Children’s records. With just under 44,000 releases in the database it’s not a massive genre, but it’s pretty interesting nonetheless. Especially when you look at the artists who have been releasing music for kids. Because if you thought this were 44,000 versions of fairy tales and Disney and Muppet recordings, think again. Actually, most of these will probably be more appreciated by adults than by kids as some of them are quite psychedelic and some even outright scary! But who knows, with Jack White‘s recent initiative, releasing “This Record Belongs To” with matching turntable, maybe more child friendly new releases will follow!
Oh wow. If this is what babies listened to in 1962 (as recommended by the Gesell Institute of Child Development Inc), I guess that explains the popularity of synth pop 18 years later!
This is the beautiful soundtrack for the multiple award winning Japanese animation My Neighbor Totoro, often named as one of the best movies ever made for children.
Michael Jackson won a Grammy for “Favorite Children’s Recording” for this storybook, and it’s no surprise he did. Wonderful narration!
7) David Bowie Narrates Prokofiev / Eugene Ormandy, The Philadelphia Orchestra – Britten – “Peter And The Wolf / Young Person’s Guide To The Orchestra”
David Bowie explains how this classical piece of music is built up and then narrates the story. Even when talking his voice is a delight to listen to.
5) Phil Harris, Sebastian Cabot, Louis Prima, George Sanders, Sterling Holloway – “The Jungle Book”
The only Disney release in our top 10, “The Jungle Book” from 1967 deserves its place. It was also the last movie that Walt Disney himself worked on, as he passed away during production. Released on the Disneyland label, this record contains classics like “Bare Necessities” and “I Wanna Be Like You”.
When I was talking about ‘downright scary’ in the intro, this was the release I had in mind. Music for kids? Although the lyrics are quite funny, (for example in “Spider”: “Spiders are insect cousins, and there are spiders by the hundreds of dozens. They lay many eggs, raise many kids, and their scientific name is Arachnids”), I wouldn’t recommend using this as bedtime listening.
This release includes an EP with a fairy tale on it: “Mount Vernon And Fairway” about a magical transistor radio. The story was written by Brian Wilson and narrated by The Beach Boys’ manager Jack Rieley (although the voice of the Pied Piper is Brian Wilson’s).
The soundtrack for the 1971 movie after Roald Dahl’s bestselling children’s book. Who doesn’t remember Gene Wilder in his purple coat, touring his chocolate paradise with a bunch of spoiled kids and their parents in tow?
The number one spot is taken by this release by pop composers Jean Kluger (Belgium) and Daniel Vangarde (France). The songs are sung by a Japanese school choir; Kluger and Vangarde learnt to speak Japanese especially for this recording. The album even comes with its own dance instructions. Oh and did you know Daniel Vangarde is an alias of Daniel Bangalter, who is the father of Daft Punk‘s Thomas Bangalter?