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 Residents 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 marked "Refused".
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 re-released in various iterations over the years on the Santa Dog '78 and Santa Dog 88 singles, as well as the Refused compilation. The Santa Dog EP itself was reissued by the Superior Viaduct record label in 2014, approximating the original design of the package.
- Ivory and the Brain Eaters - Fire
- The Delta Nudes - Explosion
- The College Walkers - Lightning
- Arf and Omega featuring The Singing Lawn Chairs - Aircraft Damage
- A copy of the original EP was sent to Frank Zappa but he had moved house and the EP was returned to the Sycamore Street studio marked "no longer at address". This copy was later given away in a contest.