PDA

View Full Version : Amish Paradise: Why was Coolio so mad?


Weirddave
10-06-2006, 03:10 AM
Could it be because Al's version is about 50 billion times better than Coolio's tired derivation of Stevie Wonder's song?


I've been reading some Weird Al threads, and it's really reminded me again how brilliant Weirddave Al is. Something reminded me of the flap surrounding Amish Paradise, and it got me to thinking. Coolio didn't like Al parodying his work. Why? Could it be because 100 years from now people will still appreciate Weird Al and Coolio will be no more than another wanna be gangsta rapper in the trash heap of artistic history? I think it might. Do you think that Coolio actually believed he was writing something meaningful? As if! Personally, if I had the ability to write music, I'd consider it an honor to be parodied by Al.

Khan
10-06-2006, 03:38 AM
Personally, if I had the ability to write music, I'd consider it an honor to be parodied by Al.
That's the thing: a lot of artists DO feel that way. I remember from his Behind the Music episode that one of the members of Nirvana said that they knew they'd made it when Weird Al parodied them.

As for the Coolio issue, Wikipedia doesn't offer anything more than what I remember him saying during an awards ceremony when asked about the parody. I suppose it just boils down to Coolio feeling that the song had too important a message to be parodied.

Personally I don't think the song was all that sacred.;)

zagloba
10-06-2006, 03:57 AM
I'd heard that Al always tries to get permission from the artists whose songs he parodies. Was I misinformed, or did Coolio just reneg once he heard how great Al's song turned out.

Khan
10-06-2006, 04:08 AM
Weird Al got the ok a rep from Coolio's record company and assumed that meant Coolio approved too, but that apparently was not the case. According to Wikipedia, because of this he only went ahead if he got permission from the artist personally.

Hail Ants
10-06-2006, 06:29 AM
I remember from his Behind the Music episode that one of the members of Nirvana said that they knew they'd made it when Weird Al parodied them.I remember Weird Al describing his conversation with Kurt Cobain as:

Cobain: "Um, its not gonna be about food, is it?"
Al: "Ah, no. Actually its about how no one can understand what you're saying when you sing"
Cobain: "Oh. Ok..."

Wee Bairn
10-06-2006, 09:17 AM
Supposedly Coolio thought the song was too "serious" :rolleyes: to be parodied. He probably thought it would be cool to act offended at the parody, when obviously he gave permission, or else why wouldn't he have sued?

JThunder
10-06-2006, 10:21 AM
To be fair, there are all sorts of reasons why one might not sue, despite not having granted permission. Legal hassles and expenses, for example.

Otto
10-06-2006, 10:57 AM
As I understand it, no permission is necessary to do a parody song as long as appropriate royalties are paid.

Bosstone
10-06-2006, 10:58 AM
To be fair, there are all sorts of reasons why one might not sue, despite not having granted permission. Legal hassles and expenses, for example.
Not to mention that parody is covered under the Fair Use Act. (You know, I've never actually read the act, but it's been cited so many times regarding parodies, I figure what the hell.) Al asks permission and respects artists' wishes because it's the nice thing to do, but if he knowingly ignored someone's request, AFAICT they wouldn't have a leg to stand on.

Not that Al can't get upset, of course. There's a video floating around on YouTube from the last edition of AlTV where Al stages a mock interview with video recordings of Eminem from another unrelated interview and tears him apart for not letting Al film a video of Couch Potato. Hilarious.

D_Odds
10-06-2006, 11:13 AM
As I understand it, no permission is necessary to do a parody song as long as appropriate royalties are paid.
I remember watching one interview, and Al mentioned that Coolio wasn't so offended that he returned the royalty checks.

garygnu
10-06-2006, 11:58 AM
Not to mention that parody is covered under the Fair Use Act. (You know, I've never actually read the act, but it's been cited so many times regarding parodies, I figure what the hell.) Al asks permission and respects artists' wishes because it's the nice thing to do, but if he knowingly ignored someone's request, AFAICT they wouldn't have a leg to stand on.
...
If Al gets permission, he can list himself as a writer of new lyrics and get a bit more money.

tdn
10-06-2006, 12:03 PM
The way I heard it (which means it's probably not true) is that Al asked Coolio's permission, and it was granted. Coolio was under the impression that the parody would be much like Al's other work. What upset him was the actual rendition that was done.

