Santa Dog is a 1972 EP and the first official release by the group who would later become known as The Residents. The first recording considered by the group as part of their official discography, it was first released in a limited issue in the form of a Christmas card containing two seven inch singles.


Santa Dog is the first usage of the name The Residents (or, at this point, Residents, Uninc.) to describe what was previously a looser assembly of friends with a rotating membership - however each track is assigned to a different, fictional artist (including Arf and Omega and The Delta Nudes). The four listed artists are all essentially The Residents, but each track features a different member of the band on lead vocals..

The EP consisted of two 45s in a hand silk-screened gatefold sleeve, which was designed to look like a Christmas card from an insurance company. This sleeve included drawings illustrating each song, surrounded by text saying "Season's Greetings from Residents Uninc." and announcing the upcoming Vileness Fats film project.

500 copies were pressed, but only 400 were usable because of various problems. In addition, some of the sets were shrink-wrapped before the varnish on the silk-screening was dry, and the packages had to be torn apart to be opened. Of the 400 usable copies, 300 were sent out to friends, record companies, and anyone else who came to mind, as well as then-President of the United States Richard Nixon, whose copy was returned stamped "Refused".

Santa Dog gatefold interior by Porno Graphics

The track "Aircraft Damage" was originally written and recorded for the soundtrack of Vileness Fats. In the film, the song is a chant used by Arf and Omega to summon the Indian princess Weescoosa to help them save the town of Vileness Flats.

The track "Fire" would be revisited by the band various times over the years, in 1978, 1988, 1992 and on the Refused compilation, which also featured an aborted attempt from 1984. It has been said that initially the band were to create a new version of the track every six years, though after the perceived failure of the 1984 recording, the band instead would revisit it when their outlook or musical direction had changed sufficiently to be able to put an entirely new spin on the old track.

The Santa Dog EP itself was reissued by the Superior Viaduct record label in 2014, closely replicating the original design of the package.

Track listing

  1. Ivory and the Brain Eaters - Fire
  2. The Delta Nudes - Explosion
  3. The College Walkers - Lightning
  4. Arf and Omega featuring The Singing Lawn Chairs - Aircraft Damage


The Santa Dog EP makes extensive use of sampling, for example

  • Fire heavily samples 'Peter Gunn' from 'Play Guitar With The Ventures Volume 7'
  • Explosion Samples 'Hunters of Heaven' from the Harumi album of the same name.
  • Lightning samples 'Two Ritmicas' by Amadeo Roldán

Release History

Year Label Format Region Notes
1972 Ralph Records 7" US
1988 East Side Digital CD Bonus tracks on

Meet The Residents

Torso NL
1999 Ralph America US Part of the 'Refused' album
2009 Birdsong & Hayabusa Landings JP Bonus tracks on

Meet The Residents

2014 Superior Viaduct 7" US
2018 New Ralph Too, MVD Audio & Cherry Red CD Bonus tracks on

Meet The Residents

See also

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.