Nobody covers a song like the Electric Mayhem. From “Rockin’ Robin” to “Bohemian Rhapsody” to “Jingle Bell Rock,” they simply can’t help but make any song better. But for the dozens of covers they’ve done over the years, it’s surprising how few original songs they’ve actually performed.
Once The Muppets Mayhem premieres (May 10th on Disney+!), we’re expecting a whole slew of songs that will be performed for the very first time by Dr. Teeth and the band. Before that happens, we’re gonna rank everyone of them! (Or, at least the ones that matter. With apologies to that one instrumental song from Muppet Treasure Island or whatever.)
13. Fugue for Frog
In the Kaye Ballard episode of The Muppet Show, Floyd leads the Electric Mayhem in a rendition of their newly penned Muppet Show theme song. As Floyd points out before anyone else can make the observation, you’re gonna hate it. And as… original as it may be, it’s not the type of groovy tune we’ve come to expect from the Mayhem.
12. Nap Time
The mostly-forgettable The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz featured the Electric Mayhem in the Poppyseeds night club, providing some background music for Dorothy and her pals as they try not to doze off like the rest of the movie’s audience. The song is mostly instrumental, with only Dr. Teeth’s utterance of “Nap Time” to remind us that the Mayhem are actually there and not just hitting play on a cassette player.
11. Total Mayhem
Don’t recognize the title? You probably wouldn’t – “Total Mayhem” is the hours-long instrumental performed by the Electric Mayhem during their show in Madrid in Muppets Most Wanted. While only 10 minutes of the song were actually produced – with just a few seconds heard in the final movie – that’s still way too much. I’m sure the whole thing is great, especially with the extended solos for each Mayhem member, but let’s be honest, do any of us really want to sit through all of that?
10. Sweet Tooth Jam
This song, from the first season of The Muppet Show, was written by Derek Scott, who also wrote the accompaniment for Fozzie Bear’s monologues, the Swedish Chef’s segments, and Veterinarian’s Hospital. Not gonna lie, he’s got quite the resume. “Sweet Tooth Jam” is fun and funky, and it only ranks so low on this list because everything else is so dang good.
9. Rockin’ All Around the World
All of the songs for The Muppets at Walt Disney World go hard. (Another reason it needs to find its way to Disney+, but that’s for another article.) “Rockin’ All Around the World” is a blast, as if it were meant to be the Muppets’ response to “It’s a Small World” (evidenced by the mashup at the end of the video above). As much as I enjoy this song, it includes some questionable (not problematic, but questionable) depictions of the Mayhem members as various nationalities. It’s definitely not done with any malice, but I’m sure they would’ve handled the visuals differently today.
8. Fozziwig’s Party Waltz
Just think – if the Electric Mayhem (appropriately referred to in the illustrated storybook version of The Muppet Christmas Carol as “The Acoustic Mayhem”) hadn’t played at Fozziwig’s holiday party, Scrooge and Belle may have never met. And what kind of movie would we have had then?? Their song here is proof that the Mayhem can expertly handle any genre, including a classical waltz as well as a raucous honky tonk. All it takes is one slammin’ drum solo to act as a segue, and the Mayhem single-handedly brings the party.
7. No Room for Boring
It shouldn’t surprise any of us that the Electric Mayhem would make for a really catchy commercial jingle. And it’s true – not only do they star in this memorable Toyota ad, but they manage to create an earworm unlike any other Mayhem song. Besides, the Mayhem are anything but boring, making them ideal to originate this song.
6. Night Life
The Electric Mayhem’s signature song from The Great Muppet Caper has two versions, and they’re both great. In some versions of the film, we hear Dr. Teeth’s guttural vocals, and others keep the song as an instrumental. Either way, the song is a perfect encapsulation of the Happiness Hotel bus’s race through the streets of London, along with the rough-around-the-edges vision of the band that we see throughout the movie. It’s maybe the least hummable Mayhem song from the original films, but it still rocks.
5. Love Ya to Death
The Electric Mayhem’s world debut, seen in the Muppet Show pilot Sex and Violence, comes in the form of “Love Ya to Death”. It’s quite possibly the song that justifies the word “sex” in the title, as it’s pretty steamy (in a metaphorical kind of way). It’s especially cool hearing a roaring crowd clamoring for the band while they play – something we wouldn’t hear again until they started performing live shows in recent years.
4. You Can’t Take No for an Answer
I’m not sure if this counts as an Electric Mayhem song, but it’s as close as we got in The Muppets Take Manhattan. Dr. Teeth takes the lead on vocals, and Zoot brings up the rear with a saxophone solo. The song is a toe-tapper, driving the story forward by encapsulating the dejection the Muppet troupe feels before their inevitable disbanding. That’s a lot to put on Dr. Teeth’s shoulders, but our main man is strong enough to handle it with aplomb.
3. Don’t Blame the Dynamite
In a show about a pig singer who can’t be a star, a bear comedian who isn’t funny, and a weirdo artist that no one understands, it makes sense that the house band is just a little too wild for broad audiences. “Don’t Blame the Dynamite” is the epitome of that origin for the Electric Mayhem, proving that they have the capability to be so explosive with their music, they might actually burn the theater down.
2. Rock On
Is it fair to put such a recent song so high on our list? The only new Electric Mayhem song released ahead of the new series, “Rock On” will be the theme song heard at the top of every episode of The Muppets Mayhem. It may be too soon to tell if it will have the lasting power of the rest of the Mayhem’s discography, but I think it’s a bop. It’s catchy and full of energy and so perfectly Mayhem. And best of all, it’s the sort of song you genuinely want to hear over and over again when you watch The Muppets Mayhem.
1. Can You Picture That?
Was there any question? I mean, there was – that’s why there’s a question mark in the title. No song is more closely connected to the Electric Mayhem, and for good reason. Not only is it their signature song from The Muppet Movie, and not only is it the most repeated song in their repertoire, but it’s maybe the best song they’ve ever been a part of. It’s the benchmark for every Mayhem song that came after it, yet it doesn’t completely overshadow the rest of their work. It’s as close to perfection as the Mayhem will ever reach, and that right there is something we can picture.
Don’t forget to watch The Muppets Mayhem on Disney+ on May 10th to hear even more original Electric Mayhem songs!
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by Joe Hennes – Joe@ToughPigs.com