"Weird Al" Yankovic by "Weird Al" Yankovic This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

May 6, 2013
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This year, “Weird Al” Yankovic’s debut album celebrates its 30th anniversary. It’s hard to think of the man who is the best-selling comedy artist of all time as anonymous, but everyone has their beginnings. To find out if the parody king was always a comedy genius, I picked up his self-titled debut album.

For the first few seconds of the album, I could have been listening to Toni Basil...that is, until, I started hearing lyrics about the TV show I Love Lucy and not some guy named Mickey. The arrangements of Weird Al’s parodies are all the same; Get the intro to sound as much like the original as possible to trick the listener into thinking they’re listening to the real song. This album’s parodies are extremely clever and unexpected, combining things like Joan Jett and ice cream and The Knack and bologna.

Just like the parodies, the original songs on the album ooze an odd sort of wit On this album, we heard about British royalty and a man in an iron lung, as well as the songs “The Check’s In the Mail”, the first “anti-breakup” Weird Al wrote that celebrated breakups instead of moping about them, and “I’ll Be Mellow When I’m Dead”, Al’s mantra before his 1985 hit “Dare to be Stupid”.

While accordions and rock music are rarely used in the same sentence, the instrument serves as a kind of reminder that the songs are parody. Instead of hearing about someone’s love for rock n’ roll music, we hear about rocky road ice cream, and instead of hearing a guitar solo, it’s some guy getting down on an accordion. The track “Another One Rides the Bus” was recorded live on the Doctor Demento Show, and features assorted percussion noises made by everyone who was in the studio that day, including Jon “Bermuda” Schwartz, who would later become Weird Al’s full time drummer, banging on Al’s accordion case. This all adds to the “Who cares? Let’s have fun!” feeling of the album.

There’s no doubt that “Weird Al” Yankovic’s work has improved over time, but this album has a solid foundation for him to build himself up on, filled with the wit and sarcasm he’s perfected in his work.

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lkk4209 said...
Jul. 4, 2013 at 11:32 pm
I love Weird Al. Great review!
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