KAW-LIGA (1986)

Taken from the Stars And Hank album this is one of The Residents' most dazzling singles, a seamless combination of the Hank Williams song and Michael Jackson's Billy Jean. This is probably the disc which had the most potential to take the music charts by storm (not that that's ever been The Residents' priority) but by 1986 MTV exposure seemed to be a mandatory requirement for hitsville and there was no money available to make another brilliant video like Man's World. Still, the record somehow got picked up by DJs in the holiday islands of Spain and it became an unlikely Baleric anthem. Consequently Kaw-Liga was remixed by The Moody Boys (members of the KLF) for the Housey Mixes 12″ which I believe is the only time others have got to tamper with The Residents' music.

A final say on this, a CD called Poor Kaw-Liga's Pain was released in 1994 which includes all the mixes from the '86 releases plus a new mix and a live version. The new mix is a beauty. This time The Residents supply the lyrics, not Hank and there's no Billy Jean riff in sight. The original berates Kaw-liga for letting the girl go, The Residents' new song explores the horror of being an inanimate figure who can only stand and watch. The live mix should have been on the 13th Anniversary Show CD years ago, it's raw and wonderful, except, is that the riff from Aerosmith's Walk This Way Snakey's mucking about with between songs? Bad snake!