Just forget the words and sing along

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Weird Al Don't Get As Much Respect Anymore

Most people who know me will tell you that I'm one of the biggest "Weird Al" Yankovic fanboys in the world.  Therefore, there's three little words that always gets me tingling:  new Weird Al.

Today, on YouTube, Weird Al posted a brand new parody...a spoof of Lady Gaga's Born This Way which he retitled I Perform This Way.  Weird Al also added the disclaimer that this song will NOT be on his new album. 

As the story goes, Weird Al wanted to get Lady Gaga's approval for the parody. Weird Al doesn't need to get approval, he just does because he's a nice guy like that. However, rather than just a description of the song or a copy of the lyrics, Lady Gaga insisted on hearing the song fully produced before signing off on it. So Weird Al did. And then she said no.

So, Weird Al's being miffed stems from the fact that he poured a lot of hard work into this, and he doesn't want all his hard work to go for naught because of it. Never mind that now he's looking for a new song to parody to be the lead single on his new album. So, he's posting the song to YouTube, and he'll be making it a free download at his official website in the weeks ahead.

Why am I sitting here rehashing this tale? Just go to Weird Al's official blog, and read the tale in his own words.

Sadly, though, this is starting to become par for the course for Weird Al. Let's flash back to five years ago. Pretty much the same thing happened. The lead single was going to be You're Pitiful, a parody of James Blunt's You're Beautiful. But, James Blunt's record company stepped in at the last minute and forbade it's release, fearing that the parody would damage Blunt's image. Blunt himself was cool with it. So, Weird Al made it a free download at his website...where you can still download it today!

Or heck, back in 2003, with Weird Al's album Poodle Hat. The lead single was Couch Potato, a spoof of Eminem's Lose Yourself. While Eminem reluctantly agreed to the parody, Eminem vetoed the music video. Eminem's argument was that he already mocks himself though his "Slim Shady" persona, so no one else has to. But still, with music videos still being the biggest part of Weird Al's exposure, it was a devastating blow ot Poodle Hat's sales.

Weird Al just doesn't get the same respect he once did. Once upon a time, about 20 years ago, when Weird Al did a parody of your song, it was taken as a badge of honor...achievement unlocked...a sign that you had made it! Now, though, it's starting to be seen as embarrassment...a dark spot...a chip in the original aritst's carefully constructed image.

As for my thoughts on the song...meh. It's not one of Weird Al's stronger parodies. Even in his original blog entry, Weird Al talks about making it kinda because everyone expected him to.

Oh, well. When You're Pitiful was barred from release, Weird Al came back and did the much more kick-ass White n' Nerdy. So I'm sure whatever replacement Weird Al cooks up will be better.

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