Tuesday, March 12, 2013

100 Albums That Make Me Love Music: 47. "Weird Al" Yankovic - Bad Hair Day

47. “Weird Al” Yankovic: Bad Hair Day

I think most people remember the first time they ever heard “Weird Al” Yankovic. I remember being in 4th grade in the kitchen while my brother was watching the Box in the living room one afternoon. Suddenly I heard Gangsta’s Paradise playing. Suddenly I heard the lyrics and they were very different from the one’s I remembered. I ran into the living room and I was introduced to the wonderful world of “Weird Al” Yankovic.

The next day at school all anyone could talk about was “Weird Al” Yankovic. One girl told me that her brother had a copy of the new album. I asked her for a copy of it and was excited the next day when she gave me a cassette tape. I remember listening to it on the bus ride home and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

I quickly started writing my own parodies (though they all sucked) and quickly collecting his albums and a VHS tape of all his music videos. Yankovic has become one of the biggest influences in my life not just as a comedy song writer but as an inspiration of doing what your dream is and not listen to people when they say that you’re a one-hit wonder.

This album still remains my favorite “Weird Al” album despite it being one of his more poorly received albums. The parodies aren’t important to discuss, most of them don’t hold up well, this isn’t because they’re not funny but Al always has to assume a song will be a hit. Songs like Cavity Search (based on U2’s Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me) and Syndicated, Inc. (based on Misery by Soul Asylum) are hilarious but are parodies of songs that don’t nearly have the longevity of some of earlier parodies like Girls just wanna have lunch or Like a Surgeon.

To truly appreciate weird al you have to look at his original songs. This album contains Everything You Know is Wrong, which is my favorite Weird Al Song of all time. The style parody of They Might Be Giants is musical perfection. It tells 3 stories of our main character which get increasingly more and more bizarre and contains such classic lines like “I was just about to mail a letter to my evil twin when I got a nasty papercut/And, well, to make a long story short it got infected and I died”.

Every original song is well crafted and songs like “I’m So Sick of You” and “I Remember Larry” are so addictingly catchy that had they been released by any other artist in 1996 they would have been huge radio hits.

Another classic on this album is Since You’ve Been Gone. In just a minor 86 seconds Weird Al and his band created an a capella song about heartbreak with the twist ending of “I feel almost as bad as I did when you were still here”

“Weird Al” deserves your respect.

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