Meet The Residents Wiki
Meet The Residents Wiki
Disambiguation-sml.png This article is about the 1984 soundtrack album.
You may be looking for the VHS release of the same name.

Whatever Happened To Vileness Fats? is the soundtrack to the 1984 short film of the same name by The Residents, and released on October 2nd 1984 on Ralph Records.

Whatever Happened To Vileness Fats? features a newly-recorded score for the group's 1984 edit of their long-abandoned feature film Vileness Fats, and was the first of a number of attempts by The Residents to revisit and complete the film.


Between 1972 and 1976, The Residents worked on a feature-length film entitled Vileness Fats. The film was largely shot on 1/2" black and white open reel videotape, which became obsolete over the course of the lengthy production, resulting in the eventual abandonment of the incomplete project. Set photographs and other hints of the film's existence would reach the public in the years that followed, but Vileness Fats remained entirely abandoned for almost a decade.

In early 1984, following the financial failure of their debut live tour The Mole Show and the resulting near break-up of the group, The Residents decided to take a break from their ambitious and ongoing Mole Trilogy project, returning instead to the shelved Vileness Fats footage in order to create a short film from the fourteen hours of unedited footage, for release on the then-increasingly popular VHS home video format.

Since much of the sound recorded on set by the video camera was not intended to be used in the final film (and was thus deemed by the group to be unsuitable for release), and as the original score they had recorded for the film had already been integrated into their albums Fingerprince and Not Available, The Residents chose to record entirely new dialogue tracks, sound effects and instrumental soundtrack pieces to accompany the new edit, retitled Whatever Happened To Vileness Fats?.

The short film's newly-recorded soundtrack also includes versions of two otherwise unheard musical numbers intended for the film, "The Importance of Evergreen", and "Lord It's Lonely" (originally intended as a cover of the Randy Newman song "Lonely At The Top"), and a new recording of the song "Eloise", first featured on the demo tape B.S. in 1971.

The Residents again revisited Vileness Fats in 2001, with a new, shorter edit of the footage featuring another newly-recorded soundtrack, for the retrospective multimedia project Icky Flix. The musical themes composed by the group for Whatever Happened To VIleness Fats? in 1984 were kept and re-recorded for the new soundtrack. The DVD also allowed viewers the option to hear the original 1984 score with the new edit of the film.


The soundtrack album, also titled Whatever Happened To Vileness Fats?, was first released on Ralph Records on October 2nd 1984, alongside the VHS release, Mole Show/Whatever Happened To VIleness Fats?. In 1985, selections from the soundtrack were featured on the Europe-only compilation album PAL TV LP.

The soundtrack was released on CD for the first time in 1991 through East Side Digital and Torso (in the Netherlands). The CD featured slightly updated cover art and nine additional selections from the group's soundtrack for the 1985 film The Census Taker. This was the the last Residents release by Torso, ending their five-year relationship.

Following this release Whatever Happened To Vileness Fats? was out of print until it was issued again on CD by MVD Audio in 2014, with an entirely new cover design and featuring the entirety of The Census Taker soundtrack on the same disc. This version of the album does not include the song "Eloise".

Track listing

Original release (1984)

Side One (17:00)

  1. Whatever Happened To Vileness Fats? (4:09)
  2. Atomic Shopping Carts (2:06)
  3. Adventures of a Troubled Heart (3:13)
  4. Search for the Short Man (1:23)
  5. The Importance of Evergreen (6:09)

Side Two (18:57

  1. Broccoli and Saxophone (2:24)
  2. Eloise (1:15)
  3. Disguised As Meat (3:02)
  4. Thoughts Busily Betraying (1:50)
  5. Lord It's Lonely (1:31)
  6. The Knife Fight (8:55)

'Whatever Happened To Vileness Fats? / Excerpts from 'The Census Taker'' reissue (1991)

  1. Whatever Happened To Vileness Fats? (4:09)
  2. Atomic Shopping Carts (2:05)
  3. Adventures of a Troubled Heart (3:12)
  4. Search for the Short Man (1:23)
  5. The Importance of Evergreen (6:10)
  6. Broccoli and Saxophone (2:21)
  7. Eloise (1:16)
  8. Disguised As Meat (3:02)
  9. Thoughts Busily Betraying (1:49)
  10. Lord It's Lonely (1:31)
  11. The Knife Fight (8:59)
  12. Creeping Dead (1:48)
  13. The Census Taker (2:13)
  14. Talk (0:38)
  15. Hellno (2:24)
  16. Where Is She? (1:02)
  17. Innocence Decayed (3:01)
  18. Romanian (1:10)
  19. Passing The Bottle (2:21)
  20. The Census Taker Returns (0:46)

Whatever Happened To Vileness Fats? / The Census Taker (2014)

  1. Whatever Happened To Vileness Fats? (4:12)
  2. Atomic Shopping Carts (2:07)
  3. Adventures of a Troubled Heart (3:15)
  4. Search For The Short Man (1:25)
  5. The Importance Of Evergreen (6:12)
  6. Broccoli and Saxophone (2:23)
  7. Disguised As Meat (3:04)
  8. Thoughts Busily Betraying (1:52)
  9. Lord, It's Lonely (1:33)
  10. The Knife Fight (8:57)
  11. Creeping Dead (1:51)
  12. The Census Taker (3:39)
  13. Talk (0:41)
  14. End of Home (1:11)
  15. Emotional Music (3:21)
  16. Secret Seed (2:02)
  17. Easter Woman / Simple Song (2:00)
  18. Hellno (2:28)
  19. Where Is She? (1:02)
  20. Innocence Decayed (3:01)
  21. Romanian / Nice Old Man (2:03)
  22. Margaret Freeman (1:00)
  23. Light's Out (6:30)
  24. Passing The Bottle (2:23)
  25. The Census Taker Returns (0:47)

Liner notes

"The Residents scripted "Vileness Fats" and started shooting this epic fantasy in 1972. It was intended to be the first full-length music video.

The story concerns a love triangle made up of an Indian priestess who lives forever and a schizophrenic one-armed midget.

Four years later, The Residents had shot fourteen hours of video, but had only completed about half of the script. Technological advances in video now made their black and white footage look poor, and they knew that in the five or six years it would take to complete, a video revolution would take place... so they gave up.

In 1984, twelve years after starting the project, the same technological advancement that killed the project brought it back to life. Though computer enhancement, enough footage was salvaged to construct the half-hour amazement, "Whatever Happened to VILENESS FATS?"

Release history

Year Label Fomrat Region
1984 Ralph Records LP US
1991 East Side Digital CD
Torso NL
2014 MVD Audio US


Additional credits (featured on later pressings)

See also

Buy Or Die!

Listen online

External links and references