ARTIST: “Weird Al” Yankovic
TITLE: “Weird Al” Yankovic
YEAR RELEASED: 1983
CHART ACTION: #139
SINGLES: Another One Rides the Bus (#104), Ricky (#63), I Love Rocky Road (#106)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Stop Draggin’ My Car Around
LINEUP: “Weird Al” Yankovic, Rick Derringer, Steve Jay, John Schwartz, Richard Bennett. Tress MacNelle plays Lucy on “Ricky”
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: First album takes “Weird Al” out of the echoey bathroom and into a real recording studio.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Song parodies and satire seem easy as a one-off, but a whole collection of them shows just how hard they can be to produce consistently. Even some one as gifted as “Weird Al” (yes I’m putting that in quotes since he does) can’t hit all of the time. The five parody songs on this album are good, especially “Ricky”, but not to his future levels.
Also, you need to get permission and at this time permission wasn’t a rote things. John Mellencamp didn’t want “Jack and Diane” parodied because it might gum up a movie deal, so Yankovic had to quickly rewrite his “Charles and Diana” parody though the roots still show.
His originals? Well, he was trying and he’d get better. About half of this album is a keeper.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: As much as the accordion is his signature instrument, this is the only album where the accordion is on every track.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No. It would have been nice to include the original ‘bathroom’ recording of “My Bologna”.
GRADE: C+: Hit and miss, like parody is.