Marley23
10-06-2006, 01:03 PM
Could it be because 100 years from now people will still appreciate Weird Al
I'll ask a psychic, 'cuz I'm not sure about this one.

dangermom
10-06-2006, 01:32 PM
The way I heard it (which means it's probably not true) is that Al asked Coolio's permission, and it was granted. Coolio was under the impression that the parody would be much like Al's other work. What upset him was the actual rendition that was done.
I don't understand what that means. Was it really such a departure from his other work? (It didn't seem to me to be, I just thought it was great.) Was Coolio expecting a polka version? Was it the Amish theme?

But as you said, it's probably not true anyway--I just don't understand what it's supposed to mean.

Jayrot
10-06-2006, 01:48 PM
Wonder if Coolio got personal permission from Stevie Wonder to remake "Pastime Paradise"? :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

OneCentStamp
10-06-2006, 02:01 PM
Maybe Coolio's problem is that he was, up until "Gangster's Paradise," a clown. He was a novelty act (Exhibit A: his hair) who hung on the fringes of the gangster rap subculture, making good-time, humorous songs that consisted of him rapping (poorly) about beaches and barbecues over NOT EVEN CHOPPED UP samples of 70s funk. I mean, he was to the 90s what Tone-Loc was to the 80s.

Then came GP, his too-earnest, overproduced attempt at a serious message, and what happens? Weird Al comes along and totally takes the piss out of it. No wonder he was upset.

WordMan
10-06-2006, 02:08 PM
I remember an interview where Al discussed how he met Paul McCartney, who immediately asked him why Al hadn't parodied one of his songs. Al mentioned that he wanted to do a parody of Live and Let Die called "Chicken Pot Pie" and Paul said he'd prefer Al didn't because he (Paul) is a vegetarian. Al closed the story by saying that he (only does? prefers? can't remember) parodies where he has the artist's blessing so he didn't do the Wings song...

Woulda been funny!

Dragwyr
10-06-2006, 02:33 PM
I remember an interview where Al discussed how he met Paul McCartney, who immediately asked him why Al hadn't parodied one of his songs. Al mentioned that he wanted to do a parody of Live and Let Die called "Chicken Pot Pie" and Paul said he'd prefer Al didn't because he (Paul) is a vegetarian. Al closed the story by saying that he (only does? prefers? can't remember) parodies where he has the artist's blessing so he didn't do the Wings song...

Woulda been funny!He actually did do that song, but it never was released on an album. I think he actually perfomed it live a few times though.

Lyrics can be found HERE (http://elyrics.net/read/w/weird-al-yankovic-lyrics/chicken-pot-pie-lyrics.html)

Acsenray
10-06-2006, 02:35 PM
He probably thought it would be cool to act offended at the parody, when obviously he gave permission, or else why wouldn't he have sued?

What would be his cause of action? Under Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music (Campbell is Luther Campbell a/k/a Luke Skyywalker of 2 Live Crew), parody is fair use. Coolio would have no claim of copyright infringement.

Not to mention that parody is covered under the Fair Use Act.

There is no Fair Use Act. The Copyright Act of 1976 does have a provision, Section 107, regarding fair use.

(You know, I've never actually read the act, but it's been cited so many times regarding parodies, I figure what the hell.)

Well, if you want to read 17 U.S.C. Sec. 107, it's not long. In fact, here it is in toto:

§ 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include—

(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;

(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

If Al gets permission, he can list himself as a writer of new lyrics and get a bit more money.

He doesn't need permission. If he wrote new lyrics, he wrote new lyrics and they belong to him.

Bosstone
10-06-2006, 02:53 PM
Good times. Thanks for indulging my laziness. :)

Jayrot
10-06-2006, 02:59 PM
And as I alluded to above, he wouldn't be ripping off Coolio, he'd be ripping off Stevie Wonder.

Wee Bairn
10-06-2006, 03:06 PM
Thanks acsenray, I always assumed permission was needed because Al always sought it, but as others have pointed out, that was just Al being respectful.

Alma
10-06-2006, 03:17 PM
This is just my own wild speculation, but it sure seems like attention-grabbing on the part of Coolio. Weird Al does a parody, it becomes successful, then Coolio complains that the song was too important and serious to be taken so lightly.

So he gets to remain genuine in his persona, gets more attention from his "argument," and gets more money from sales of both records. All this may depend on how much he knew about it, or how much he actually cared about it, but it sure seems like he got exactly what he wanted.

rjung
10-06-2006, 03:31 PM
Count me in among the "Coolio's ego thought his song was too high-falootin' important for a parody" crowd.

