Thursday, June 7, 2012

Various Artists - Saturday Morning Cartoons Greatest Hits

I have lots of problems with this album. I loved the idea: rock bands covering classic cartoon themes. Although the concept seems solid, it's clumsily handled. First of all, this album was released in the mid 90's and most of its intended audience grew up in the 80's when there was no end to great cartoons and their respective themes. The majority of the show themes on this disc are from the 60's and 70's. Also, a few of the theme songs don't even come from cartoons (the Sid and Marty Krofft themes aren't that good, just like the shows themselves).

So we start off with a concept which represents the wrong decade, and add to it the fact that half the bands who cover the songs either aren't good or are satisfied with halfhearted attempts. Violent Femmes included a statement in the liner notes that says the song covered in their name was performed by studio artists and not the band themselves. This is either a joke or an attempt by Violent Femmes to distance themselves from this below average compilation.

The worst songs on the album are as follows: "Speed Racer" by Sponge (they somehow manage to sing the song using only one note. It's exactly as monotonous as it sounds. Pun intended), "Stop That Pigeon" by Reverend Horton Heat (a pathetic entry from an otherwise fine band), and "Gigantor" by Helmet (it sent my daughter fleeing from the room in terror. No, really). The only good songs on the album are as follows: "Scooby Doo" by Matthew Sweet (It sounds almost exactly like the original, which is all you can really hope for on this hapless comp), "Spider-Man" by The Ramones (not recorded specifically for this album and available elsewhere if you want it), and "Eep Opp Ork Ah-Ah" by Violent Femmes (which, if the liner notes are to be believed, is really performed by a bunch of studio musicians). So yeah, not much here. Move along. Nothing further to see.

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