Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A double scoop of vinyl from 1982

It is I, L. Chupacabra, bringing you the much anticipated vinyl you've all been craving. Best of Ralph is a double album of recordings on the Ralph Records label with which the cool people in the audience will be familiar. I usually think of Ralph Records as the label of the incomparable group The Residents, but Ralph had quite a few other groovy artists as well.

The tracks on this double album are simply labeled from 01 to 27, but there is a bit of a difference between the two LPs that you might want to be aware of. The selections on sides one and two (tracks 01 to 12) are the results of a poll of Ralph Records' mail order customers' favorites. The selections on sides three and four (tracks 13 to 27) were chosen by the Ralph Records staff.

All of the selections are quite excellent, including one of my personal favorites, Santa Dog '78 by The Residents. This song was a single, so I'm guessing it's comparitively hard to find. There's another Residents single, Beyond the Valley of a Day in the Life, made up of Beatles' samples. Also included are several other Residents tracks, a few Yello tracks, some Snakefinger, Tuxedomoon, and a healthy dose of Fred Frith, among others. On a personal note, one of the strangest shows I've seen was on Halloween 1987. Fred Frith and Hans Reichel were playing in a church, of all places. There was this one guy in the audience who had clearly taken some illegal substance or other who wandered over to the side of the church and did this little kooky dance for most of the show, while Fred and Hans played their custom-made guitars with paint brushes and stuff. Maybe that doesn't sound like an especially strange show, but at the time it seemed a bit freaky to me. Maybe just because it was in a church. On Halloween.

Anyway, disregard all that if you want to, but be sure to check out the Best of Ralph if you want to hear some excellent and unusual music from the late 70's and early 80's. Enjoy, and think of me whenever you listen to Santa Dog '78.
pw = SantaDog


At 8/28/2006 8:55 AM, Blogger stu said...

Excellent thanks used to love MX80 Sound they were a big influence on my guitar style (ahem, pseud alert),somewhere in a big box of cassettes is a tape from Ralph that was their anniversary thing ,this invovled putting Penn Jillette in a motel room for a week with a new package of records arriving every day ,he was not allowed to leave the room he just had to listen to the records,none of which he had heard before,then talk about them sat at a table with a microphone,from this simple premise we get Penn slowly crack a bit as he starts to ramble on about his life and the effect of these wierd tunes, "Eskimo" by da Residents freaked him out considerably heh heh,i have heard this document was released as a cd,but i am sure the cassette was much longer than average so would have more of one mans descent into Ralph i will see if i can find it to rip,thanks again for this un.

At 8/28/2006 10:58 PM, Anonymous orang eskimo said...

thanks, msrs.!!!

i never heard the santa dog `78 in its entirety - just the intro version that appeared on the cd to uncle willies highly opinionated guide to the rez.
many thanks for this opportunity!

i've been a big early yello fan, and frith just dropped out from henry cow and sailed new waters in these days, getting in the ny downtown scene, zorn, chadbourne & co. amazing stuff!

but snakefinger's really the man - i've got a bunch of his records, and he's definetly worth to check out. very sad that he passed away so early!

the uk band renaldo & the loaf is funny - i just got their album with the rez, and this is fun! my partner was a big tuxedomoon fan when she was young - it's nothing in my taste, same with mx80 - too doomy!

thanks a lot for this icy gem!

At 8/28/2006 11:48 PM, Blogger L. Chupacabra said...

Your welcome, and thank your both for your exuberant comments.

The Penn Jillette thing rings a bell, but I'm sure I never heard any of it. I would be very interested in checking it out.

Best of Ralph does have a fairly good variety of artists, a little something for every Ralph fan. There's a couple I'm not real crazy about, like mx80 and the Art Bears (great name, though), but I'm glad they are included on the album.

I will be posting another Ralph compilation soon, but the artists on it are lesser known. There's Renaldo and the Loaf, Residents, Snakefinger, Mark Mothersbaugh, and Negativland, but the rest of the artists I've never heard of anywhere else. Anyway, watch this space.

At 8/29/2006 2:18 AM, Blogger tom7865 said...

Great post! Ralph records - buy it or die (great motto), record label for the residents, named derived from slang phrase for throwing up (calling Ralph on the porcelin telephone)- u can't go wrong with music from these guys. I bought this compilation years ago from the original Rhino record store in westwood (or was it Poobah's in Pasadena? cant remember now) and have wanted to rip and burn it for awhile but here it is now -all ready for us Thxs guys- get it people- this music is good (at least get it for the residents Santa Dog (anagram for satan god))- Mr Chupacabra- job well done.

At 8/29/2006 10:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to say, but 'Potatoes' was posted by Decoder on July 27 - here's the link:

But, anyway - it's a great record, and if you rip it with a better bitrate than 192kbs, and maybe from CD, it's worth the double post... (btw - was it released on CD? i just have the vinyl verson...)

Gracie mille!

At 8/29/2006 6:08 PM, Blogger L. Chupacabra said...

Okay, cool. I was about to post Potatoes, but now I won't bother. I have a couple other Ralph releases I was going to post, so I'll get to work on them.

At 8/29/2006 8:41 PM, Blogger benito x said...

Thanks muchly for this! Great stuff.
Snakefinger is Dog!
I finally found my way to your excellent blog for the first time whilst in the middle of preparing another Ralph Records comp: Ralph Before '84 Vol II. There are a couple of tracks in common but it's worth checking out anyway...
I do hope this one wasn't on your list too...
anyway that's it for my Ralph posts for a while!

At 8/29/2006 8:53 PM, Blogger benito x said...

by the way Mr. Lucky, Loopy C posted a link for the CD version of Potatoes in the comments for my post: h**p://
18 tracks - some differ, 256kbps... enjoy!

At 8/29/2006 10:16 PM, Blogger L. Chupacabra said...

No, Benito x, Best of Ralph and Potatoes, Vol. 1 are the only two Ralph compilations I have. My other Ralph vinyl consists of Stars and Hank Forever by the Residents and Night of Desirable Objects by Snakefinger's Vestal Virgins. If you know of an already existing link for either of those, please let me know, especially if it's ripped from CD.

At 8/30/2006 6:36 PM, Blogger benito x said...

I haven't seen them out there...
bring 'em on! (please)

At 8/31/2006 3:28 AM, Blogger tom7865 said...

ok guys- here are a couple of snakefinger comps ripped from cd's- feel free to post links on your blogs.

as said before both ripped from cd's @320kps -enjoy A.L-A

At 9/01/2006 12:54 AM, Blogger Chardman said...

That big ol' Penn Jillette Ralph tape is available as a stream over at Weirdsville, right here:

At 11/02/2006 10:08 AM, Anonymous dee said...

I just now discovered this fantastic blog but unfortunately the "Best of Ralph" is not downloadable anymore due to passing the time limit. Any chance some kind soul here can reupload it?? Oh man I would appreciate it so much.
And thanks a lot for the Potatoes and Snakefinger. You guys are great!


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