Beck Regrets Not Letting ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic Parody ‘Loser’

It turns out “Weird Al” Yankovic wanted to make a parody of Beck’s song “Loser.” Beck turned Yankovic down, so the parody version was never made. In a new episode of Audible’s music series Words + Music, Beck shared that he regrets not letting Yankovic cover “Loser.”

A joined photo of Beck and 'Weird Al' Yankovic
(L-R) Beck and ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic | Jim Bennett/WireImage; Kevin Winter/Getty Images

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic wanted to make a parody version of Beck’s song ‘Loser’

Audible’s Words + Music series lets featured artists speak about their careers and creative journeys while also giving listeners access to new performances.

Beck’s Words + Music episode is titled “Dear Life,” and it premiered on Audible on July 1. Leading up to its release, Billboard received an exclusive preview clip from the episode.

According to the excerpt shared by Billboard, Yankovic wanted to create a parody of Beck’s song “Loser.”

“‘Weird Al’ Yankovic tried to do a version of it. It was going to be called ‘Schmoozer,'” Beck said in the Words + Music excerpt. “Which I regret denying him permission to do; I think it would have been an amazing video. I’m actually really sad that it didn’t happen.”

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Billboard speculates that “Based on the timing, ‘Weird Al’ was likely asking to include ‘Schmoozer’ on his 1996 album Bad Hair Day…”

Beck originally released “Loser” in 1993. After it gained more popularity, “Loser” was re-released on the singer’s 1994 album Mellow Gold.

The singer-songwriter said on his Words + Music episode that because record labels “rejected” the song, it was originally released independently. After “Loser” gained more popularity with listeners, Beck was then approached by record labels about the song.

“It got rejected by everybody,” he said. “So after a couple of years of this, they ended up putting that song out. 500 copies. And somehow, on its own, it just got on the radio and it went straight to No. 1 and was in the top five for a year,” Beck said in Billboard’s excerpt of “Dear Life.”

He continued, “And so all these labels were coming back like, ‘Hey, we said that song would never go anywhere, and it was this and that, but hey, can we talk?'”

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Why Beck did not want ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic making a parody of ‘Loser’

While “Loser” helped launch Beck into more mainstream popularity, he was hesitant for Yankovic to parody the song. This is because Beck wanted to avoid backlash for only being known for “Loser.”

“It wasn’t really taken seriously at all. And when it came out and it was popular, it still wasn’t taken that serious at all,” Beck said on his Words + Music episode. “I mean, you can go back to the press of the day. I just remember myriad articles and headlines of ‘one-hit wonder,’ ‘joke band,’ ‘Beck novelty act.'”

Fans can listen to Beck’s Words + Music episode here.

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