Although music albums are often plotted and planned out in advance, sometimes one will start as a pile of music that is somewhat unrelated. I will spend my spare time writing bits and pieces and then, much later, will they be arranged into an album. Here are a few of my favorite albums that came out of piles.

—— Charles Bobuck

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I had spent the better part of a year sometime in the early 1970s dealing with a bit of depression. My best friend was an old piano that could not be moved into the studio because it was too heavy, so the two of us sat together in the warehouse next to the studio.

Meet The Residents had been a complete bomb, garnering nothing that would suggest there was reason to record more albums. I was dealing with accepting being gay and feared that it would tear me away from friends and family.

So I wrote and recorded somber melodies. In time, those melodies became the basis of the album, Not Available. It remains a somber reminder of those times to me.

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The seven songs of the original Duck Stab were written in just a few days in response to an article attacking The Residents. It claimed that The Residents could not write the kind of simple pop songs that young people actually wanted to listen to. Part of me kind of agreed with that belief. But I accepted the challenge and dashed out a few backing tunes that I thought might be appealing.

Duck Stab went on to become one of our most commercially successful albums, proving that the writer was right.

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Coming off the CUBE E tour in 1990, I realized I was no fan of touring or performing. I declared that I wanted to be left alone to write some music that would never be a touring show. I went into a small studio in the Netherlands for a few weeks and came out with a pile of music that was later massaged into Freak Show.

It did not become a touring show, but was the basis for a non-Residents theater piece in Prague many years later.

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While on a European tour with the Icky Flix show in 2001, the tragic bombing of the World Trade Center in New York occurred.

I spent the rest of the tour writing music sitting on the bus and in hotel rooms for the album that would become 2002's Demons Dance Alone.

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The largest pile of music I have ever written also took the longest to write. I started writing in 2000. The music proved controversial. The Icky Flix project bumped my work for a while, then with the World Trade Center bombing, all energies went into Demons Dance Alone. That was also a big touring show.

When that tour finally ended its run, I returned to adding to my pile of music. In 2005 the pile became Animal Lover.