Monday, December 26, 2016

"King of Suede" by "Weird Al" Yankovic

Song#:  1891
Date:  05/05/1984
Debut:  77
Peak:  62
Weeks:  6
Genre:  Comedy

Pop Bits:  Yankovic's second album, "Weird Al" Yankovic in 3-D, became a platinum seller mainly due to the #12 hit parody "Eat It" and its accompanying video. This follow-up single was Yankovic's take on The Police's #3 hit "King of Pain." Revamping the lyrics to a song about a guy who runs a clothing/tailor shop, the tune didn't quite have the zing of the previous single and it stalled about a third of the way up the chart. It probably didn't help that there was no video made, which was one of the reasons "Eat It" was so popular. Regardless, for a parody song it did pretty well and helped to sell a few more albums.

ReduxReview:  I'm not liking this one as much as his previous efforts. I think where I'm having an issue is with the source material. "King of Pain" is a dark, serious song. It's not one that you are gonna dance to at the bar or toss on for some background music for a dinner party. It has a little weight to it. So turning it into a comedic parody doesn't quite make sense to my ears. In the back of my mind I'm thinking "a skeleton choking on a crust of bread" while hearing "but don't step on my blue suede shoes." As usual, Yankovic's lyrics are spot-on, but using the music from such a dire song drags them down. It just wasn't the right hit to parody.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Yankovic's album contains the song "Mr. Popeil." It's an original tune written by Yankovic about the inventor/salesman Samual Popeil. Popeil was the inventor of gadgets such as the Chop-O-Matic and the Pocket Fisherman. His son Ron brought the products to TV and later ran his own company Ronco, which sold his father's inventions along with his own. Ronco was famous for its infomercials and products like the Dial-O-Matic and Mr. Microphone. While Yankovic was coming up with his homage to the inventor, he found out that Ron's sister, Lisa, was a singer. She had recently supplied the vocals for the Frank Zappa tune "Teen-Age Prostitute," which appeared on Zappa's 1982 album Ship Arriving too Late to Save a Drowning Witch (the album that produced Zappa's only Pop Top 40 entry, "Valley Girl"). Yankovic asked Lisa to do the background vocals on "Mr. Popeil," which she did. After an unsuccessful attempt to launch a solo career, Lisa move on to becoming an award-winning vocal coach. Yankovic had Lisa back in the studio later in 2014 to do the background vocals for his song "Tacky," a parody of the Pharrell Williams hit "Happy."


No comments:

Post a Comment