The single features an up-tempo electronic cover of the Percy Mayfield song of the same name, popularly performed by Ray Charles. It was intended to be featured on an unreleased album in the group's American Composer Series, which combined the music of Charles with that of Sun Ra.
"Hit The Road Jack" was recorded by The Residents for an unreleased album in their American Composer Series, which would have juxtaposed the music of Ray Charles with the compositions of Sun Ra (another excerpt from this unreleased album would later be heard as part of the composition "Daydream In Space").
The single also features a two minute excerpt from the group's 1985 instrumental piece "For Elsie", based on "Fur Elise" by Ludwig van Beethoven. This piece was composed as intermission music for the 13th Anniversary Show and was later released in its entirety on the EP of the same name.
The first pressing of the single, released by Ralph Records, was limited to 200 copies. This limited edition features plain yellow labels. The second regular pressing featured a checkered label. Following this, a picture disc edition was released in a limited edition of 2,000.
The song was released in Holland on June 20th 1987 by Torso as both a 7" single and a 12" EP. The EP featured an extended version of the title track, which is the same as the "Special Dance Mix", just played at a slower speed.
- Hit The Road Jack (Extended Version) (Mayfield) (5:50)
- Hit The Road Jack (Mayfield) (4:00)
- Excerpt From "For Elsie" (Residents/Beethoven) (2:04)
- Hit The Road Jack written by: P. Mayfield
- Backing Singers on 'Jack': Laurie Amat, Jeanette Sartain & Olan Joans
- All Under The Worthy Baton of: J. Raoul Brody
- Excerpt From "For Elsie" based on 'Fur Elise' by Beethoven, written by The Residents.