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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It really IS "Essential"
I picked this up yesterday, not realizing it was the day the album was released. I just saw Al on CD, and that caught my attention. I'd always been a fan, but the only other album I own is Alapalooza on cassette. So it seemed like a perfect excuse to expand my collection.

Looking at the track list, it seemed like a truly complete and well-rounded Al...
Published on October 28, 2009 by JulieM

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars GRATING HITS
WEIRD AL YANKOVIC-THE ESSENTIAL WEIRD AL YANKOVIC: No relation to polka king FRANK YANKOVIC, pop's supreme parody practitioner WEIRD AL, who got his start by sending homemade tapes into DR. DEMENTO's radio program, has enjoyed a career that's lasted longer than most bona fide rock stars. Disc one of ESSENTIAL is the real keeper, covering his outrageous eighties/nineties...
Published 2 months ago by Jukebox Dave


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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It really IS "Essential", October 28, 2009
By 
JulieM (Louisiana, United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Essential Weird Al Yankovic (Audio CD)
I picked this up yesterday, not realizing it was the day the album was released. I just saw Al on CD, and that caught my attention. I'd always been a fan, but the only other album I own is Alapalooza on cassette. So it seemed like a perfect excuse to expand my collection.

Looking at the track list, it seemed like a truly complete and well-rounded Al compilation--all his greatest hits over his career. The songs really are that good, and the track listing represents itself. In fact, the only song I personally miss is "Living in the Fridge" (parody of Aerosmith's "Living on the Edge").

So besides the songs, what else is there? Well... there's a great essay by Steven Thomas of The Onion/AV Club, and there is a wealth of photos from over Al's 30 year career. All of that adds to the overall value of the package for me. It's also a really good way to introduce new and casual fans to more of Al's work.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars still insane after all these years!, August 31, 2010
By 
Dani Byrne (San Antonio, TX) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
OK, I do have all these on various tapes, cd's, and actual LP records, but It's great to have (most of) my favorites gathered up in one heap. This makes it easier to share them with others who have hitherto been deprived of the "Al-sperience". The quality is very good, and the lineup is well thought out(although I realize everyone has their own 'best lineup').Buy it. Buy more for your friends. Buy some for your enemies!
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good greatest hits BUT some missing, March 5, 2011
I've been a fan of Al's since I heard "Another One Rides the Bus"

A good, cheaper greatest hits set.
The boxed Permanent Record is better even though his newer songs will not be on it.

My favorites "Yoda", "The Saga Begins" & "Jurassic Park" are here. Yes, an over 30 year "Star Wars" fan & collector here.

This set is missing some songs I would have liked to see on it. "Addicted to Spuds", "Money For Nothing" a personal favorite, my favorite part of his 1989 film "UHF" "Gandhi II".

It is a good CD set with newer songs as said above, but get "Permanent Record" the four disc set. It is better with more older material.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good comprehensive look, but missing a few key selections, October 26, 2009
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This review is from: The Essential Weird Al Yankovic (Audio CD)
Weird Al Yankovic has had a very successful career poking fun at some of best-known songs in the music industry. Who could forget his parody of Michael Jackson's "Bad" or "Beat It". Personally, I really love the parody of The President's of the United States of America. "Gump" definitely has to be up there with some of the finest and well crafted songs he has ever performed.

However, there are a few key tracks from this compilation that have gone MIA. How could this collection not include "Headline News". As any Yankovic knows, this was a parody from the Crash Test Dummies "Mmm,Mmm,Mmm,Mmm" hit. In all honesty, I like Weird Al's rendition of this song better than the original. Besides the song, the music video for "Headline News" is hysterical. To exclude this song from this collection is a travesty, and thus I have to knock a star off this review for this unbelievable omission. The omissions of "Achy Breaky Song" and "Money For Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies" also are unacceptable. I am not sure if Weird Al had a say-so in the song selection, but keeping these tracks, as well as some others really hurts the album's "essential" label.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Collection, November 5, 2009
This review is from: The Essential Weird Al Yankovic (Audio CD)
I wish i could say I was an old school weird Al fan, but I'm nowhere near old enough. I can say that I was a fan before the huge White and Nerdy wave swept over my school. There is a great selection of songs on here. Of course it covers all the major singles like Eat it,Like a Surgeon,Amish Paradise,White and Nerdy,and the very old, Another One Rides the Bus. This song, going by his behind the music, was originally recorded in a bathroom in his college.

