40. "Stop Forwarding That Crap to Me"
(Style parody of Jim Steinman; from Alpocalypse, 2011)
Al rails against all of those junk emails people used to send us. Now that our mothers and crazy aunts and gun nut uncles all have Facebook pages, that's really died down, hasn't it? I am a huge fan of Jim Steinman to the point where almost everyone has questioned my music taste, but I like his bombastic, overdramatic, teenager-in-lust production. Al gets the spirit of it, though I think he could have gone bigger (and longer) with this one.
(Note: I made a mistake back in the #70-61 post; when I included "Here's Johnny," I stated that it was the last song I hadn't listed from Polka Party!, which made Polka Party! the first album to be completed from this list. That was incorrect; I have one more song from Polka Party! that I've still not included. So, actually, listing "Stop Forwarding That Crap to Me" at number 40 makes Alpocalypse the actual first of Al's albums that I've completed on this list. I know this is all really important to the archivists of the future, so I need them to be aware that I know I made a mistake. Yes, I am being silly.)
39. "Do I Creep You Out"
(Parody of "Do I Make You Proud" by Taylor Hicks; from Straight Outta Lynwood, 2006)
Weird Al is no stranger to stalking songs, and this one makes me laugh especially because it's just so crazily passionate. Of course, it's built around one of those prepackaged, overly earnest, phony-sounding songs they give the American Idol winner to sing to christen their victories, so of course it's straight-faced and unintentionally silly. Al's lyrics arguably fit the arch tone of the song better than the original's.
38. "George of the Jungle"
(Cover; from Dare to Be Stupid, 1985)
Just a straight cover of the theme from the old Jay Ward/Bill Scott cartoon, a favorite of mine in childhood. Thanks to this version being smack dab in the middle of the album, I've always known this song by heart. I mention that because, for some reason, Chicago radio personality Jonathan Brandmeier was having a contest where, if you called in and sang the whole song, you could win tickets to see Jimmy Buffett in concert. Seeing Jimmy Buffett in concert seems like my idea of hell, honestly, but a guy I worked with (who was my roommate in a shitty apartment in Villa Park at the time) got really, really mad at me for not offering to call and do it so that he--a big Buffett fan--could win. Because he knew I loved the cartoon, loved Weird Al, even loved the Brendan Fraser movie, and knew the song. Guy never actually asked me to do it, just got huffy about it.
37. "Now That's What I Call Polka!"
(Medley; from Mandatory Fun, 2014)
I can't really explain why, but this is my favorite polka in years. Maybe pop music just sounds a little fresher to me these days, and the songs he's using lend themselves better to a smooth medley. Love the horns on "Somebody That I Used to Know" and "Timber." (List of songs here.) I also love the callback bits for "Thrift Shop." ("It's large!" always makes me laugh.) And it begins and ends with two of my favorite singles of their respective years: "Wrecking Ball" and "Get Lucky." I could just listen to Al do "Wrecking Ball" straight through in that style, honestly.
36. "Since You've Been Gone"
(Original; from Bad Hair Day, 1996)
Just a fun bit of doo-wop nonsense that's really quite catchy.
35. "Spy Hard"
(Parody of James Bond theme songs; from the motion picture Spy Hard, 1996)
I've never seen the movie, but I feel confident calling this my favorite scene. You miss some of the gags in the video because it doesn't have the opening credits in it, but otherwise it perfectly nails the tone of the classic Bond openings, and Al nails the tone of those songs.
34. "Polka Your Eyes Out"
(Medley; from Off the Deep End, 1992)
The polkas are, of course, totally subjective placings. I think this one just hits me the most (minus one other yet to appear) because it's from the time period just before I stopped paying attention to what was popular in current music. So it's like some kind of a bookend on an era for me. Or something like that. List of songs here. My favorite bit? The drum solo.
33. "Genius in France"
(Style parody of Frank Zappa; from Poodle Hat, 2003)
This thing is a musical tour-de-force, a style mash-up of several types of Zappa sounds and several types of Al jokes (including poodle references and the idea that French people revere things that Americans find bizarre and mundane). It just impresses the heck out of me, and is one of Weird Al's most fun songs to listen to for me, just because as someone with ADHD I love all of the sudden musical changes. Bonus points: Dweezil Zappa performs the opening guitar solo.
(Note: I triple-checked, since I messed up once already, but this is indeed the last song I had to list from Poodle Hat, so that album is also now completed. It's the best song on the album by far.)
32. "I Lost on Jeopardy"
(Parody of "Jeopardy" by Greg Kihn Band; from "Weird Al" Yankovic in 3-D, 1984)
Something about the drumming and the almost oppressive guitars in this song building and building the way they do always managed to sound like worsening tension and pressure to me, so this has always seemed like an aural version of how it feels when I'm trying to pass some kind of test. (Al's lyrics kind of say it all, too.) I have to tell you to watch the video here for the answer clues alone (the complex mathematical one kills me), and cameos by Kihn himself, plus Dr. Demento, Art Fleming, and Don Pardo. Classic Al.
31. "Jurassic Park"
(Parody of "MacArthur Park" by Richard Harris; from Alapalooza, 1993)
Here's an admission that will get my cool card revoked forever: I love "MacArthur Park." In fact, I have the Richard Harris album it's on, A Tramp Shining, on both vinyl and CD. This is what Al did with both "Yoda" and "Ode to a Superhero": taking a big special effects movie and singing about it to the tune of a classic rock song. This one just makes me weirdly happy, maybe because it's based on that original song. Hell, anything with a Jimmy Webb tune makes me weirdly happy. The middle section of the video, where the animation gets really wild, is fantastic.
Only 30 left. Until next time!
Thursday, July 09, 2015
40. "Stop Forwarding That Crap to Me"