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    « This Oran Etkin / Putumayo Kids Thing Might Just Work Out | Main | The Top Kids Music Albums of All Time Poll: Results Introduction »

    The Top Kids Music Albums of All Time Poll: #s 25-11

    TopKidsAlbumsLogo.jpgHere's a list of album numbers 11 through 25 of the Top Kids Music Albums of All Time Poll. For a few more comments on the methodology, go here, but you may as well just dig in... because it's gonna take a little while.

    FamilyDance.jpg25. Family Dance - Dan Zanes
    Points: 136
    Ballots: 6
    Release date: 2001
    Zanes' second foray into music for families. Unlike its predecessor Rocket Ship Beach, this album to me feels like his first real "age-desegregated" album, with less of the more kid-focused stuff on the first disk.

    Easy.jpg24. Easy - Secret Agent 23 Skidoo
    Points: 137
    Ballots: 6
    Release date: 2008 (released in 2009)
    I'm not the only person to have said it -- it's the first great kids hip-hop album, but saying so makes it sound like its appeal would be limited. It's not.

    RocketShipBeach.jpg23. Rocket Ship Beach - Dan Zanes
    Points: 140
    Ballots: 6
    Release date: 2000
    Sure, Laurie Berkner and Justin Roberts released albums before this one came out, but if there was an album that first made people in the world at large aware of a resurgent genre, it was this one.

    OnAFlyingGuitar.jpg22. On a Flying Guitar - SteveSongs
    Points: 144
    Ballots: 6
    Release date: 2000
    The second SteveSongs disk, and the first after Steve Roslonek left his job as a business consultant to perform music for kids full-time. It's worked out well for him, I think.

    SingableSongsYoung.jpg21. Singable Songs for the Very Young - Raffi
    Points: 146
    Ballots: 6
    Release date: 1976
    It's been said (though by whom has been lost to the mists of time and the internet) that this album, Raffi's first, basically created the kids' music genre from a sales perspective. Seeing as the album has gone platinum, that's not entirely surprising.
    SinginWithSusan.jpg20. Singin' with Susan - Susan Shane-Linder
    Points: 155
    Ballots: 6
    Release date: 1995
    This is the first of three kids album from the Florida-based Shane-Linder.

    SillyReflection.jpg17. (tie) Silly Reflection - Lunch Money
    Points: 160
    Ballots: 7
    Release date: 2004
    Some of these albums are well-loved because they're popular. Others are well-loved because they get passed around as a secret. This is an example of the latter.

    SongsToGrowOn.jpg17. (tie) Songs to Grow On For Mother and Child - Woody Guthrie
    Points: 160
    Ballots: 7
    Release date: 1956 (recorded in 1947, re-released by Smithsonian Folkways in 1991)
    Is this the first great children's music album? I think it is...

    YouAreMySunshine.jpg17. (tie) You Are My Sunshine - Elizabeth Mitchell
    Points: 160
    Ballots: 7
    Release date: 2002
    I find it appropriate that Woody Guthrie and Elizabeth Mitchell are tied in this poll because there isn't a single contemporary kids musician who is as indebted to Guthrie as Mitchell, who covers Guthrie's "Car Car" on this, her second album for families.

    LittleMermaidSoundtrack.jpg16. Little Mermaid Soundtrack - Various Artists
    Points: 170
    Ballots: 8
    Release date: 1988
    There were several movie soundtracks and Broadway cast albums listed in people's ballots -- appropriately enough, this is from the movie that signaled Disney's resurgence in animated movies for kids. (And, yeah, the songs from Alan Menken and Howard Ashman are pretty good, too. Probably better than the movie itself.)

    AnnieBroadwayCast.jpg15. Annie Broadway Cast - Various Artists
    Points: 176
    Ballots: 8
    Release date: 1977
    Is Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin's "I Won't Grow Up" the proto-theme song for the kids music genre?

    FascinatingCreatures.jpg14. Fascinating Creatures - Frances England
    Points: 178
    Ballots: 8
    Release date: 2006
    Is there any album on this list whose origins were less likely to have suggested broad popularity than this debut from Frances England? The album was recorded as a preschool fundraiser, and turned into a launching point for a career.

    FamilyTree.jpg13. Family Tree - Frances England
    Points: 179
    Ballots: 8
    Release date: 2008
    Given the close placement of this album to its predecessor, you might think that there was a lot of block voting going on, that people voted for both albums together (and relatively closely in placement). While that was true in some cases, for the most part people had definite favorites, voting for one or the other. Which bodes well for England's future success, too.

    No.jpg12. No! - TMBG
    Points: 195
    Ballots: 8
    Release date: 2002
    If Dan Zanes' Rocket Ship Beach was the first shot across the bow letting people know the kids music genre was resurgent, They Might Be Giants' No! was the first landing. In addition to being a great album, it was the first album that suggested to artists in the 21st century that they could make music for families and, if they chose, continue to make music for the adults as well. As the decade rolled, what seemed like a nice option increasingly looked like a survival option.

    HouseParty.jpg11. House Party - Dan Zanes
    Points: 197
    Ballots: 9
    Release date: 2003
    By 2003, Zanes was really getting going -- House Party was his fourth album for families (fifth if you include Sea Music, and his guest artist list at this point would be the envy of any variety show (Debbie Harry, Angelique Kidjo, Philip Glass make appearances here). While the Grammy-winning Catch That Train! might have been the apotheosis of his "age-desegregated" music, this one comes pretty close.

    Reader Comments (1)

    I only own a couple of these, so I can feel a bit of splurge coming on... uh oh! I shall have to remember to point grandparents to this list come birthdays and Christmas :-) Thanks so much for all your work on this.

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