It's also worth mentioning that Al's latest album was delayed due to a reverse of the Coolio situation: Al wrote "You're Pitiful," (http://weirdalshow.com/mirror/yourepitiful.mp3) a parody of "You're Beautiful," with the blessings of James Blunt. But then Blunt's label squelched the parody, and Al had to write additional songs for "Straight Outta Lynwood" (http://weirdal.com/music.htm) to make up the difference. And since the only reason for the song to get yanked from the album was because of the suits, Al's made it available as a free download instead. :D

LateComer
10-06-2006, 03:54 PM
He actually did do that song, but it never was released on an album. I think he actually perfomed it live a few times though.I've heard it live a couple of times in the last several years. He always busts out non-album parodies live, such as his brilliant parody of the Offspring's "Keep 'em Seperated" called "Keep 'em Seperated" (about laundry). He did one when I saw him in 2000 that was a parody of Celene Dion's Titanic song that had something to do with a pizza delivery guy (can't remember the specifics).

Nonsuch
10-06-2006, 04:28 PM
Am I the only Weird Al fan too out-of-touch with popular music to know what he's parodying anymore?

Wee Bairn
10-06-2006, 04:36 PM
Ok, now I'm confused...if parodies are protected, how could the record company block the James Blunt parody?

Dung Beetle
10-06-2006, 04:40 PM
Am I the only Weird Al fan too out-of-touch with popular music to know what he's parodying anymore?
No.

Acsenray
10-06-2006, 04:43 PM
Ok, now I'm confused...if parodies are protected, how could the record company block the James Blunt parody?

I don't have any inside scoop on Weird Al, but my guess is that it has something to do with Yankovic's own preference to move forward with a parody only after securing permission.

rjung
10-06-2006, 04:54 PM
Am I the only Weird Al fan too out-of-touch with popular music to know what he's parodying anymore?
No, but that's what Wikipedia's for. :)

It certainly clarified "Stuck in the Drive-Thru" and "Confessions Part III" for me.

jayjay
10-06-2006, 05:34 PM
I knew I was getting old when I listened to "Poodle Hat" and had no idea what about 3/4 of the songs on the polka medley were...

Dr. Rieux
10-06-2006, 09:05 PM
I knew I was getting old when I listened to "Poodle Hat" and had no idea what about 3/4 of the songs on the polka medley were...
And "Ode to a Superhero" was the only parody whose original I knew.

mobo85
10-06-2006, 09:09 PM
As is already mentioned, one can parody a song without getting permission as per Campbell v. Acuff-Rose. However, Al always gets permission and pays royalties, presumably so that there are no hard feelings with the artist being parodied.

Kamino Neko
10-06-2006, 09:31 PM
Ok, now I'm confused...if parodies are protected, how could the record company block the James Blunt parody?

It costs time and money to push the issue. Volcano Records was disinclined to spend that time and money.

Nic2004
10-06-2006, 10:13 PM
Related (but not really) was anyone else blown away by the scene in WA's version that is shown in reverse and is great including the lip-sync! Is there any thing of this length in any other video. It seems like it ran for a long segment of the video compared to most small reverse sequences.
Sorry. Carry on.

Cat Whisperer
10-06-2006, 11:24 PM
Am I the only Weird Al fan too out-of-touch with popular music to know what he's parodying anymore?
It hadn't occurred to me that keeping up (somewhat) with top 40 like my husband and I do has the additional bonus of making Al's stuff better for us. Plus, there's a lot of great music around these days. Honestly.

We just bought "Straight Outta Lynwood," and it's kinda hit-and-miss. "White and Nerdy" is absolutely brilliant, we love "Canadian Idiot" (for the obvious reason), and "Polkarama" is as good as any of his polkas. Some of his original stuff is weak as usual, and "Trapped in the Drive Thru" is an almost 11 minute long boring slice of life, and the album suffers from missing the James Blunt parody, but a solid outing, as usual.

I have a mental picture of 50 Cent listening to Al's polka version of "Candy Shoppe," and it just kils me. :D

fishbicycle
10-06-2006, 11:40 PM
Am I the only Weird Al fan too out-of-touch with popular music to know what he's parodying anymore?
No. I heard the album a couple of weeks ago, and didn't know a single thing on it. Reading the liner notes, I'd never heard of any of the songs nor most of the artists.

