List of "Weird Al" Yankovic polka medleys

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Polka medleys are the trademark of American musician, satirist, parodist, and songwriter "Weird Al" Yankovic. They have appeared on eleven of his thirteen albums; "Weird Al" Yankovic & Even Worse do not contain medleys.

The medleys are composed of various popular songs, each one reinterpreted as a polka (generally an instrumentation of accordion, tuba, and muted brass interspersed with sound effects) with the choruses or memorable lines of various songs juxtaposed for humorous effect. Yankovic has been known to say that converting these songs to polka was "...the way God intended."[1] Yankovic said that the medleys were something he did "even before I had a record deal" in live performances, and that many of the songs are included due to not receiving a full parody version - "if there’s a song that I think is really ripe for parody but I just can’t think of a clever enough idea, sometimes it’ll end up in the polka medley."[2] Regarding their popularity, Yankovic has said, "At this point, it's sort of mandatory for me to do a polka medley. Fans would be rioting in the streets, I think, if I didn't do a polka medley."[1] Yankovic has always asked permission from every artist whose songs compose a medley due to royalties issues.[3] He acknowledged some influence of Spike Jones in the medleys, such as the sound effects.[4]

Two of Yankovic's polka medleys, "Hooked on Polkas" and "Polka Power!" were released as singles in Japan and Germany respectively. "Polka Your Eyes Out" and "Polkas on 45" were also the only polkas to appear on a greatest hits album and "Polka Face" is the only polka to have an official video released for it.

"Polkas on 45"[edit]

"Polkas on 45"
Song by "Weird Al" Yankovic from the album "Weird Al" Yankovic in 3-D
Released February 28, 1984
Format Cassette, CD, Vinyl (12")
Recorded December 13, 1983
Genre Comedy, polka
Length 4:23
Label Scotti Brothers

"Polkas on 45" is Yankovic's first polka medley. It appears on his second album, In 3-D. This and "The Hot Rocks Polka" are Yankovic's only polka medleys to focus on popular rock songs from the 60s and 70s rather than contemporary songs. The song title is a take on the medley-releasing novelty band Stars on 45 and their self-titled 1981 single. The following songs are contained in the medley:

"Hooked on Polkas"[edit]

"Hooked on Polkas"
Single by "Weird Al" Yankovic
from the album Dare to Be Stupid
Released June 18, 1985 (Japan only)
Format Cassette, CD, Vinyl (12")
Recorded March 25, 1985
Genre Comedy, polka
Length 3:51
Label Scotti Brothers
"Weird Al" Yankovic singles chronology
"One More Minute"
(1985)
"Hooked on Polkas"
(1985)
"Dare to Be Stupid"
(1986)

"Hooked on Polkas" is the second polka medley recorded by "Weird Al" Yankovic. It appeared on his third album, Dare to Be Stupid. The song was released as a single in Japan.

Its title is a reference to the 1981 record Hooked on Classics, in which very recognizable extracts from classical music pieces were played over a continuous, more disco-style beat.[citation needed] This is the first polka medley to use "Shave and a Haircut", which is heard at the end of "Ear Booker Polka".[citation needed] (Other Yankovic polka medleys that have used "Shave and a Haircut" include "The Alternative Polka", "Polka Power!", "Polkarama!", and "Polka Face".)

The following songs are contained in the medley:

Single track listing[edit]

  1. "Hooked on Polkas" - 3:51
  2. "I Want a New Duck" - 3:01

"Polka Party!"[edit]

"Polka Party!"
Song by "Weird Al" Yankovic from the album Polka Party!
Released October 21, 1986
Format Cassette, CD, Vinyl (12")
Recorded August 28, 1986
Genre Comedy, polka
Length 3:15
Label Scotti Brothers

"Polka Party!" is the third polka medley recorded by "Weird Al" Yankovic. It appears on his fourth album, Polka Party!.

