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The Essential Weird Al Yankovic

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Album Review

More times than not, Columbia/Legacy's Essential collections are stellar overviews. Boasting a two-and-a-half-hour running time and 38 songs hand-picked by Al himself, The Essential "Weird Al" Yankovic is yet another well-executed title in the series. Encompassing 12 albums, the double-disc set starts from the beginning of Al's career, with "Another One Rides the Bus," his live "Another One Bites the Dust" parody from the Dr. Demento show in 1980, and it gradually chronicles up to the R. Kelly-influenced "Trapped in the Drive-Thru" from 2006's Straight Outta Lynwood. Most of Al's big parodies are highlighted here ("Eat It," "I Lost on Jeopardy," "Yoda," "Like a Surgeon," "Fat") — as well as some choice deep cuts, like the ripping accordion medley "Polkas on 45," the opening theme from UHF, and a smattering of absurd originals ("Albuquerque," "Dare to Be Stupid," "You Don't Love Me Anymore," and "The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota"). All of these could be deemed essential for fans, but nitpickers will wonder about the whereabouts of "Ricky," "Money for Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies," and two of Yankovic's best food parodies, "My Bologna" and "I Love Rocky Road." These songs aside, not much is missing, considering the depth of his discography. The exhaustive four-disc Permanent Record has 50 songs, but it stops at 1994. Al may have hit a rocky patch for a spell toward the turn of the millennium, but he had some of his best work just after, including the geeky rap satires "Amish Paradise," "It's All About the Pentiums," and "White & Nerdy." For nostalgic fans who just want a quick taste of the '80s, Greatest Hits is the best bet, but those seeking a deep-rooted summary that's both comprehensive and extensive should look no further than this.


Born: 23 October 1959 in Lynwood, CA

Genre: Comedy

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The foremost song parodist of the MTV era, "Weird Al" Yankovic carried the torch of musical humor more proudly and more successfully than any performer since Allan Sherman. In the world of novelty records — a genre noted for its extensive back catalog of flashes-in-the-pan and one-hit wonders — Yankovic was king, scoring smash after smash over the course of an enduring career which found him topically mocking everything from new wave to gangsta rap. Alfred Matthew Yankovic was born...
Full bio
The Essential Weird Al Yankovic, "Weird Al" Yankovic
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  • 12,99 €
  • Genres: Comedy, Music, Pop, Novelty, Rock, Pop/Rock
  • Released: 26 October 2009

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