Sesame Street

Sing the Hit Songs of Sesame Street

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One of the color photographs on the front of this album shows several human characters from this long-running children's show in the middle of recording a number in the studio alongside the massive puppet Big Bird. While most sensible people over the age of two know there is a human being inside this puppet, this is a fact of life that is completely transcended by these song performances. The puppet characters, as vivid and bigger than life as they are, had no problem establishing a presence as recording artists, including interacting with actual human singers and session players. This is one reason the list of recorded products connected to Sesame Street is longer than the street itself. While many of the same humans that are performing here would still be on the show decades later, this album was taped and released during the production's golden period. None of the music created after the '70s has as much staying power as the dozen titles selected here, some of which are classics of children's music. The lack of condescension, as well as the mild but still recognizable "evil" edge present in songs such as Oscar the Grouch's "I Love Trash," is an important reason for this level of quality, but not the only one. The New York studio musicians who were involved with these recordings are not credited, but they consistently come up with solid grooves and entertaining feels for the songs. It was a nice era for creating music such as this, as the entire range of innovative musical styles from the '60s was now up for grabs, and considered acceptable by the parents who were often manning the remote control. The main writers are Jeffrey Moss and Joe Raposo, and while the former man has a knack for the goofy numbers, it is Raposo who created both "Sing" and "Somebody Come and Play." Both these songs have exquisite melodies and chord changes; '70s jazzers may have missed the boat by not creating cover versions, but it is never too late. Another of his songs that has received attention from so-called "serious" musicians is "Bein' Green," a superior ballad but perhaps not something any other performer could put across as authentically, except for Kermit the Frog. This set is put together in the manner of a typical greatest-hits package, without the inconsistent skit material that sometimes hampers other albums with these characters.

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