2/4/16

Vinyl Dynamite #56: The Wombles

The Best of the Wombles (1976)
If you grew up in the US, you may not remember The Wombles - their popularity was mainly limited to the UK (and Australia/New Zealand).  It started as a children's book in 1968, then became a stop-animation BBC TV series a few years later.  Basically, they're underground dwelling creatures who thrive to pick up litter.

Mike Batt is the man responsible for the music attributed to The Wombles.  He was a skilled musician, composer, arranger - classically trained with a decent resume under his belt - so why did he decide to write songs for a kiddie show?  He had just spent a ton of money on a rock-orchestra album that never even got a release - so the man needed some quick cash.

He took the job of writing for The Wombles, and suddenly found himself with several top hits and gold records.  Batt had shrewdly asked for partial rights to The Wombles characters, so also benefited from their merchandising success.

Anyway,  Batt went on to compose other hits, but it'll be The Wombles that he's best remembered for. Truthfully, as far as children's records are concerned, it's not too bad.  That being said, I had intended to record this entire album, but my Womble saturation limit had been reached by Side 2.  Apologies - but how many Womble tracks do you really need in your playlist anyway?

Enjoy.



Remember You're a Womble


Wombling White Tie and Tails


The Wombling Song


Invitation to the Ping Pong Ball


The Orinoco Kid


Wombling in the Rain


Miss Adelaide


Hall of the Mountain Womble


The Womble Shuffle


Minuetto Allegretto




3 comments:

  1. I am an American. And I definitely remember the Wombles.
    What a find!

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  2. I liked Batt's arrangements on Family's first lp, and Steeleye Span's "All Around My Hat"

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  3. Oh you haven't heard the half of it. You need to blow your mind with Batt's crazy parody of Rick Wakeman's literary-concept-album phase. Remember? When songsuites about Galahad and Jules Verne paved the way for a rock opera about banjo-playing Martian invaders? This should officially be the UK's new anthem from now until 2525:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMTPIvPF5OQ

    ReplyDelete