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This blog has talked before about the somewhat mind-bending nature of covering “Weird Al” Yankovic, the world’s most renowned parody artist. Yet in 1996 a newsgroup (remember those?) devoted to Weird Al fandom made an album of people doing that very thing. The result, Prosthetic Lips, was released first on cassette, then CD, and distributed only to fans via the newsgroup. Though the physical album has sold out, one of the compilation’s featured bands has posted almost the whole thing on their website for free download. Thanks, Zelda and the Unibrows!
Prosthetic Lips generally eschews Al’s famous parodies. None of the 21 submitting acts turns in a straight parody cover (if such a thing is possible), although one artist submits a bunch of jokes about Weird Al set to the tune of “Amish/Gangsta’s Paradise.” Mostly, the musicians on this record cover Yankovic’s original songs like “Since You’ve Been Gone” or “Let Me Be Your Hog.” A few adventurous comedians submit Al-inspired original works, and one even parodies an Al original.
As one might expect, a compilation that solicits submissions from newsgroup fans results in a pretty uneven listen. One gets the feeling that some of the tracks came from fans with little previous musical experience, and that’s fine given the project’s lighthearted spirit. Still, there’re a few tracks on here that Al fans might find really worth listening to. Marc “Maps” Fannin shows us what the muzak version of “Christmas at Ground Zero” might sound like. A capella troupe the Multi-Colored Ties brings all the gravity required to make “One More Minute” truly hilarious. In possibly the record’s most inventive track, None of the Above turns “Slime Creatures from Outer Space” into a Nintendo-metal MIDI rave-up. Listening to it will make you want to defeat Guts Man and equip his power.
The rest of the album is available for download here. Check it out and let us know what you think below!
BONUS TRIVIA QUESTION: One of the tracks contains maybe five seconds of a They Might Be Giants song. Can you find it?