Tacky (song)

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"Tacky"
Song by "Weird Al" Yankovic
from the album Mandatory Fun
RecordedApril 2014
Bedrock L.A.
(Los Angeles, California)
Genre
Length2:53
LabelRCA
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)"Weird Al" Yankovic

"Tacky" is a song by American musician "Weird Al" Yankovic from his fourteenth studio album, Mandatory Fun (2014). The song is a parody of the 2013 single "Happy" by Pharrell Williams. The song mocks questionable taste in fashion as well as activities considered gauche. Yankovic recorded the song as one of the last on Mandatory Fun, and received Williams' approval directly, through email. He remarked he was "honored" to have his work spoofed by Yankovic.

The song's one-shot music video parodies "Happy", and was the first in a series of eight videos released over eight days in promotion of Mandatory Fun. It features cameo appearances by Aisha Tyler, Margaret Cho, Eric Stonestreet, Kristen Schaal, and Jack Black, and was produced by Nerdist Industries.

Background[edit]

Pharrell Williams was "honored" to give Yankovic permission to use his song "Happy".

As usual for him, Yankovic sought permission from the original artists for his parodies on Mandatory Fun; in contrast to previous albums, he had few difficulties in obtaining these. Yankovic stated "This is the first time where I've gotten everybody that I wanted, and I couldn't be happier about it."[1] He was able to get Pharrell Williams' permission for three of the songs he represented on the album, Williams' "Happy", Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines", and Daft Punk's "Get Lucky", through a personal email to the artist after Yankovic's manager had difficulty working this with Williams' manager; according to Yankovic, Williams was "honored" to have his work used by Yankovic.[1] The song was recorded in April 2014.[2]

Composition[edit]

The song mocks people whose actions and style are generally considered gauche.[3] The singer boasts of having no shame and seems proud of his gaudy attire and his breaches of deportment (for example, putting used liquor bottles on display, wearing socks with sandals, mixing patterns, and hogging an entire bowl of after-dinner mints at a restaurant). Reviews noted that the song lists various disruptive acts associated with social media, referencing Instagram, Twitter, and Yelp.[4][5] Yankovic mentions printing his résumé in Comic Sans, a much-reviled font, and states that he would live-tweet during a funeral and take selfies with the deceased.[5]

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Tacky" debuted on July 14, 2014, as the first in an eight-video series. Produced by Nerdist Industries, the one-shot video mimics Williams' own style used in his video for "Happy": It features Aisha Tyler, Margaret Cho, Eric Stonestreet, Kristen Schaal, Jack Black and Yankovic dressed in tacky clothes and purposely dancing poorly while lip-synching to the song's lyrics about a person who brags on about his questionable style choices.[6][7] The video was filmed at Palace Theatre in downtown Los Angeles, previously featured as Julianne Moore’s apartment in the 1998 film The Big Lebowski.[8] Yankovic specified that during each of the six continuous takes, he would have to rush down five flights of stairs while changing his outfit in order to appear in the beginning and end of the video.[9][10]

Reception[edit]

Rolling Stone reviewed the song "Tacky" stating that "Weird Al is in fine form throughout the track".[11] In their review of Mandatory Fun, the publication wrote that "there’s a touch of hypocrisy in a guy as gloriously tacky as Al taking shots at the shameless but who really cares when it's this much fun."[12] ABC News wrote that "the parody and musicianship are spot-on, aided by an instantly classic music video."[13] Billboard noted that the song had the potential of being a "one-joke affair," but exceeded these expectations.[5]

Weekly chart positions[edit]

Chart (2014) Peak
position
US Comedy Digital Tracks (Billboard)[14] 2

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Graff, Gary (July 15, 2014). "'Weird Al' Yankovic On Getting Pharrell's Permission: 'He Could Not Have Been Nicer'". Billboard. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
  2. ^ "Weird Al" Yankovic: Recording Dates. weirdal.com. Retrieved on June 22, 2014.
  3. ^ Zaleski, Annie (July 15, 2014). ""Weird Al" Yankovic smartly skewers, embraces pop culture". The A.V. Club. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
  4. ^ Ranking Weird Al’s 'Mandatory Fun' Parodies: Who Gets Skewered Best?. The Wire. Retrieved on July 15, 2014.
  5. ^ a b c Partridge, Kenneth (July 15, 2014). "'Weird Al' Yankovic's 'Mandatory Fun': Track-by-Track Album Review". Billboard. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
  6. ^ Lipshutz, Jason (July 14, 2014). "'Weird Al' Yankovic Spoofs Pharrell's 'Happy' with 'Tacky': Watch". Billboard. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
  7. ^ Suddath, Claire (July 21, 2014). "The Internet Should Have Killed Weird Al. It Only Made Him Stronger". Businessweek. Retrieved July 21, 2014.
  8. ^ Grosinger, Matt (July 14, 2014). "Weird Al Yankovic Gets 'Tacky' With Pharrell's 'Happy'". Nerdist Industries. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved July 14, 2014.
  9. ^ Evans, Bradford (July 16, 2014). "The Best of Weird Al's Reddit AMA". splitsider.com. Retrieved July 16, 2014.
  10. ^ Dvohrik, Ashley (July 18, 2014). "Weird Al Yankovic adapting to digital age". Fox News. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  11. ^ "'Weird Al' Enlists Jack Black, Aisha Tyler for Pharrell Parody 'Tacky' - Video". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2014-07-15.
  12. ^ Murray, Nick (July 15, 2014). ""Weird Al" Yankovic - Mandatory Fun". Rolling Stone. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
  13. ^ Raible, Allan. "Music Review: 'Weird Al' Yankovic Releases 'Mandatory Fun'". ABC News. Retrieved 2014-07-15.
  14. ^ "Comedy Digital Tracks: August 2, 2014". Billboard. Retrieved August 8, 2014.

External links[edit]