Weird Al Yankovic's MANDATORY FUN is First Comedy Album to Hit #1 Since 1963
Weird Al Yankovic's latest album Mandatory Fun was announced as the new number one album in the country for the week ending July 20. Billboard confirmed the news after a about a week of speculation about who would claim the top spot.
The album, his fourteenth traditional studio record, sold 104,000 copies, which is much higher than the original guess of industry forecasters. Weird Al was pitted against Jason Mraz going into the week of release. Both artists were expected to sell somewhere near 70,000 copies of their new albums. Mraz's new album, Yes!, is his second consecutive runner-up album.
Mandatory Fun is the first comedy album to reach the number one spot in over fifty years. The last comedy album to make it to number one was Allan Sherman's My Son, the Nut, which stayed at number one for eight weeks back in 1963. Mandatory Fun has also had the largest sales week for a comedy album in twenty years.
The success of Yankovic's new album is mostly attributed to a viral and well-publicized collection of music videos he's released in the past week. Since last Monday, Yankovic has premiered one new video every day of songs that are either popular now or in the recent past, adding to the buzz.
The CD is consists of traditional parodies and comedic originals in the style of popular bands. Weird Al covers songs like "Fancy" by Iggy Azalea to Pharrell's "Happy" and the Foo Fighters. Yankovic did go out of his way to secure permission for each and every song. For example, when his manager didn't hear back from Pharrell's team, Yankovic emailed Pharrell himself. Al said, "He couldn't have been nicer and he said he was honored to have me do the parody." The same must go for the other artists who agreed to let their songs be included.
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