The Tourney Pod Bracket Reveal: Best Weird Al Song
The Rolling Stones. Madonna. Paul McCartney. Mariah Carey. These are artists who helped define their own generations and continue to have enduring legacies and careers today. It takes a special kind of person to last in the music industry. Not only can it beat an artist down, but the public’s tastes are ever-changing, perhaps now more than ever. Long-term success as a popular musician is a rarity; long-term success as a popular musician whose primary instrument is the accordion is even more rare. So rare, in fact, that only one man has managed to do just that. And he happens to be the subject of this week’s tournament.
When “Weird Al” Yankovic came onto the scene in the 80s, he was a cooky Dr. Demento devotee. He played the accordion, used goofy sound effects like bike horns and duck quacks, and yelled silly lyrics to the days’ hottest hits. Was he a comedian? Was he a musician? Was he a genius? Or was he just some wacky guy? It wasn’t until he dropped his single “Eat It” (a parody of Michael Jackson’s mega-hit “Beat It” from Thriller) that people started to consider him to be a combination of all of those things. He was a wacky musical comedy genius. And as the years roll on, he’s only become more deserving of the title.
With four top forty hits in four different decades, a feat that only a handful of artists have achieved, Weird Al’s career is a tour-de-force of musicianship and brains. If he’s not parodying radio hits, then he’s composing epic polkas. Perhaps the key piece to his staying power is the mutual respect that other artists, more traditional musicians, have for him. From Kurt Cobain to Don McLean to Chamillionaire, the subjects of Weird Al’s most infamous parodies are often his biggest cheerleaders. If you’ve been “done” by Weird Al, some might say that’s a sign you’ve made it big in the industry.
With a four-decade-long career, it was tough to narrow down Weird Al’s best songs. And even with our famous Tourney Pod Metrics™, we don’t feel confident that we’ve captured all that the prolific artist has offered over the years. But, unfortunately, cuts had to be made. Darlings were killed. Battle droids were broken. Sixteen songs have made it into the bracket, and it’s up to you to decide which one will make it through the whole thing. Vote now or forever hold your peace.
We’re also thrilled to be joined this week by our friend and A-Tourney at Pod Teddy Jones. Teddy is a long-time listener of the podcast and an even longer-time listener of Weird Al. He was crushed that “Albuquerque” didn’t make the cut (just like we’re sure some of you are).
Sweet Sixteen: Monday 10/18
Elite Eight: Tuesday 10/19
Final Four: Wednesday 10/20
Championship: Thursday 10/21
Winner reveal on a brand new episode on Friday 10/22!!!
Oh, and if you're itching to listen to the kookiest wordsmith west of the Mississippi, here's our Sweet Sixteen playlist of the whole bracket: