Tuesday, October 25, 2016

"Eat It" by "Weird Al" Yankovic

Gold Record Alert!
Grammy Alert!
Song#:  1829
Date:  03/10/1984
Debut:  59
Peak:  12
Weeks:  12
Genre:  Comedy

Pop Bits:  Yankovic's parody songs started to get attention when his single "Ricky" became an unexpected chart entry reaching #63. It was boosted by a popular MTV video that had Yankovic and Tress MacNeille portraying TV's Lucy and Ricky Ricardo. With the power of a hit now in his bag and a good rapport with MTV, Yankovic was ready to make his next move. His second LP "Weird Al" Yankovic in 3-D featured this song, which was a parody of the Michael Jackson hit "Beat It." The comical tune probably would have made a chart appearance on its own, but what pushed the single near the Top 10 was the accompanying video. It was a shot-for-shot remake of Jackson's "Beat It" video that even used the same sets and cast. It was just a dead-on parody and it worked perfectly. So much so that the single would be certified gold and the song would win Yankovic a Grammy for Best Comedy Recording. The album would also be Yankovic's first to go platinum.

ReduxReview:  Weird Al strikes again and the timing couldn't have been better. Not only was getting permission to do a parody of a song by the biggest star on the planet at the time a real coup, but pairing it with a hilarious video was the icing on the cake. Yes, the song is actually good and funny (the background effects and noises are a hoot), but in reality it was the video that made it a hit. In a way, it was kind of brave for Yankovic to do a shot-for-shot remake of the original video. With Jackson mania at its peak, this could have easily gone bad with people thinking Yankovic was making fun of Jackson. It could have been a disaster, but Weird Al's genius made the whole thing work. If just judging the song, I think it works fine on its own because it is so well done. It's Yankovic at his best. I really have no interesting in just hearing the tune, but I'll watch the video most any time.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  This single was Yankovic's only one to reach #1 on any worldwide chart. It hit that spot in Australia. In doing so, Yankovic's parody did better in that country than Michael Jackson's original. Jackson's "Beat It" only got to #3.


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