(A friend of mine at BMG sent me this press release last week and asked me not to give out any information until today, as it will be featured in the next issue of Billboard. Needless to say, this news is quite a nice surprise! Enjoy!)

NEW YORK - Way Moby Records and Volcano Entertainment have announced their plans to make 1999 "The Year of 'Weird Al.'"

To celebrate the twentieth anniversary of parody king "Weird Al" Yankovic's first single release of his song "My Bologna," the pop satirist's own label Way Moby will offer a variety of commemorative "Weird Al" releases throughout 1999.

The biggest news is the first new "Weird Al" album since 1996's top-selling "Bad Hair Day." Titled "The 'Weird Al' Yankovic AnthALogy" and to be released on May 11th, the new release will be a two-CD/cassette compilation covering Yankovic's entire career. Each extra-long CD and cassette will feature rare versions of Yankovic's hit songs "My Bologna," "Like a Surgeon," "I Lost On Jeopardy," "Jurassic Park," and "The Night Santa Went Crazy," among others; early previously unreleased songs from Yankovic's career; a brand-new track from his upcoming studio album; and extensive liner and session notes from radio personality Dr. Demento. The two-CD set will retail for $26.96, with the cassette set for $18.96.

To promote the compilation, Yankovic has produced and directed a new music video of his fan-favorite song "Yoda," which will also be released as a CD/cassette single. The music video, Yankovic's eleventh turn in the director's chair, will feature Yankovic interacting with footage from the classic "Star Wars" trilogy of films. "Star Wars" performers Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew, and David Prowse will have cameos in Yankovic's video, which is currently scheduled to premiere on MTV May 10th. In addition to that, the video will also be released theatrically as a featurette before the long-awaited "Star Wars" prequel "The Phantom Menace."

The Sundazed record company, specializing in reissuing albums onto vinyl, will release "The 'Weird Al' Yankovic AnthALogy" as a special two-record set on May 18th for $19.96. In a special deal with Volcano Entertainment and BMG Music, the company that distributes Way Moby's releases, the Sundazed release will mark the first domestic "Weird Al" vinyl record since 1989's "UHF" soundtrack.

Sundazed will follow the release with vinyl reissues of Yankovic's best-selling albums, including "In 3-D," "Dare to Be Stupid," "Even Worse," and the first-ever vinyl releases of "Bad Hair Day" and 1992's "Off the Deep End." The reissues, with the first one scheduled for June 15th, will include exclusive bonus tracks, expanded cover artwork, brand-new liner notes and lyric sheets, and be pressed onto colored and pictured vinyl.

On August 10th, the Collectibles reissue label will release a special twentieth anniversary reissue of Yankovic's first single "My Bologna." Pressed onto gold-colored vinyl and issued in a brand-new picture sleeve, the "My Bologna" single (featuring Yankovic's 1980 cult hit "Another One Rides the Bus" as the flipside) will be followed in September by the first-ever vinyl release of Yankovic's 1996 single "Amish Paradise."

Rhino Home Video, who recently joined Yankovic's former family at Warner/Elektra/Atlantic, will release four volumes of Yankovic's 1997 CBS-TV children's series "The Weird Al Show" on August 24th. The four volumes will also be issued in a boxed set featuring a Yankovic-designed slipcase cover and an exclusive CD single of the television series's theme song.

Although not yet finalized, other planned releases (most of which to coincide with the Rhino videos of the CBS series) include a line of "Weird Al" clothing to be sold exclusively at Warner Bros. Studio Stores throughout the country, a talking "Weird Al" doll to be produced by Hasbro, and a video release of the originally-laserdisc/DVD compilation "'Weird Al' Yankovic: The Videos." The latter will include the new "Yoda" music video as a bonus.

The twentieth anniversary celebration accumulates in November with the theatrical re-release of Yankovic's 1989 film "UHF." The ten-year-old movie, which has now achieved a cult status from both Al fans and movie fans, will be touring the country at selected arthouse theaters. Way Moby will reissue the soundtrack CD on November 16th with added bonus tracks and exclusive liner notes by film critic Leonard Maltin.

When asked how he will be celebrating his twentieth anniversary, Yankovic jokingly plugs his upcoming releases by answering, "Why, I'll be at Tower Records buying armfuls of 'The "Weird Al" Yankovic AnthALogy!'"

This phony press release was posted on this site on April 1, 1999, at a time in which there was absolutely no information anywhere on Al's then-upcoming album Running With Scissors. In the time after this "news" was posted, here is what has happened....

*Al's next single and music video was not "Yoda," but it was in fact another Star Wars song, "The Saga Begins."

*"The Weird Al Show Theme" did have a CD release, just not as a CD single.

*This is a bit of a stretch, but although Running With Scissors did not contain the fake original song "The Life And Times Of Jerome Finley," it did contain a real original song with a seven-word title that features a person's full name, "My Baby's In Love With Eddie Vedder."

*The live "Truth Or Dare" version of "Like A Surgeon" did finally get a legitimate release on the home video "Weird Al" Yankovic Live!

*In 2002 UHF became a celebrated hit, not due to a theatrical rerelease but instead due to an awesome DVD. In actuality DVD was still more of a niche market when this "press release" was posted (it would explode in popularity just shortly after), hence why there is no mention of the format.

*It was revealed that during the production of The Weird Al Show, one shelved sketch involved Al appearing in clips of Star Wars and interacting with the characters.

*In early 2003, it was announced that "Weird Al" Yankovic: The Videos would be rereleased on DVD and released for the first time on VHS. Those planned were scrapped, however, in favor of an all-new DVD, "Weird Al" Yankovic: The Ultimate Video Collection.

Eerie, huh?

April Fools Jokes 1