Monday, January 11, 2016

Retro Tribute CDs, Part 1: Saturday Morning Cartoons' Greatest Hits

The bands all seem to be having a grand time: Matthew Sweet romps through “Scooby Doo, Where Are You?” and Mary Lou Lord & Semisonic give “Sugar Sugar” by The Archies even more of a candy coating than the original. The matchups of theme & artist are pretty cool: Violent Femmes take on "Epp Ook Ork Ah-Ah” from The Jetsons, and Sublime revs up the title song to “Hong Kong Phooey.” The music will bring back memories of sitting down on Saturday morning, munching on cereal & Pop Tarts, and watching your favorite shows. Where else can you hear Collective Soul cover The Bugaloos, Helmet sing about giant robots with Gigantor or The Ramones (the elder statesmen of this collection) power through the “Spider-Man” theme in their signature style. The one nod to modern animated shows is Wax’s version of “Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy” from Ren & Stimpy.

This is one of the more clever tribute albums to come out during this period. It's a fun disc that will bring back a lot of memories if you’re in the right age group, or the right frame of mind. There was also a VHS (hey, it was 1995, remember?) release of music videos from the album (hosted by Drew Barrymore) and an accompanying comic book, published by Marvel. While the videotape & the comic are a bit hard to find these days, the CD (while out of print) is still readily available online. It’s worth seeking out if you’re a fan of the bands involved, or have fond memories of enjoying all those classic cartoon shows in your younger days. Here are links to the covers of “Sugar, Sugar” by Mary Lou Lord & Semisonic,, The Ramones with  “Spider-Man”, and Juliana Hatfield & Tanya Donelly performing "Josie & The Pussycats" from the album.

Here's the tracklist from the the CD:

1. Liz Phair With Material Issue – The Tra La La Song (One Banana, Two Banana)
2. Sponge – Go Speed Racer Go
3. Mary Lou Lord With Semisonic – Sugar Sugar
4. Matthew Sweet – Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?
5. Juliana Hatfield And Tanya Donelly – Josie And The Pussycats
6. Collective Soul – The Bugaloos
7. Butthole Surfers – Underdog
8. Helmet – Gigantor
9. Ramones – Spider-Man
10. Reverend Horton Heat – Jonny Quest / Stop That Pigeon
11. Frente! – Open Up Your Heart And Let The Sun Shine In (from The Flinstones)
12. Violent Femmes – Eep Opp Ork Ah-Ah (Means I Love You) (from The Jetsons)
13. Dig – Fat Albert Theme
14. Face To Face – I’m Popeye The Sailor Man
15. Tripping Daisy – Friends / Sigmund And The Sea Monsters
16. Toadies – Goolie Get-Together
17. Sublime – Hong Kong Phooey
18. Murmurs – H. R. Pufnstuf
19. Wax – Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy (from Ren & Stimpy)

Next week: A look at another "far out" tribute disc.

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