GIVE 'EM A HAND: Perhaps it's finally a bit easier being green.
More than 50 years after their creation by the imaginative Jim Henson (who passed away in 1990), a Muppet-branded album reaches the Billboard 200's top 10 at last, as "Muppets: The Green Album" launches at No. 8.
With sales of 30,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan, the compilation also starts atop the Rock, Alternative and Kid Albums charts.
As the Muppet franchise notches its highest Billboard 200 showing and its first overall appearance in 19 years, here is a look at the seven Muppet-branded albums to reach the chart:
Peak Position, Title, Debut Year
No. 8, "Muppets: The Green Album," 2011
No. 26, "A Christmas Together" (John Denver & the Muppets), 1979
No. 32, "The Muppet Movie" (movie soundtrack), 1979
No. 53, "The Muppet Show" (television soundtrack), 1978
No. 66, "The Great Muppet Caper" (movie soundtrack), 1981
No. 189, "The Muppet Alphabet Album," 1971
No. 189, "The Muppet Christmas Carol" (movie soundtrack), 1992
"Green" sports covers of Muppets classics, including Weezer and Paramore's Hayley Williams' cover of "Rainbow Connection," originally a No. 25 Billboard Hot 100 hit for Kermit, aka Henson, in 1979. (Thus, a song once sung by a river, by Kermit in "The Muppet Movie," is now sung by a Rivers: Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo).
The Fray, Evanescence's Amy Lee, My Morning Jacket, Matt Nathanson and OK Go also appear on the album.
The collection arrives ahead of "The Muppets," the troupe's first theatrical release in 12 years, due in theaters Nov. 23. A soundtrack will accompany the film, whose plot finds Jason Segel and Amy Adams' characters staging a telethon to save the Muppet Theater from an oil tycoon, played by Academy Award winner Chris Cooper.
Musicians Selena Gomez and Dave Grohl are among the celebrities who make cameos in the movie.
Adult Contemporary WDEF (Sunny 92.3)/Chattanooga, Tenn., is the only station among the more than 1,200 monitored by Nielsen BDS for the Hot 100 that played the new version of "Rainbow Connection" multiple times (six) in the Aug. 24-30 chart tracking week. (Kenny Loggins and Sarah McLachlan have also interpreted the gentle ballad over the years).
"Considering the wide influence of the Muppets and the upcoming movie making for a Muppet revival, we felt that it would be important for our audience to reconnect with the memories and emotions that have infused their lives throughout the Muppet age," says WDEF station manager Danny Howard.
"Plus, Weezer and Hayley Williams' performance is beyond incredible.
"We're planning a movie promotion surrounding the film and feel that the song can enhance the warm and 'fuzzy' feelings of fall (sorry for the Muppet pun) and make them last into the holiday season."