By Randy Lewis
Los Angeles Times
If the prospect of a 15-album box set of nothing but novelty records sounds a little weird, that’s exactly the idea. Actually, it’s designed to be a lot weird — “Weird Al” Yankovic, that is.
The all-time king of pop music parody is preparing the release later this year to mark his 40-year anniversary, sending up most of pop culture’s most influential forces, from Bob Dylan, Michael Jackson and Nirvana to Madonna, Lady Gaga and “Star Wars.”
Although the box set isn’t surfacing until the fall, Yankovic is launching a pre-order campaign through the website PledgeMusic.com. The set will be housed in a box replicating one of Yankovic’s signature accordions, with each of the CDs or LPs housed in the accordion’s bellows.
It spans his 1983 debut album, “‘Weird Al’ Yankovic,” through his most recent studio collection, “Mandatory Fun,” in 2014.
The set also will include a bonus album, “Medium Rarities,” containing tracks spanning Yankovic’s career that never previously appeared on his albums.
The 40-year anniversary aspect of the box set dates to the first airing in 1976 of a home recording Yankovic sent to radio show host Dr. Demento, who gave Yankovic his first public exposure.
“If there hadn’t been a Dr. Demento,” Yankovic told the Syracuse Post in 2000, “I’d probably have a real job now.”
One irony of Yankovic’s long-running success crafting songs poking fun at major pop hits of the day is that his career has far outlasted many of those he parodied.