The Essential Weird Al Yankovic

The Essential Weird Al Yankovic

by "Weird Al" Yankovic


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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.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/26/2009
Label: Sony Legacy
UPC: 0886975854325
catalogNumber: 758543
Rank: 13190

Album Credits

Performance Credits

"Weird Al" Yankovic   Primary Artist,Harmonica,Piano,Accordion,Harpsichord,Kazoo,Keyboards,Vocals,Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus,Hand Clapping,Vibes,Finger Snapping,Toy Piano,Bass Harmonica
Tommy Johnson   Tuba
Rick Derringer   Guitar,Soloist
Mel Blanc   Voices
Kim Bullard   Synthesizer,Keyboards
Brad Buxer   Synthesizer,Keyboards
Randy Crenshaw   Choir, Chorus
Jon "JD" Dickson   French Horn
Monique Donnelly   Choir, Chorus
Gene Morford   Background Vocals
Jim Haas   Background Vocals
Gary Herbig   Baritone Saxophone
Angie Jaree   Choir, Chorus
Steve Jay   Banjo,Bass,Flute,Bass (Vocal),Vocals,Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus,Hand Clapping,Finger Snapping,Synthesizer Bass
David Joyce   Choir, Chorus
Jon Joyce   Background Vocals
Nick Lane   Trombone
Warren Luening   Trumpet
Don Pardo   Announcer
Joel Peskin   Clarinet
Alan Reed   Voices
Dan Regan   Trombone
Pat Regan   Synthesizer,Piano
Jim Self   Tuba,Vocals,Hand Clapping,Finger Snapping
Lee Thornburg   Trombone,Trumpet
Ruben Valtierra   Piano,Keyboards
Jerry Whitman   Background Vocals
Lisa Popeil   Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Miles Jay   String Bass
Jim West   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Mandolin,Ukulele,Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus,Hand Clapping,Finger Snapping
Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz   Bongos,Chimes,Conga,Cymbals,Drums,Kazoo,Maracas,Tambourine,Vocals,Bells,Claves,Hand Clapping,Timpani,Shaker,cowbell,Beat Box,Finger Snapping,sleigh bells,Wood Block,Siren,Slide Whistle,Jaw Harp,Cabasa,Bass Accordion
Tavis Werts   Trumpet
Kim Erin   Choir, Chorus
Will Anderson   Harmonica
Will Anderson   Harmonica
Natasha Barr   Vocals
Damaskas   Background Vocals
Sarah O'Brien   Cello
Natasha Barr   Vocals
Damaskas   Background Vocals
Tom Evans   Saxophone

Technical Credits

Rick Derringer   Producer
Jonathan Schwartz   Archival Assistant
Brad Buxer   Programming,Orchestral Arrangements
Steve Jay   Vocal Group
Tony Papa   Engineer
"Weird Al" Yankovic   Arranger,Composer,Lyricist,Producer,Art Direction,Vocal Group
Jim West   Vocal Group
Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz   Sound Effects,drum programming,Simmons,Vocal Group
Stephen Thompson   Liner Notes
Jeremy Holiday   Packaging Manager
Beefalo Bill   Instrumentation
Stephen Thompson   Liner Notes

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The Essential Weird Al Yankovic 2.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
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