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The Best of The Muppets
Featuring The Muppets' Wizard of Oz

Greg James (May 17, 2005) - Disney released their first Muppet CD, "The Best of The Muppets Featuring The Muppet Wizard of Oz," a few days before the film’s television premiere. The CD features 15 songs; 9 classic Muppet hits and 6 from "The Muppets' Wizard of Oz.”

Order the Muppets' Wizard of Oz Soundtrack. The extended Oz DVD will include twenty minutes of added scenes.

Like many Muppet fans, I am a little disappointed that eight out of the nine “classics” also appeared on 2002’s “The Muppet Show: Music, Mayhem and More” CD. The CD should have been titled “The Muppets' Wizard of Oz Soundtrack (with 9 bonus tracks of Muppet classics)”.

Overall I give the CD 3 Kermits.

I like the new "Oz" songs and I'm impressed that Disney decided to release the songs from a TV-movie on CD (especially before it even aired). I like how they included some "classic" tracks, but wish they had dug into the archives more and picked a better variety of songs. A lot of the CD seemed like a double-dip and rehash of past releases.

I would have enjoyed some unreleased or under released stuff like: "Memory Lane" by Gonzo; "Mr. Bassman" by Floyd and Scooter; "Pennsylvania 6-5000" by Bobby Benson's Baby Band; "Saying Goodbye" from The Muppets Take Manhattan; or even the original version of "I'm Going to Go Back there Someday" by Gonzo.

The "Oz" songs are not the greatest Muppet songs of all time, but they aren’t bad. They are catchy and fun, and it’s nice to see a Muppet movie with musical numbers. I like the CD, and I'm glad Disney cared enough to release it. It might not be the prized gem of a fan’s collection, but I would suggest that you pick up a copy.

The best news of all is that Disney is planning on releasing additional Muppet CD's. An internal newsletter at Disney stated that over the next two years, Walt Disney Records plans to release three additional Muppets albums. Included in these plans is a Muppet holiday CD which is due out in time for the 2005 holiday season. The content of the other two upcoming albums, which are set for a 2006 release, is unknown.

Track 1: "Kansas" by Ashanti
The first track on the CD is a solo by Ashanti. This song kicks off the film as well. It's not a bad song, but I would have liked some Muppets to kick off the album.

Track 2: "When I’m With You" by Ashanti & Kermit, Gonzo, Fozzie, Pepe
This catchy little number is the only song on the album to feature Gonzo, Fozzie, and Pepe, which is a little sad. The song is cute and full of classic Muppety fun.

Track 3: "The Witch Is in the House" by Miss Piggy & the Electric Mayhem
This song is probably my favorite new song from the "Oz" portion of the CD. It is full of the Piggy we all know and the cool and funky Electric Mayhem backing her up. Sadly the song does not feature Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem on vocal work, rather Piggy is backed up by Johnny Fiama and her henchmen.

Track 4: "Calling All Munchkins" by The Munchkin Tap-your-knuckle Choir
This is a short song (and not just because it’s sung by rats)—lasting about 15 seconds. The song is full of fun, but I wish it were longer. Given its context in the film, I’m surprised Disney even considered it worthy of the CD.

Track 5: "Good Life" by Ashanti
This is another Ashanti dominated track from “Oz”. It is a nice song and really embodies the Muppet spirit, but lacks one key Muppet quality– Muppets!

Track 6: "Nap Time" by The Electric Mayhem
This song is an instrumental so the Electric Mayhem remain silent. On the bright side, the track is a great jam and classic Electric Mayhem. I’m glad that even though it is 2005 the Mayhem have not changed their style or lost their groove.

Track 7: "The Muppet Show Theme" by the Muppets
The Muppet Show theme on this release is different from the one found on the most recent CD releases. This version features the original opening version with a joke by Fozzie Bear. It is definitely a staple for any “best of” collection and always fun to hear.

Track 8: "Mahna Mahna" by Mahna Mahna & the Two Snowths
We all know it, we all love it, and we all own a bunch of copies of it already. It’s a great song and a great skit, but it is probably one of the most released Muppet songs (along with The Muppet Show Theme, and Bein’ Green).

Track 9: " (It’s Not Easy) Bein’ Green" by Kermit
Another Muppet classic, and truly a “best of.” The 25th Anniversary CD by Rhino chopped off the opening chords of "Bein' Green" and it was a delight to hear the opening intact on this CD.

Track 10: "Rainbow Connection" by Kermit
The only song not from "Oz" or “The Muppet Show.” I love it, but I already own it. Still, it wouldn’t be a “Best of” CD without it.

Track 11: "Lady of Spain" by Marvin Suggs and his Muppaphone
This skit was funny on the Muppet Show, but on a record you lose the charm of the bit. I put up with it on the Muppet Show 25th Anniversary CD; but I don't think it should be classified in "The Best of The Muppets".

Track 12: "Halfway Down the Stairs" by Robin
I love this song, and I was upset that the original was not available before on CD. (Rowlf's version was released on CD in 1993). It is the only classic song on the CD that was not also on the Muppet Show 25th Anniversary CD. Jerry Nelson does a great job in this classic and touching Muppet hit. Did I mention that I love this song?

Track 13: "What Now My Love?" by Miss Piggy
For those familiar with this song you should know that the Kermit and Piggy intro to "What Now My Love" is cut a bit. Personally I was never a fan of this song, and think another unreleased song would have been a better choice.

Track 14: "Tenderly" by The Electric Mayhem
Yet another song that could have been replaced with another classic. It’s not a bad song, but I would never have put it on my top 10 list and I think many fans would agree. But since it is the Electric Mayhem I'll let it slide .

Track 15: "Happy Feet" by Kermit and the Frog Chorus
It was great on the show, it was great on the last CD, but I think it's becoming a little over rated.



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