“Weird Al” Yankovic

The Essential “Weird Al” Yankovic

The soundtrack of my life is weird. In grade school, I learned that “mashed potatoes can be your friends” and I spent four years of high school “living in an Amish paradise.” Bands come and go, but “Weird Al” Yankovic has remained. For this retrospective, the prince of parody handpicked a collection that shows off not only his progression as a musician but that of our musical tastes as a society as well. Early songs parodying Queen and Devo turn to P. Diddy and Green Day. His parodies may be his most universally known work, but Weird Al’s original material is without comparison. Fan favorites “The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota” and “Albuquerque” show his band’s solid musical chops. Nonsensical humor is currently a big trend in mass media, but Weird Al’s trips to Minnesota and Albuquerque not only set the standard, they surpassed it. It’s fitting that he joins Elvis, Springsteen and MJ in Sony’s Essential series. For more than 30 years, Al and his band mates have churned out song after song holding a fun-house mirror to society. And for some the music has just let us be who we are: white and nerdy.