As Kermit and co. return with “The Muppets” movie next week (Nov. 23), Billboard.com now exclusively premieres a mix of five tracks from the soundtrack, out Monday (Nov. 21). Listen to Muppet renditions of “The Muppet Show Theme” (featuring
5. ‘Crocodile’ Muppets Rock With Elton John
Looking much like a Muppet may have been Elton John’s wardrobe approach throughout the 1970s, but when he finally teamed up with Henson’s puppet friends, the results were memorable. John hosted “The Muppet Show” in 1977, performing his hit “Crocodile Rock” (among others) alongside the Dr. Teeth & the Electric Mayhem and a choir of Muppet crocodiles — a showing later recreated by Cee Lo at the 2011 Grammys. During his appearance, Sam the Eagle commented that John “dresses like a stolen car.” Harsh diss from a guy (OK, an eagle) not wearing any pants.
4. Kermit & Justin Timberlake Make A ‘Rainbow Connection’
For a brief moment in time, Kermit the Frog was a charting rockstar, reaching No. 25 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in 1979 with “Rainbow Connection,” a feel-good anthem penned for “The Muppet Movie.” By 1981, it was fair to assume that Kermie was a bit sick of singing his hit, but for Blondie’s Debbie Harry, he was happy to do it again. The two dueted when Harry hosted “The Muppet Show,” Harry’s innocent vocals accompanying Kermie’s banjo and a chorus of frogs.
3. Muppets Go “Fishin'” With Weezer
Was it surprising when rock’s kitschiest band — the same act whose first video featured the cast of “Happy Days” — paired with the Muppets? No. Was it awesome? Completely. In 2002, Weezer stopped by the old “Muppet Show” set for the “Keep Fishin'” video, raising a few questions in the process: Is there any rockstar more akin to Kermit than Rivers Cuomo? How did Animal become such a talented drummer? Do they really make =W= shirts tiny enough to fit Pepe the king prawn?
2. The Muppet Ensemble Sings ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’
Gonzo finally got his big rock star moment as Freddie Mercury in 2009, when the Muppets ambitiously took on Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” in a video parodying the original. Sure enough, Miss Piggy stole his spotlight, while lesser-known Muppets — like the Swedish Chef and the pink twins from the “Mahna Mahna” skit — also took a crack at classic track. But it’s Rowlf the Dog, clad in a tuxedo and behind his piano, who shines the most in the dramatic video.
1. Kermit & Ray Charles Croon ‘It Ain’t Easy Being Green’
After Ray Charles famously covered “Bein’ Green” on his 1975 album “Renaissance,” the soul legend joined forces with Jim Henson’s leading man on “Sesame Street.” After all, Kermit’s classic song deserves a classic duet partner. For the performance, which was positively full of the warm and fuzzies, Charles donned a bright yellow jacket — but only because he didn’t want to steal the Green One’s thunder.