The record "Muppets: The Green Album," a collection of popular "Muppets" songs sung by bands and artists such as Weezer and Evanescence singer Amy Lee, hit stores on Tuesday, August 23.
The album's release comes months before the new "Muppets" film, which stars Jason Segel, hits theaters. Both are products of the Walt Disney Company. "Muppets: The Green Album" is also available as a digital download on iTunes.
The Muppets are a group of puppets the late Jim Henson created in the mid-1950s, which include Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy and the rowdy "Animal". They starred in several of their own television shows throughout the years and the franchise has also spurred several films.
"Muppets: The Green Album," dubbed as a "hipster" record by some media outlets and fans, contains songs such as the Oscar-nominated single "The Rainbow Connection," which is performed by rock group Weezer and Hayley Williams from Paramore. The track was first heard in "The Muppet Movie" in 1979 and was "sung" by Kermit the Frog. Henson voiced the character until his death in 1990.
The theme song for "The Muppet Show," which ran between 1976 and 1981, is also featured on "Muppets: The Green Album" and is covered by alternative rock band OK Go, which puts an electonica twist on the track's original variety show sound. Its music video features familiar Muppet faces, including Kermit, Swedish Chef and dry-humored hecklers Statler and Waldorf (see below).
Lee, lead singer of the melodic rock band Evanescence, sings the song "Halfway Down The Stairs," which Kermit's nephew Robin performed on "The Muppet Show.
The Muppets record also contains the song "Mahna Mahna," performed by the group The Fray. The track was featured in Svezia, inferno e paradiso," a 1968 film about sexuality and substance abuse in Sweden. It was covered by Muppet characters on various shows in the late 1960s and the alternative rock band Cake also recorded a version of the song several years ago.
The new film "The Muppets" is set for release on November 23. A day earlier, its original motion picture soundtrack is set to be released by Walt Disney Records.
Segel, who also co-wrote the movie's script, told OnTheRedCarpet.com that it was his R-rated comedy "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" that inspired him to revive the "Muppets" franchise for his upcoming film.
"I have a very child-like side that has never gone away," Segel told OnTheRedCarpet.com at Disney's D23 Expo on August 20. "If you look back at 'Sarah Marshall,' which granted, is an R-rated movie, it ended with that lavish puppet musical, which was in some ways the genesis for this movie for me. So, I've always had that in me. I'm an R-rated dude, but I trick them into putting a puppet musical into it - I know what I'm doing."
The movie "The Muppets" also stars Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, Mickey Rooney, British funnyman Ricky Gervais, Charles Grodin and television chef Rachael Ray. Alan Arkin, Mila Kunis, Jack Black, Katy Perry, Whoopi Goldberg, Billy Crystal, Wanda Sykes and Neil Patrick Harris, who stars with Segel on the CBS comedy series "How I Met Your Mother."
Check out a track listing for "Muppets: The Green Album," a music video for OK Go's cover of the "Muppet Show" theme song and a trailer for "The Muppets" below.
"Muppets: The Green Album" - track listing:
1. "'Muppet Show' Theme Song" - OK Go
2. 'Rainbow Connection" - Weezer and Hayley Williams
3. "Mahna Mahna" - The Fray
4. "Movin' Right Along" - Alkaline Trio
5. "Our World" - My Morning Jacket
6. "Halfway Down the Stairs" - Amy Lee
7. "Mr. Bassman" - Sondre Lerche
8. "Wishing Song" - The Airborne Toxic Event
9. "Night Life" - Brandon Saller and Billy Martin
10. "Bein' Green" - Andrew Bird
11. "I Hope That Something Better Comes Along" - Matt Nathanson
12. "I'm Going to Go Back There Someday" - Rachael Yamagata