It’s astounding, and yet makes perfect sense, that the Muppet movies of the 1970’s were full of great music. Going far beyond the educational songs (catchy in their own right) of Sesame Street, The Muppet Movie (1979) is chock full of quality tunes boasting many a foot-stomping riff.
“Movin’ Right Along” is funny, satirical, and has got a folky-goodness about it. Driving bar-room piano, fast cymbals on the drums — suddenly a string section-kicks in. Sure, the built in jokes sound forced in audio-only, but the musical influences are remarkable if only because the song almost feels as if it could have even sung by any number of acts and been totally plausible: Creedence, The Band, etcetera.
But the stand-out here is “Can You Picture That?” as performed by the inspired Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem. Actually “inspired” isn’t a strong enough word, as each character embodies the persona they have taken on. Dr. Teeth not only looks and acts like Dr. John, he plays and sings like him on a song entirely driven by a piano-raucous funk-jazz line. Floyd Pepper (a combination of The Beatles dress and Rick Danko’s voice) delivers lines the uninitiated would never expect to see in a Muppets film, “Let me take your picture, add it to the mixture, there is it I got you now!” The Electric Mayhem, though, are more than a conglomeration of celebrity rip-offs, but a sensational band whose lyrics make little to know sense, but capture and embody whatever style they are trying to imitate. Why this song is played while painting a car, I will never know. words/ b. kramer
MP3: Kermit The Frog/Fozzie Bear :: Movin’ Right Along
MP3: Dr. Teeth & The Electric Mayhem :: Can You Picture That?
Video: Dr. Teeth & The Electric Mayhem – Can You Picture That?
Amazon: The Muppet Show: Music, Mayhem, and More!