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July 18th, 2012 RUTH BROWN | Music Stories
 

Primer: The Wiggles

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Formed: In 1991 in Sydney by a group studying early childhood education. 

Sounds like: Sixties pop songs about eating fruit instead of making out with girls.

For fans of: Afternoon naps, Fisher-Price, Goldfish crackers. 

Latest release: Surfer Jeff, the band’s 40-somethingth studio album. (Jeff Fatt, the 58-year-old purple Wiggle, was recently fitted for a pacemaker.) 

Why you care: While most child-free adults view the Wiggles as “those dorky guys in colored skivvies,” for two decades those dorky guys have been playing in one of the most successful bands on the planet. After dominating the land down under, the band took the act global via a Disney Channel TV show, spawning a multimillion-dollar brand, including clothing lines and theme-park rides. And while the quartet’s lyrics might be aimed at the preschool crowd, the band writes some really catchy, well-composed ditties. This was proven recently by ReWiggled, a 2011 tribute album featuring Australian artists like Architecture in Helsinki and the Living End that is surprisingly listenable. Despite album and DVD sales that would make Bieber green, the last few years have been less kind to the group, with illness, rumors of internal power struggles, and declining profits all playing out in the media. Three of the four Wiggles recently announced this would be their final tour, and a new cast of fresh-faced kids have been hired to replace them. 


SEE IT: The Wiggles play Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, on Friday, July 20. 6:30 pm. $20.25-$89. All ages.

 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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