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|Song by "Weird Al" Yankovic from the album Running with Scissors|
|Released||June 29, 1999|
|Recorded||October 15, 1998|
|Genre||Comedy rock, spoken word, hard rock|
|Writer(s)||"Weird Al" Yankovic|
|Producer(s)||"Weird Al" Yankovic|
"Albuquerque" is the last song of "Weird Al" Yankovic's Running with Scissors album. At 11 minutes and 22 seconds, it is the longest song Yankovic has ever released on any of his official studio albums.
With the exception of the choruses and occasional bridges, the track is mostly a spoken word narration about Yankovic's made-up life in Albuquerque, New Mexico, after winning a first-class one-way airplane ticket to the city. According to Yankovic, the song is in the style of the "hard-driving rock narrative" of artists like The Rugburns, Mojo Nixon and George Thorogood.
Song and lyrics
Yankovic set off to write the lengthy song, considering it as a final track for Running with Scissors. The long meandering story was not expected to be popular and instead Yankovic wanted to compose a song "that's just going to annoy people for 12 minutes," making it feel like an "odyssey" for the listener after making it through to the end. Yankovic described writing the song as "free flowing," writing down a great deal of material he thought would be funny including previous ancedotes he had recorded, and trimming it down to form a lengthy "semi-cohesive story." The lyrics were too long to include in the liner notes for the album (it ends midsentence and goes into a written apology by Yankovic), though full lyrics were posted to Yankovic's website.
Recording and performance
At the end of the song (around 11:20, after the music ends), faint laughter can be heard in the background. As Yankovic says, "That's Jim West laughing - I thought it would be a good way to end the album. He's cracking up because of the stupid chord he played at the end of the song."
Contrary to Yankovic's belief that the song would not be popular, it was one of the best-received songs from the album, and Yankovic incorporated the song as an encore to his tours. When performing this song live, Yankovic has been known to extend the song, by listing off more types of doughnuts, including blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, boysenberry, loganberry, gooseberry, Halle Berry, old-fashioned doughnuts and Nanaimo bars (when performing in British Columbia), as well as Saskatoon berry donuts (when performing in Saskatchewan); listing more names "Zelda" calls Yankovic; not telling the "amusing anecdote" at first; and even starting the song over completely after he "loses his train of thought." When performing this song live in Canada, Al is known to replace the dream job at Sizzler with one at Tim Hortons, a Canadian doughnut shop. During the guitar solo of the third chorus, Yankovic sometimes introduces West eagerly, but West plays "Mary Had a Little Lamb" instead of the real solo. Yankovic acts disappointed, and West walks away acting ashamed.