The Residents Selling $100,000 'Ultimate Box Set' for 40th Anniversary

Insane infomercial details 40 years of first pressings (and more) inside a giant fridge

Chris Martins WRITTEN BY
Chris Martins

San Francisco-based oddballs/eyeballs the Residents are celebrating the 40th anniversary of their first release, 1972's "Santa Dog" single, by releasing the Ultimate Box Set, a $100,000 music collectible to end all. In typical Residents fashion, the "box" is in fact a 28 cubic-foot refrigerator that comes stocked with first pressings of what appears to be every single Residents release ever — more than 100 items — including an actual eyeball-with-top-hat mask which you may recognize from their pioneerings pre-MTV music videos. More specifically, we're talking about "563 songs...40 vinyl LPs, 50 CDs, and dozens of singles, EPs, DVDs, and CD-ROMs plus other releases" and also objects, as is made clear in the insane infomercial above. As the group is no stranger to art galleries, the press release cautions that the "the intended market for the box set lies within the realm of fine art." Well, "frontman" "Randy" seems to think otherwise. "Have a bake sale," he says bedecked in a sloppy Santa Claus suit. "Break open those penny jars. Sell a goddamned kidney if you have to." He also offers a mystery item for $5 million. Watch the wholly freaky, totally hilarious clip above, and click on residents.com on Christmas morning to buy your own.

If you aren't familiar with the Residents, the first thing you need to know is that they're the kind of group that would, and actually could, sell a "box set" for $100k. Formed in the mid-'60s, the San Francisco-based band/art collective has now logged over four decades of mainstream-befuddling moves, from mailing a copy of their first single to Richard Nixon, releasing 50 or so album-length deconstructions of Western pop, to pioneering the use of the CD-ROM as a multimedia art delivery system. What's more, they did all of it while remaining anonymous — best known as four (give or take) weirdos wearing tuxes, top hats and giant eyeball masks. Last year the group (now a trio) "revealed" their identities as singer "Randy," keyboardist "Chuck" and guitarist "Bob."

In honor of their 40th anniversary, they're also only embarking on a 20-stop tour come January (with dates to come). Until then, there's only 10 of these boxes in existence, go ahead, help the Residents make a cool mil. Buy or die! 

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