Top 50 Baby Music Albums
Humans are hardwired to love music. It holds a place in us that almost nothing else can reach. As anyone who has seen a grin of delight spread across a listening baby's face knows, there's just something simple and profound about our relationship with sound. And while it's true that the littlest babies don't much care what's playing, as time goes on, they start to listen, move, and sing along (suddenly making half our old music collection off limits for the next 16 years). Luckily we live in a fertile time for kids' music, with rereleases of classic recordings, scores of talented newcomers making charming records, and seemingly every third rocker from the '90s inspired to settle down and create great children's music of their own. Read More ↓
For Babble's first Top 50 Baby Music Albums, we chose recordings that could grow up with babies rather than becoming obsolete as soon as the babies are old enough to crawl away from the stereo. This also meant we stretched the definition of "baby" into the toddler years. Since you may be hearing some of these songs fifty, a hundred, a thousand times, we chose with parental sanity in mind and included a category for the best albums for adults that also work for babies. With music so intimately wrapped up with our emotional lives, we're sure to have made choices you'll disagree with, so feel free to nominate any gems we missed. -Colin Murphy
48 / 50
Sunny Side of the Street | John Lithgow
Sunny Side of the Street’s Rankings
Yes, this really is a kids’ album by Kevin Bacon’s nemesis in Footloose. John Lithgow has put out three children’s albums to date, this one composed of 13 serious goofs on Broadway classics and jazz standards. Lithgow is joined by guest artists on several numbers, including sultry jazz interpreter Madeleine Peyroux, cabaret singer (and Fiona Apple’s sister) Maude Maggart, and Seinfeld/3rd Rock from the Sun actor Wayne Knight, along with a nimble children’s chorus.
Lithgow’s voice isn’t anything special, but his interpretation sure is. Though the material is probably dated even for most grandparents nowadays, the album’s entertainment value can’t be overstated. His triple-time trad-jazz freakout on “Ya Gotta Have Pep” could give Slayer lessons in speed, and the maniacal, posh-accented “Laughing Policeman” (which is oddly reminiscent of AC/DC’s “Big Balls”) must be heard to be believed. If your kids like classic Disney, they’ll love this stuff.
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