Personnel: "Weird Al" Yankovic (vocals, accordion, keyboards); Mary Kay Bergman, Tress MacNeille (vocals); Jim West (guitar, banjo, background vocals); Marty Rifkin (pedal steel guitar); Pat Sauber (banjo); Tom Sauber (fiddle); Joel Peskin (clarinet); Tom Evans (saxophone); Lee Thornberg (trumpet, trombone); Warren Luening, Tavis Werts (trumpet); Bill Reichenbach, Dan Regan (trombone); Tommy Johnson (tuba); Ruben Valtierra, Kim Bullard (keyboards); Steve Jay (bass, background vocals); Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz (drums, percussion, background vocals).
When this accordion-wielding parodist first came into the public eye with '80s mock-rock hits like "Another One Rides the Bus" and "My Bologna," few would have guessed he'd still be charting with his quirky brand of humor in 1999. Al's up to his old tricks with a vengeance here, using the melody of Don McLean's folk-rock epic "American Pie" to relate the tale of the PHANTOM MENACE installment in the STAR WARS series. He takes on hip-hop, too, turning "It's All About the Benjamins" into the computer ode "It's All About the Pentiums." The contemporaneous neo-swing craze is similarly skewered as "Zoot Suit Riot" becomes the nutrition-conscious "Grapefruit Diet." Al's capable of writing uproarious original tunes as well, as evidenced by the Zydeco stomper "My Baby's in Love With Eddie Vedder." Here, the man who parodied Nirvana so successfully takes grunge's heir apparent into his sights, with hilarious results.
Entertainment Weekly (7/23/99, pp.65-6) - "...demonstrates Yankovic's jokes are eminently listenable....the real kick is that he gets the music exactly right....so absurd you've got to laugh....compared with most comedy recordings these days, RUNNING WITH SCISSORS is a cut above." - Rating: B