Personnel: "Weird Al" Yankovic (vocals, keyboards, accordion); Jim West (guitar, banjo, background vocals); Steve Jay (bass, background vocals); Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz (drums, percussion).
Additional personnel: Brad Buxer (synthesizers); Warren Luening (trumpet); Joel Peskin (clarinet); Tommy Johnson (tuba); Julia Waters, Maxine Waters, Oren Waters, Luther Waters, Carmen Twillie, Jim Haas, Jerry Whitman, Jon Joyce, Gene Morford, Peggy Newman, Natasha Neece, Alisa Curran, Samantha Kaye (background vocals).
Includes parodies of Nirvana, Hammer, Gerardo, New Kids On The Block, Milli Vanilli and others.
Following his exposure in the mid-'80s, Weird Al Yankovic's career stumbled with the poor-selling Polka Party in 1986 and his feature film UHF that tanked in 1989. Clearly, many people had grown tired of Yankovic's presence, just as they'd grown tired of the artists he was satirizing. Thus his chance for a comeback came in 1992, when Nirvana stormed the scene with "Smells Like Teen Sprit," a song that turned the music world upside down and ended the careers of many of the artists Yankovic had once used to heighten his success. Not too surprisingly, "Smells Like Nirvana" was the first single off of Off the Deep End, Yankovic's first album in three years. The song, which pokes fun at the original version's incoherent lyrics, was a smash hit, and not undeservingly -- it reveals the kind of brilliant writing Yankovic was still capable of doing. Though no other parody on the album matches the cleverness of "Smells Like Nirvana," satires such as "I Can't Watch This" and "Taco Grande" come quite close. In addition to re-establishing his satirical craftsmanship, Deep End showcases some of Yankovic's best originals ever; "Trigger Happy," "When I Was Your Age," and "You Don't Love Me Anymore" prove to be the album's greatest songs. As his best album since In 3-D, Off the Deep End is the answer to those who questioned Yankovic's credibility as an evolving artist. ~ Barry Weber