The Third Reich 'N' Roll is composed of two side-long suites, named "Swastikas on Parade" (recorded in 1974) and "Hitler was a Vegetarian" (recorded in 1975). Both suites consist of various cover versions of mainstream pop hits from the '60s. The catch is that these are disgustingly deconstructed and downright ridicularized versions of mainstream pop hits from the '60s. And they sound freaking amazing.
In "Swastikas on Parade", the songs are nearly unrecognizable, with some exceptions (the 'na-na-na' hook of "Land of 1000 Dances", or the classic "Wipe Out" riff). A really nice thing about it is their version of James Brown's "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag", where they use samples of the original version of the song while a woman sings the lyrics in German. This is considered the first use of a James Brown sample in a music record, years before he had his songs sampled by dozens of rap artists.
"Hitler was a Vegetarian" is a bit less chaotic, but the songs still horribly awesome. This is where you start to hear some riffs played at the same time and realize how well they sound together. There's also a bit of parody here, with "96 Tears", "It's My Party" and "Light My Fire" having their lyrics connected to each other.
The Residents released a single to promote this album. It was called "Satisfaction", and it's a psychotic, ear-raping rendition of the Rolling Stones' classic song. Some of the lyrics were altered as well. It's considered to be one of The Residents' greatest songs ever, and I can totally agree with that. The B-side, "Loser=Weed", is insane and extremely confusing.
The CD release also includes a second Residents single called "The Beatles Play The Residents and The Residents Play The Beatles". On one side, The Beatles (supposedly) play a Residents song called "Beyond the Valley of a Day in the Life". It's a collage of various Beatles songs, and the final result gives me the creeps every time. On the B-side, The Residents play The Beatles' "Flying" (the only song they found that was credited to the four members of the band). It's better than the A-side, that's for sure, but it's just as creepy.
These three singles are concrete proof that The Residents know exactly what they're doing when they're messing with other people's music. The cool thing about the '70s Residents is that they were awesome at being terrible at music. Instead of trying to cover their lack of ability, they based their music on it. And they always ended up doing an excellent job because they didn't give a shit about what others would think. In other words, get this album now.