Friday, July 1, 2011
"He who is tired of Weird Al is tired of life" -Homer Simpson
Today I managed to pick myself up a copy of Weird Al Yankovic's new album "Alpocalypse". It's his first album since "Straight Outta Lynwood" 5 years ago. It's a typical Weird Al affair... a polka, a few original songs in the style of other artists, and of course his signature parodies. In this album he rips off Bruno Mars, T.I., Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, and even Lady Gaga.
The Lady Gaga story is an interesting one. Even though according to the law he doesn't have to ask the original artist for permission to do a parody, Al likes to do so anyway before he even starts work on one. He asked Gaga's manager and he declined unless he saw the lyrics. Al wrote the lyrics for "Perform This Way" (parody of "Born This Way") and sent them to her manager. A few weeks passed and the manager said he wanted to hear the full song. Al scrambled to get it recorded and pushed the release of this album back to do so. Her manager still didn't like it and Al put the song up online and wanted the proceeds to go to charity, because he didn't want the song to go to waste
After it had been online for a less than a day, Gaga and her staff saw it (apparently her manager never showed her the lyrics or the finished song), loved it, and immediately gave Al permission to put it on his album. I'm glad it worked out for him too because the song is very well done and catchy. "Polka Face" is still my favorite though so far, probably because I saw it live last summer.
Luckily for Weird Al, there will never be a shortage of popular songs to parody