Weird Al Yankovic is an interesting figure in the world of pop culture. This is a good thing, as otherwise writing a series of essays cataloging his entire discography might have been viewed as a somewhat less than necessary quest. Perhaps more than any other musician, he personifies his medium. On the other hand, that medium is comedy songs, many of which are parodies of existing pop songs. He sings of food and TV shows and movies and, occasionally, Santa Claus going on a murderous rampage. Weird Al has always existed on the fringes of the music business, or at
Recently in The Weird Al Chronicles
"And Alexander wept, for there were no more worlds to conquer." - Jack Donaghy, 30 Rock This is it. This is the end. Today is the final part of The Weird Al Chronicles. At least for now, I suppose. In 2011, five years after releasing Straight Outta Lynwood, Weird Al Yankovic released his most recent album, Alpocalypse. It won't be his last. Not just because he still wants to work, but because he is under contract for one more after this. Will he release one of those albums that artists sometimes do when they want to stick it to their
Weird Al's Poodle Hat sort of got lost in the shuffle of life, even though it is a solid album. However, a few years later Yankovic found himself back in the zeitgeist with 2006's Straight Outta Lynwood. This is, perhaps, mildly surprising when you dig into the logistics of recording the album. Apparently Weird Al wanted to include a parody of James Blunt's atrocious "You're Beautiful" (there's a half-formed Songs We Wish We Could Forget on that number collecting cyber dust on my computer) entitled "You're Pitiful," but then it got nixed. The album was delayed. In the end, Straight
OK folks, we are entering new territory in The Weird Al Chronicles. Not because Poodle Hat, Weird Al's 2003 album, is his first of the new millennium. That's an arbitrary dividing line. It is because after 1999's strong Running with Scissors, I have essentially no knowledge of Weird Al's output. Before listening to it for this project, I had heard exactly one song off of Poodle Hat. However, this album is also sort of lost in the shuffle of Yankovic's career. It came four years after his last album, which was quite popular. Maybe Al had some troubles adjusting to
Last time around, when I was discussing Weird Al's Bad Hair Day, I talked about how it was the quintessential Yankovic album of my childhood, the one I owned, so I was quite familiar with it. Well, 1999's Running with Scissors happens to be the quintessential album of my brother's childhood, and it was the one Weird Al album he owned, so I am fairly familiar with it as well. These two records are the two I had heard in their entirety before starting this quest to go through Weird Al's entire discography. So, I bring a lot of knowledge
This is it. At least, for me this is it. When I begun this project, I talked about how everybody has that first Weird Al Yankovic album. The one that introduced you to him and his particular brand of comedy songs and what have you. Given how long Al has been around, and how many albums he's released, there are a lot of potential introductory albums for folks. This is the one for me. Bad Hair Day, released in 1996, three years after Alapalooza, is the first Weird Al album I heard. It's the one I owned. In fact, I
While embarking on these Weird Al Chronicles, I realize I haven't really paid much attention to the big picture. I've just been focused on each album that I am currently writing about. It wasn't until prepping for this installment that I realized how far I, and Weird Al Yankovic himself, had come. Alapalooza is Yankovic's eighth album. That's a lot of output. However, more to the point, it came out in 1993. Weird Al Yankovic, his self-titled debut, came out in 1983. If I can do some quick math, that's 10 years. That's a decade of albums, and he was
After UHF and the soundtrack, Weird Al took a few years before getting to his next album. This makes sense. After all, co-writing and starring in a movie, while also having to write songs for it and adding more songs to the album bearing its name, is probably fairly time consuming. Plus, who knows how the fact that UHF was a box office failure may have impacted the process of generating a new album. Unlike pretty much every sports writer even, I'm not going to try and pretend like I know what's going on in somebody else's head. However, eventually
When I began this project of going through the entire Weird Al Yankovic discography, it did not occur to me that the soundtrack to UHF would show up. However, the album is listed within his discography, and it is indeed a full album of Weird Al songs. Well, it's an album of Weird Al songs and a couple of bits from the movie of the same name. So, it shall be covered. Plus, this way I get to talk about the movie UHF, which is even more up my alley. While my writing on music has been largely limited to
When last we left Weird Al Yankovic, he was releasing Polka Party to limited response critically and commercially. He needed to bounce back, and with his fifth album, Even Worse, he managed to do so. The album is bringing the comedy, and the parody, before you even open the cover. The title is a play off of Michael Jackson's Bad, and the picture on Al's cover is of him aping Jackson's attire and pose from his own cover art. This is the first time Al extended his parody humor to his albums title and artwork, but it's not the last
A footnote in the Weird Al discography...
Polka Party!, Weird Al Yankovic's fourth album, sort of has disappeared into the muck and the mire of Al's long, storied musical career. When VH1 decided to do a Behind the Music on Weird Al, and as far as I can recall it is the only episode of that show I have ever seen (I did watch The Simpsons episode "Behind the Laughter," but that is neither here nor there), one of the down moments of his story was the relative failure of this album. That's what happens when you have somebody on your show that hasn't had torrid love
Weird Al takes on Madonna and continues to hone his craft in his first album that doesn't bother to drop his name.
Even though it was his second album, Weird Al Yankovic In 3-D felt like the first true Weird Al album. He just kept churning out the material in the early days, as in 1985 he released his third album, and for the first time Weird Al made the bold decision of not including his name in the title. Instead, he christened it Dare To Be Stupid, the rare Weird Al album named after a song on said album. It picks up where his last album left off in terms of quality and continuing to develop as an artist. Or, should
The journey continues with the second album in Weird Al's lengthy discography.
Soon after I had finished and submitted the first entry in this series, a tale about Weird Al Yankovic's self-titled album, guess who was a guest on Ken Plume's A Bit of a Chat podcast? No, it wasn't former NHL journeyman Jamie Macoun. It was the man himself, Weird Al. Thanks to that conversation, I learned some things about Al's first album that were enlightening. Mostly what I came to find out was how rushed and low budget the album was. In essence, Weird Al Yankovic was Al and company's shot at a record deal, but first they had to
The start of a series of articles that will delve into the albums of the one, the only Weird Al Yankovic.
It all started simply enough. The head honcho of this website, Josh Hathaway, was a guest on my podcast. We were discussing music and what have you, when I made a fairly basic, self-evident statement, not unlike saying "The sky is blue." That statement, boiled down simply: Weird Al Yankovic is an institution. For decades, Weird Al's music has persevered, and he keeps on keeping on, generating new fans with his particular brand of parody and humor based music. His career is fairly unique, and he may just be the hardest working man in show business, now that James Brown
The lucky seven remaining sing songs from the 21st century...
To paraphrase Salt-n-Pepa: here we go, here we go, here we go again! Tonight’s show starts with the six previous castoffs doing Pink’s “So What?” It’s cheesy, weird, and makes me highly uncomfortable. Naima does a David Lee Roth high kick, then grinds on Ashthon. Everyone’s off key and to make matters worse, Paul comes out looking like he just didn’t leave after he was eliminated last week; he appeared disheveled, a little shellshocked, and I think in the same suit. I couldn’t even hear him half the time with the off-key wailers trying to prove their point with lyrics