Weird Al Yankovic Albums Ranked Worst To Best
by Pete Crigler
Ever since I was a small child, Weird Al has been one of my favorites. One of the undisputed kings of humorous music and one of the bestselling and most respected comedians of all time (take that Cosby!), Weird Al has always had his finger on the pulse of popular music. Over the course of his thirty plus year career, he has released some of the greatest comedy records of all time. With that in mind, I decided it was time to do an overview of the man’s oeuvre.
14. UHF – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack And Other Stuff (1989)
This is the soundtrack to the cult classic UHF, but there’s really nothing here that’s worth saving. The movie is fantastic, but the record was a complete stiff. Plus, all the good tracks can be found on compilations and such. For devoted diehards only.
13. Poodle Hat (2003)
The absolute nadir of his recording career. Boring song after boring song, including “Ode To A Superhero,” a tired parody of “Piano Man” based around Spider-Man. He tried pulling one off on Eminem with “Couch Potato,” but Em wouldn’t let him make a video, which killed the album dead in a second. Still won a Grammy, though…
12. Polka Party! (1986)
The one disc that Al himself second guesses. It was after this poor performing sucker that he took a well-deserved break. The Talking Heads ode “Dog Eat Dog” still remains one of his best originals. But no one still sings “Here’s Johnny” or “Toothless People.”
11. Alpocalypse (2011)
Good songs here, but the best ones had been released a couple years earlier on digital EPs. This felt like he was just kind of phoning it in particularly on “Perform This Way,” a parody of a months old Lady Gaga track. The T.I. parody, however, is one of his most spot-on and timeless.
10. Bad Hair Day (1996)
This was a good disc at the time, but then again I was ten years old and didn’t know any better. This record just does not hold up twenty years later, and that’s a bit of a shame. “Amish Paradise” still sounds cool and “Gump” is awesome, but tracks like “Phony Calls,” “Syndicated Inc.” and “The Night Santa Went Crazy” sound outdated and uncool.
9. Alapalooza (1993)
The follow-up to the smash Off The Deep End has some great songs like “Talk Soup,” “Young, Dumb & Ugly” and the timeless “Jurassic Park,” and while it has aged a bit better than others, it’s still far away from what he was really capable of.
8. Even Worse (1988)
Wrapping up the ‘80s was one of his strangest records but also one of his most interesting. “Fat” is one of the all-time greats and “Alimony” is one of his best parodies. It also contains three of his best originals: “You Make Me,” the almost sadistic “Good Old Days” and “Melanie.” This disc also contains his first real attempt at rap, the pitiful “Twister.” Good, but not great.
7. Weird Al Yankovic (1983)
His very first record, but it contains some of his best tracks. “Happy Birthday” is still one of my go-to warped birthday songs, and who can go wrong with “My Bologna” and “I Love Rocky Road.” The production is a bit primitive, but the songs still hold up all these years later.
6. Straight Outta Lynwood (2006)
His comeback record, actually one of many, but the one that made people realize he was here to stay as a comedic force. “White & Nerdy” remains one of his greatest ever ideas, while “Trapped In The Drive-Thru” is one of his most creative parodies. “Don’t Download This Song” still has resonance all these years later; it’s both plaintive and funny, something a lot of other artists wouldn’t have been able to pull off. This is one of the definitive records of my college years for sure.
5. Dare To Be Stupid (1985)
His first record I fell in love with. It’s hard to match the genius of the title track, one of his rare originals to be released as a single. “Yoda” has come back into the stratosphere because of the Star Wars phenomenon, and despite the presence of weaker tracks like “George Of The Jungle” and “Girls Just Want To Have Lunch,” this album is still one of my all-time favorites for early Al.
4. Mandatory Fun (2014)
No one really expected this record to be as great as it turned out. “Tacky” is one of his best parodies in years, while the musicality shown on stuff like “First World Problems” and “Lame Claim To Fame” will allow him and his dynamic band to carry on their career ten times longer than anyone else who’s tried out this parody thing.
3. Running With Scissors (1999)
A great album when I was in middle school that has some dated songs like “Pretty Fly (For A Rabbi)” but also lays claim to some of his greatest songs like “Your Horoscope For Today” and the epic “Albuquerque,” which is one of his catchiest tracks and most awe-inspiring tracks.
2. Off The Deep End (1992)
If it wasn’t for Nirvana, I don’t know if Al would still be around and relevant today. “Smells Like Nirvana” is the best, the be all and end all of parodies. Meanwhile, songs like “Trigger Happy” and “When I Was Your Age” show how far he had come along musically. Also, “Polka Your Eyes Out” is the best polka medley he’s done since the ‘80s. Such a wonderful record and what a way to prove to the world that he was still the king!
1. In 3-D (1984)
What else can be said about an album containing a song like “Nature Trail To Hell” but WOW! Everything is spot on, from “Mr. Popeil” and “Midnight Star” to “The Brady Bunch” and the immortal “Eat It.” Better than Cosby, more remembered than Allan Sherman or Vaughn Meader, Al has managed to consistently maintain his reputation and his reign as a comedy great has continued unabated for years and this record was one of his touchstones. One of the greatest comedy albums ever made!