I saw another reviewer bring up the exclusion of Money for Nothing/Beverly Hillbillies. This does suck because otherwise you'd have to get it on the UHF album. This album had very few highlights and is only really good if you a big fan of the UHF movie. Which you should be because that movie was awesome and would have been a big hit if Indy Jones hadn't also come out. But that's just my opinion. This is a great album for new fans of Mr. Yankovic, especially at a price of 14 bucks for 38 songs.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Fun Than the Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota, November 19, 2009
By 
Jeff Pearlman (Lakeland, FL USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Essential Weird Al Yankovic (Audio CD)
The disappointment in realizing that WAY decided not to include "Ricky", his first Hot 100 hit and a double parody of "Mickey" and "I Love Lucy", is more than offset by the 38 funny tunes that are here. I've played "Your Horoscope For Today" about ten times and laughed out loud every time. I'm also glad to have "White and Nerdy" since I am very old and allergic to (legal or illegal) downloading. Overall the funniest CD since "Britney Spears: The Singles Collection" and you need to buy it, especially at the lovely current Amazon price of (deleted in case it changes someday).
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good but some glaring omissions, January 15, 2010
This review is from: The Essential Weird Al Yankovic (Audio CD)
I've been a Weird Al fan since the mid 80's and as such enjoy his old stuff quite a bit more. Not to say the newer material isn't good, but it's just not the classic Weird Al I remember. Saying that, I'm a bit disappointed in the focus on the newer material and ignoring some great older songs. Here's a breakdown of the albums and some thoughts on songs I wish would have been included or removed.
- "Weird Al" Yankovic: Included - Another one Rides the Bus; Notable Omissions - My Bologna, I Love Rocky Road, The Check's in the Mail. I really don't understand the inclusion of only one song from the album that started it all.
- In 3-D: 3 - Polkas on 45; Eat It; I Lost on Jeopardy; Notable Omissions - King of Suede and Theme from Rocky XIII. This is my favorite Al album so I'm disappointed in the selection from this album. While Eat It is a must, and one polka needs to be included so 45 is a pretty good selection, the inclusion of Jeopardy is disappointing since that is my least favorite song from the album. I was truly shocked to see that neither King of Suede of Theme from Rocky XIII wasn't included - especially considering they are parodies of major hit songs. I'd also prefer Nature Trail to Hell or Mr. Popeil over Jeopardy.
- Dare to be Stupid: Yoda; One More Minute; Like a Surgeon; Dare to be Stupid; Notable Omissions - None. I could have lived without the inclusion of Like a Surgeon - especially considering other songs not included from albums.
- Polka Party!: Dog Eat Dog; Notable Omissions - Living With a Hernia; Here's Johnny; Christmas at Ground Zero; Good Enough for Now. This is one of my favorite albums. Dog Eat Dog is one of my favorite songs. I would have sacrificed Yoda from Date to be Stupid to include one of those song's mentioned.
- Even Worse: Lasagna; Melanie; Fat; Notable Omissions - This Song's Just Six Words Long, Good 'Ol Days, Stuck in a Closet With Vanna White. There are so many good songs on this album. I would have rather had either of those three over Lasagna. Melanie and Fat are musts.
- UHF: UHF; Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota; Notable Omissions - Beverly Hillbillies, Spam. Hillbillies definitely should have been included over the UHF title track. Twine is a high point.
- Off the Deep End: Trigger Happy; Smells Like Nirvana; You Don't Love Me Anymore; Notable Omissions - None. I would have only selected Smells Like Nirvana from this album, and I don't even care for that song very much. Many of the earlier songs indicated are better choices
- Alapalooza: Bedrock Anthem; Frank's 2000" TV; Jurassic Park; Notable Omissions - I would have replaced Bedrock Anthem with Living in the Fridge. Bohemian Polka would have also been a good addition.
- Bad Hair Day: Since You've Been Gone; Amish Paradise; Gump; Everything You Know is Wrong; The Night Santa Went Crazy; Notable Omissions - I Remember Larry. Too many songs and not the correct ones. Amish Paradise and Gump for sure, but there are so many better earlier songs that could have been included over some of these. Also, Headline News - not on this album but on a compilation album released between the previous two albums is perhaps the most glaring omission of all. Christmas at Ground Zero from Polka Party! is a far superior twist Christmas Song
- Running With Scissors: Your Horoscope for Today; It's All About the Pentiums; The Saga Begins; Albuquerque; Notable Omissions - None. All songs are fine - especially the Saga and Albuquerque - but again, more songs than I think the album deserves.
- Poodle Hat - eBay; Bob; Hardware Store; Notable Omissions - None. Only eBay should have been included from this album. Hardware store is not as good as You Make Me from Even Worse - both fast paced, frantic songs.
- Straight Outta Lynwood: I'll Sue Ya; Canadian Idiot; Pancreas; Don't Download This Song; White & Nerdy; Trapped in the Drivethru; Notable Omissions - None. But 6 songs?

12 albums condensed to 38 songs and 13 of those come from the last 3. That leaves only 25 songs from the first 9 - less than 3 songs each. I think the selection could have been better and therefore I cannot give this 5 stars. I think you can get a great example of Al's career in a selection of 38 songs - I just don't think that this was the best 38.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, February 4, 2013
By 
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This review is from: The Essential Weird Al Yankovic (Audio CD)
I had a few odds and ends of Weird Al through the years. But all on tape and not stored very well. Finding this CD was great. I knew a hits collection must be out there somewhere. Really good collection of older and newer songs.

I don't know if you could call me a big fan of Al but I have been to see him in concert. After many concerts I have seen I still rank Weird Al as one of the best performers ever. He puts the type of energy you would expect into the show and then some.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Weird Al Yankovic: The Essential Weird Al Yankovic 3.0, February 24, 2014
this is an awesome cd it is fun and enjoyable to listen to. the best songs on this cd are

disc one

1. Another One Rides The Bus
3. Eat It
4. I Lost On Jeopardy
5. Yoda
7. Like A Surgeon
8. Dare To Be Stupid
10. Lasagna
12. Fat
13. UHF(Single Version)
15. Trigger Happy
16. Smells Like Nirvana
18. Bedrock Anthem
20. Jurassic Park

disc 2

2. Amish Paradise
3. Gump
7. It's All About The Pentiums
8. The Saga Begins
10. Ebay
13. Ill Sue Ya
17. White & Nerdy

Disc 3

1. Ricky
3. Living with a Hernia
6. Genius In France

all of weird al's songs are good but these are the best. if you have not listend to this cd then i reommend you do
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How could you not own this?, December 5, 2012
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It's Weird Al, how could you not introduce you teens to him?! This collection is excellent. From my generation into my sons generation. This incredibly talented man, who happens to be ridiculously nice as well, shows his stars with this retrospective. A true look, tongue in cheek, of our culture.
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The Essential Weird Al Yankovic
The Essential Weird Al Yankovic by Weird Al Yankovic (Audio CD - 2009)
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