This is the soundtrack to the 1989 movie "UHF" starring Weird Al Yankovic. Amazingly, the soundtrack has songs only by him, because that's just the kind of arrogant, self-absorbed artist he happens to be. Anyway, this album plays just like almost any of Al's others, with a few parodies, many original songs, and a polka medley. Sadly, these songs aren't found on any of his other, easier to find albums (except for maybe "Spam") and only one of them was made into a video. There are also sound bites from the TV show parodies found in the movie, and a theme song too! So lets get on with it!
"Weird Al" Yankovic- Lead and background vocals, keyboards and accordion
Jim West- Guitars, banjo and background vocals
Steve Jay- Bass guitar and background vocals
Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz- Drums and percussion
etc. There's a lot of credits here for various snippets, and I wanna get to reviewing.
1. Money For Nothing/ Beverly Hillbillies (3:11):
This is a parody of the Dire Straits song by the same name, but Al's lawyers made him add the thing at the end. A good parody, and Mark Knopfler himself plays the same guitar riff that made his band famous in the first place. 4/5
2. Gandhi II (1:00):
Just a sound bite from the movie. "Gimme a steak, medium rare!" Funny.
3. Attack of the Radioactive Hamsters from a Planet Near Mars (3:29):
This is an original song, done with plenty of... I don't even know what style it is. Just really fun and poppy, I guess, with saxophone and guitar solos abound. Sort of like a rock and roll song, but funnier. 3.5/5
4. Isle Thing (3:37):
This is a parody of Tone Loc's "Wild Thing." If that's not the name of the band, then it's still the guy who originally sang it. Al makes a half-hearted attempt to get that unusual voice down, but it's still kind of funny. You know, just like the theme of the song: the show "Gilligan's Island." "I said 'If he's so fly/ then tell me why/ he couldn't build a lousy raft"'" True, Al... so true. 4.5/5
5. The Hot Rocks Polka (4:51):
This is a polka medley of Rolling Stones songs. I knew the polka version of lots of them before I've even heard the original ones. I really like the whole song, and it's got the standard slide whistle and timpani sound effects that really add to the silliness of the new version of the song. It's also really noticeable to see how great at the accordion Al is, and how he had to transcribe the notes of the songs into this un-rock and roll instrument. "I know it's only rock and roll but I like it, yes I like it, I really really really really do da-do-do-do HEY!" 5/5
6. UHF (5:09):
This is the theme song to the movie, and it fits in the album just fine. A real 80s rock-type song with lots of synth, and it's all about surrendering one's will to this great new television station. "Don't worry 'bout your laundry/ Forget about your job/ You gotta crank up the volume, and yank off the knob." Good title track too! 4.5/5
7. Let Me Be Your Hog (0:16):
Okay, the story here is that Al wanted a few seconds of some song to be playing on the radio before one of the characters turns it off to do something else. Al decided to make it up himself, and he also put it on the album for some strange reason. Don't worry, it's not a real song or anything.
8. She Drives Like Crazy (3:42):
This is a parody of Fine Young Cannibals "She Drives Me Crazy." It's hilarious, but also hard to understand in the falsetto that Al has to adopt. Read the lyrics in some booklet or from a website, because it's hard for me to decipher them otherwise. "She's a demon... behind the wheel. Thinks she's driving... the Batmobile. Burnin' rubber in school zones/ Runnin' over traffic cones." 4/5
9. Generic Blues (4:34):
Holy crap, this is one of the funniest songs I've ever heard. It's a blues song as you'd expect, but with the sadness turned way up, and the hilarity too! Also a great solo, with Al yelling "Make it talk son, make it talk!" and eventually, "okay now, make it stop!" Also, this line about his horrible childhood: "My daddy was a waitress/ My mama sold bathroom tile/ My brothers and sisters all hated me/ 'Cause I was an only child!" 5/5
10. Spatula City (1:07):
This is another clip from the movie, a great commercial parody that isn't totally lost without the visuals. Even though it's better when you realize that the owner is reading from a cue card.
11. Fun Zone (1:45):
This is some generic background music played in the movie during a kids' show, but it's really good. I like it, even though it's almost too happy for me. No lyrics either, but poppy. 3/5
12. Spam (2:59):
This is a parody of REM's "Stand." I think it's also on a food-themed compilation album, but I have it here. "The tab is there to open the can/ The can is there to hold in the spam." A really great song to parody, and reading Nacho's review of the REM album reminded me that I ought to review this one. Thanks a bunch! 5/5
13. The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota (6:48):
The album closes with a folksy, narrative song about a family road trip. One of my favorite Al songs ever, and the phrase "pickled wieners" cracks me up every time. You must listen to this one, if you get the chance. It's also great how he manages to rhyme so many things with "Minnesota," and how all those other destinations are real places too. "Yes on these hallowed grounds, open 10 to 8 on weekdays in a little shrine under a makeshift pagoda. There sits the biggest ball of twine in Minnesota/ I tell you it's the biggest ball of twine in Minnesota." Awesome, awesome song. 5/5
All in all, this is a great Weird Al album, and a funny one too. I think this album deserves a healthy 4/5, as anyone who likes 80s-sounding music will find something in here.