Sunday, June 19, 2011

"Weird Al" Yankovic (1983)

PARODIES: 5 (out of 10). 5 parodies, but only a couple are great. “My Bologna” (The Knack’s “My Sharona”) and “Another One Rides The Bus” (Queen’s “Another Bites The Dust”) got Al his start, but he hadn’t yet developed his band into the note-perfect imitators they would become.

ORIGINALS: 3 (out of 10). “Gotta Boogie” involves trying unsuccessfully to fling a booger off your finger, and it might be the best original here. Ugh.

POLKA MEDLEY: N/A. Al didn’t start doing his signature polka-style medleys of recent hits until his second album.

OVERALL: 4 (out of 10). Two of Al’s key fascinations – TV and food – are already discernible in parodies like the I Love Lucy-referencing “Ricky” (Toni Basil’s “Mickey”) and “I Love Rocky Road” (Joan Jett’s cover of “I Love Rock N Roll”), but most of what made Al such a memorable writer and performer isn’t quite there yet. This first album is so weak, that it’s kind of astonishing the quantum leap he made one year later with the next record.

1 comment:

  1. You really need to give I'll Be Mellow When I'm Dead another listen. Best track on there, by far.

    His first album was weak, but it stands out from the others in that every single track was accordion-based. It wasn't until his second album where he started doing the "lets try to make the parody sound just like the original" thing.

    Al DID have a Polka Medley by that point, but it contained songs such as 1999 and Stairway to Heaven which he was never going to get publishing clearance for. It can be found in early concert bootlegs.