Daily Record 1/4/11: Sesame Disco! (1979)

In 1970s, 1979, children's music, disco, record collecting, records, Rich's House of Vinyl on January 4, 2011 at 4:12 pm

Let me state right away: I have never hated disco music. Never thought it sucked, never wanted to destroy disco records. Like any type of music, there was good disco and there was bad disco.

And then there was Sesame Disco! This album, in which Sesame Street characters hustle and bump their way through a series of “pro-social” educational tunes, was released in 1979, which was the year many “disco-influenced” albums were released (I was going to say, “most notably, Some Girls,” but the Rolling Stones were totally on top of the disco craze, releasing that album in 1978).

The Stones aside,  1979 was actually the perfect time for a nondisco entity to release a disco-ized album: 1978 was pretty much swallowed up by the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack and, by 1980, a blatant attempt at disco bandwagon jumping would have just looked embarrassing on the record shelves.

But the masterminds at Sesame Street knew just what they were doing and had in fact, already released Sesame Street Fever, a disco album whose cover was a parody of the Saturday Night Fever cover.  I’m pretty sure I had Sesame Street Fever in my collection at one time, but it seems to be lost now. Note to my sister, Lisa: Have you seen Sesame Street Fever?

As far as 32-year-old musical relics that fall into both the “children’s” and “disco” genres go, I think Sesame Disco! holds up quite nicely. While “What Makes Music,” “The Happiest Street in the World,” and the dance version of “Sing” offer up the positive messages Sesame Street is known for, probably the most poignant moment on the album occurs during “Me Lost Me Cookie At The Disco,” when the hapless Cookie Monster moans plaintively, “Maybe somebody hustled cookie off to another disco!” I think at that moment, we can all feel the pain and sense of loss that often lurked just below disco’s glittery surface.

Here’s to hoping Cookie Monster found that cookie. If not at Danceteria, then maybe at 54.


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