Back in the late 70’s, years before The Disney Company had their hands on The Muppets, Jim Henson and friends produced a pretty endearing and unforgettable film with an equally endearing soundtrack. Here are some facts about the original Muppet Movie soundtrack: The Muppet Movie: Original Soundtrack Recording reached #32 on Billboard's Top LP's and Tapes chart in 1979, and was certified Gold by the RIAA. The album won a Grammy Award in 1979 for Best Recording for Children. It was also nominated for Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television Special, but lost to Superman. The film's score was nominated for an Academy Award in 1980 in the Best Music, Original Song Score category, but it lost to All That Jazz. "The Rainbow Connection" was also nominated in the Best Music, Original Song category. It lost to "It Goes Like It Goes" from the film Norma Rae. "Rainbow Connection" was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Song in 1979.
A quick note to listeners: good luck finding The Muppet Movie: Original Soundtrack Recording on iTunes or even on Amazon. As of now, the soundtrack isn’t available in any form from any retailer.
The Music of The Muppet Movie Soundtrack
The Muppet Movie soundtrack gently begins with one of the best pop songs ever written, Kermit the Frog’s introspective and unforgettable “Rainbow Connection.” The tune continues the line of thought begun with Judy Garland’s “Over the Rainbow,” exploring the concepts of following one’s dreams, believing that something better is out there, exploring the unknown. Paul Williams recently performed the song on the “Super Music Friends Show” segment of the kids’ show Yo Gabba Gabba! Next comes the “on the road” song “Movin’ Right Along,” sung by travelin’ buddies Kermit and Fozzie Bear. Miss Piggy then performs an overly dramatic ballad called “Never Before, Never Again” that perfectly fits her personality.
After an instrumental version of “Never Before, Never Again,” Kermit and Rowlf the Dog team up to perform the jaunty piano duet “I Hope that Somethin’ Better Comes Along,” one of those tunes that laments you can’t live with or without women, or, in this case, pigs. Then Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem burst out of the speakers with “Can You Picture That?” a funky, rockin’ number full of non sequiturs that encourages the listener to explore their endless potential. An instrumental version of “I Hope that Somethin’ Better Comes Along” comes next, followed by the sentimental “I’m Going to Go Back There Someday,” sung by the tiny bird-like character Gonzo. Fozzie Bear then performs “America,” his unique rendition of the patriotic tune “America the Beautiful.” The album closes with another instrumental, “Animal... Come Back Animal,” and the epic “Finale: The Magic Store” performed by all the Muppet characters in the movie.
Even though this is one of the best soundtracks for kids ever, the Walt Disney Company, as they are wont, has decided to keep the music from The Muppet Movie in their beloved vaults, leaving music lovers to find pirated versions online or search for vinyl copies at flea markets and trade days. Any way you can get hold of this soundtrack, do it and enjoy the tunes within.
Released 1979; Atlantic Records
- “Rainbow Connection” - Kermit
- “Movin' Right Along” - Kermit and Fozzie
- “Never Before, Never Again” - Miss Piggy
- “Never Before, Never Again” (Instrumental)
- “I Hope That Somethin' Better Comes Along” - Kermit and Rowlf
- “Can You Picture That?” - Dr. Teeth & The Electric Mayhem
- “I Hope That Somethin' Better Comes Along” (Instrumental)
- “I'm Going to Go Back There Someday” - Gonzo
- “America” - Fozzie
- “Animal... Come Back Animal” (Instrumental)
- “Finale: The Magic Store” - The Muppets