Historical

Gingerbread Man(1995)
OverviewTracksLiner NotesLyrics


The Gingerbread Man is the band's first exploration of a new kind of album -- what they call an "expanded album". It combines the normal CD format with an interactive CD-ROM track and can be either played on a standard CD-player or played with on a computer.

The album explores the personalities of nine characters and their "rather strange outlooks on life". Each character, according to The Residents, has the Gingerbread Man in them somewhere, represented in the music by the Gingerbread Man theme:

Run, run, as fast as you can You can't catch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man...

Each of the songs have the same general format: a 30-second introduction (which usually features the Gingerbread Man theme) followed by a verse sung by the character, and then a mix of comments and thoughts by the character over music which expands on the themes in the verse, given the listener glimpses into the person's thoughts. The interactive CD-ROM program also uses the same format, letting the user play his or her keyboard like a visual instrument by triggering various images, sounds, texts, and effects through the keyboard and mouse. The album is a series of audio portraits done in a unifying style (much as the busts created for the album are all very similar in style but different in details) rather than as a collection of distinct songs.

The Residents brought a number of people together to help on this album. Ty Roberts (who had produced Ty's Freak Show) was producer on this project through his new CD-ROM company, ION. Voices for the characters were provided by not only The Residents, but also Laurie Amat (The Weaver), Diana Alden (The Confused Transsexual), Molly Harvey (The Old Woman), Isabelle Barbier, and Todd Rundgren (The Sold Out Artist, The Ascentic, and The Aging Musician). EuroRalph also released a soundtrack version of the album which doesn't have the interactive CD-ROM track.