Top 20 "Weird Al" Yankovic Songs (1-5)

For this week's Ranked, we decided to celebrate the release the of Alpocalypse and the most awesome video for "Perform This Way" with our twenty favorite "Weird Al" Yankovic songs.

Think you know what our #1 is? Did your favorite make the cut? Find out below!

Here's our Top Five:

5. "I Lost On Jeopardy"

When this song came out, I had no idea what Jeopardy was. I mean, I realized it was a game show based on the lyrics and the video. But despite my lack of knowledge of the game, it didn't hurt this song's chances of becoming my favorite "Weird Al" song.

See, the best part of this song/video was that it parodied a Greg Kihn song. And not just any Greg Kihn song--THE Greg Kihn song, "Jeopardy." I loved the original and while "I Lost On Jeopardy" didn't have much to do with "Jeopardy," it did show Al ripping off a piece of wood like Kihn did in the church in the original video. Plus, Greg showed up in the film's final scene to rescue Al in his convertible!

Here's another cool fact: Jeopardy returned to television three months after this video debuted. Did Al play a hand in Jeopardy's return? Probably not. But I like to think that he did.--Chag

4. "Yoda"

I've always been a big fan of Weird Al's geekier songs because, let's face it, I'm kind of a geek and, come on, look at that guy. "Yoda" is the classic Weird Al geek tune. It's simple (a riff on a Kinks song), based on The Empire Strikes Back (the best of the original trilogy), and it started on Doctor Demento, so you know it's just flat out cool.

Plus, he got it authorized by George Lucas. In the '80s.

My favorite lyric? "I know Darth Vader's got you really annoyed/But remember if you kill him you'll be unemployed." Geeky, snarky, it's vintage Weird Al.--Archphoenix

3. "Amish Paradise"

Remember Coolio? Barely? Yeah, me too. But for one summer, "Gangsta's Paradise" seemed to be EVERYWHERE. In your car, at the mall, at the Chinese buffet, at church... it seemed like it was always playing. 'Cause it was so gritty, you know. Not NWA or Public Enemy gritty, mind you... this was meant to educate the suburban white kids who saw Dangerous Minds and felt like they could connect to gangster culture.

I was going to write (sarcastically) about how much more poignant that made "Amish Paradise," as it exposed those same suburban kids to the lives of the Amish, who never had a Michelle Pfeiffer to save them. But then the juxtaposition of urban violence with butter churning and bared-shin pornography got the better of me. Only Weird Al can take that subject matter and recast it with its complete polar opposite. And let's all admit that the hats and beards make rich comedy targets... you may feel a little bad but COME ON! They don't have phones! Or TVs! Or electric nose-hair trimmers! Like Robinson Crusoe, it's primitive as can be.

Don't tell me Coolio's complaining when those royalty checks come in. I think Weird Al's doing him a big favor as Coolio does... well, whatever he's doing now.--CroutonBoy

2. "Smells Like Nirvana"

I truly believe "Smells Like Nirvana" is the greatest parody song of all time.

Maybe that has something to do with my relationship with Nirvana. They got huge when I was in college, living in Seattle's rain-shadow in Spokane. I liked them all right, mostly because they used a lot of loud noisy guitars--you know, like Great White and Warrant did. But the adulation of their fans and the over-exposure on MTV drove me batshit crazy. Besides... what the hell were they saying anyway?

It was Weird Al's song "Smells Like Nirvana" that made it OK for people to acknowledge that yes, we were all taking them a little too seriously. Unlike most of Weird Al's songs, it actually takes direct aim at the song itself, mocking the band and their brooding, grungy image with gleeful impunity. Instead of just changing the lyrics to talk about food or Star Wars, he put Cobain right in the crosshairs:

Sing distinctly?
We don't wanna!
But our album
We're Nirvana!

He even used the exact same set and actors to recreate the music video shot for shot, allowing us to zero in on the dancing janitor (this time wearing a tutu) and the marbles spilling from Weird Al's mouth. Pure genius! Even Kurt Cobain acknowledged how awesome it was and claimed that it was proof that Nirvana had finally "made it" as a band.

And thus, the Weird Al imprimatur of cultural relevancy was born.--CroutonBoy

1. "Eat It"

It was 1984. I was 11. I didn't know the words "parody" or "satire." All I knew was there was a song on the radio that sounded just like Michael Jackson's "Beat It" except this one changed the words to talk about food. It was hilarious!

I had listened to Weird Al's previous album. Although I was amused by songs like "Ricky" (where Toni Basil's one-hit wonder was turned into a love song about Lucy and Ricky Ricardo) and "Another One Rides the Bus," they were a little more obscure. "Eat It" was monumental. It showed Al's uncanny ability to tap into the vein of pop culture at the right time, something that would keep him relevant for three decades.

But least we forget that this was the '80s and music videos where the driving force of music. So Al created a shot-for-shot remake of Jackson's instantly iconic video. And that's what really drove the song into the stratosphere. "Eat It" and "Beat It" were shown side by side on MTV. And a song-parody revolution was born.

I love Weird Al. I saw him in concert a few years ago and was not only impressed by what a showman he is (seriously), but that I knew by heart the words to most of his songs. He's an artist that could have easily recorded "Eat It" and stopped there, doomed to live along side of Buckner & Garcia in the annals of '80s novelty songs. But Al's gone on to parody hit after hit. And we love him for it.

Nonetheless, "Eat It" will always be my favorite Weird Al song because it's the one that broke through and hit me at an impressionable age, helping to form my own sense of humor. It's a perfect piece of pop culture parody that remains funny today.--Daddy Geek Boy

<< Nos. 6-10 


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...