans.