List of "Weird Al" Yankovic polka medleys

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Polka Power!)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Polka-style medleys of cover songs are a distinguishing part of American musician, satirist, parodist, and songwriter "Weird Al" Yankovic's catalog. Twelve of his fourteen albums contain them; his self-titled debut and Even Worse omit them.

The medleys are composed of various popular songs, each one reinterpreted as a polka (generally an instrumentation of accordion, banjo, tuba, clarinet, 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]

Three of Yankovic's polka medleys—"Hooked on Polkas", "Polka Power!", and "The Hamilton Polka"—have been released as singles (either in international markets or domestically). "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 (1984-02-28)
Recorded December 13, 1983[5]
Genre
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 1960s and 1970s rather than contemporary songs, though "Polkas on 45" includes some of the latter (ex:Talking Heads and The Police). 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 (1985-06-18) (Japan only)
Format
Recorded March 25, 1985[5]
Genre
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.[6]

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 (1986-10-21)
Recorded August 29, 1986[5]
Genre
Length 3:15
Label Scotti Brothers
Songwriter(s) "Weird Al" Yankovic

"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 (1989-07-18)
Recorded May 24, 1989[5]
Genre
Length 4:50
Label Scotti Brothers
Songwriter(s)

"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. All of the songs in "The Hot Rocks Polka" medley are songs by The Rolling Stones, with the addition of Yankovic's "Ear Booker Polka" at the end. 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 (1992-04)
Recorded January 27, 1992[5]
Genre
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 (1993-10-05)
Recorded July 17, 1993[5]
Genre
Length 3:39
Label Scotti Brothers
Songwriter(s) Freddie Mercury (arr. "Weird Al" Yankovic)

"Bohemian Polka" is a polka rendition of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody". Yankovic's official website has categorized "Bohemian Polka" as a polka medley.[7]

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 (1996-03-12)
Recorded January 3, 1996[5]
Genre
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.[8] 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.[9][10]

"Polka Power!"[edit]

"Polka Power!"
Single by "Weird Al" Yankovic
from the album Running with Scissors
Released September 26, 1999 (1999-09-26) (Germany only)
Format
Recorded April 20, 1999[5]
Genre
Length 4:21
Label
"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 title of the song is a reference to "Girl Power," a phrase made popular by the Spice Girls, the first act to be featured in the polka.[citation needed] 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 (2003-05-20)
Recorded March 23, 2003[5]
Genre
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 of christian metal, nu metal, rap metal, garage rock, and rap tracks performed primarily by white males; however, members from groups Rage Against the Machine, System of a Down, Deftones, P.O.D. are multiracial and drummers Meg White of The White Stripes and Stefanie Eulinberg of Kid Rock's band are female.

The following are contained in the medley:

"Polkarama!"[edit]

"Polkarama!"
Song by "Weird Al" Yankovic
from the album Straight Outta Lynwood
Released September 24, 2006 (2006-09-24)
Recorded April 12, 2006[5]
Genre
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.[11]
  • 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.[12]

"Polka Face"[edit]

"Polka Face"
Song by "Weird Al" Yankovic
from the album Alpocalypse
Released June 21, 2011 (2011-06-21)
Recorded 2011[5]
Genre
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]

The title is a reference to Lady Gaga's song "Poker Face".

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 are flash-animated ("Right Round", "Baby", "Blame It", "Break Your Heart", and "I Kissed a Girl"), others contain cut-out ("Fireflies"), hand-drawn ("Down") and experimental scribbling animation ("Replay"), while only one used stop-motion animation ("Womanizer").

Weekly chart positions[edit]

Chart (2011) Peak
position
US Comedy Digital Tracks (Billboard)[15] 6

"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 (2014-07-15)
Recorded 2014[5]
Genre
Length 4:06
Label RCA

"NOW That's What I Call Polka!" is the eleventh polka medley recorded by "Weird Al" Yankovic. It appears on his 2014 album Mandatory Fun, and the title of the medley is the parody of compilation album series Now That's What I Call Music!.

The following songs are included in the medley:[16]

Weekly chart positions[edit]

Chart (2014) Peak
position
US Comedy Digital Tracks (Billboard)[17] 4

"The Hamilton Polka"[edit]

"The Hamilton Polka"
Hamiltonpolkaweirdal.jpg
Single by "Weird Al" Yankovic
Released March 1, 2018 (2018-03-01)
Format Digital download
Recorded 2018
Genre
Length 5:01
Songwriter(s) Lin-Manuel Miranda
"Weird Al" Yankovic singles chronology
"Perform This Way"
(2011)
"The Hamilton Polka"
(2018)

"The Hamilton Polka" is the twelfth polka medley recorded by "Weird Al" Yankovic. It was released on March 1, 2018 as a digital single and is composed entirely of songs from the Broadway musical Hamilton, written by Lin-Manuel Miranda.[18] The song was released as part of Miranda's "Hamildrop" series.[19]

The following songs are included in the medley:

Others[edit]

  • "The North Korea Polka" was a live polka performance on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, which was in response to the nuclear tensions that were escalating between the United States and North Korea in 2017.

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 2016-02-14. 
  4. ^ ""Weird Al" Yankovic: The Ask Al Archive". Weirdal.com. Retrieved 2016-02-14. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Archive of recording dates for Weird Al songs". weirdal.com. Archived from the original on 2010-07-09. Retrieved 2014-07-02. , October 6, 2014
  6. ^ AllMusic
  7. ^ "Parodies & Polkas". Zomba Recordings LLC. Archived from the original on 2007-01-13. Retrieved 2010-07-04. 
  8. ^ Ask Al: July/August 1996 retrieved on February 14, 2016
  9. ^ [1] Archived March 3, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ Yankovic, Al. "... Cut out of "The Alternative Polka" at the last minute due to a misunderstanding with Rivers Cuomo…". Twitter. Retrieved July 15, 2015. 
  11. ^ ""Weird Al" Yankovic: Concert Set Lists". Weirdal.com. Archived from the original on 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2014-05-24. 
  12. ^ "Ask Al June 6, 2007". Retrieved 2016-02-14. 
  13. ^ "Live performance of 2010 polka medley". Retrieved August 11, 2010. 
  14. ^ [2] Archived September 27, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^ "Comedy Digital Tracks: July 7, 2014". Billboard. Retrieved August 8, 2014. 
  16. ^ Mandatory Fun (liner notes). "Weird Al" Yankovic. RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment. 2014.
  17. ^ "Comedy Digital Tracks: August 2, 2014". Billboard. Retrieved August 8, 2014. 
  18. ^ Greene, Andy (March 2, 2018). "Lin-Manuel Miranda, 'Weird Al' Yankovic Talk New 'Hamilton Polka'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 5, 2018. 
  19. ^ Miranda, Lin-Manuel. "Hamilton's Hamildrops". Hamildrops. Archived from the original on March 5, 2018. Retrieved March 5, 2018. 
  20. ^ "Weird Al's Guide to the Grammys". Retrieved November 23, 2010. 
  21. ^ "Weird Al - Patterns - YouTube". 
  22. ^ "Polkamon". Retrieved March 21, 2018.