“Weird Al” Yankovic
The Idiots Are Winning (Live 1984)
To my knowledge there’s never been an official standalone live-concert-album release from “Weird Al”. And this certainly isn’t – this is a bootleg, an old radio broadcast of Al and band’s appearance at Milwaukee’s Summerfest in 1984.
So we are hurtled into the performance midway through the first track (a truncated Brady Bunch) and we get the FM radio announcer signing us out near the end of this 36 minute one-time radio broadcast – but if you’re a fan you’re going to want to hear it, if not have it, and it’s available for you now on all the streaming sites and in the usual ways you consume your music now.
This is the Weird one on his tour in support of just his second full-length album – so we get the fun polka medleys and some banter that the accordion has just been named the official instrument of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.
It’s always a thrill to hear this band move through styles and eras, fads and trends, touching on the genres they’re parodying so skilfully and yet bringing their own voice through.
Al is in good voice here, the Zappa-isms rather overt of course.
And if this loses something in terms of its bootleg quality – not a professionally mixed and mastered, touched-up and smoothed-over live release then there’s something vital about the rawness of hearing the band do its thing.
It’s one for fans.
But then Yankovic fans are pay-the-money types, so maybe they don’t want to just grab this for free.
Anyway, I love checking in with him now and then – and it sounds like he’s in no rush to make a new album, preferring to release singles and shorter works in this day and age so if you want to hear something that’s ‘new’ to you from this clever chap then get on the good stream and check it out.