The following songs are contained in the medley:

"The Hot Rocks Polka"[edit]

"The Hot Rocks Polka"
Song by "Weird Al" Yankovic from the album UHF
Released July 18, 1989
Format Cassette, CD, Vinyl (12" & 7")
Recorded May 25, 1989
Genre Comedy, polka
Length 4:50
Label Scotti Brothers
Writer Mick Jagger, Keith Richards (arr. "Weird Al" Yankovic)

"The Hot Rocks Polka" is the fourth polka medley recorded by "Weird Al" Yankovic. It appears on his sixth studio album, UHF - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack and Other Stuff. Almost all of the songs in "The Hot Rocks Polka" medley are songs by The Rolling Stones (the exception being "Ear Booker Polka"). The title of the song refers to Hot Rocks 1964-1971, a greatest hits album of The Rolling Stones music.

The following songs are contained in the medley:

"Polka Your Eyes Out"[edit]

"Polka Your Eyes Out"
Song by "Weird Al" Yankovic from the album Off the Deep End
Released April, 1992
Format Cassette, CD
Recorded January 27, 1992
Genre Comedy, polka
Length 3:50
Label Scotti Brothers

"Polka Your Eyes Out" is the fifth polka medley by "Weird Al" Yankovic. It is included on his 1992 album, Off the Deep End, and also on his "Greatest Hits Volume 2" compilation. It was originally performed in 1991 on the Dr. Demento show.[citation needed]

The following songs are contained in the medley:

"Bohemian Polka"[edit]

"Bohemian Polka"
Song by "Weird Al" Yankovic from the album Alapalooza
Released October 5, 1993
Format Cassette, CD
Recorded July 17, 1993
Genre Comedy, polka
Length 3:39
Label Scotti Brothers

"Bohemian Polka" is a polka rendition of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody". Yankovic's official website has categorized "Bohemian Polka" as a polka medley.[5]

The following songs are contained in the medley:

"The Alternative Polka"[edit]

"The Alternative Polka"
Song by "Weird Al" Yankovic from the album Bad Hair Day
Released March 12, 1996
Format Cassette, CD
Recorded January 3, 1996
Genre Comedy, polka
Length 4:50
Label Scotti Brothers

"The Alternative Polka" is the sixth polka medley recorded by "Weird Al" Yankovic. It appears on his 1996 album, Bad Hair Day. The medley primarily consists of alternative rock songs, with the title being a reference to the genre.

The following songs are contained in the medley:

Notes
  • "The Alternative Polka" was originally going to have an interpretation of the Weezer song "Buddy Holly" between "Bullet With Butterfly Wings" and "My Friends". However, Rivers Cuomo decided against the idea at the last minute, forcing Yankovic to edit the song out of the medley. Weezer, however, was thanked in the liner notes since the layout had been prepared beforehand.[6] Weezer later allowed Al to include their hit "Beverly Hills" in the polka medley from Straight Outta Lynwood. On August 22, 2009, Al released the "unmixed, physically-deleted-from-the-master-tape 'Buddy Holly' polka" on Twitter.[7][8][9]

"Polka Power!"[edit]

"Polka Power!"
Single by "Weird Al" Yankovic
from the album Running with Scissors
Released September 26, 1999 (Germany only)
Format Cassette, CD
Recorded April 20, 1999
Genre Comedy, polka
Length 4:21
Label Volcano/Zomba
"Weird Al" Yankovic singles chronology
"It's All About the Pentiums"
(1999)
"Polka Power!"
(1999)
"Pretty Fly for a Rabbi"
(1999)

"Polka Power!" is the seventh polka medley recorded by "Weird Al" Yankovic. It appears on his 1999 album Running with Scissors. The song was released as a single in Germany.

The following songs are contained in the medley:

"Angry White Boy Polka"[edit]

"Angry White Boy Polka"
Song by "Weird Al" Yankovic from the album Poodle Hat
Released May 20, 2003
Format Cassette, CD
Recorded March 21, 2003
Genre Comedy, polka
Length 5:04
Label Volcano

The "Angry White Boy Polka" is the eighth polka medley recorded by "Weird Al" Yankovic. It appears on his 2003 album Poodle Hat and consists mainly of nu metal and alternative rock songs; occasionally hip hop and rap rock.

The following are contained in the melody:

Clips from the music videos of each song are compiled in the video for "Angry White Boy Polka".

