Another One Rides the Bus (EP)

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Another One Rides the Bus
EP by "Weird Al" Yankovic
Released February 1981
Recorded April 1980 – January 1981
Genre Comedy
Length 9:28
Label Placebo
Producer "Weird Al" Yankovic
"Weird Al" Yankovic chronology
Another One Rides the Bus
(1981)
"Weird Al" Yankovic
(1983)
Singles from Another One Rides the Bus
  1. "Another One Rides the Bus"
    Released: November 28, 1981

Another One Rides the Bus is the debut extended play (EP) by American parodist "Weird Al" Yankovic. It was released in February 1981 by Placebo Records. The title song is a parody of English rock band Queen's 1980 single "Another One Bites the Dust". The EP also features three other songs, all of which are original recordings. All four songs on Another One Rides the Bus later appeared on Yankovic's eponymous debut studio album; the three original songs were re-recorded for the album, while the title song is the same version that appears on the EP.

Another One Rides the Bus was released to capitalize on the recent success of the titular parody. Yankovic borrowed money from Hanson "Dr. Demento" Barret to pay for the record, and distributed them to records stores under consignment deals. Due to the underground success of the record, TK Records signed Yankovic for a while and released "Another One Bites the Dust" as a single. Only one thousand copies of this record were made, and today it is considered very rare.

Recording[edit]

The EP features the titular parody, as well as three original comedy songs, with music written by Yankovic. In April 1980, Yankovic recorded the first song for the album, "Gotta Boogie".[1] The song, co-written by Joe Earley, is a play on words discussing a man with a "boogie" on his finger and his quandary therein.[2] The second song to be recorded for the EP was "Another One Rides the Bus", on September 14, 1980.[1] Yankovic wrote the song, a parody of Queen's hit "Another One Bites the Dust", and debuted it live on the Dr. Demento Show, hosted by Hanson "Dr. Demento" Barret. While practicing the song outside the sound booth, Yankovic met Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz who told Yankovic he was a drummer. Schwartz agreed to drum on Yankovic's accordion case to keep a steady beat to the song.[3] "Another One Rides the Bus" became so popular that it got Yankovic his first appearance on a TV show, The Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder. On the show, Yankovic played his accordion and Schwartz banged on Yankovic's accordion case and played the bulb horns.[4]

In January 1981, the song "Mr. Frump in the Iron Long" was recorded.[1] The song, an audience favorite from Yankovic's days playing in coffeehouses at Cal Poly, describes the rather lopsided relationship between the narrator and the eponymous "Mr. Frump" in his iron lung, until the latter's death.[5] The final song, recorded on January 19, 1981, was "Happy Birthday".[1] A morbidly depressing birthday song detailing ails of the world, including poverty, nuclear holocaust, and eventual solar cataclysm, the song is based on the music of artist Tonio K. Only seeing two popular birthday songs at the time—"Happy Birthday to You" by Patty and Mildred J. Hill, and "Birthday" by The Beatles—Yankovic decided to write his own "severely twisted version of one".[6] The EP's version of "Happy Birthday" is included on the Permanent Record: Al in the Box box set, and was remixed into stereo for the Hurricane Katrina charity album Laughter Is a Powerful Weapon Volume II.[5][7] All three of the songs would be re-recorded for Yankovic's eponymous debut studio album.[8]

Release[edit]

Yankovic borrowed money from Dr. Demento to press up one thousand copies of this EP.

Yankovic desired to release the song on a record label, although no label wanted to sign him at the time. Thus, Yankovic borrowed some money from Dr. Demento and pressed up one thousand copies of the four-track EP by himself.[9] Yankovic then distributed the EP to various record stores, selling them through consignment deals.[10] Yankovic released the record under Placebo Records, a one-off label founded by Yankovic for the sole purpose of distributing the EPs.[5][8][9] Due to the underground success of the record, Yankovic was eventually able to secure a short-lived record deal with TK Records, who released the title song as a single.[5] Due to the fact that only one thousand copies of this record were made, today it is considered a very rare record to locate.[8]

Track listing[edit]

The following is adapted from the album liner notes.[2]

No. Title Writer(s) Parody of Length
1. "Another One Rides the Bus"   John Deacon, "Weird Al" Yankovic "Another One Bites the Dust" by Queen 2:36
2. "Happy Birthday"   Yankovic Style parody of Tonio K[6] 2:36
3. "Gotta Boogie"   Yankovic, Joe Earley Original 2:21
4. "Mr. Frump in the Iron Lung"   Yankovic Original 1:55

Credits and personnel[edit]

References[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Yankovic, Alfred M. (December 2007). "Recording Dates". The Official "Weird Al" Yankovic Web Site. Retrieved June 26, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d Another One Rides the Bus (liner). "Weird Al" Yankovic. California, United States: Placebo Records. 1981. 
  3. ^ Rabin and Yankovic, p. 28
  4. ^ Rabin and Yankovic, p. 30
  5. ^ a b c d Hansen, Barret (1994). Permanent Record: Al in the Box (liner). "Weird Al" Yankovic. California, United States: Scotti Brothers Records. 
  6. ^ a b Rabin, Nathan (June 29, 2011). "'Weird Al' Yankovic | Music | Set List". The A.V. Club. Chicago, Illinois, USA: The Onion. Retrieved June 29, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Laughter Is A Powerful Weapon Vol. 2". CD Baby. 2005. Retrieved May 15, 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c Yankovic, Alfred M. (December 2007). "The Placebo EP". The Official "Weird Al" Yankovic Web Site. Retrieved June 26, 2010. 
  9. ^ a b Rabin and Yankovic, p. 33
  10. ^ Rabin and Yankovic, p. 31

Bibliography[edit]

  • Rabin, Nathan; Yankovic, Alfred M. (September 25, 2012). Weird Al: The Book. Abrams Image. ISBN 9781419704352.