This Record Belongs To... - V/A LP

(Light In The Attic Records, 2015)

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"About five years ago the DJ, record producer and music supervisor Zach Cowie decided to commemorate his friends' newborn with a melodic greeting. While pulling records from his massive collection of vinyl, which lines an entire wall of his home, Cowie became obsessed with finding songs made for adults but suitable for children: catchy, universal pieces that introduce the glory of music to fresh ears.

What was supposed to take a day ended up taking a week as he brainstormed, setting aside deep tracks by Harry Nilsson, Nina Simone, Donovan, Roger Miller, the Pointer Sisters, Woody Guthrie and more. He mixed in snippets from TV shows and movies, perfected the sequence, named it "Hello" and sent it off. Whenever he met new parents, he gave them the mix. Soon it was being shared among other music-loving parents. One of the recipients was Matt Sullivan, co-owner of Light in the Attic Records. Like many, he and his family fell in love with the mix. Not long after, Cowie and Rotter were collaborating, with the backing of Sullivan's label, on the new compilation, "This Record Belongs To …," which gathers music from that "Hello" mix — and then some.

The collection opens with a recorded invitation from the late Shel Silverstein — "If you are a dreamer, come in!" — before moving into a rich, genre-crossing selection of songs divided among the sides. The first half highlights joyous songs for daytime fun and includes Van Dyke Parks' version of Allen Toussaint's "Occapella," the Pointer Sisters' bumping "Pinball Number Count" and Guthrie's classic "Dance Around." The second side features quieter songs that can serve as sleepy time lullabies and includes Simone's "You Can Sing a Rainbow," Bobby Bare's "Daddy What If," Vashti Bunyan's folk tinged "Diamond Day" and concludes with Kermit the Frog's 'Rainbow Connection.'" - Randall Roberts for LA Times