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Feb 252014

If you grew up in the time of record albums then chances are that you would know about the many classic Sesame Street albums from back in the day. That’s why I was thrilled to find that some of these old records became CDs, starting with Sesame Street: Old School, Vol. 1: 1969-1974.

Within these box sets there are individual covers for each CD that look exactly like the old record covers. That really brought me back, since I used to have some of the original records when I was little. However, the records kept skipping at times, which made them hard to keep up with while listening. That’s no longer a problem now.

Let’s go over the CD sets themselves. Volume One features three albums. The first is The Sesame Street Record, which was one of the very first of many records of the franchise. I remember this one well since it has some of my all-time favorite songs like Big Bird singing about the alphabet as one big word (ABC-DEF-GHI), Cookie Monster singing about Up and Down with another monster, and Oscar singing I Love Trash.

Speaking of Oscar, this album contains a subplot. Oscar wants to sing his song, but he’s forced to wait for everyone else to perform their songs. It sometimes makes me think of Oscar’s solo album, Let a Frown Be Your Umbrella. Too bad it’s not included here among other Sesame Street records.

The second album is Big Bird Sings, which features the best of Big Bird’s songs like ABC-DEF-GHI and I Just Adore 4. Big Bird also performs poetry. The one I remember best is the one about the Nine Naughty Noodles that he reads to Oscar. For the record, many of the separate Sesame Street records were solo albums on certain puppet characters.

The third album in the first volume set is Bert and Ernie Sing-Along. I never heard of this one before and like the first CD, it has a subplot. Bert is taking a bath and Ernie barges in with a piano to begin a sing-along featuring children’s songs like Old McDonald Had a Farm, On Top of Old Smokey, and She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain. When it starts to take off, the whole Sesame Street gang comes into the bathroom to join in. I can’t help but feel sorry for Bert because he’s shivering in the tub the whole time and keeps asking for a towel, but no one will do it. (How rude can you get?) Honestly, I would enjoy this album more if it weren’t for the dragging subplot.

How’s that for Sesame Street nostalgia? It’s not over yet though. Check my blog for Part 2 for the next volume.

Apr 072012

The Mortal Kombat movie had an excellent music score, especially during the fight scenes in the adventurous martial arts tournament. The Mortal Kombat: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack album provides that awesome music and more.

However, it’s hard to tell which track has which music because almost every track is labeled with song titles and bands I never heard of before. It’s especially tough when songs that were not featured in the movie are mixed in with the others.

Once I hear the track on the album, it becomes easier to decipher, but can still be confusing at times because the music is not entirely accurate to how it was presented in the movie. I never would’ve thought that the tracks weren’t entirely instrumental either.

The success of this soundtrack shortly led to another album called Mortal Kombat: More Kombat. The music is more techno than on the other Mortal Kombat soundtrack album. I admit that some tracks run longer than others, but this album still rocks and captures the imagination.

The last of the Mortal Kombat albums is the soundtrack for Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. Like the others, it’s labeled with song titles and bands I never heard of before. Once again, that makes it difficult to figure out which music is on which track, but becomes clearer once I hear it. The only exception was the newer Mortal Kombat theme by The Immortals.

The music from the movie was an excellent addition to the smoother fight scenes throughout the film. That’s also what makes this album a good one.

Overall, all three of these albums are classics and I would totally recommend them if you’re into Mortal Kombat memorabilia.

Mar 312012

Before Mortal Kombat had its first movie, the success of the original fighting game led to Mortal Kombat the Album. This techno album includes the Mortal Kombat theme performed by The Immortals. The album also has a song about each individual characters, all performed by The Immortals as well.

If you’re expecting musical scores from the video game itself, forget it. All of these tracks are different and have never been featured in either of the Mortal Kombat movies, except the theme of course.

Some of the songs are about the character’s fighting skill, like Johnny Cage (Prepare Yourself), Kano (Use Your Might), and Sonya (Go Go Go).

The rest of the characters have songs that are more focused on their backgrounds. They include, Sub-Zero (Chinese Ninja Warrior), Liu Kang (Born in China), Scorpion (Lost Soul Bent on Revenge), Rayden (Eternal Life), and Goro (The Outworld Prince). These songs are all upbeat, but some are catchier than others.

Sorry, but Shang Tsung doesn’t have a song on this album. Instead, the last track is a remix of the Mortal Kombat theme. It’s not nearly as good as the original. Then again, can you imagine if Shang Tsung did have a song? What would it be?

This is definitely a creative album, but it’s only the first of several in the Mortal Kombat franchise. I’ll be talking about other albums on my blog later on.

Jan 282012

Classic cartoons from the old days always had memorable theme songs, some of which could be found on soundtrack albums if there were any. In the mid 90s, there was a very rare mixture on an album called Saturday Morning Cartoons’ Greatest Hits, which features the different theme songs in a more extended and updated manner and performed by “modern” bands and artists.

Some of those classic songs include the themes from Scooby-Doo Where Are You, Josie and the Pussycats, Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids, PopeyeHong Kong Phooey, and Spiderman (60s version). A different artist or band like Matthew Sweet, Liz Phair, The Ramones, The Butthole Surfers, Juliana Hatfield, and others perform them.

Not all of the tracks are theme songs though. There are also songs from different shows that were hits back in the day like Sugar Sugar from The Archie Show, Epp Opp Ork Ah-Ah from The Jetsons, Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy from Ren and Stimpy, and Open Up Your Heart and Let the Sunshine in from The Flintstones. All of which were only featured once in certain episodes. Does anyone still remember any of these songs?

There are even theme songs from shows I had never even heard of before like The Bugaloos, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, Groovie Ghoulies, Gigantor, and H.R. Pufnstuf. Luckily, the inside cover has information on each show, which made them more familiar to me and made me curious to see what these shows are like, if I can find them either on DVD, Netflix, or the Boomerang Channel.

Along with the info, there’s also a bit of commentary from the bands and artists about their take on these songs as well as their favorite cartoons growing up. It must be a real pleasure to participate in an album like this.

In addition to the album, there was also a straight-to-video feature about Saturday Morning Cartoons Greatest Hits. On a beautiful sunny day, Drew Barrymore and her friends have fun watching music videos from all of the different songs and provide their own cute and funny commentary. (It doesn’t include the theme from Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids for some reason.)

To add to the fun, the group also gets a package that contains things like breakfast cereal, candy necklaces, and silly string in spray cans. That’s just the kind of stuff that represents innocent times. You won’t find a special like this on MTV and I have no doubt that only hardcore Drew Barrymore fans would remember it.

This album is unique with its modern twist on old favorites. Once I do find any of the old shows, after listening to this CD, I now observe the theme songs to see how they are different in comparison.

Jan 182012

Welcome back. As the Power Rangers franchise progressed, so did the albums. The next one was the soundtrack for Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie. The songs were featured on both the movie and the TV series.

The Mighty RAW, who performed all of the tracks on the first Power Rangers album, perform some of the songs, but the main band featured is a group called Super Power. As far as I’m concerned, both bands rock.

As it turns out, only the first half of the album is from Power Rangers Turbo. That provides an opportunity to also include the songs from Power Rangers Zeo because that show didn’t get a soundtrack album of its own.

At this point, it looked as if the Power Rangers albums had discontinued. The only other album to come along afterward was The Best of the Power Rangers that was released in 2003.

Most of the tracks are some of the same songs on the Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie soundtrack, but also include some new ones like the theme from Power Rangers Wild Force. For some reason, there’s no mention of the bands that perform on this album.

These Power Rangers albums are classics just like the other earlier ones. It’s too bad they left out the sound bytes from the series this time.