Another One Rides the Bus (EP)
|Another One Rides the Bus|
|EP by "Weird Al" Yankovic|
|Recorded||April 1980 – January 1981|
|Producer||"Weird Al" Yankovic|
|"Weird Al" Yankovic chronology|
|Singles from Another One Rides the Bus|
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 Barret "Dr. Demento" Hansen 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.
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". 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. The second song to be recorded for the EP was "Another One Rides the Bus", on September 14, 1980. 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 Barret "Dr. Demento" Hansen. 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. "Another One Rides the Bus" became so popular that it landed Yankovic a short-lived record deal with TK Records, and also led to 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.
In January 1981, the song "Mr. Frump in the Iron Long" was recorded. 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. The final song, recorded on January 19, 1981, was "Happy Birthday". 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". "Happy Birthday' was recorded in the garage of Richard "Bopcat" Bennett, the brother of Schwartz who would go on to be a noted Nashville studio musician and record producer. All of the tracks, sans "Another One Rides the Bus" were recorded on a 4-track Portastudio; because only four tracks were available for mixing and recording, Yankovic had to carefully plan which parts of the songs he wanted to record at a time, and then mix them down before adding more song elements.
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. "Gotta Boogie", "Happy Birthday", and "Mr. Frump in the Iron Long" would be re-recorded for Yankovic's eponymous debut studio album, while "Another One Rides the Bus" would not.
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. Yankovic then distributed the EP to various record stores, selling them through consignment deals. Yankovic released the record under Placebo Records, a one-off label founded by Yankovic for the sole purpose of distributing the EPs. 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. Due to the fact that only one thousand copies of the Another One Rides the Bus EP were made, today it is considered a very rare record to locate.
The following is adapted from the album liner notes.
|1.||"Another One Rides the Bus"||John Deacon, Alfred Yankovic||"Another One Bites the Dust" by Queen||2:36|
|2.||"Happy Birthday"||Yankovic||Style parody of Tonio K||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
- Yankovic, Alfred M. (December 2007). "Recording Dates". The Official "Weird Al" Yankovic Web Site. Archived from the original on July 9, 2010. Retrieved June 26, 2010.
- Rabin and Yankovic, p. 28.
- Hansen, Barret (1994). Permanent Record: Al in the Box (liner). "Weird Al" Yankovic. California, United States: Scotti Brothers Records.
- Rabin and Yankovic, p. 30.
- Rabin, Nathan (June 29, 2011). "'Weird Al' Yankovic | Music | Set List". The A.V. Club. Chicago, Illinois, USA: The Onion. Retrieved June 29, 2011.
- Rabin and Yankovic, p. 34.
- "Laughter Is A Powerful Weapon Vol. 2". CD Baby. 2005. Retrieved May 15, 2013.
- Yankovic, Alfred M. (December 2007). "The Placebo EP". The Official "Weird Al" Yankovic Web Site. Retrieved June 26, 2010.
- "Weird Al" Yankovic (liner). "Weird Al" Yankovic. California, United States: Rock 'n Roll Records. 1983.
- Rabin and Yankovic, p. 33.
- Another One Rides the Bus (liner). "Weird Al" Yankovic. California, United States: Placebo Records. 1981.
- Rabin and Yankovic, p. 31.