Muppet Retro Reviews: Rock Music with the Muppets

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Video.rockmusicMichael Wermuth – Rock Music with the Muppets is one of ten compilation videos released by Playhouse Video spotlighting The Muppet Show. This one focuses on the best rock and roll numbers from The Muppet Show, including clips with guest stars Debbie Harry, Linda Ronstadt, Alice Cooper, Ben Vereen, Helen Reddy, Leo Sayer, Loretta Switt, and Paul Simon.

This video is hosted by Dr. Teeth, with assistance by Beaker, who Dr. Teeth refers to at different points in the video as the “incompetent engineer” and “inappropriate engineer”. The pairing between the two is odd, since this is the only major interaction the two have done, but it oddly seems like a natural pairing. Beaker spends a lot of time in the video causing accidental explosions, getting messed up in tape reels, and trying to work his own singing into the video.

RockMusic2Obviously, this video has a lot of Electric Mayhem. It includes three main Electric Mayhem numbers (“Don’t Blame the Dynamite”, “Mr. Bassman”, and “Rockin’ Robin”), plus a few drum solos from Animal, all four musician joke segments (from episode 413) told by Floyd and Zoot, and various numbers where the band simply provides back-up for the guest stars. Still, it would have been great if this had included another Electric Mayhem number or two (very few of the other compilations feature main Electric Mayhem numbers).

TMS510-03Additional highlights in this video include “Call Me” with Debbie Harry, “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing” and “When I Need You” with Leo Sayer, “Disco Frog” with Kermit, “Rock Around the Clock” with the rats, “Who Put the Bomp in the Bomp-Sha-Bomp-Sha-Bomp” with Geri and the Attrics, and “School’s Out” with Alice Cooper and the monsters. One thing I think is odd is that none of Elton John’s numbers appear, as he seemed to be the biggest rock star to appear on the show and his episode is among one of the best-known episodes, but maybe they couldn’t clear the rights to the songs (though a picture from his appearance does appear in the background in the linking material).

In the end, Rock Music with the Muppets is a great collection of the best rock and roll from The Muppet Show, even if there are enough great rock numbers left for a follow-up.

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The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, muppetmindset@gmail.com

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