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The pREServed series is a campaign of expanded and remastered re-issues of The Residents' discography via Cherry Red Records, MVD Audio and New Ralph Too (as well as Solid Records in Japan). The series is notable for the release of a large amount of previously unreleased and seemingly forgotten material from The Residents' archives.
The pREServed campaign began in January 2018 with the release of two-disc editions of Meet The Residents and The Third Reich 'n Roll, and continues to the present day, with the most recent release being the seven-disc Cube-E Box in October 2020. A three disc Freak Show set is expected in February 2021.
The pREServed campaign was conceived jointly by Homer Flynn (current President of The Cryptic Corporation) with The Residents and a Cherry Red Records employee known only as The Residents' Mysterious Archivist. It is in some ways a continuation of the short lived ERA series of releases which the group had intended to release online through their Robot Selling Device in 2012, of which only one instalment, ERA B474, was ultimately released.
The pREServed series was conceived in 2017 following the retirement of then-President Hardy Fox from The Cryptic Corporation, when Fox had sold his share of The Cryptic Corporation to Cherry Red and MVD Audio and sent The Residents their vast archives of tapes and recorded material which he had previously overseen. The Residents' receipt of these archives led them to revisit old material which they had long forgotten, which caused them to become reflective and to want to look backwards for the first time proper.
The pREServed series is ultimately intended to represent a comprehensive (if not necessarily complete) "preservation" of the vast discography of The Residents. Each major release in the series contains detailed liner notes and a considerable amount of previously unknown and unheard bonus material relevant to that time period. Most releases have been issued in roughly chronological order, although some releases have been issued well outside of their chronological order due to extenuating circumstances or by will of The Residents (ie. Not Available, A Nickle If Your Dick's This Big, The American Composers Box).
The pREServed campaign has also included three special vinyl releases (to date) on Record Store Day, including the first official release of the group's long unreleased 1971 demo tapes The W****** B*** Album and B.S., in 2018 and 2019 respectively, and the first release of the complete Icky Flix soundtrack as a double LP set in 2020.
The first phase of the pREServed release campaign began in concluded in November 2019 with the release of a two-disc set of early recordings entitled A Nickle If Your Dick’s This Big, and an expanded reissue of Not Available, containing a second disc of previously unreleased session tapes. The second phase of the campaign began in August 2019 with the release of a three-disc God In Three Persons set, followed by the seven-disc Cube-E Box in October, with a three disc Freak Show set expected in February 2021.
In homage to the Theory of Obscurity which guided its creation, the group's second album Not Available was not made available for the first two years of the pREServed campaign, though it was listed as part of the series in the liner notes to Eskimo and Commercial Album (albeit crossed out) and had even been designated a catalogue number, NRT007. The pREServed edition of Not Available was finally released in November 2019, alongside the 1971-1972 compilation set A Nickle If Your Dick's This Big.
The American Composers Box was originally expected for release around 2019, but has been repeatedly delayed, initially due to trouble the group were having in finding one unspecified element within the archives, and later due to rights issues surrounding "one key element" of the set. A release date has still not been announced for this collection as the rights issues have not yet been resolved.
- NRT002 - Meet The Residents 2CD, January 19th 2018
- NRT003 - The Third Reich 'n Roll 2CD, January 19th 2018
- NRT004 - Fingerprince 2CD, March 23rd 2018
- NRT005 - Duck Stab!/Buster & Glen 2CD, March 23rd 2018
- NRTLP006 - The W***** B*** Album LP, April 21st 2018
- Record Store Day limited edition of 1500
- NRT008 - Eskimo 2CD, January 25th 2019
- NRT009 - Commercial Album 2CD, January 25th 2019
- NRTBOX010 - Mole Box: The Complete Mole Trilogy pREServed 6CD, April 5th 2019
- NRTLP011 - B.S. LP, April 13th 2019
- Record Store Day limited edition of 1400
- NRTLP008D - Eskimo Deconstructed 2LP with CD, May 31st 2019
- NRT013 - God In Three Persons 3CD, August 9th 2019
- NRT999 - A Nickle If Your Dick's This Big 2CD, November 8th 2019
- NRT007 - Not Available 2CD, November 8th 2019
- NRTLP014D - Icky Flix: The Original Soundtrack Recording 2LP, September 26th 2020
- Record Store Day "September Drop" limited edition of 1500
- NRTBOX015 - Cube-E Box: The History of American Music in 3 E-Z Pieces pREServed 7CD, October 23rd 2020
- NRT016 - Freak Show 3CD, March 26th 2021
- NRT017 - Gingerbread Man 3CD, May 28th 2021
- NRTLP017 - Gingerbread Man LP, May 28th 2021
- Limited edition
- NRTLP018 - Leftovers Again?! LP, June 12th 2021
- Record Store Day "RSD Drops 2021" limited edition of 1300
Upcoming and expected releases
- NTR018 - Wormwood Box, November 2021
- NTR??? - Icky Flix, 2021
- NRTBOX??? - The American Composers Box, ????
The format of a 2xCD release containing bonus tracks is nearly as old as CDs themselves. Here are some examples of similar early mutli-disc sets.
- Demons Dance Alone 2xCD (RA13, ERSP033, 2002)
- Title In Limbo + 4 Daze 2xCD (gg200-2, 2017)
- 80 Aching Orphans 4xCD, (NRTBOX1, 2017)
- The Residents on Cherry Red Records
- Buy Or Die! The Official Residents Online Shop
- The Residents pREServed series on Discogs
- "The Residents' Mysterious Archivist" interview at One Quart Magazine, March 2018
- "It will be 5CD or 6CD I think, including demos, possibly two generations of those even. Almost done, we're just waiting to hear the final running order. There'll be a 2LP set too, as far as I know. ETA November(ish)". - Richard 'Cherry Red' Anderson, June 19th, 2021
- Whilst not technically a pREServed release, 80 Aching Orphans features the same New Ralph Too catalog numbering system.