Feb 032011

Download This scours the web’s dark corners for cool cover freebies. View past installments.

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.

MP3: Marc “Maps” Fannin – Christmas at Ground Zero (“Weird Al” Yankovic cover)
[audio: DownloadThis/ProstheticLips/ChristmasatGroundZero.mp3|artists=Marc Fannin|titles=Christmas at Ground Zero]

: The Multi-Colored Ties – One More Minute (“Weird Al” Yankovic cover)
[audio: DownloadThis/ProstheticLips/OneMoreMinute.mp3|artists=The Multi-Colored Ties|titles=One More Minute]

: None of the Above – Slime Creatures from Outer Space (“Weird Al” Yankovic cover)
[audio: DownloadThis/ProstheticLips/SlimeCreaturesfromOuterSpace.mp3|artists=None of the Above|titles=Slime Creatures]

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?

Check out more from “Weird Al” Yankovic on his official website and Twitter!

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  6 Responses to “Download This: ‘Prosthetic Lips’ Weird Al Tribute Album”

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  1. I was 15 years old when I put this compilation together. It’s been 17 years, but I think you may be the first reviewer of the album. Someone else produced a follow-up to this release, called “Me, Myself, and i”. The punk band Your Mother also released a 10 inch EP of Weird Al covers.

    Perhaps some of the selections should have been left off of the release, but I had bought a giant bin full of 70 minute cassettes and I was determined to use all of the available space on them!

    The missing track was one of the better ones, but was taken down by request of the artist.

  2. I wish I had not put that CD in the wrong jewel case .. because it’s wasnt there for some reason. It tot shuffled around by others as .. why are there two discs in here? “Somebody” admitted to putting it “somewhere” or in “something” else, to which despite every CD has been checked over the years. Still. Nothing. Ripping was not a term, Metallica hadn’t gotten pissed at the “internet” yet, and the iMac add with “Rip. Mix. Burn.” Was a few years away … still. OTOH, I still have the CD I made from the Pac-Man Fever LP about 1995, with a Mac IIci and MediaVision Pro-Audio Spectrum. It took 3 hours to make one. 70 minutes to write, the rest spent caching, and if it failed you had to start Astarte Toast again..

    Maybe one day I’ll find the disc again.. so it can live on in completeness here once again. #5, please come alive!

    • My first band is on this compilation. We performed a cover of the epic “The Biggest Ball of Twine In Minnesota”, using an e-celesta in place of the guitar. It was originally recorded as a duet with my friend, UH Jeff, a close personal friend of Al and hardcore fan. UH Jeff was unable to record the session, so I dueted against myself. I own this CD and have an mp3 of the entire “Weird Al”bum, and totally love every track, especially “Mr. Popiel”, covered by Belf.

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