“Weird Al” Yankovic Breaks It Down

Maura | October 22, 2008 - 9:45 am

It’s been two weeks since “Weird Al” Yankovic rushed into the digital-music era and rush-released his parody of T.I.’s “Whatever You Like” to iTunes. In the first week that it was available at Apple’s digital-music store, the track sold 21,000 copies and entered the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 104; this was after a snafu that resulted in it coming out a day later than he’d originally announced, which in turn resulted in a lot of typo-riddled comments from frazzled Al fans. That release-date issue has resulted in him deciding to not announce future singles until they’ve safely arrived at store shelves, according to a post at his blog reflecting on what went down. “I’ve learned from hard experience that iTunes is not able to guarantee a time–or, apparently, even a day–that a song will go live on-line,” he wrote. Ouch!

Other notes on the Yankovic experience:

He’s pretty happy with how things went down in general. “It was very gratifying for me to be able to put a parody out while the original song was still at its commercial peak – and it seemed to be gratifying to the fans as well.”

He’s pretty dissatisfied with iTunes, though! In addition to the whole issue of the song actually coming out, there was the matter of the song being poorly promoted: “I’m not sure that I’d agree to give iTunes any kind of an exclusivity window in the future – it seems like the amount of publicity I received from them didn’t really compensate for the sales I lost by not also having my song available elsewhere.” And they listed it under “Pop,” not “Comedy”! The nerve!

But he’s comforted by the fact that he’s probably psychic, and that his cultural foresight will allow him to be even more au courant in the future. “The good news, of course, was that the DOW dropped a thousand more points that day, bringing us ever closer to the brink of a devastating financial apocalypse… and thereby making my song that much more topical! Yay!” Yay, apocalypse! Wait, what?

What I Learned [Weird Al Yankovic’s MySpace Blog]