August 25, 2008
This is an interesting song to look at because it's also an evolution of a song here. Over this weekend, I was talking to my Dad about Weird Al, and how he played the song Amish Paradise during the concert that I was part of. This led to a discussion of covers vs. originals, and he mentioned that Coolio wasn't the original artist for this song - it was Stevie Wonder.
Doing a bit of research, I found that this was correct - The original song was called Pastime Paradise, recorded in 1976 on Wonder's album Songs in the Key of Life.
In 1995, Coolio took the song and reworked it as a rap song on his album by the same name, Gangsta's Paradise, which then went on to win a Grammy award, and it holds as the 15th most successful single of all time.
In 1996, singer Weird Al Yankovic took the song and then reworked it per his usual style, creating the fantastic song Amish Paradise. This actually caused some problems for Yankovic, as Coolio had not granted permission for him to use the song. In response, Weird Al has since secured permission from artists directly.
The last song here is a cover of of Coolio's song
Pastime Paradise - Stevie Wonder
Gansta's Paradise - Coolio
Gangsta's Paradise (Coolio) - Off the Beat
Amish Paradise - Weird Al Yankovic