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Awesome Music / Sesame Street

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In all likelihood, any song you remember from this show, for better or worse, can be linked to either Joe Raposo or Tony Geiss. Oh, the tantrums that have been stopped... Jeff Moss, Sam Pottle, and Christopher Cerf also deserve credit.
  • "Pinball Number Count". Fun Fact: Yes, that is The Pointer Sisters singing it. "1-2-3 4-5 6-7-8 9-10 11-12!"
  • "The Word is 'No'", featuring a note-perfect 80's music video parody from noted real-life video producer Jim Blashfield.
  • Happy to Be Me. Sure, it dates itself, but that bass line is sick.
  • "Keep Christmas with You", both the original and the remix. It has the emotional message about how you can still feel happy and friendly like it's Christmas, even when it's not.
  • Philip Glass' "Geometry of Circles" music. All four clips are pure minimalist goodness, and while they are all based around the same framework, they each play out quite differently to keep things interesting.
  • Sesame Street Creature Feature: The Marmoset. Besides the truly groovy spoken-word performance by Joe Raposo, contains the wonderful (and slightly subversive) lines "Are there things to share, when you're a marmoset? / And do you really care, when you're a marmoset..."
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  • Another so-oddball-it's-awesome Creature Feature: Props to Christopher Cerf for creating the best (and possibly only) song about how awesome manatees are.
  • Another Sesame Street Creature Feature segment: The Tiger. Composed by Joe Raposo and sung by Northern Calloway (who played David on the show). Includes a spoken ending line: "You are such a magnificent animal, and I am really a nice person. And you wouldn't do anything funny, would you? Oh boy!"
  • The relentlessly upbeat Creature Feature intro deserves a mention of its own. "Birds in the sky! Beasts on the land! Fish in the sea and bugs in your hand!"
  • Although a lot of people get on Cookie Monster's case for eating fruits and vegetables in addition to cookies, they don't seem to remember that Cookie has promoted healthy eating as far back as 1987. Back then, however, he rapped about it. Awesomely.
  • The Alone Song, simply because sometimes people do want to be alone, and there's nothing wrong with it.
  • Yakety Yak, Take It Back features celebrities (like Stevie Wonder, B.B. King, and many others...), as well as Bugs Bunny in the music video.
  • In 2015, the show's 1995 Greatest Hits Album Platinum All-Time Favorites was inducted in the National Recording Registry, quite possibly the highest honor any recording can receive, for being "historically, culturally and aesthetically important." You don't get more awesome than that!
  • Awesome or not, pretty sure there hasn't been any Sesame Street song quite as bizarre (or funny) as "Do De Rubber Duck".
  • Bet you never thought Kermit could have a better anthem than "Bein' Green," right? Sam Pottle begs to differ.
  • Outdoors treats the episode's guest star with respect. It's a parody of the song "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz. Guess who they got to sing it.
  • "I'm an Aardvark" sounds simultaneously inspirational and wacky.
  • "What's the Name of That Song?" It's a catchy number, which, amusingly, never manages to answer the question posed by its title.
  • Never before has a set of hardware tools made you want to get up and dance so badly.
  • Worm Soliloquy is one huge parody of the song "Soliloquy" from Carousel, with a sample of "You'll Never Walk Alone" thrown in. John Raitt, who originated the role of Billy Bigelow in the Broadway version of Carousel, the character who sings "Soliloquy", even sings this version. Now that's a dedicated Shout-Out!
  • The stop motion animated inserts of the 1970s and early 1980s featured some truly awesome synthesiser music. Among others:
    • Never has a kerosene oil lamp been so awesome, the pieces filing out of the box to a drumbeat before the synth kicks in to add just the right sense of ceremony to the lamp's assembly. It takes a haunting yet delightful turn once the lamp has assembled, the wick is lit, and the studio lights are dimmed so that we can only see by the light from the lamp.
    • Al Jarnow's 1980 short film "Architecture", which re-creates various architectural styles from antiquity to the present day using coloured building blocks, is accompanied by a terrific score by Tom Perri, who mentioned in YouTube comments that he and his team had to wire the ARP 2600 synth with which they were working in ways that had never been done before to bring the sounds in Perri's head to life. And it complements the animation beautifully. The music for the transition from the stone circle to the Greco-Roman temple in particular sounds like the triumphant homecoming of a conquering hero or heroine.
