Last time we checked in with indie polka player “Weird” Al Yankovic, he was giving away “You’re Pitiful.” While the tune wasn’t very funny, Stereogum applauds any effort to make fun of James Blunt. James even gave his blessing, as he has a sense of humor about his music’s ubiquity (unlike some people). Atlantic Records, however, believes this is no laughing matter! It’s the first time a label (and not an artist) has stopped the release of a “Weird” Al song. Via omniscient blogger tool Wikipedia:
Yankovic recorded the song to be included on his Straight Outta Lynwood album after, according to Yankovic, having been given Blunt’s blessing to parody the song. However, following its recording, Blunt’s record company, Atlantic Records, allegedly told Yankovic that he could not include the song.
Yankovic told NPR in an e-mail that the question of whether Atlantic could legally forbid the parody, given the United States Supreme Court’s 1994 Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc. decision recognizing parody as fair use, is “moot,” saying that the issue was “more of a political matter than a legal matter,” suggesting that both Blunt and Volcano (Yankovic’s label) would wish to avoid alienating Atlantic.
So Straight Outta Lynwood (out 9/26) lacks Blunt, but will have parodies of Green Day, R. Kelly, Usher, and Chamillionaire (“Ridin” rewrite “White and Nerdy” is the first single).
If you do decide to buy the rock comic’s new album, Al diplomatically implies non-digital is the way to go. Via Digital Music Weblog:
When asked by a fan whether purchasing a conventional CD or buying a digital file via iTunes would net Yankovic more pocket money the artist answered on his website.
“I am extremely grateful for your support, no matter which format you choose to legally obtain my music in, so you should do whatever makes the most sense for you personally. But since you ASKED… I actually do get significantly more money from CD sales, as opposed to downloads. This is the one thing about my renegotiated record contract that never made much sense to me. It costs the label NOTHING for somebody to download an album (no manufacturing costs, shipping, or really any overhead of any kind) and yet the artist (me) winds up making less from it. Go figure.”
Your reward for sitting through a lecture on Al’s legal woes: Yankovic grills Avril Lavigne: