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Discussion in 'Muppet Merchandise' started by Phillip, Oct 17, 2006.
It is. I said that a few posts back.
The more I listen to this, the more I become ok with Bill's voices. His mannerisms are good, and that makes it believable. I would rather have off voices with good mannerisms than the other way around.
I haven't been able to find this CD in stores either, but I did buy it from iTunes. I really enjoy it! I love "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas". I think it is great that so many Muppets are featured on the CD as well. I was surprised by the inclusion of a song by the Swedish Chef and Pepe.
Now that I've had time to listen to the CD for a few weeks and let everything sink in a bit, here is my track-by-track review (with the exception of "Run, Run Rudolph, which quickly degenerated into a rant):
1. 'Zat You, Santa Claus? - Dr. Teeth & the Electric Mayhem
This is easily my favorite song on the album, though I do wish they would've included more of the other band members in the songs. In most of the old Electric Mayhem songs, we at least got Animal doing some sort of grunting near the end of the song. It's almost as though Dr. Teeth went solo, but that's my only complaint about this song. Bill seems to have a decent handle on Dr. Teeth, especially the laugh and even throws in Dr. Teeth's trademark "Oh, yeah!" for good measure.
2. A Red & Green Christmas - Kermit & Miss Piggy
The first few times I listened to this song, it didn't really hold my attention that well, but it's growing on me. Of all the voices Eric has taken over, I think his Miss Piggy is the best (I'm still having trouble getting used to Grover especially). In this song, her voice sounded a little off, but I'm not sure exactly what it was.. maybe a little too high-pitched. I don't know. But I like the song.
3. The Christmas Party Sing-Along - Rowlf
First of all, I am so freaking excited to have Rowlf back. And Bill does a good job here. I was worried after hearing Rowlf on the set of Wedding Crashers in one of the early "From the Balcony" episodes, because it just sounded terrible. And while this isn't perfect, it appears his singing Rowlf voice is better than his speaking Rowlf voice. Since that's what Rowlf does most, I think that's more important. The penguins are good enough as background singers go, and even give Rowlf material for a joke that's so bad, it probably should've been part of Fozzie's routine. The song itself isn't anything special, but I am very stoked about have Rowlf the Dog back for the holidays!
4. Merry Christmas Baby - Pepe
As much as I like Pepe, I'm glad they only gave him one song. I was worried they were starting to overuse him a bit. My first impression of this song was that it's the perfect song for Pepe... fits his personality just right, and it's easy to shake your bon-bons to . Also, it struck me that I like his speaking voice better than his singing voice. I also don't find it as sing-alongable as some of the other songs on the CD.
5. The Man with the Bag - Floyd, Zoot, & Animal
Man, I miss Jerry. That said, I also think that John Kennedy (who, sadly, isn't credited) is hurt here by the fact that his first major performance as Floyd was on an album. If I'd seen the muppet speaking this voice for a while first, it might be easier to accept. Think of how long Bill's worked with Rowlf and Dr. Teeth and just had them say a word or two here and there while he was refining. I think that has a lot to do with why his are so much closer. John does seem to have the laugh down if nothing else. The worst part is that it's actually a good muppety voice. It just doesn't sound like Floyd. It also boths me that both of Dr. Teeth's tunes were credited to the band and this one wasn't. They should show some consitancy. Once I get past Floyd's voice, it's an enjoyable song, and it's nice to have Animal and Zoot hanging out in the background. This song feels more like an Electric Mayhem song than the two Dr. Teeth sings. And Floyd calling Piggy "Miss Fatback" at the end was
awesome.. totally something Floyd would say. I like how a few of the tracks run into each other like that.
6. Santa Baby - Miss Piggy
Haven't we heard this before? The other version of Santa Baby, from It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie, is far superior to this. Piggy just sounds so subdued here, and had so much more energy in the movie version. It would've been a good place to give someone else a song, but I'll run into that more later. This was one of my least favorite songs on the album.
7. It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year - Gonzo & Rizzo
If Dave ever retires, I'm not sure I could take it. I actually think it would've been nice if Gonzo got his own song. Not that I have anything against Rizzo, but I do think he and Gonzo spend too much time together sometimes. When The Muppet Christmas Carol came out, I couldn't believe Gonzo didn't get a song, as he was hosting and all. But this was a good song for Gonzo and Rizzo to do together, and they have great back-and-forth moments. Gonzo wasn't quite as insane as I like him, but it's Christmas, so I can forgive him that. Gonzo's my favorite muppet, so it's a hard song for me not to like.
8. North Pole Comedy Club - Fozzie, Statler, and Waldorf
Pepe has an uncredited (and completely unneccessary) appearance in this song . . . leave the heckling to professionals, Pepe. Statler and Waldorf can handle that business. The problem is that the music is so loud, they sound like they're a little too far off in the distance. It would've been nice if their voices were at the same volume as Fozzie's. Statler and Waldorf are awesome, as always. And I'm getting used to Eric's Fozzie. But did I mention how unneccessary Pepe is on this song?
9. Run, Run Rudolph - Dr. Teeth & the Electric Mayhem
When I first heard this song was on the album, I thought "what a perfect song for the Electric Mayhem!" .. But, I think the song would've been more fitting for Floyd to sing than Dr. Teeth. It strikes me as more his personality (especially if he were to trade-off lines with Janice.. that would've been something). And I'm really not sure it was neccessary to give Dr. Teeth & the Electric Mayhem three songs (or Miss Piggy three either, for that matter). This song (and Santa Baby) could have been replaced with songs from more deserving muppets. Why in the world wouldn't you give Johnny Fiama and Sal Manilla a song? Johnny's a freaking singer!, for crying out loud.. and I just really like Sal. And Scooter could've gotten a song. I felt like they built up so much momentum with Scotter in IAVMMCM and The Muppets' Wizard of Oz, and I feel like if they don't take advantage of that, he might disapear again. And Clifford is terminally under-utilized. I know Kevin Clash is
busy with Elmo and everything, but it only takes a day or so to record a song.
10. Christmas Smorgasbord - The Swedish Chef
It's nice to have the Swedish Chef singing his own song, but since he never actually says anything intelligible, he can't really carry a song himself. Apparently, the producers of the record agree, but the chorus they paired him with almost completely drowns him out. Because of that, despite my love for the Chef, this is another of my least favorite songs on the album. Surely they could've found someone better to pair him with. Remember how magical his song with Big Bird was?
11. The Christmas Queen - Miss Piggy
I love this song. Not the song itself, I guess, so much as the background
singers. So many awesome jibes at Miss Piggy's expense. This is classic muppet stuff here. I laughed so hard the first time I heard it, and it's still funny every time.
12. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - Kermit
While I like this song, and Kermit's rendition is good, Rowlf did this song with John Denver, and I like that version so much that this was at a disadvantage from the start. The Muppets have done this so many times - Ernie & Bert, Ploobis & Scred, Miss Piggy, Rowlf, and now Kermit (and that might not even be all of them) - that I wish they'd have chosen a different song. But I still like it!
Overall, it's a good album. I do miss Jerry (not just for Floyd, but Robin, too.. not to mention the fact that he was the best singer of the bunch), and I think they should make more featured use of Dave, especially since he and Steve are pretty much all the originals we have left. But I enjoyed the album a little more than I expected.
Kermit and Miss Piggy sang a verse of that song in A Muppet Family Christmas.
I agree that Scooter, Johnny Fiama, and Sal should have been included on the album. I don't know if Brian Henson was unavailable for this album or not, preventing Sal from being used. I also don't know if Rickey Boyd was contacted about this project.
Maybe it would have been good to close the album with a big cast number, featuring Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Bunsen, Beaker, Gonzo, Rizzo, Rowlf, Floyd, Animal, Pepe, Johnny Fiama, Beauregard, Bean Bunny, and maybe also Scooter, Sal, Janice, Lew Zeland, and Robin (since he hasn't been recast yet, it might be weird for him to be recast on an album).
I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that Brian Henson performed Sal and has not really wanted much to do with the Muppets anymore.
Since I had to buy this album from BestBuy.com, I thought I'd love it right off the bat just cuz my search was endless. That was untrue. It didn't sit well with me at first. Like people had said before, it was hard to get into the new voices. The main reason for that is because I saw the Muppets perform most of the songs on previous albums so I could picture them. It took me forever to get into Rowlf, Dr Teeth, and Floyd. After about 5 times of listening to it in a row, they started to grow on me. Now I can picture EVERYTHING goin on. I can see them putting on a Christmas themed show at the Muppet Theater.
I agree though that Johnny Fiama should've at least gotten his own song with Sal making his little butt kissing comments. I do miss Scooter and Janice a lot. I think it would've been kinda funny to have Bunsen and Beaker singing "Jingle Bells" with "Meep Meep Meep" instead of "Fa La La". It was also kind of weird to have Christmas without Robin singing a song.
My favorite song is "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" by Kermit. That's always been my favorite Christmas song and now it's sung by one of my most favorite "people" in the world. I thought it was a nice end to the cd.
Final Word - I absolutely LOVE this cd! It was worth every penny!
I would like to hear what Drew Massey could do with Floyd Pepper, but in the meantime John Kennedy's version has really grown on me with this Red and Green CD.
Still, it's Bill Baretta at his best and he's a KING--Pepe's song almost makes me forget that I'm listening to Pepe and not a hardcore blues man!! Bill rocks...Dr. Teeth and Rowlf--cooool!
Still not up on the title song though.
I like It's The Most Wonderful Time... but then again I tend to like anything sung by Gonzo.
I got this album for christmas yesterday. I thought it was a very good album. I think it is weird that there was no big group number to close the album. I also think it's a bit weird that Kermit only sang on two songs (though great that a lot of others got to sing). It would have been great if the booklet featured a picture of the cast in a christmas setting, like around a tree or even in a room opening presents and such. It could have featured everybody who sings on the album, plus Scooter, Janice, Clifford, Johnny Fiama, Sal, Robin, Lew Zeland, Bean Bunny, Beauregard, Bunsen, Beaker, Link Hogthrob, Dr. Strangepork, Bobo, Crazy Harry, Sweetums, and maybe also Lips, Seymour, Digit, Pops, Annie Sue, and Marvin Suggs.
I don't think Dr. Teeth or Floyd sound too bad. I think that Floyd sounds 90 percent right. At times I keep thinking that Floyd sounds like he is being voiced by Steve Whitmire. He kind of sounds a bit like Lips to me. Of course, I am not too familiar with that voices John Kennedy can do (mostly just his Blotch and Arnie the Alligator voices). Of course, John Kennedy isn't credited, so maybe it was Steve (though I believe that John Kennedy just wasn't credited for some reason). On The Most Wonderful Time of theYear, I keep having trouble hearing Rizzo's voice.
After listening a few times, I noticed an irony. In the first few productions where Eric Jacopson performed Fozzie and Miss Piggy, such as It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie, The Muppets Wizard of Oz, and Muppet Party Cruise, I thought that Eric Jacopson's Fozzie sounded perfectly close to Frank Oz's Fozzie, while I thought his Miss Piggy voice sounded too whiney, but on this album, where the characters are only heard and not seen, I think that his Piggy voice sounds just like Frank Oz's, while his Fozzie sounds less like Frank Oz's Fozzie. Perhaps Eric Jacopson is improving with Piggy, while deproving with Fozzie (maybe his natural voice is changing, effecting his Fozzie voice).
It's too bad that there weren't any music videos for these songs, or even a christmas special to promote the album (or vice versa). All of the songs sound good enough to have some visuals. Miss Piggy already sung Santa Baby in It's a Very Merry Mppet Christmas Movie (I wish that this album also featured Everyone Matters, as performed by Kermit and Gonzo, and maybe with the entire cast finishing the song), so there's already visuals there. I picture Kermit playing the banjo, wearing a santa hat and sitting on a log in a snowy forrest in Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Gonzo and Rizzo singign The Most Wonderful Time of the Year at nighttime in a big city street, Fozzie at the comedy club in The North Pole Comedy Club, Rowlf at the piano in a party room in The Christmas Party Sing-Along (accompanied by Baskerville, other Muppet dogs, the chickens, the penguins, the rats, and maybe also some familair characters), both of Dr. Teeth's songs having similar visuals to Night Life (in other words, on top of the Happiness Hotel bus at nighttime, or maybe playing the keyboard ina convertable), The Man with the Bag having the whole Electric Mayhem (including Lips, and maybe also some additional musicians) in the regular Electric Mayhem setting from The Muppet Show, A Red and Green Christmas having Kermit and Piggy in front of a red and green background (with visuals of the things they describe), The Christmas Queen having a similar setting to Santa Baby, and The Christmas Smoggleboard having The Swedish Chef on stage (with a black background and some lights) with some swedish back-up singers (I expected to picture this song to take place in the kitchen).
And the top ten christmas songs that I would have liked to have seen performed on this album are:
1. It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas with Johnny Fiama and Sal
2. Oh Christmas Tree with Robin and Sweetums
3. I Want a Hippopotumous for Christmas with Bean Bunny (or Robin)
4. The Chrismas Song with Rowlf and Scooter (or the cast)
5. Simply Having a Wonderful Christmastime with Bunsne and Beaker (or the Electric Mayhem)
6. Merry Christmas Darling with Janice
7. All I Want for Christmas is You (not the song from Elmo Saves Christmas) with Janice and Rowlf (I imagine the christmas playing in this song to sound like Rowlf's piano playing)
8. Last Christmas with Kermit and Miss Piggy (or Floyd)
9. Very Merry Christmas with the entire cast
10. Do You Hear What I Hear with Kermit and Fozzie
I never got it, and now it's too late to care!
it's never too late to care!!
after all... Christmas does come round again later......
Oh, I'm sure I'll care a lot in December.
Nah, didn't you hear? This year was the last Christmas ever!
(Hehe, sorry couldn't resist)
That's kinda funny.
Reminds me of all those specials about Santa, and him always having the gall to say that he'll "have to cancel Christmas". I can see Jesus saying "Okay then, I'll cancel your birthday."
Haha I always thought of that too
Anyway I got the CD for Christmas and I've listened to it quite a few times. Overall I'd say it's pretty good. I think that Bill Barretta's Dr. Teeth voice sounds too much like Bobo, and also his Rowlf and Dr. Teeth sound very very similar (I could usually tell when Jim was performing Rowlf, and when he was performing Dr. Teeth). It was cool to finally here Pepe sing. And I do think that Bill does a great job doing the Swedish Chef's voice.
I think that Eric Jacobson does a great job with both Piggy and Fozzie, yet I can't help feel that his Animal is somewhat lacking.
And of course how can I talk about how I feel about new performers with old characters without mention John Kennedy as Floyd? Honestly I think he did a good job with this recording, and I'm sure if this wasn't JUST audio it would be not as noticably different... the same can be said about Bill with Rowlf and Dr. Teeth.
By far, my favorite track is Gonzo and Rizzo singing Most Wonderful Time of the Year! Gonzo and Rizzo have such a great comedy, and since I was born in '88 and practically raised on "newer" post-Jim Muppets, it's very natural to have them as a duo. I have to give major props to Dave Goelz for still being with the Muppets and performing Gonzo and Zoot.
And just something funny I noticed, whenever the singer of the song was listed as "The Electric Mayhem" it was just Dr. Teeth singing, yet for Man with the Bag it listed "Floyd, Zoot, and Animal" even though Floyd says Dr. Teeth is playing keyboard in that song.
From The Muppet Newsflash:
The nominees for the 50th annual Grammy Awards were announced last week by The Recording Academy. This year's awards, recognizing the best albums and recordings released between October 1, 2006 and September 30, 2007, will be presented on February 10, 2008 with the ceremony being televised live on CBS (check local listings for details).
Anyway... "A Green and Red Christmas" made the list of nominees for "Best Musical Album For Children"! "
I wish the Muppets the best of luck and congratulate them on this exciting nomination. And if you haven't picked up this wonderful holiday album, be sure to get your hands a copy today!
woohoo.. that nom's great news!
hope they win!
and if nothing else.. means we might see some muppets at the grammy awards... hehehe
WOOT! I hope the Muppets win!
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