Weird Al Yankovic is not only one of my most favorite artists, who I follow for some twenty years now already. I also added him to the Featured Artist of his website, especially as following his North American tours very often brings me to very interesting places – there are already two Trip Reports on the website which are linked to the US comedy music star. However, as Weird Al just had one hit worth noticing in my home country Germany, Amish Paradise, I felt to introduce you to some of my favorite songs of him in this posting.
Weird Al is maybe most famous for his parodies on successful songs. However, his originals are fantastic as well – and I felt so happy when he focused on them during the 2018 Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill-Advised Vanity Tour, which I followed in Georgia and Tennessee. Thus, I will split this posting into two sections, the first one about my five favorite parodies and the second one about my favorite originals.
My Favorite Weird Al Yankovic Parodies
Though I rather have a crush for the originals (see below), songs like Amish Paradise is what turned Weird Al Yankovic to a legend.
5th: Homer & Marge
Cover of Jack & Diane by John Mellencamp
This one is not a full song, but two short pieces of song during a Simpsons episode. Until Medium Rarities, Weird Al did not even release this one officially – you may however find it on a soundtrack of the famous TV show.
Cover of Lola by The Kinks
Together with The Saga Begins, Yoda is one of the traditional pieces of every Weird Al Yankovic concert’s encore. This Lola cover is just a legend and really good – and it has something in common with many Weird Al songs: there is no official music video.
Cover of Happy by Pharell Williams
The song was the opener of the last tour. Al was running into the venue or grounds from outside, either through backstage or spectators area. I have to admit that I am not too much into the original, but the parody is fantastic… And I love (and own) the shirt as well 🙂
2nd: Amish Paradise
Cover of Gangsta’s Paradise by John Mellencamp / Coolio
Finally, you just cannot get passed this one. Likely, the biggest classic of Mr Yankovic and one of the songs even German music buffs might know. It even made me travel to Lancaster. The 1996 song as well as the video is just amazing.
My Favorite Parody: Word Crimes
Cover of Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell Williams
This one is my all time favorite (by the way the second Pharrell Williams original in this listing). An amazing 3:45 minute musical course on popular English language mistakes / abuses. Also a great song to illustrate how versatile Weird Al and his band in fact is.
My Favorite Weird Al Yankovic Originals
Especially during the 2018 tour, I more and more recognized how much I value and appreaciate Weird Al Yankovic’s originals. Also when I prepared for this positing, my list of potential originals was much longer than my list of favorite parodies. Finally, most albums are roughly 50:50 in originals and parody.
5th Sports Song
One of the tracks of the 2014 Mandatory Fun album. We’re great and you suck – this is the way to make me laugh in a song which has a very classic US sports marching band sound. Cool one… Bad luck you cannot play it in the stadium…
4th: Don’t Download This Song
Weird Al published this song for free download in 2006 and in finally also made to the Straight Outta Lynwood album. Very cool and melodic song.
3rd: Skipper Dan
Skipper Dan, published on Alpocalypse (2011) was my all-time favorite for quite a while. It tells the story about a high-potential Los Angeles artist talent, which finally does not make it further than to a jungle boat ride in an amusement park. Love it!
2nd: The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota
The place Weird Al made famous – it is so sad that I indeed visited the sacred twine ball in Darwin, Minnesota, before I founded Flyctory.com. This magical ball has a deep place in my crazy heart (it is really overwhelming, you need to go there!) – and finally, most of the people know about it due to that song. One of these classic long Weird Al musical tales – the playtime of the song is some seven minutes.The oldest song on the list – released 1989.
My Favorite Original: Frank’s 2000 inch TV
I started to love this song about the super-huge TV screen during one of the Weird Al tours I visited. Just a great story with a lot of Yankovic-alike irony. In fact a quite old song, as it has been released as part of the 1993 Alapalooza album.
And Finally… My Very Favorite Thing About…
… all this is friendship. Being part of the Weird Al Yankovic community gave me a lot of great contacts and friends – of course mainly in North America, but also from other parts of the world. Thank you everybody (I don’t dare to list all the people, I might miss some of them…)
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