Al-riginals: Weird Al’s Overlooked Original Songs

A beginner's guide to Al’s non-parody tunes

May 17, 2016
Photo: RCA Records

“Weird Al” Yankovic has established himself over the decades as the master of song parody. “Eat It,” “My Bologna,” “Like a Surgeon,” “Word Crimes,” among so many others, have defined the hilarious songsmith. However, in order to fully appreciate “Weird Al” the artist, one must also take a look at his originals, which are featured on every one of his albums, and occasionally dominate them. Indeed, “Weird Al” is an accomplished songwriter in his own right, crafting several original tunes that sit nicely alongside the parodies. Naturally, Al often still adapted the styles of popular artists in his originals, creating tunes that ended up sounding like funhouse-mirror versions of real songs by R.E.M., David Byrne, AC/DC, and others. Though these songs tend to get overlooked in Al’s career, they prove that even if he’d never written a single song parody, his legend would still remain.

Here are some “Weird Al” originals to check out!

“Dare to Be Stupid”

Album: “Dare to Be Stupid” (1985)

In the Style of: Devo

“Dog Eat Dog”

Album: “Polka Party” (1986)

In the Style Of: David Byrne/Talking Heads

“Velvet Elvis”

Album: “Even Worse” (1988)

In the Style of: The Police

“Good Old Days”

Album: “Even Worse” (1988)

In the Style of: James Taylor

“The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota”

Album: “UHF: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” (1989)

In the Style Of: Gordon Lightfoot

“Young, Dumb, and Ugly”

Album: “Alapalooza” (1993)

In the Style of: AC/DC

“Frank’s 2000″ TV”

Album: “Alapalooza” (1993)

In the Style of: R.E.M.

“Everything You Know Is Wrong”

Album: “Bad Hair Day” (1996)

In the Style of: They Might Be Giants

“My Baby’s in Love With Eddie Vedder”

Album: “Running with Scissors” (1999)


Album: “Running With Scissors” (1999)

In the Style of: The Rugburns

“Genius in France”

Album: “Poodle Hat” (2003)

In the Style of: Frank Zappa

“Wanna B Ur Lovr”

Album: “Poodle Hat” (2003)

In the Style of: Beck/Prince


Album: “Straight Outta Lynwood” (2006)

In the Style of: Brian Wilson


Album: “Alpocalypse” (2011)

In the Style of: The White Stripes

“Lame Claim to Fame”

Album: “Mandatory Fun” (2014)

In the Style of: Southern Culture on the Skids

“Mission Statement”

Album: “Mandatory Fun” (2014)

In the Style of: Crosby, Stills, and Nash