Polka Party! (1986)


Staff member
Title: Polka Party!
Artist: "Weird Al" Yankovic
Genre: Comedy
Released: 1986

1 - Living With A Hernia - 3:20
2 - Dog Eat Dog - 3:42
3 - Addicted to Spuds - 3:50
4 - One of Those Days - 3:18
5 - Polka Party! - 3:15
6 - Here's Johnny - 3:24
7 - Don't Wear Those Shoes - 3:36
8 - Toothless People - 3:23
9 - Good Enough for Now - 3:03
10 - Christmas at Ground Zero - 3:09

Just about anyone could feel let down by this album, especially since the cover is so funny and seems to suggest that an entire album of polka is in the works. That would have been great. The front cover shows Weird Al Yankovic, clad in lederhosen, performing for a bunch of enthusiastic punkers. Now anyone that has spent time with a punk audience in the mid-'80s would probably agree that if a really great polka act came onstage and played, the punk crowd would probably go wild. That's because polka is a rich musical tradition; good polka music is timeless. A really good parody is the same way, but what about a parody of a hit song that is so insubstantial that it is completely forgotten 15 years later? That's the big problem with this set. The only really great track is, predictably, the knock-down, drag-out polka medley which is the only place on earth where one can hear "Venus," "Sledgehammer," "Sussudio," "Shout," and other claptrap played on the accordion in rapid succession. Good thing, too. Actually, it is something of a masterpiece, Yankovic's band attacking each turn of the arrangement with manic intensity. It is really too bad nothing else here is really worth listening to. "Addicted to Spuds"? Not really a good enough song to parody, and if it was, yet another devotional tract dedicated to some form of food was getting a little bit old by now. "Living in America" in its original version has all the overblown grandeur needed to make a good parody target, but "Living With a Hernia" just isn't funny. The originals are horrid as usual. "Christmas at Ground Zero" may seem a trifle more substantial than Yankovic's usual songwriting, but this type of material has been done much better by Jello Biafra and the Dead Kennedys. Yankovic took something of a recording break after this flop, and he sure needed it.