"Weird Al" Yankovic's Greatest Hits

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"Weird Al" Yankovic's Greatest Hits
Greatest hits album by "Weird Al" Yankovic
Released October 18, 1988
Recorded 1983–1988
Genre Comedy, parody, pop
Label Rock 'n Roll Records
Scotti Brothers
"Weird Al" Yankovic chronology
Even Worse
(1988)
"Weird Al" Yankovic's Greatest Hits
(1988)
UHF – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack and Other Stuff
(1989)

"Weird Al" Yankovic's Greatest Hits is a compilation album of parody and original songs by "Weird Al" Yankovic, featuring his best known songs from his first five studio albums, all of which were released in the 1980s. "Weird Al" Yankovic's Greatest Hits was met with mostly positive reviews from critics, with Heather Phrase of AllMusic both noting that it provided a good overview of the early part of Yankovic's career. Despite this, the album failed to chart upon release, and ranks as one of Yankovic's least-selling records.

Production[edit]

Music[edit]

The music featured on the album span Yankovic's release in the 1980s, with the earliest songs being recorded in 1983, and the most recent song being recorded in 1984.[1] Yankovic's 1983 debut album is represented solely by "Ricky".[1][2] Both "Eat It" and "I Lost on Jeopardy" were taken from Yankovic's 1984 release "Weird Al" Yankovic in 3-D.[1][3] Yankovic's third album, Dare to Be Stupid has three songs featured: "Like a Surgeon", the eponymous "Dare to Be Stupid", and "One More Minute".[1][4] "Living with a Hernia" and "Addicted to Spuds" were culled from the 1986 album Polka Party!.[1][5] Finally, Yankovic's then-recent studio album Even Worse is represented by "Fat" and "Lasagna".[1][6]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[7]
Amazon.com (Positive)[8]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 3.5/5 stars[9]

Heather Phares of AllMusic noted that, "though [the album] only covers the first half of "Weird Al" Yankovic's career, it nevertheless features nearly all of his best work".[7] She highlighted "Eat It", "Fat", and "I Lost on Jeopardy" as the album's stand-out tracks, and concluded that the release "is still the most consistent and concise album in his catalog, and a great introduction to his very special brand of musical humor."[7] Fred Cisternia of Amazon.com gave the album a relatively positive review, writing that, "If you want to take a funhouse mirror trip back to the 1980s, Greatest Hits is a good way to do it."[8] Nathan Brackett and Christian Hoard, in The Rolling Stone Album Guide, awarded the album three-and-a-half stars out of five, denoting that the album averaged between good and excellent.[9]

Commercial performance[edit]

The record was released on October 18, 1988, and upon its release failed to chart. As of January 1997, the album was one of Yankovic's least-selling records, although it ranked above several other albums such as Yankovic's second greatest hits compilation, The Food Album, the soundtrack album to his 1989 film UHF, The TV Album, and the Permanent Record in terms of sales.[10]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Fat" (orig. Michael Jackson, arr. Yankovic)[11] – 3:37
    • Parody of "Bad" by Michael Jackson;[12] the spoof discusses a man's obesity, which is blown out of proportion.[6] From the 1988 album Even Worse.[13]
  2. "Eat It" (orig. Michael Jackson, arr. "Weird Al" Yankovic)[11] – 3:21
    • Parody of "Beat It" by Michael Jackson;[12] a song about a parent's exasperating quest to get their picky child to eat.[14] From the 1984 album "Weird Al" Yankovic in 3-D.[13]
  3. "Like a Surgeon" (orig. Billy Steinberg, Tom Kelly, arr. Yankovic)[11] – 3:32
  4. "Ricky" (orig. Mike Chapman, Nicky Chinn, arr. Yankovic)[11] – 2:36
  5. "Addicted to Spuds" (orig. Robert Palmer, arr. Yankovic)[11] – 3:50
  6. "Living with a Hernia" (orig. Dan Hartman, Charlie Midnight, arr. Yankovic)[11] – 3:20
  7. "Dare to Be Stupid" (Yankovic)[11] – 3:25
    • Style parody of Devo;[16] the song recounts a list of "stupid" things a person can do.[4] From the 1985 album Dare to Be Stupid.[13]
  8. "Lasagna" (arr. "Weird Al" Yankovic)[11] – 2:46
  9. "I Lost on Jeopardy" (orig. Greg Kihn, Steve Wright, arr. Yankovic)[11] – 3:28
  10. "One More Minute" (Yankovic)[11] – 4:04
    • Style parody of Elvis Presley-like Doo-wop;[17] the song describes the myriad tortures that the singer would sooner endure than spending "one more minute" with his ex-girlfriend.[4] From the 1985 album Dare to Be Stupid.[13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Yankovic, Alfred (December 2007). "Recording Dates". WeirdAl.com. Retrieved 26 June 2010. 
  2. ^ "Weird Al" Yankovic (liner). "Weird Al" Yankovic. Scotti Brothers Records. 1983. 
  3. ^ "Weird Al" Yankovic in 3-D (liner). "Weird Al" Yankovic. Scotti Brothers Records. 1984. 
  4. ^ a b c d Dare to Be Stupid (liner). "Weird Al" Yankovic. Scotti Bros. Records. 1985. 
  5. ^ a b c Polka Party! (liner). "Weird Al" Yankovic. Scotti Brothers Records. 1986.  Note: the original vinyl and CD release of the album contained complete liner notes, which included lyrics. The 1991 re-issue, however, does not feature liner notes as a cost saving mechanism.
  6. ^ a b c Even Worse (liner). "Weird Al" Yankovic. Scotti Brothers Records. 1987.  Note: the original vinyl and CD release of the album contained complete liner notes, which included lyrics. The 1991 re-issue, however, does not feature liner notes as a cost saving mechanism.
  7. ^ a b c Phares, Heather. "Greatest Hits – 'Weird Al' Yankovic". AllMusic. Retrieved July 6, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Cisterna, Fred. "Weird Al Yankovic – Greatest Hits, Volume 1". Amazon.com. Retrieved July 6, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (2004). The Rolling Stone Album Guide. New York City, New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 893. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  10. ^ Yankovic, Alfred (June 1999). "'Ask Al' Q&As for June, 1999". WeirdAl.com. Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Greatest Hits (liner). "Weird Al" Yankovic. Scotti Brothers Records. 1988. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h Yankovic, Alfred. "Parodies & Polkas". WeirdAl.com. Retrieved April 24, 2013. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Permanent Record: Al in the Box (liner). California, United States: Scotti Brothers Records. 
  14. ^ Mather, Marianne (February 20, 2011). "Story Time". Naperville Sun (Sun-Times Media Group). Retrieved April 29, 2013.  (subscription required)
  15. ^ Brian, Raftery (September 22, 2008). "Weird Al: Forefather of the YouTube Spoof". Wired. Archived from the original on October 21, 2008. Retrieved October 21, 2008. 
  16. ^ Yankovic, Alfred (January 2000). "'Ask Al' Q&As for January 2000". WeirdAl.com. Retrieved June 30, 2010. 
  17. ^ 'Weird Al' Yankovic: The Ultimate Video Collection (Media notes). Jay Levey, "Weird Al" Yankovic. Volcano Entertainment. 2003. 82876-53727-9.