The Top 10 Songs of: 2006-2015

The Top 10

Kieran Moore – So here we are! Another set of 10 charts has come to an end and it’s time to wrap things up with my (pat. pending) round up of all the number one songs contained within. But this isn’t just any old round up – it’s also the culmination of my Muppet Show anniversary charts. Over 40 weeks, we’ve examined the highs and lows of Muppet and Henson productions since the mid 1970’s. From the heyday of The Muppet Show, to the fantasy-filled 80’s and on to the zaniness of the 90’s – the latter quarter of the 20th century has been well and truly covered. We’ve also been through the internet age of the 2000’s and caught up with the nostalgia-fest of the current decade. There have been TV shows, movies, albums, specials, guest appearances, live shows and theme park attractions – it’s been a crazy ride through time!

As ever, these are the very best of the very best. Ranking them has been tough, but I’ve done it just for you. I’m such a swell guy!

10 – I Love My Hair – Sesame Street – 2010
I always feel mean putting a former number one in 10th place, but have to remember this is a number one song and something had to take the hit. To put things into perspective, when I ranked this song originally it scored 97 out of 100, which actually does make it the lowest scoring song on today’s list! That’s pretty amazing. This is a groovy little song all about loving yourself and in particular a part of you that could possibly be seen as a negative trait. It’s a common Sesame Street theme that has rarely been done better. Speaking of Sesame Street Themes… Honorable Mention: I Wonder

9 – Sesame Street Theme – The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon – 2013
I can’t believe it took me this long to get the Sesame Street Theme to number one. To add to my eternal shame, there’s a chance this was actually the first time it charted at all! There have been occasions over the last 40 weeks where the theme has changed enough I’ve considered it, but it’s always lost out somehow. The best thing about including this version though is that it is such a joyous celebration of the show (and song) that it more than pays tribute. Most of the main Sesame cast are there – with several getting fun moments, and Jimmy Fallon and The Roots are clearly in their element. Who wouldn’t be performing this song? Honorable Mention: Counting the You’s in YouTube

8 – My Triangle – Sesame Street – 2007
This might be the perfect Sesame Street parody. (Though strangely, it didn’t top my parody chart!) I love the combination of artist, song, new lyrics, fun situation and just general tongue-in-cheekedness. James Blunt is very much a love him or hate him type of artist (here in the UK he’d be described as “Marmite”), but he is well known for his sense of humor and is often quite self-deprecating. I can highly recommend his not safe for work Twitter account. Even if James Blunt isn’t for you, I heartily recommend this track. Any scene that features Telly will always be worth watching – I love that neurotic guy! Marty Robinson always brings such warmth to this character. He might even be the most “human” monster on the street. I feel bad for putting 3 Sesame Street songs in the bottom places so let’s even the score a bit… Honorable Mention: Carol of the Bells

7 – This is Me – Studio DC: Almost Live – 2008
I think this should be titled “This is Meep”! Way before we had a bearded lady getting robbed of an Oscar (Sorry Coco, but it’s true), this track was waving the flag for songs called “This is Me” and doing a wonderful job. Whatever your feelings on Disney Channel music, this is a fantastic pop song and Demi Lovato and Steve Whitmire sing it brilliantly. Studio DC is much maligned, but I’m happy to defend it. Is it the best thing the Muppets have ever done? Clearly it isn’t. (That’s the Lady Gaga Holiday Special). But when viewed as an attempt to introduce the characters to a new audience, at a time when a new movie wasn’t even thought of, I think it’s pretty admirable. I still stand by my assertion that if this was a “Stars of Disney Channel” episode of The Muppet Show it would be viewed very differently. Honorable Mention: I Wish I Could Be Santa Claus

