Category: “Weird Al” Yankovic

“Weird Al” Yankovic – In 3-D

ARTIST: “Weird Al” Yankovic          Weird_Al_Yankovic_-_In_3-D

TITLE:  In 3-D

YEAR RELEASED: 1984

CHART ACTION: #17

SINGLES: Eat It (#12 US, #36 UK), King of Suede (#62), I Lost on Jeopardy (#81)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Polkas on 45, Theme from Rocky XIII (The Rye of the Kaiser)

LINEUP: “Weird Al” Yankovic, Jim West, Steve Jay, John Schwarts, Rick Derringer, Pat Regan. Don Pardo is a guest, of course.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The parodist hits his stride with great parodies and videos, and some of his originals are OK, too.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: When you think of Weird Al, chances are you first think of his iconic videos from the early days of MTV. The video for “Eat It” made him famous, as did the outstanding “I Lost on Jeopardy”. He wasn’t all video though.

The concept of “Polkas on 45” was genius here – pairing classic rock tunes to polka rhythms and melody tropes. He also hit at songs by Men Without Hats, Survivor and the Police, along with stylistic parodies of reggae and the B-52’s.

This time, a few of the originals are worth keeping around. His non-parody songwriting was improving, but a couple of cuts were exiled for being long and not that clever or funny.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: One of the backing vocals on “Mr. Popeil” is Lisa Popeil, the daughter of the famous inventor.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No

GRADE: B: A more consistent effort with some great, funny parodies..

“Weird Al” Yankovic – “Weird Al” Yankovic

ARTIST: “Weird Al” Yankovic 220px-Weird_Al_Yankovic_-_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.