The Wiggles (album)
|Studio album by The Wiggles|
|Released||July 11, 1991|
|Recorded||February 1991 at Tracking Station Recording Studios, Sydney, Australia|
|The Wiggles chronology|
The Wiggles is the debut album by the group of the same name. As a student music project at Macquarie University, the band assembled a group of songs reworked from The Cockroaches as well as arrangements of children's music. It was the only album that involved Phillip Wilcher as one of the group's members. The album sold 100,000 copies, and received Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA) and Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) awards.
Background and development
In 1991, while working with the early childhood music department at Macquarie University, Phillip Wilcher met musician and former member of the Australian rock group The Cockroaches, Anthony Field, who was studying child development. According to Wilcher, Field asked him to join The Wiggles, which would become "Australia's foremost children's entertainment act", and to help them produce the album. The album was dedicated to the memory of Paul Field's infant daughter, Bernadette, who had died of SIDS in 1988.
Wilcher financed and "contributed the most musically to the debut album", composing 75% of the music. Like a university assignment, they produced a folder of essays that explained the educational value of each song on the album. They needed a keyboardist "to bolster the rock-n-roll feel of the project", so Field asked his old band mate Fatt, for his assistance in what they thought would be a temporary project.[note 1] Recording sessions were held at Wilcher's home, and the album cost approximately A$4,000 to produce.
The group reworked a few Cockroaches tunes to better fit the genre of children's music; for example, according to Field, a Cockroaches song he wrote, "Mr. Wiggles Back in Town" became "Get Ready to Wiggle" and inspired the band's name because they thought that wiggling described the way children dance. The Cockroaches song "Hot Tamale", written by John Field, was changed to "Hot Potato". There was also a piece by Phillip Wilcher, "Summer Dance", that appeared on the album, as "Archie's Theme".
Promotion and release
At first, The Wiggles filmed two music videos with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) to promote their first album; they also decided to create a self-produced, forty-minute long video version of their album. Finances were limited, so there was no post-production editing of the video project. They used Field's nieces and nephews as additional cast, and hired the band's girlfriends to perform in character costumes. Cook's wife made their first costumes. They used two cameras and visually checked the performance of each song; that way, according to Paul Field, it took them less time to complete a forty-minute video than it took other production companies to complete a three-minute music video. Jeremy Fabinyi, The Cockroaches' former manager, became The Wiggles' first manager. Using connections gained during The Cockroaches years, he negotiated with the ABC to air their TV show and to help them promote their first recording.
Field gave copies of their album to his young students to test out the effect of the group's music on children; one child's mother returned it the next day because her child would not stop listening to it. The album sold 100,000 copies in 1991. Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA) awarded the band members, including Wilcher, with gold and platinum certificates for the album.
In 1992, Wilcher left The Wiggles and submitted a letter of resignation because he wanted to continue composing classical music. According to fellow member, Greg Page, "Archie had considerable input into the arrangement of some songs on that first CD ... he is quite a musical genius ... his creative flair suited those kinds of pieces ... However ... the musical direction of The Wiggles was changing".
|1.||"Get Ready to Wiggle"||J. Field/M. Cook/J. Fatt/G. Page||1:57|
|2.||"Rock-a-Bye Your Bear"||G. Page/A. Field||1:46|
|3.||"Dorothy the Dinosaur"||M. Cook/J. Field||2:23|
|4.||"Mischief the Monkey"||P. Wilcher||0:44|
|5.||"Lavender's Blue"||TradArr. The Wiggles||1:32|
|6.||"Glub Glub Train" (Spoken)||A. Field||0:19|
|7.||"Archie's Theme"||P. Wilcher||0:20|
|8.||"Montezuma"||TradArr. The Wiggles||0:32|
|9.||"Archie's Theme" (Reprise)||P. Wilcher||0:20|
|10.||"Ducky Ducky" (spoken)||G. Page/A. Field||0:15|
|11.||"A Froggy He Would A-Wooing Go"||TradArr. The Wiggles||3:36|
|12.||"Maranoa Lullaby"||TradArr. The Wiggles||2:04|
|13.||"Stars" (spoken)||A. Field/P. Wilcher||0:09|
|14.||"Star Lullaby"||TradArr. The Wiggles||1:46|
|15.||"Okki Tokki Unga"||TradArr. The Wiggles||1:55|
|16.||"O Epoe Tooki Tooki"||TradArr. The Wiggles||1:37|
|17.||"Vini Vini"||TradArr. The Wiggles||0:58|
|18.||"Spot the Dalmatian"||A. Field/J. Field||2:24|
|19.||"Johnny Works With One Hammer"||TradArr. The Wiggles||0:49|
|20.||"The Man on the Moon" (Spoken)||P. Wilcher||0:21|
|21.||"This Old Man"||TradArr. The Wiggles||2:32|
|22.||"Suo Gan"||TradArr. The Wiggles||1:43|
|24.||"Joseph John's Lullaby"||Brahms/P. Wilcher / Arr. P. Wilcher||1:21|
|25.||"Desert Dreaming" (Spoken)||A. Field/P. Wilcher||1:52|
|26.||"Get Ready to Wiggle" (Reprise)||J. Field/M. Cook/J. Fatt/G. Page||1:57|
Credits from The Wiggles album booklet.
- The Wiggles are...
- Phillip Wilcher - Piano, vocals
- Murray Cook - Guitar, bass guitar, vocals, water bubble sounds
- Gregory Page - Lead vocals, guitar, hand claps
- Jeff Fatt - Accordion, Emax, sequencing, Mischief's voice
- Anthony Field - Tin whistle, didgeridoo, vocals, chief Kabasa player
- Anthony Field - producer
- Steve Pomfrett - engineer
- "The Wiggles album booklet". 1991. Retrieved 2014-09-11.
- Dow, Steve (2003-02-24). "A life less wiggly". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
- March, Nick (22 April 2011). "Becoming the top preschool band was no child's play for Wiggles". The National. Abu Dhabi. Retrieved 2012-11-09.
- Stapleton, John (7 June 2008). "Death of little girl gave birth to the Wiggles". The Australian. Retrieved 24 June 2008.
- "Band of brothers: also-rans". The Age. 13 June 2004. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
- Field, Paul (8 November 2006). "It's a Wiggly Wiggly World" (PDF). Currency House. Retrieved 2009-03-18.
- (Field 2012, p. 28)
- "Enough Rope with Andrew Denton, Episode 15, The Wiggles". ABC TV Online. 23 June 2003. Retrieved 2007-01-23.
- Sams, Christine. (2005-08-01). "The Fifth Wiggle speaks out". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2007-01-22.
- Eng, Dinah (23 January 2010). "How The Wiggles became an empire". CNNMoney.com. Retrieved 2012-05-20.
- Scott McNulty (25 August 2009). The Wiggles: An interview (YouTube clip). Retrieved 2012-05-20.
- (Field 2012, p. 29)
- "'Summer Dance' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 18 May 2013.
- Wilcher, Phillip. "Biography". Phillip Wilcher Official Website. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
- "'Archie's Theme' at APRA search engine". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 18 May 2013.
- (Field 2012, p. 32)
- Tabakoff, Jenny (1 October 2002). "Wake up, Aunty!". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2012-05-20.
- Page, Greg; Cadigan, Neil (2011). Now and Then: Greg Page. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-73049-729-5. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
- According to Field, the four original members of The Wiggles, with Page's "mellifluous voice" and "perfect children's music instrument", Cook's knowledge of child development, Fatt's "incredible musicianship and gentle persona" that appealed to children, and Field's energy, balanced each other (Field, p. 44).