The Wiggles grow up with their audience on ‘ReWiggled’

Double album features the OG Wiggles together with newly-expanded current lineup

For 30 years The Wiggles have been the premier children’s entertainment group, known for their classic tunes like Fruit Salad, Hot Potato, and Big Red Car.

In a move, sure to thrill millennials yearning to relive their childhood, The Wiggles have just released a new album, called ReWiggled. In response to overwhelming audience demand, following the viral explosion of The Wiggles’ cover of Tame Impala’s ‘Elephant,’ the band decided to record a full-length collection of classic covers from artists like Rhianna, Rolling Stones, AC/DC and Queen.

ReWiggled features the current Wiggles lineup joining forces with the “OG Wiggles”  — Murray Cook, Jeff Fatt and Greg Page.

ReWiggled is a double album, comprising two distinct halves, which celebrate both the enduring nature of The Wiggles’ songbook, and also, The Wiggles’ own lifetime love of music.

Side one of the album sees some of Australia’s top musicians paying tribute to The Wiggles, honoring the profound and unique influence the band has had over generations of young music fans. Side Two features “wigglified” versions of classic hits originally performed by some of the biggest names in music.

There is incredible creativity on the first disc of ReWiggled. Each Australian band performs a Wiggles classic in their own musical style. DZ Deathrays (who had red OG Wiggle Murray Cook in a music video of their own some years ago) offers a thrashing “Hot Potato” while Dami Im turns “Big Red Car” into a lofty ballad.

It is incredibly neat to hear these bands-of-a-certain-generation pay tribute to a group that no doubt had an important early influence on their own personal loves of music. No longer is it “babyish” to revisit the notion that Fruit Salad is, indeed, “Yummy, Yummy.” Rather, side one on this album is a hip nod to a band that never compromised on quality music for the sake of an educational message.

“It’s been really enjoyable, and also so humbling, hearing all these wonderful artists doing their versions of Wiggles songs – they’re all so very talented,” remarks founder and Blue Wiggle Anthony Field.

However, it is disc two that is sure to give adult Wiggles fans the thrill they’ve been seeking. The product of the monster success of “OG Wiggles” shows, the group is embracing their adult fans while staying true to their image. This is where The Wiggles get to remind us they are not simply a “Kids band.” Rather, they are a band who makes music for children but draws inspiration from artists the world over. It is so refreshing to get a product that allows them to explore those influences.

“It’s been a real thrill to get back in the studio together with all the Wiggles – the current members and the OG’s – to record some cover versions of our own,” Field shares about side two. “We had so much fun doing ‘Elephant’ for Like A Version, and now we’re really excited for people to hear what we’ve cooked up for this record!”

The aforementioned “Elephant” is like a fever dream for Wiggles fans. Latest Purple Wiggle Lachlan Gillespe sings about an Elephant “shaking his big red trunk for the hell of it.” It’s weird and cool all at once. A nod to the grown ups from just behind the squeaky-clean veniere of the Wiggles.

Another highlight from this section is the cover of “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC. The group took the heavy metal rocker and turned it into a driving mid-tempo song that builds to a spectacular ending. Current Red Wiggle Simon Pryce’s own operatic training is on display during “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

The immensely talented Paul Paddick, who offers adult relief in live shows with his incredible musical impressions as Captain Feathersword, gets to take on the pirate-themed numbers “Wellerman” and “Shippin’ Up to Boston.” His crisp vocals while staying in character as the Feathersword make these numbers the highlight of the record.

Never did I think I would live to hear a Dropkick Murphys song on a Wiggles record! But that is the genius of this new creative direction of the Wiggles: they are finding the balance between appealing to the now-adult generation of original fans, while staying true to their core values. This is also on display during the OG reunion tours.

The OG Wiggles show sees original line up Greg Page (yellow Wiggle), Murray Cook (Red Wiggle) and Jeff Fat (Purple Wiggle) reunite for 18+ audiences. Originally done as charity one-offs, the OG gang are currently on a full-scale arena tour in Australia with hopes to bring it to America this fall.

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Matt Bailey

Matt Bailey is podcast producer and writer located in the Northeast. Since 2013, Bailey has produced more than 160 episodes of his own online radio show, Talk For Two. In 2016 alone, he interviewed Kevin Bacon, Crystal Gayle, Bob Barker, and Gilbert Gottfried, among several other stars. As a Correspondent for The Music Universe, his focus is Broadway, country music and concert reviews.

Email: matt@themusicuniverse.com

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