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Disambiguation-sml.png This article is about the 1989 live album.
You may be looking for a similarly named tour, 1983 live album, or 2009 DVD bag set.

Mole Show: Live In Holland is a live album by The Residents, recorded on the group's Mole Show tour on June 4th 1983 at the Music Centre in Utrecht and released by the group in 1989 on Torso.

The album features narration from the group's friend and occasional collaborator Penn Jillette.


When The Residents first discovered the E-mu Emulators, they knew their careers and lives would be changed forever. The machine's sampling ability would allow the group to create music using instruments they'd previously only dreamed of being able to play. They could sample trumpets and play them perfectly, and could sample a vacuum cleaner to turn it into a musical instrument. The world was their oyster.

After some testing with the emulators, the group also discovered that this made is astronomically easy to perform their tricky studio material live. Once they realized this, they began planning what would be their first world tour.

Flash forward a year, and the mysterious foursome found themselves in a cramped van, touring their Mole Show across Europe. They'd devised a complicated and flashy show to let the the world know what they were capable of, and were about to perform it on Dutch radio.

The result is the following concert, performed with the band at their top game. Despite the excellence of this recording, it went mostly unreleased for six years, before Dutch record label Torso offered to release it. Excerpts were included on the Mole Show VHS in 1984, and excerpts from those excerpts were included in the PAL TV LP in 1985.

Track listing

  1. Voices Of The Air (3:05)
  2. The Secret Seed (2:10)
  3. Narration (1:33)
  4. The Ultimate Disaster (5:12)
  5. Narration (0:56)
  6. God Of Darkness (2:33)
  7. Narration (1:12)
  8. Migration (7:54)
  9. Narration (0:41)
  10. Smack Your Lips (3:55)
  11. Narration (0:58)
  12. Another Land (4:20)
  13. Narration (0:58)
  14. The New Machine (7:01)
  15. Narration (0:57)
  16. Call Of The Wild (3:20)
  17. Final Confrontation (7:38)
  18. Narration (2:00)
  19. Satisfaction (3:00)
  20. Happy Home (4:18)

Dating Error

The original release states this was recorded on June 6th 1983. But according to The Residents Official Website, they actually performed in Holland on the 4th


Release History

Excerpts from this live recording were initially heard on the 1984 Mole Show VHS. Excerpts from these excerpts were then later released on the PAL TV LP, which acted as the European soundtrack album to the VHS.

The full concert was finally released in 1989, in Holland by Torso, and in US by East Side Digital. The album has never since been re-released, remaining out of print for over 30 years. Excerpts can be heard on the 2019 PAL TV LP CD re-issue.


The Residents have been in San Francisco making records for about 12 years, but they've never performed until now. A couple of reasons behind that. There was a synthesizer invented called the Emulator, which was invented a couple of years ago and allowed The Residents to perform all of their music live. Until now, they had not been able to do that because the music is very difficult to do live. They had been very used to the studio. I also believe they were just ready for a little trip out of San Francisco to go to Europe to see things they'd never seen before.

- Nessie Lessons, Mole Show interview, 1983

"Utrecht--out of Germany and into Holland, land of pretty people, pretty flowers and good weather again. The theatre, the Musicentre, was an elegantly modern monster, grey concrete on the outside and red soft in the centre, and existing in complete contrast to the concept of quaint, an idea that could have originated in the charming shops and canals of the town itself. For a change, even the hotel was nice and only 200-300 yards from the theatre."

- A Resident, private diary entry, 1983

See also