6 – A Red and Green Christmas – A Green and Red Christmas – 2006
I absolutely adore this song – it really should be better known. It would need very few tweaks to become a Christmas standard, but then many Muppet songs fall into that category. The performances from Steve Whitmire and Eric Jacobson are perfectly played. It’s mind-boggling to me that Eric has been playing Miss Piggy for 17 years. He’s done so much with the character in a short space of time and yet still feels like he has further to go. It’s really exciting. The way the two halves of this piece come together is sublime and I love it. I have to give a shout out to Ed Mitchell and Tom Armbruster who wrote it. They aren’t names Muppet fans conjure with like Christopher Cerf or Joe Raposo, but that’s not because they shouldn’t be. Honorable Mention: Run, Run Rudolph

5 – Kodachrome – Muppet Viral Video – 2015
Our number 5 song is certainly the grooviest, but then with The Electric Mayhem rocking out that’s hardly surprising. If you can’t see what’s so good about this song from simply watching this video, I’m not sure I can say anything that will change your mind. I’m also gonna have to take your Muppet Fan Card away (just leave it by the door on your way out!) This is the ‘Mayhem at their finest musically and the video is chock full of fun moments which are nostalgia-filled and bang up to date. This is exactly what the Muppets should be doing. Do we really want the Muppets to go backwards? No. But if the future can be full of pieces like this one, that honor the past while keeping the Muppets fresh and exciting, I’m all for it. Honorable Mention: Learn to Fly

4 – Say (What You Need to Say) – Coming Home: Military Families Cope with Change – 2009
Y’all know by now that I’m a sucker for a sentimental song. By rights this should have number one written all over it, and if there were more Muppets present would likely have taken the top spot. I absolutely adore this song and its message though. Letting kids know they are able to open up about their feelings, good or bad, is so important. Making sure people of any age are secure enough to open up to their loved ones can only make the world a better place. John Mayer fills this song with such emotion; I am genuinely moved when I listen to it. This is truly one of the best songs on this list and if it ever gets an honorable mention of its own, this will definitely be it. In the meantime… Honorable Mention: Bohemian Rhapsody

3 – Muskrat Love – The Muppets All Star Comedy Gala – 2012
Sorry for the poor video quality in this clip. This song came out of nowhere to be the best song of 2012. I’m still absolutely enchanted by it. Pieces like this show just how and why Kermit and Miss Piggy work so well together. They have a genuine rapport in the softer, subtle part of the song and comedy “chops” (can I say that about Miss Piggy?) to die for when it takes a turn for the worst. I’m kind of on the fence about whether or not Kermit and Piggy should get back together. On one hand, it doesn’t seem right that they aren’t an item now The Muppets (2015) is done, but at the same time I’m excited to see where they take this turn of events. It seems that by keeping them apart the Muppet team has a master plan and that’s fun to speculate on. Honorable Mention: Do It Anyway

2 – Our World – The Green Album – 2011
This is such a wonderful song. It’s light yet atmospheric; traditional yet modern; honors the original track yet does something new and innovative with it… Speaking of that last point, that’s the measure of a really good cover version – I hate when artists take a track and do little more than re-record it. 30+ years after the Emmet Otter special aired this My Morning Jacket version of the song sounds bang up to date, but wouldn’t be out of place on a soundtrack album from that original production. This is an absolutely beautiful song in any version and is testament to Paul Williams’ writing skills. I love the theme of expanding one’s horizons on both an intellectual and spiritual level. A song which features two distinct parts put together as one is the perfect metaphor for how we can connect with the universe. 2011 was a big year for the Muppets, so this song taking the top spot over something from The Muppets (2011) is no small feat. Honorable Mention: Wishing Song

1 – The Weight – The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon – 2014
I said earlier what a sucker I am for an emotional song, so this being number one shouldn’t come as a huge surprise; but it feels especially fitting for the very final track of my 40th anniversary charts. This song is quite often performed as a closing number at concerts and here it serves as Jimmy’s last moment at The Tonight Show. I have no real relationship with the show, but even I can sense just how important that is. It’s also a wonderful group song with a huge number of Muppets getting their moment to shine. Kermit and Piggy are the Muppet stars of the show, but really the main kudos is owed to Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem. What they do with this track is incredible. It gives me warm fuzzies to think this track is from the modern era and not the late 70’s or 80’s. Having a full line up for the band, as well as the Muppets as a whole, is a heart warming place to be. Honorable Mention: 12 Days of Christmas

What better way could anything end? Hand in hand with a friend… (Ok, so that’s not strictly how this ends, but let me at least have this quote!)