Leaper
10-07-2006, 12:17 AM
It's also worth mentioning that Al's latest album was delayed due to a reverse of the Coolio situation: Al wrote "You're Pitiful," (http://weirdalshow.com/mirror/yourepitiful.mp3) a parody of "You're Beautiful," with the blessings of James Blunt. But then Blunt's label squelched the parody, and Al had to write additional songs for "Straight Outta Lynwood" (http://weirdal.com/music.htm) to make up the difference. And since the only reason for the song to get yanked from the album was because of the suits, Al's made it available as a free download instead. :D

And earned Atlantic Records a spot of (dis)honor in the "White and Nerdy" video...

mobo85
10-07-2006, 03:38 PM
Related (but not really) was anyone else blown away by the scene in WA's version that is shown in reverse and is great including the lip-sync! Is there any thing of this length in any other video.

Weird Al is a fan of the Zucker/Abrams/Zucker films (he even appeared in all three Naked Gun movies), and the backwards scene in the Amish Paradise video is inspired by a similar backwards scene in the ZAZ film Top Secret! The ZAZ influence (sight gags-a-plenty) obviously rubs off in the videos that Al directed, especially Fat (one of my favorites)

mobo85
10-07-2006, 03:40 PM
My mistake- Al did not direct the Fat video, although it is a good example of his sense of humor.

Subway Prophet
10-07-2006, 04:28 PM
Weird Al is a fan of the Zucker/Abrams/Zucker films (he even appeared in all three Naked Gun movies)

Not! Now I gotta go watch them all over again.

What parts should I watch for?

Leaper
10-07-2006, 06:35 PM
The only appearance of his I remember is in 33 1/3, which is probably the most prominent (appearing at the Oscars with Vanna White).

GuanoLad
10-07-2006, 08:21 PM
In one of them Al is getting off a plane, with hundreds of adoring fans, but Drebin thinks the fans are there for him.

Bosstone
10-07-2006, 10:44 PM
He also did the theme song that plays during the opening credits for Spy Hard, though he doesn't appear anywhere else in the movie.

Likewise, he did a video of the song This Is The Life for the movie Johnny Dangerously. Although it's not a ZAZ movie, it's very similar in terms of sight gags.

rjung
10-08-2006, 02:29 AM
I'm sure Al was also the "mad gunman holding cops hostage" in one of the Naked Gun movies. Can't remember which one, though.

mobo85
10-08-2006, 09:21 PM
GuanoLad is thinking of the first film, and rjung is thinking of the second.

Arnold Winkelried
10-09-2006, 01:25 AM
I'm not well-versed enough in legal matters to understand (or care about) the difference, but from a website mentioned in another thread today ( beatallica.org - from what I understand, a band that does Beatles songs Metallica style ? )

http://beatallica.org/faq.html

Q: Why did they [Sony] go after you anyway? Aren't these songs parodies, and thus protected as "fair use"? Are they going to sue Weird Al next?

A: It turns out to be a lot more complicated than that. The legal notion of "parody" is different from the way you and I understand it. In order for a song to be a parody, it has to directly criticize or comment on the original artist or song. In other words, you can make a parody of a song by The Beatles that makes fun of The Beatles, and that's protected as "fair use"; the "2 Live Crew" case is an example of this.

If you use someone's work to make fun of someone else, that's not always protected. It's considered "satire," not "parody." A good example of this is the "Cat NOT in the Hat" case. So what this seems to mean is that most of Weird Al Yankovic's songs are not technically parodies. He doesn't have to worry about litigation though; he always asks permission to release his satirical songs (because he can afford to). Notice that Weird Al has never released a Beatles parody.

"Fair use" is a very fuzzy part of copyright law, decided on a case-by-case basis, so unfortunately the only way you can prove that what you're doing qualifies as fair use is to go to court.

mobo85
10-09-2006, 01:31 AM
That is basically what Campbell v. Acuff-Rose said- if the parody is criticizing the original work, then it's considered fair use. The case they mention involves a Cat in the Hat parody involving the O.J Simpson trial. The publisher was sued by the estate of Dr. Seuss and not allowed to release the book- the court ruled that the Dr. Seuss satire added nothing to the theme of the book.

Best Topics: thumb nose dog suppositories poison ivy seeds preacher storyline left iron on so anal cathouse girl malt vinegar fries guys using tampons pvc boat glue sipping liquors discount sas shoes what is energy saver on air conditioners everything in moderation bible how to remove nicotine from walls and ceilings how long do toyota corollas last not at this address usps devils swimming pool deaths time between a new hope and empire strikes back is daniel davis gay home depot rentals wood chipper can you use canadian coins in the us space shuttle columbia bodies used prescription eyeglasses for sale