"Polkarama!"[edit]

"Polkarama!"
Song by "Weird Al" Yankovic from the album Straight Outta Lynwood
Released September 24, 2006
Format Cassette, CD
Recorded April 12, 2005
Genre Comedy, polka
Length 4:17
Label Volcano

"Polkarama!" is the ninth polka medley by "Weird Al" Yankovic. It was released on his 2006 album Straight Outta Lynwood.

The following songs are contained in the medley:

Notes
  • "Polkarama!" was used as the set opener for Yankovic's 2007-08 Straight Outta Lynwood tour.[10]
  • Yankovic initially wanted to include a verse of "Photograph" by Nickelback, and even got the band's permission. However since he was unable "to find a way to incorporate the song into 'Polkarama' where it didn't sound wedged in or tacked on", Yankovic decided not to use it, but still thanked Nickelback in the liner notes for the album.[11]

"Polka Face"[edit]

"Polka Face"
Song by "Weird Al" Yankovic from the album Alpocalypse
Released June 21, 2011
Format CD, Digital download
Recorded May 8, 2010 [12]
Genre Comedy, polka
Length 4:47
Label Volcano

"Polka Face" is the tenth Weird Al polka medley. It was performed in concert in 2010, and was released on the 2011 album Alpocalypse. The medley consists of recent dance pop, hip-hop, and R&B songs. The following songs are contained in the medley:[13]

On September 25, 2011, Comedy Central's website Jokes.com premiered an animated music video for this polka medley.[14]

The video features a distinctive animation style for each of the segments of the parody. Some of them are crude, Flash-animated for example ("Right Round" "Baby" "Blame It" "Break Your Heart" and "I Kissed a Girl"), some others feature cut-out ("Fireflies") hand-drawn ("Down") and experimental scribbling animation ("Replay"). "Womanizer" was in live action.

"NOW That's What I Call Polka!"[edit]

"NOW That's What I Call Polka!"
Song by "Weird Al" Yankovic from the album Mandatory Fun
Released July 15, 2014
Format CD, Digital download
Genre Comedy, polka
Length 4:06
Label RCA

"NOW That's What I Call Polka!" is the eleventh polka medley recorded by "Weird Al" Yankovic. It is set to appear on his upcoming 2014 album Mandatory Fun. The following songs are included in the medley:[15]

The title is a reference to the series of compilation albums entitled NOW That's What I Call Music!.

Other polka medleys[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Moss, Corey (2006-09-26). "Track By Track: In Weird Al's Lynwood, Green Day's 'Idiot' Is Canadian". MTV Networks. Retrieved 2010-07-04. 
  2. ^ Watercutter, Angela (2011-06-20). "Alpocalypse Now: ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic Says ‘Twitter Saved My Album’". Wired. Retrieved 2011-06-20. 
  3. ^ ""Weird Al" Yankovic: The Ask Al Archive". Weirdal.com. Retrieved 2014-05-24. 
  4. ^ ""Weird Al" Yankovic: The Ask Al Archive". Weirdal.com. Retrieved 2014-05-24. 
  5. ^ "Parodies & Polkas". Zomba Recordings LLC. Retrieved 2010-07-04. 
  6. ^ Ask Al: July/August 1996 retrieved on September 15, 2007
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ [2][dead link]
  9. ^ [3][dead link]
  10. ^ ""Weird Al" Yankovic: Concert Set Lists". Weirdal.com. Retrieved 2014-05-24. 
  11. ^ "Ask Al June 9, 2007". Retrieved 2008-02-07. 
  12. ^ "Archive of recording dates for Weird Al songs". weirdal.com. Retrieved 2014-07-02. 
  13. ^ "Live performance of 2010 polka medley". Retrieved August 11, 2010. 
  14. ^ [4][dead link]
  15. ^ "Track listing for "Mandatory Fun"". iTunes. Retrieved 2014-07-02. 
  16. ^ "Weird Al's Guide to the Grammys". Retrieved November 23, 2010. 
  17. ^ "Official Weird Al Twitter". Retrieved May 7, 2011.