  • Watermelons and Cheese, the hilarious, wacky song about how you shouldn't say 'watermelons and cheese' when you answer the phone.
  • Imagination has a stunning, soaringly beautiful melody that would not be out of place in a Romantic-era song by Fauré or Brahms. Raposo at his best.
  • Somebody Come and Play, another Raposo gem, manages to sound optimistic and wistful at the same time, just like a kid who doesn't have anyone to play with him but hopes someone will turn up soon.
  • The hilarious Dance Yourself to Sleep, a major earworm as Ernie explains how to do a tap-dance routine with the Boogie Woogie Sheep to put yourself to sleep at night, over Bert's harrowed protestations as the sheep carry his bed out of the room.
  • The Story of Bert's Blanket, another major earworm as the Sheep come to Ernie and Bert's bedroom and sing to Bert about how his blanket is made. At the end of the song, Bert offers to let the sheep sleep on Ernie's bed, since Ernie is at Count Von Count's.
  • "It's All Right to Cry" has a message you don't often see on TV, but which is true: crying is acceptable, everyone cries, even grown-ups, and it's not just a baby thing.
    Narrator: Crying's not just for babies. Grown-ups can do it too. Big kids cry when there's a reason why. If they can do it, so can you.
  • Cereal Girl, another classic parody, this one of "Material Girl" by Madonna.
  • "Quiet or Loud". The animations are funny, it lets kids know they can be loud sometimes whereas similar things focus only on being quiet, and the background music would sound good on its own.
  • "We Are a Family (We Love Each Other)" has kids singing about a family as they love each other. Some kids live with their parents, grandparents, or even aunts and uncles.
    Kids: Some families have one kid, the others have two or three.
  • Both the songs by How Now Brown and the Moo Wave: "Wet Paint" and "Danger's No Stranger", even though they're both very obvious products of The '80s.
  • "City-Country Song" (AKA "Life in the Country and the City"), first shown in 1974, sees a cowgirl (voiced by Marilyn Sokol) sing the virtues of country life, while a city slicker (voiced by Jim Henson) sings the virtues of city life. What really makes the song clever is the genre shifts; the cowgirl's verse is done in a country style (with yodelling for the penultimate line), the city slicker's verse is done in a smooth jazz style (with scat singing for the penultimate line), and then they alternate for the final verse as they sing that they'd certainly like to visit each other's home turf, but would rather live where they already are, ending with a dance across the split-screen effect as they sing their final lines in counterpoint (complete with a cow crossing from the country to the city and back again, and the odd car driving from the city to the country).
  • "Listen to the Wind Blow," as performed by Buffy Sainte-Marie. Her vocals are top-notch, as always, and the gentle, lilting arrangement of the song at times feels reminiscent of traditional Indigenous music (particularly with the background chants).
  • "Hip to be a Square", based on "Hip to be Square" from Huey Lewis and the News and every bit as catchy.
  • One reason to feel bad for Mr. Chatterly and all the nonsense he has to put up with in the "Alphabet Chat" segments is that he has a really classy theme song: the alphabet, sung as a round to a Johann Sebastian Bach melody by Richard Hunt and Jerry Nelson in their best madrigal voices.
    W, X, Y, Z, a-and A-ay B-ee Ceeeeeee
  • Even the short music cues on this show are insanely good. The "News Flash" music, with a staccato electric organ and Dramatic Timpani, is only about five seconds long and still gets stuck in your head permanently.
  • Seldom has the alphabet sounded cooler than in the Vince Collins-produced "Jazzy Alphabet" cartoon from 1974, which matches a series of very clever transitions from each letter to the next with a marvellously energetic jazz score by Donald Byrd and the Blackbyrds. The featured instrument shifts every four letters, with Keith Killgo on drums taking centre stage for A-D, I-L, and Q-T, while Allan Barnes on saxophone gets to strut his stuff for M-P, and Byrd himself on trumpet takes the lead for E-H and U-Z, all anchored by a groovy bass from Joe Hall and keyboards from Kevin Toney.
  • "Animal Elevator" is a catchy song about animals riding in a department store elevator.


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