Eat It

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Eat It"
Single by "Weird Al" Yankovic
from the album "Weird Al" Yankovic in 3-D
B-side"That Boy Could Dance"
ReleasedFebruary 28, 1984
RecordedDecember 13, 1983
Genre
Length3:19
LabelScotti Brothers
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)Rick Derringer
"Weird Al" Yankovic singles chronology
"I Love Rocky Road"
(1983)
"Eat It"
(1984)
"King of Suede"
(1984)
Alternative covers
British single cover
Alternative cover
Japanese single cover
Music videos
"Eat It" (original version) on YouTube
"Eat It" (coverage take) on YouTube

"Eat It" is a 1984 song by American comedy music artist "Weird Al" Yankovic. It is a parody of Michael Jackson's 1983 single "Beat It", with the contents changed to be about an exasperated parent attempting to get their picky child to eat anything at all, much less to eat properly. The track was both a commercial and critical success, earning Yankovic a Grammy Award. It peaked at number twelve in the United States, making it his first top 40 hit in that country, and reached number one in Australia.

History[edit]

The famous guitar solo, originally performed by Eddie Van Halen, was reproduced by Yankovic's producer, Rick Derringer.

According to Yankovic, when he presented his lyrics to Jackson for review, he did not know how Jackson would react. Jackson allegedly thought it was amusing and agreed to allow the parody.[1] On October 19, 1989, the RIAA certified "Eat It" as a gold single.[2]

Reception[edit]

The single reached number 1 in Australia, and it was his highest-charting US single on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 12 until "White & Nerdy" peaked at number 9 in October 2006.[3] "Eat It" earned Yankovic a 1984 Grammy Award in the Best Comedy Recording category.[4] "Eat It" also outranked "Beat It" in overall highest position on the Australian singles chart, with its highest rank being number 1, while "Beat It"'s highest was third.

Cash Box reviewed the single, saying "Rick Derringer’s production has remained true to the energy and appeal of Michael Jackson’s original version, and the lyrics...are actually very funny."[5]

Track listing[edit]

1984 release[edit]

  1. "Eat It" – 3:19
  2. "That Boy Could Dance" – 3:32

1985/1993 re-release[edit]

  1. "Eat It" – 3:19
  2. "I Lost on Jeopardy" – 3:26

Music video[edit]

The video for "Eat It" is styled as a shot-for-shot remake of Jackson's video for "Beat It", but with elements being parodied in various silly ways and Yankovic dressed as Jackson. The video also features a few of the same dancers from Jackson's video and Yankovic clumsily mimicking the dance moves from the original video.[6] The video ends with Yankovic looking into the camera with yellow, slitted-pupil eyes, referencing the end of Jackson's video for "Thriller". Jackson received royalties from Yankovic for rights to cover the video so closely.[7]

On June 20, 2022, Yankovic uploaded an alternative version of the music video on his YouTube channel, which consists of a single "coverage take". The alternate take of Yankovic singing, dancing, and writhing on the bed in the bedroom was intended to be used as a backup if other shots were unusable or unable to be procured in time, although Yankovic said he believed none of the footage was used in the original 1984 cut.[8]

The original 16mm footage of the video was digitized into 4K resolution and re-edited by Yankovic (during the 2022 The Unfortunate Return of the Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill-Advised Vanity Tour) to recreate the original video frame-for-frame.[9] This remaster was done for a scene in Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, which included a brief glimpse of the "Eat It" video with star Daniel Radcliffe's face digitally superimposed on Yankovic's.[10]

Legacy[edit]

In 2019, Yankovic had pulled "Eat It" and his other Jackson song parody, "Fat", from the setlist of his Strings Attached Tour in the wake of the HBO documentary Leaving Neverland, in which two men claimed Jackson had sexually abused them when they were children. "I don't know if that's going to be permanent or not," Yankovic said of the decision. "But we just felt that with what's happened recently with the HBO documentaries, we didn't want anybody to feel uncomfortable."[11]

As part of a charity effort during the COVID-19 pandemic, David Cross and Bob Odenkirk held a Mr. Show online reunion show in May 2020 with many of their former cast members as well as other friends. The show concluded by having Cross, Odenkirk and their cast, as well as Yankovic, sing "Eat It", in a purposely tone-deaf manner that parodied a prior cover performance of "Imagine" that Gal Gadot and other celebrities had done for COVID-19 awareness but which had been taken as ineffectual.[12]

Chart history[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[18] Gold 50,000^
United States (RIAA)[2] Gold 500,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Musical mimicry...and then some: Weird Al Yankovic's video antics come to life on stage". The Windsor Star. March 23, 1995. Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "American single certifications – Weird Al Yankovic – Eat It". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved August 3, 2023.
  3. ^ Eat It's Highest Ranking on the Billboard 100
  4. ^ "Nerds Rejoice: 'Weird Al' Talks Grammy Noms". Rolling Stone. February 8, 2007. Archived from the original on February 11, 2007.
  5. ^ "Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. March 3, 1984. p. 13. Retrieved July 23, 2022.
  6. ^ Russell, Lisa (April 16, 1984). "A Playful Poke at Beat It Has Made Weird Al Yankovic the Pooh-Bah of Put-Ons". People. Retrieved April 7, 2018.
  7. ^ Campbell 1995, p. 154.
  8. ^ Sinclair, Carla (June 20, 2022). ""Weird Al" Yankovic shares unearthed footage from "Eat It" video". Boing Boing. Retrieved June 25, 2022.
  9. ^ Yankovic, "Weird Al". Eat It (Official 4K Video). YouTube. Retrieved November 9, 2022.
  10. ^ Kaufman, Gil (November 9, 2022). "'Weird Al' Yankovic Digs Up Original 16mm Footage of 'Eat It' Video for Tasty 4K Update: 'It's Literally Never Looked Better'". Billboard. Retrieved November 16, 2022.
  11. ^ Graff, Gary (June 27, 2019). "'Weird Al' Yankovic Explains His Decision to Drop Michael Jackson Parodies From Set List". Billboard. Retrieved June 29, 2019.
  12. ^ Kohn, Daniel (May 13, 2020). "David Cross, Bryan Cranston, Jack Black and Many More Team Up to Sing Weird Al's 'Eat It'". Spin. Retrieved May 14, 2020.
  13. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (Illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 344. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  14. ^ "RPM Top 100 Singles - April 14, 1984" (PDF).
  15. ^ "Search" Archived June 2, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. Irish Charts. In the "Search by Artist" field, put in Weird Al Yankocic. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  16. ^ "Weird Al Yankovic - Eat It". New Zealand Charts Portal. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  17. ^ "Kent Music Report No 548 – 31 December 1984 > National Top 100 Singles for 1984". Kent Music Report. Retrieved January 12, 2022 – via Imgur.com.
  18. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Weird Al Yankovic – Eat It". Music Canada. Retrieved August 3, 2023.

Works cited[edit]