The Food Album
|The Food Album|
|Compilation album by "Weird Al" Yankovic|
|Released||June 22, 1993|
|Label||Rock 'n Roll Records
Scotti Brothers Records
|Producer||Rick Derringer, "Weird Al" Yankovic|
|"Weird Al" Yankovic chronology|
The Food Album is a compilation album by American singer-songwriter "Weird Al" Yankovic, released on June 22, 1993 by Scotti Brothers Records. The release features ten of Yankovic's song parodies, all of which pertain to food. A similar album, The TV Album, which features songs entirely about television, would be released two years later.
The album was begrudgingly released by Yankovic, who felt that the compilation was unnecessary and merely a way for his record label to make money. Several food-related songs that Yankovic had recorded, such as "Girls Just Want to Have Lunch" and "Waffle King" were left off the record, although the former was due to personal preference, while the latter was due to scheduling issues.
The Food Album received mixed reviews from music critics, many of whom felt that the record was an enjoyable collection of songs, but that it was not an essential record to purchase. Despite the lukewarm reception, the record was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), making it Yankovic's first and only compilation record to reach this certification.
The music featured on The Food Album spans a decade, with the earliest songs being recorded in 1982, and the most recent song being recorded in 1992. Yankovic's first eponymous album has two songs featured: "I Love Rocky Road" and "My Bologna". Both "Eat It" and "Theme from Rocky XIII (The Rye or the Kaiser)" were culled from the 1984 release, "Weird Al" Yankovic in 3-D. "Addicted to Spuds" originally appeared on the 1986 release Polka Party!, and "Fat" and "Lasagna" were first featured on Yankovic's 1988 release Even Worse. "Spam" first was released on the soundtrack to the 1989 film UHF. The final two songs—"The White Stuff" and "Taco Grande"—were taken from the 1992 album Off the Deep End.
Notable for its absence is "Girls Just Want to Have Lunch", from Dare to Be Stupid (1985), Yankovic's only previously released food-related song not to make the album. According to Yankovic, this is due to the fact there is a "royalty ceiling" on the albums and he needed to pick one song to cut from the list in order to turn a profit on the album. "Girls Just Want to Have Lunch" was chosen due to Yankovic's personal dislike of the song, as his record label had forced him to record it in order to release Dare to Be Stupid back in 1985. Also absent from the release is "Waffle King." The song had originally been recorded for Off the Deep End. However, Yankovic decided to swap "Waffle King" with "I Was Only Kidding"—a song he had actually recorded for his next album—at the last minute; this forced Yankovic to shelve "Waffle King" for the time being. The song was later released on "Smells Like Nirvana" single, as well as Yankovic's eighth studio album, Alapalooza, which was released four months after The Food Album.
The album was released by Scotti Brothers Records and was only begrudgingly approved by Yankovic. At the time, Scotti Brothers had insisted on putting out a new album by Yankovic in order to meet monetary projections for the fiscal quarter, despite the fact that no new album was ready; Alapalooza would not be released until later in the year. The original concept was to release a record entitled Al Unplugged, which would have featured a cover depicting Yankovic holding the cords for unplugged kitchen appliances, but instead of being a live album featuring live performances, it would have featured studio remixes of previously released material, with the electronic instruments missing. Yankovic convinced them to release The Food Album instead—"a concept [he] hated only slightly less"—but would later describe it as a "cheesy compilation" put out "against [his] better wishes and judgement."
The TV Album was released under similar circumstances in 1995; however, when it came time to release the latter album, Yankovic reported that "the record company was a whole lot nicer when they asked the second time", and that there was "more groveling [and] less demanding". Following the release of The Food Album and The TV Album—in addition to the various greatest hits records that had been released—Scotti Brothers used-up all of their compilation options in Yankovic's contract, which prevented the release of further compilations when Volcano Records acquired his contract in the late 1990s.
The album artwork—which features a cartoon alien after it has eaten Yankovic—was created by Doug Lawrence, who is better known as "Mr. Lawrence", an American voice actor, comedian, writer, storyboard artist, animator and director. The "grotesque" cover was Yankovic's "passive-aggressive protest" against his label for forcing out the album; Yankovic intended the alien having "picked the desiccated corpse of Weird Al clean" to be a reference to his record label "bleed[ing] his catalogue dry" by releasing the album. The Japanese release of the album, however, featured much different artwork, as well as a name change; because there is no "F" in the Japanese language, the album was retitled The Hood.
|The Rolling Stone Album Guide|||
|The Buffalo News|||
The Food Album has received mixed reviews from most critics; many felt that while the album was amusing it was not an essential release. Allmusic reviewer Johnny Loftus awarded the album three out of five stars and wrote that, "The Food Album is an enjoyable bag of treats. Just don't eat too much, or you'll probably get sick." Likewise, The Rolling Stone Album Guide awarded the album three out of five stars. Anthony Violanti of The Buffalo News gave the album a moderately positive review and wrote that, "[t]here are two kinds of people in the world: those who love Weird Al Yankovic and those who can't stand him. Count me among the Weird One's biggest fans, and that's why I flipped out when listening to The Food Album." He concluded that the album was "like reading Mad magazine"; he gave the record three stars out of five. Tim Grobaty of the Press-Telegram, on the other hand, wrote negatively of the album, stating "Yankovic's songs are the kinds of things that are sort of funny in concept, less funny when you actually hear them once, and increasingly irritating with each subsequent listen [and] his food songs are among his worst."
