The Best Weird Al Non-Parody Songs

Weird Al just had his first #1 album thanks to a brilliant internet marketing scheme where he posted a brand new video every single day for a week before the album came out.

I was never a huge Weird Al fan like some of my friends, because making up new lyrics for already existing songs is interesting only the first time to me.  After that, I’d rather hear the originals again.

However, a while ago, I started noticing the originals he wrote, and especially fell in love with the songs that parodied the style of another artist without copying any specific song.  It appealed to me in the same way The Rutles appealed to me with their songs that are almost Beatles songs but not quite (and the fun is in figuring out which bits are from which songs — sort of an “insider joke” treasure hunt).

Weird Al is about my age (and in fact is born on my wife’s birthday) and he grew up listening to the same music I did.  We apparently have very similar tastes in music based on the styles he has done.  Seriously, this list below is like a greatest list of my favorite music.

Most of these songs are not promoted and are album cuts only, but if you like the bands he is imitating, these can be great fun.

As far as I can see, the only one he ever did a video for was the Devo-inspired “Dare to be Stupid.”

My favorite is this fan-created video for “Virus Alert” done in the style of Sparks, back when they were making good music.  (The cartoon even features Sparks keyboard player Ron Mael in a cameo just in case you missed the influence.)

They Might be Giants gets the treatment in “Everything You Know is Wrong.”

Not surprisingly, Weird Al is a huge Frank Zappa fan and in “Genius in France” you can hear bits  from some of Zappa’s greatest hits.  It even features Zappa’s son playing lead guitar.

Talking Heads get the treatment in “Dog Eat Dog.”

Elvis Costello gets his in “I’m So Sick of You.”

Danny Elfman and Oingo Boingo inspired “You Make Me.”

Then there’s the Police-inspired song “Velvet Elvis.”

And “Mr. Popeil” in the style of the B-52s.

And finally, “I Remember Larry” in the style of Hilly Michaels.

These aren’t all of his style-parody songs, but merely the ones he’s done of the bands I really like.  So here’s to Weird Al, the Allen Sherman of the next generation.

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7 thoughts on “The Best Weird Al Non-Parody Songs

  1. Mike,

    Where can I find these non-parody parodies? Are they on a specific album or only available as singles?

    And kudos for your nod to The Rutles. That film that was put together as a mocumentary predates and beats This Is Spinal Tap for cleverness. The interviews with Simon and Jagger are pure quill. I’ve got the LP that was released in conjunction with the film and the tunes – spanning the length of The Beatles catalogue – are, as my Brit buddy would put it, “Spot On.” Talk about nailing Lennon’s voice and style. Priceless!

    John

    Liked by 1 person

  2. His newest (and possibly final) disc release is very good. The non-parody songs area just as good as the parodies. Lame Claim to Fame is one such song.

    My own “lame claim”: Al has serenaded my wife twice in concert with I Wanna B Ur Lover.

    I can’t help looking his work.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “One More Minute” and “You Don’t Love Me Anymore” also had excellent videos in the years when MTV still played music. “Everything You Know Is Wrong” is legit, but restricting it to style parodies of one artist kept great songs like the previously-mentioned “One More Minute” off the list, as well as “The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota”, easily in his top five songs period (along with “Everything You Know Is Wrong”).

    Liked by 1 person

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