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Various Artists – Rewiggled – A Tribute to The Wiggles

Catherine May

Triangle

I always thought The Wiggles were a seminal part of all 90s children’s upbringings. When I discovered that a collection of 2011’s biggest names in the Australian music industry were joining forces to pay tribute to twenty years of Jeff, Murray, Anthony and Greg (and Sam – although he was after my time) I was very excited, to say the least. Only when I mentioned this to my peers did I realise that nobody else had even heard of them. Ever.

Whether you’ve heard of the band or not, Rewiggled – A Tribute to The Wiggles is a quality album. First things first, there is not one vocal from The Wiggles themselves. Secondly, the cringe value of men your Dad’s age dancing with failed actors dressed as human-sized colourful dogs, dinosaurs and octopuses is erased as credible artists offer their own take on the likes of Wake Up Jeff!

It’s Bluejuice who get the honour of the aforementioned track. With a whole video (yes, this was long before the days of DVDs) devoted to the incredible plot of Jeff’s comedic form of narcolepsy, the song’s main line ‘Wake up Jeff everybody’s waiting!’ is accompanied by Latin American guitar playing and makes you want to samba along to this edgy cover.

Architecture In Helsinki add their own electronic twist to Wiggly Party and Angie  Hart’s Our Boat Is Rocking On The Sea has distanced itself so far away from The Wiggles’ sound that it is scarily haunting. 2011’s golden girl Adalita makes Get Ready  To Wiggle catchy, without being cheesy-pop catchy whilst fellow female ARIA nominee Washington makes The Monkey Dance sound like a popular club dance as opposed to a childish routine.

The Living End’s Hot Potato is one of the few tracks that stands out as sticking very closely to the original in the chorus, but the creative instrumental interludes allow them to express themselves as a group who are quite a bit different to the colourful foursome.

Oh Mercy, Sarah Blasko and Jebediah are also among the twenty artist lending their talents to the album all injecting their own flavours to the mix.

Is this a serious collection of tracks honouring the band? Possibly not, if you’re comparing it to the recent Kev Carmody or Finn brothers’ tributes. But it is an album that pays tribute to the kids’ band in a fun way. There’s no irony or subtle digs at the band, because ultimately they are Australian legends with twenty years of wildly successful albums, tours and TV shows behind them. And this album is definitely legendary in my book.