The "Weird Al" Yankovic Songography

The 2012 Edition!

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From Greg Method,

December 15, 2012

Ladies, gentlemen, boys, girls, carollers, reindeer, mutants, last-minute shoppers, panicking crowds, yuletide lovers, and of course Jack Frost, welcome one and all to The "Weird Al" Yankovic Songography: The 2012 Edition!

Years between new Weird Al albums are usually an interesting time. Al may appear in a movie, film a special project, write a book or two, produce and star in a TV show, tour extensively, or whatever. And of course, eventually, Al will gather the band and head into the studio to record new material. It's always an exciting "what if?" time.

The past year has been incredibly interesting, though, not for the prospect of new material (which there is) but for what has turned up from the past. In a time when supposedly every known piece of Weird Al miscellany had already been tracked down, copied, burned, torrented, YouTubed, and passed around ad nauseum, some of the most sought-after and long-lost songs keep popping up. And not merely a one-off live version of "Eat It" from last year where Al sneezes mid-lyric; we're talking material from the dawn of his career, and even some that predates that!

Perhaps the most obscure rarity came courtesy of one of Al's friends from high school, who released ancient mid-1970s tapes that they had recorded together for a local call-in joke line (or something). Even more amazingly, deep within the archives of Al's old college radio station an industrious fan found a complete 1980 concert recorded at the campus coffeehouse, with Al offering an embryonic version of the setlist he has honed and tweaked to this very day, including the first known found recording of that most elusive of early originals, "Orgy On My Own."

This constant hunt--this insatiable need--for newfound recordings is one of the defining traits of the die-hard Weird Al fan base. They want the complete story, the complete picture...they want, shall we say, the complete Al.

And as we look ahead to another year of touring, to say nothing of the new tracks already recorded for the next studio album, let us now take a look back at Al's career thus far with this now-practically complete chronicle of his entire audio output...and with the end of civilization supposedly nigh, this thirty-second edition is about as up-to-date a worldwide Weird Al discography as you're ever gonna get.

As always, the Songography owes a great debt to Dave "Elvis" Rossi and Richard Green, who painstakingly researched and supplied many bits of information, and of course to the always helpful Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz, who has always been there to answer the most trivial questions. And I'd also like to give special thanks to Jeff Morris, who has always been helpful with info on both The Dr. Demento Show and some of Al's earliest, rarest recordings. Most recently, special thanks need to go out to Jon Katz for providing invaluable information on the recent KCPR archival find. Thanks, guys!

For all of you "newbies" reading the Songography for the first time, I need to make a few things clear:

1. Import information is about as complete as possible but is always subject to change, as Al's releases have been handled by a variety of different labels and distributors around the world. Also, import versions of singles and albums are listed immediately with or after their domestic counterparts unless specific release dates are known.

2. Alternate versions of the same songs are listed separately. The only exceptions to this rule are for live performances, and likewise for unique reasons there are only very scant exceptions to that rule (see additional note below). To differentiate the alternate versions of songs, whatever is listed on the unique version's original release is what is used for its entry. If a released alternate version has no such notation on the release, then a short explanation is listed in parentheses next to the song title and the entry is noted with an asterisk.

2a. I need to speak briefly about "Craigslist": At almost every concert where the song is performed live, Al has customized the song slightly by replacing the name of the coffee shop in the song's spoken word bridge to an actual local business...or even by extending the bridge to include additional Jim Morrisonesque ramblings. It's probably something that could spark debate, but for now I am refraining from listing every single variation as a separate item [such as "Craigslist (Live Toronto Version}," "Craigslist (Live London Version)," etc.]. My opinion is that this is no different from a singer shouting a city's name live on stage during a song, plus considering we're talking about a spoken word section and not an actual part of the sung lyrics, anything can theoretically change from performance to performance. So, all live versions of "Craigslist" will just be lumped under that default title. This policy may or may not change in the future, but for right now, assume that every live performance of "Craigslist" is unique one way or another.

3. A version of a song might be noted as being "live" if Al performed it on television or on the radio, but such notation is not an exact science (and I'll be the first to admit that it's a flawed system). Generally the loose rule is that a song will be counted as "live" if it's an impromptu performance, such as during an interview.

4. Regarding listed years for unreleased songs: for non-concert songs, the date given is when it was recorded, if known. For all other unreleased songs (concert songs or otherwise), the date given is the year that Al first performed it.

5. And, a couple of notes on bootlegs: Bootlegs are not official releases in any way, and as such they rank extremely low on the totem pole of things I actively research for inclusion in this Songography. Almost all bootleg information is submitted by the collections' respective compilers. I strive to be as complete as possible with given information, so older versions of bootleg collections might be listed even if an author has gone back to update theirs, so you may see a title appear several times or in different ways. Likewise, tapes of concerts may have had other songs added after the actual show, so don't think there's a screw-up if you see an older song listed for a newer concert (or vice versa). And the absence of a bootleg does not mean that a given song is completely unavailable; it just means that nobody has offered it publicly yet in a physical form (I don't count downloads, YouTube clips, or torrents as "releases"...if it hasn't been seen in a three-dimensional form, it doesn't exist). As always, I'll be more than happy to forward any further questions or concerns regarding specific bootlegs to their respective authors.

Of course, any and all information is subject to change or to be added to (if not, then there wouldn't be that much of a point in mailing out updates like this....would there??!).

As always, any contribution is greatly appreciated. If you have any addition, correction, query, complaint, or comment to make concerning an entry, please let me know. Until then, please check out my Al site All Things Yankovic for information on the Songography and what you can do to help, among other fun things. And you can also check out the Songography's home on the web at Elvis's We've Got It All On UHF site.

In addition to Jon, Dave, Jeff, Jon, and Richard, I want to send thanks for supplying information one way or another, for helping me obtain certain items to include in this Songography, for beating me over the head with a correction, and for just plain old support to Dr. Demento, Carlotta Barnes, Marty Lick, Julie Prather, Steve Jay, Steve Chai, Whimsical Will, Insane Ian Bonds, Katt, Sharon Bayly, Amanda Cohen, Mike Aquilina, Mike Hoffman, GoodTime Gil, B.J. Kelley, Lex Friedman, Paul Rogers from Those Darn Accordions!, Amanda Deer, Tony Goldmark, Denise Olderr, Cecile Smith, Noel Blanc, Renegade Animation, Tara Strong, John DiMaggio, Andrea Libman, Cathy Weseluck, Peter New, Lee Tockar, Andrew Francis, Jay Levey, Amanda, Pru, and that one really funny guy on Twitter.

And of course this Songography is dedicated to Al, Steve, Jim, Rubén, and Jon, who after thirty years together can take comfort in knowing that they are the most talented, creative, and entertaining band in rock music today...and hopefully for the next thirty years as well.

In the meantime, there are two things you can do to help honor Al and the guys. You can contribute to the Weird Al Star Fund, the fan campaign to get Al a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Meanwhile, the Make the Rock Hall "Weird" grassroots campaign needs fans to sign the online petition to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at ...while the campaign's first ever documentary film, Yankoheit 27, is now available to rent, stream or buy on DVD exclusively at Amazon. If you are a Weird Al fan at all, I urge you to check out both web sites to help out any way you can.

So sit back, enjoy, look out for one another, and have the happiest of holidays!

take care,
Greg Method

To sign up to receive the text only version of the Songography and get on the update mailing list, please visit here. Extra special thanks to Greg for letting me post this awesome Songography on my web site! Thanks Greg!

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