VARIOUS ARTISTS Saturday Morning Cartoons’ Greatest Hits (1995)

coverSaturday Morning Cartoons’ Greatest Hits (1995)
Pure Pop For Pre-People

The All Music Guide simply hated it, but they just had the wrong attitude. Some of the purest pop music written is in the form of cartoon theme songs; meant by design to be short, sticky and easy to digest. Having a slew of alt bands covering those classic Saturday morning pop fests is a cool enough idea. I would have prefered less nineties alt (Helmet, Butthole Surfers, Toadies) and more genuine popsters (Matthew Sweet, Material Issue, Semisonic), but that’s to be expected, since this was released in 1995. It’s true, however, that turning 30 & 60 second themes into 3-1/2 minute pop songs means “filler” becomes a natural part of the process. The artists tend to use those moments to insert their own personalities and ticks. Still, like any various artist/concept, you’ll always want to lose some of the participants. But when the idea works (“The Tra La La Song,” “Josie And The Pussycats,” “Jonny Quest”), it works well. Matthew Sweet plays “Scooby Doo” completely straight-faced, and you can tell the Buttholes are having a blast with “Underdog.” Find it at Amazon (HERE), along with expensive vinyl (HERE) and VHS versions (HERE).

LIZ PHAIR & MATERIAL ISSUE The Tra La La Song (One Banana, Two Banana) (3:15)
SPONGE Go, Speed Racer, Go! (3:08)
MARY LOU LORD & SEMISONIC Sugar Sugar (3:53)
MATTHEW SWEET Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? (3:13)
JULIANA HATFIELD & TANYA DONELLY Josie And The Pussycats (2:53)
COLLECTIVE SOUL The Bugaloos (3:19)
BUTTHOLE SURFERS Underdog (3:56)
HELMET Gigantor (4:15)
RAMONES Spider-Man (2:07)
REVEREND HORTON HEAT Jonny Quest/Stop That Pigeon (3:10)
FRETE! Open Up Your Heart And Let the Sun Shine In (3:31)
VIOLENT FEMMES Eep Opp Ork Ah-Ah (Means I Love You) (3:22)
DIG Fat Albert Theme (3:47)
FACE TO FACE I’m Popeye The Sailor Man (3:06)
TRIPPING DAISY Friends/Sigmund And The Seamonsters (4:23)
TOADIES Goolie Get-Together (3:48)
SUBLIME Hong Kong Phooey (3:47)
THE MURMURS H.R. Pufnstuf (3:20)
WAX Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy (3:31)


  • Willard
    September 22, 2011 - 08:46 | Permalink

    Search HERE

  • Bile
    September 22, 2011 - 13:50 | Permalink

    I’ve had this collection for years, and it started out in very heavy rotation. Now it’s on my iPod and makes for a pleasant surprise every time shuffle pulls it out.

    Heavily recommended!

  • Dave
    September 22, 2011 - 16:11 | Permalink

    I managed a comic book shop for a few years in the late 90’s and this was kept in heavy rotation in the store for reasons you might guess :)

  • Art Ducko
    September 23, 2011 - 03:21 | Permalink

    Great stuff, Willard. Saturday mornings meant reruns of the classic George Reeves Superman series along with the then-new Beatles cartoons for me along with a heavy dose of Looney Tunes to round things out. It’s made me what I am today.

  • September 23, 2011 - 07:02 | Permalink

    Love this record. I bought the vinyl back when it came out, and judging by the price Amazon has it for, I’m hanging onto it!

  • Polk Salad Tranny
    September 24, 2011 - 04:32 | Permalink

    The Ramones “Spider-Man” is the gem in this 90’s alt-mess. Aerosmith’s cover from the 2002 Maguire/Dunst film soundtrack blew total chunks. The L.Phair, M. Sweet, Hatfield/Donelly, and Rev Horton Heat tracks are pure pop for sugar-coated cerebellums. Helmet’s “Gigantor” at (4:15) is completely lame. The Dickies did it perfectly in 1979.

  • Anonymous
    April 7, 2015 - 03:57 | Permalink

    Ramones and Mary Lou Lord are my faves on this. But “Spiderman” and “Sugar Sugar” are also just plain catchy tunes that will always sound good.

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