Off The Deep End is the seventh album by "Weird Al" Yankovic, released in 1992. This is also Al's first self-produced album, after six albums with Rick Derringer. The lead-off song, "Smells Like Nirvana," is a parody of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit." The album cover also parodies the cover of Nirvana's album Nevermind, which depicts a young infant on the deep end of a pool chasing after a dollar bill on a string. The Off the Deep End cover shows Yankovic in the baby's place apparently chasing after a donut on a string. The CD, linear notes, and artwork continue the parody of Nirvana's album, borrowing the same blue, wave-light graphics from the printed surface of Nevermind.
"You Don't Love Me Anymore" is misprinted on the cassette as "Don't You Love Me Anymore."
After Yankovic's 1989's movie failure, UHF, Yankovic returned to the studio to record his new album. On June 6, recording officially began, with "Airline Amy". After the five originals ("Airline Amy," "Trigger Happy", "When I Was Your Age", "You Don't Love Me Anymore", and "Waffle King") were done Yankovic switched to the parodies. At the time, only three parodies had been envisioned ("The White Stuff", "I Can't Watch This", and "The Plumbing Song"). After waiting for about a year for the "next big thing" to come out, Yankovic went on a slight hiatus in order to find the right lead-off parody/single. The album sat in a completely unfinished state for almost one year. In late 1991, Yankovic asked permission to record a parody of "Black or White" by Michael Jackson, but was turned down (See below). Finally by early 1992, Nirvana's Nevermind was making waves in the rock and pop scene. As the popularity of 80's pop gave way to alternative rock, Yankovic decided it was time to record a parody of the Seattle-based band's huge hit single "Smells Like Teen Spirit". It was during this time that "I was Only Kidding" was recorded. Originally, "Waffle King" was supposed to appear on "Off the Deep End." However, by the time the recording of the parodies for the album began, Al had written all the original songs that were to appear on his next album. Because he was concerned that one of the jokes from the song "I was Only Kidding" might be played out by the time Alapalooza would finally be released (A reference to the movie Wayne's World with the line "I really love you– NOT!"), he recorded "I Was Only Kidding" and included it on "Off the Deep End" in place of "Waffle King". "Waffle King" was instead used as the b-side of the Smells Like Nirvana single. Off the Deep End was released April 1992, and up to that point, became Yankovic's best selling album. The albums lead-off single, "Smells Like Nirvana" was a hit on the Billboard Hot 100, charting at number 35. It also charted on Hot 100 Singles Sales (at number 12) and the US Mainstream Rock Tracks (at number 35). Both the album and hit single helped to reenergize Yankovic's career.
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