Review of Saturday Morning Cartoons’ Greatest Hits

Looking for animation soundtracks can be a daunting task. The studios don’t release soundtracks for their television animation, and trying to find stuff from years ago can be almost impossible. Thank God for the existence of inspired compilations. These compilations give us cartoon music fans the outlet we need. One such outlet is “Saturday Morning: Cartoons Greatest Hits”.

Released by MCA Records in 1995, “Saturday Morning: Cartoons Greatest Hits” offers nineteen (19) tracks for classic theme and insert songs from the Twentieth Century, performed by some of the Twentieth Century’s best performing artists.

Listening to the CD while writing this review, it is quite clear why I am an animation music fan. The CD starts off strong and does not stop once it gets going. There are no sound bite tracks to get in the way of the music. The artists sound like they were enjoying performing their songs, which adds to the fun. The artists seem to be natural fits for their individual tracks as well. I feel like I could pop the CD in and drive around the country several time just listening to and singling along with the music and it would never get old. 4anime

Speaking of singing, the booklet includes the lyrics to all tracks. Each track is listed with a description of the original cartoons they come from, as well as a quote from the artists that performed them. The booklet ends with a commentary essay from the compilation’s producer, Ralph Shall. Writing a review of a soundtrack compilation of inspired works shouldn’t just be about the disc itself. Each individual track deserves to be mentioned on its own.

The first track on the disc is “The Tra La La Song (One Banana, Two Banana)” from “The Banana Splits Adventure Hour.” Performed by Liz Phair and Material Issue, “One Banana, Two Banana” is a fantastic start to the show. I have never seen or heard of this puppet series, but Phair and the Issue’s rendition of this song make me want to find out what I have been missing.

Sponge’s rendition of the English “Speed Racer” theme, “Go Speed Racer Go,” captures the spirit of the show. It’s fast and relentless. According to Vinnie from Sponge, “as Speed Racer gave to me,we gave back in the form of a musical monument, ” and it shows. The third song is “Sugar Sugar” by Mary Lou Lord with Semisonic.This track from “The Archie Show” was a hit single on the music charts back in 1969, and with Lord and Semisonic’s rendition, I can see why.

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