Upon release, The Food Album failed to chart; however, it sold steadily. On January 25, 2006—more than ten years after its release—the album was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). This makes it Yankovic's first and only compilation album to sell over 500,000 copies and be certified Gold.
|Track||Title||Length||Parody of||Description||Original Album|
|1||"Fat"||3:37||"Bad" by Michael Jackson||About a man's obesity that is blown out of proportion.||Even Worse|
|2||"Lasagna"||2:46||"La Bamba" as performed by Los Lobos||A song centered largely around Italians and Italian cuisine.||Even Worse|
|3||"Addicted to Spuds"||3:50||"Addicted to Love" by Robert Palmer||About a man's obsession for potatoes and potato-based dishes.||Polka Party!|
|4||"I Love Rocky Road"||2:36||"I Love Rock 'n' Roll" as performed by Joan Jett||Narrator expresses his love towards the titular ice cream flavor.||"Weird Al" Yankovic|
|5||"Spam"||3:23||"Stand" by R.E.M.||About the canned luncheon meat Spam.||UHF - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack and Other Stuff|
|6||"Eat It"||3:21||"Beat It" by Michael Jackson||About a parent's exasperating quest to get their picky child to eat right.||"Weird Al" Yankovic in 3-D|
|7||"The White Stuff"||2:43||"You Got It (The Right Stuff)" by New Kids on the Block||A song wherein the singer expresses his love for the filling that appears between Oreo cookies.||Off the Deep End|
|8||"My Bologna"||2:01||"My Sharona" by The Knack||The narrator talks about his obsession with bologna sausage.||"Weird Al" Yankovic|
|9||"Taco Grande"||3:44||"Rico Suave" by Gerardo Mejía||About a narrator's visit to a fictional Mexican restaurant. Cheech Marin does a brief Spanish monologue in the song.||Off the Deep End|
|10||"Theme from Rocky XIII (The Rye or the Kaiser)"||3:37||"Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor.||About a washed-up Rocky Balboa, who now runs a deli and occasionally beats up on the liverwurst.||"Weird Al" Yankovic in 3-D|
|11||"Eat It (Karaoke Version)"||3:21||"Beat It", Michael Jackson||Karaoke version of "Eat It", included as a bonus track on the Japanese release.||The Official Music of "Weird Al" Yankovic|
- Yankovic, Alfred M. (December 2007). "Recording Dates". The Official "Weird Al" Yankovic Web Site. Retrieved 26 June 2010.
- "Weird Al" Yankovic (liner). Alfred "Weird Al" Yankovic. Scotti Brothers Records. 1983.
- "Weird Al" Yankovic in 3-D (liner). "Weird Al" Yankovic. Scotti Brothers Records. 1984.
- Polka Party! (liner). "Weird Al" Yankovic. Scotti Brothers Records. 1986. Note: the original vinyl and CD release of the album contained complete liner notes, which included lyrics. The 1991 re-issue, however, does not feature liner notes as a cost saving mechanism.
- Even Worse (liner). "Weird Al" Yankovic. Scotti Brothers Records. 1987. Note: the original vinyl and CD release of the album contained complete liner notes, which included lyrics. The 1991 re-issue, however, does not feature liner notes as a cost saving mechanism.
- UHF – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack and Other Stuff (liner). "Weird Al" Yankovic. Scotti Brothers Records. 1989. Note: the original vinyl release of the album contained complete liner notes, which included lyrics and personnel. The CD re-issue, however, only features minimal liner notes as a cost saving mechanism.
- Off the Deep End (liner). "Weird Al" Yankovic. Scotti Brothers Records. 1992.
- Yankovic, Alfred M. (December 1998). "'Ask Al' Q&As for December 1998". The Official "Weird Al" Yankovic Web Site. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- Yankovic, Alfred M. (March–April 1999). "'Ask Al' Q&As for March/April, 1996". The Official "Weird Al" Yankovic Web Site. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- Smells Like Nirvana CD single (liner notes). "Weird Al" Yankovic. California, USA: Scotti Brothers Records. 1992.
- Alapalooza (liner). "Weird Al" Yankovic. Scotti Brothers Records. 1993.
- Yankovic, Alfred M. (June 1999). "'Ask Al' Q&As for June, 1999". The Official "Weird Al" Yankovic Web Site. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- Yankovic, Alfred M. (February 1999). "'Ask Al' Q&As for February 1999". The Official "Weird Al" Yankovic Web Site. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- Yankovic, Alfred M. (May 1999). "'Ask Al' Q&As for May, 1999". The Official "Weird Al" Yankovic Web Site. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- The Food Album (liner). "Weird Al" Yankovic. Scotti Brothers Records. 1993.
- Rabin and Yankovic, p. 77
- Yankovic, Alfred M. "'Weird Al' Yankovic: Rare Items – The Food Album". The Official "Weird Al" Yankovic Web Site. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
- Loftus, Johnny. "The Food Album – Weird Al Yankovic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
- Brackett, Nathan; Christian Hoard (2004). The Rolling Stone Album Guide. New York City, New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 893. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
- Violanti, Anthony (June 25, 1993). "Turn, Turn, Turner, the Singer Comes Full Circle to Show Her Mellow Side". The Buffalo News. Berkshire Hathaway. Retrieved April 25, 2013. (subscription required)
- Grobaty, Tim (July 17, 1993). "A Yowling Good Night for Concerts". Press-Telegram. MediaNews Group. Retrieved April 25, 2013. (subscription required)
- "Gold & Platinum – Search Results: 'Weird Al' Yankovic". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 17 April 2011.
- Rabin and Yankovic, p. 33
- Mather, Marianne (February 20, 2011). "Story Time". Naperville Sun. Sun-Times Media Group. Retrieved April 29, 2013. (subscription required)
- Tarnow, Noah (July 16, 1998). "Don't Knock The Knack". Rolling Stone. New York City, USA: Jann Wenner.
- Rabin, Nathan (June 29, 2011). "Set List 'Weird Al' Yankovic". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved July 2, 2011.