Stars & Hank Forever!(1986)
In the notes to this album the band describes themselves as being interested in making music about music because of their respect for music as content as well as form. Here, they cover works by Hank Williams, Sr. (1923-1953), and John Philip Sousa (1854-1932).
Sousaside, the Sousa side of the album, is a simulated marching-band parade. One band approaches, fading in, then fades out as the next fades in. The music is surrounded by crowd noises, airplanes flying over, and the like. The album ends with an anticlimactic fade-out as the last band marches off, just like a real parade. Sousaside combines the trademark Residents covering style with the soundscaping ideas the band first developed for Eskimo.
The Hank Williams songs are handled in a very different manner than James Brown's had been on George & James. The Residents' Brown had been completely unintelligible, sounding much like the shaman character on Eskimo. Hank Williams, on the other hand, comes through very clearly on this album and the songs are much more accessible, more like what most people expect in a cover rather than the extreme deconstruction The Residents usually do. The version of Jambalaya is downright understated. Stars & Hank Forever did much better than George & James had due to a large part to accessibility of the Hank Williams side. Stars & Hank did so well, in fact, that Torso Records in Europe remixed the Kaw-liga track into a couple of singles. The Sousa music, while well done, was not so well received by the critics, probably due to the extreme contrast in style with the Hank Williams side.