Just for fun, I thought it might be neat to put together a full list off the yearly number ones. It might flag up some interesting trends or other observations. So without further ado – here are all 40 number ones from 1976 onwards:

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1976 – Hugga Wugga/You are My Sunshine – The Muppet Show
1977 – Just One Person – The Muppet Show
1978 – For What it’s Worth – The Muppet Show
1979 – The Christmas Wish – A Christmas Together
1980 – United We Stand – The Muppet Show
1981 – Happiness Hotel – The Great Muppet Caper
1982 – A Salute to the Year – The Fantastic Miss Piggy Show
1983 – Fraggle Rock Theme – Fraggle Rock
1984 – Saying Goodbye – The Muppets Take Manhattan
1985 – Ain’t No Road Too Long – Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird

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1986 – Underground – Labyrinth
1987 – Just a Dream Away – Fraggle Rock
1988 – Wedding Pictures – Sesame Street
1989 – Riff’s Riff – The Ghost of Faffner Hall
1990 – Bein’ Green – Jim Henson’s Memorial
1991 – Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da – Muppets on Location: Days of Swine and Roses
1992 – It Feels Like Christmas – Muppet Christmas Carol
1993 – Kokomo – Muppet Beach Party
1994 – Sing/Our Favorite Street – Sesame Street All-Star 25th Birthday: Stars and Street Forever!
1995 – Counting is Wonderful – Sesame Street

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1996 – Treasure Island/Shiver My Timbers – Muppet Treasure Island
1997 – You and Me Against the World – Muppets Tonight
1998 – Songs – Elmopalooza
1999 – I See a Kingdom – The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland
2000 – Different People, Different Ways – Sesame Street
2001 – What Happened to Show Business? – The Muppet Show Live
2002 – Everyone Matters – A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie
2003 – Springin’ – Animal Jam
2004 – The Street I Live On – The Street We Live On
2005 – When I’m With You – The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz

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2006 – A Red and Green Christmas – A Green and Red Christmas
2007 – My Triangle – Sesame Street
2008 – This Is Me – Studio DC: Almost Live
2009 – Say (What You Need to Say) – Coming Home: Military Families Cope with Change
2010 – I Love My Hair – Sesame Street
2011 – Our World – The Green Album
2012 – Muskrat Love – The Muppets All Star Comedy Gala
2013 – Sesame Street Theme – The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
2014 – The Weight – The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
2015 – Kodachrome – Muppet Viral Video

I guess I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions from this list, but it’s interesting to see the range of productions featured. All the main TV shows are present (with the sad absence of Bear in the Blue House notwithstanding) and there are appearances from some more obscure ones too. 50% of the Muppet movies are on the list, along with both Sesame Street films and one of Jim Henson’s fantasy pieces. There are songs from just about every medium the Muppets have ever worked in. It’s testament to the quality they put into everything they do – even A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie!

Finally, the top songs from each 10 year period are: Just One Person, Bein’ Green, Treasure Island/Shiver My Timbers and The Weight. I did contemplate choosing an overall song to represent the whole of the 40 year period, but it can’t be done when those are the options.

And that’s it – after a huge run of 40 charts chronicling the ups and downs of the Muppets since 1976 I’ve finally reached the end. I’m feeling a huge sense of achievement and also a little sad that it’s over. It’s been a real rollercoaster and taken nearly 2 years.

I have to end by saying an enormous Thank You to everyone who worked with the Muppets, Sesame Workshop and The Henson Company throughout the whole period I’ve covered. You really have made this whole task a joy. Thank You also to Jarrod at The Muppet Mindset for suggesting this endeavor and believing in me to do it… Apparently it really does only take one person! Finally, Thank You to all the readers who give me such wonderful feedback each week. You make it all worthwhile.

But don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere! I’ll be back next week with something special so until then sit back, relax and have a rotten time!

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