Background and development
In 1991, while working with the early childhood music department at Macquarie University, Phillip Wilcher met musician and former member of the Australian rock group The Cockroaches, Anthony Field, who was studying child development. According to Wilcher, Field asked him to join The Wiggles, which would become "Australia's foremost children's entertainment act", and to help them produce the album. The album was dedicated to the memory of Paul Field's infant daughter, Bernadette, who had died of SIDS in 1988. Wilcher financed and "contributed the most musically to the debut album", composing 75% of the music. Like a university assignment, they produced a folder of essays that explained the educational value of each song on the album. They needed a keyboardist "to bolster the rock-n-roll feel of the project", so Field asked his old band mate Fatt, for his assistance in what they thought would be a temporary project. Recording sessions were held at Wilcher's home, and the album cost approximately A$4,000 to produce. The group reworked a few Cockroaches tunes to better fit the genre of children's music; for example, according to Field, a Cockroaches song he wrote, "Mr. Wiggles Back in Town" became "Get Ready To Wiggle" and inspired the band's name because they thought that wiggling described the way children dance. There was also a piece by Phillip Wilcher, "Summer Dance", that appeared on the album, as "Archie's Theme".
- Get Ready To Wiggle - 1:54
- Rock-A-Bye Your Bear - 1:48
- Dorothy The Dinosaur - 2:21
- Mischief the Monkey - 0:42
- Lavenders Blue - 1:29
- Glub Glub Train - 0:16
- Archie's Theme - 0:19
- Montezuma - 0:29
- Archie's Theme (Reprise) - 0:19
- Ducky Ducky - 0:13
- A Froggy He Would A-Wooing Go - 3:36
- Maranoa Lullaby - 2:02
- Stars - 0:07
- Star Lullaby - 2:02
- Okki Tokki Unga - 1:53
- O Epoe Tooki Tooki - 1:34
- Vini Vini - 0:53
- Spot the Dalmatian - 2:22
- Johnny Works With One Hammer - 0:45
- The Man In The Moon - 0:18
- This Old Man - 2:31
- Suo Gan - 1:43
- Wind - 0:14
- Joseph John's Lullaby - 1:14
- Desert Dreaming - 1:49
- Get Ready To Wiggle (Reprise) - 1:54
The Wiggles are...
Phillip Wilcher Piano, vocals
Murray Cook Guitar, bass guitar, vocals and water bubble sounds
Gregory Page Lead vocals, guitar, hand claps
Jeff Fatt Accordian, Emax, sequencing, "mischief's" voice
Anthony Field Tin whistle, didgeridoo, vocals, chief Kabasa player
Produced by Anthony Field
Engineered by Steve Pomfrett
Recorded in February 1991 at Tracking Station Recording Studios, Sydney.
- Australia (original): July 11, 1991
- Australia (re-release): 1998
- This is the first album to feature Murray Cook, Jeff Fatt, Anthony Field, Greg Page, and Dorothy the Dinosaur.
- This is the only album to feature Phillip Wilcher.
- Phillip Wilcher mentioned that on a YouTube comment, The Wiggles thought one of the songs Vini Vini was renditioned in the public domain, but it was claimed by a French composer. The song was removed from this album and from the concert video Wiggledance! in 1998.
- The music from Dorothy the Dinosaur was adapted from Another Saturday Night written by John Field, set to lyrics by Murray Cook, after he observed that children have a fascination for dinosaurs.
- Captain Feathersword, Wags the Dog, and Henry the Octopus don't appear in this album.
- Get Ready To Wiggle was adapted from the same unreleased song written for The Cockroaches. The Cockroaches version would've likely come out by 1992.
- Archie's Theme was a re-recorded version of Summer Dance by Phillip Wilcher.
- Phillip Wilcher wrote Mischief the Monkey and the spoken recordings Stars, The Man In The Moon and Desert Dreaming. Also, the traditional songs which are credited to The Wiggles are principally arranged by him.
- Greg Page wrote in his autobiography that The Wiggles were moving away from the more traditional songs provided by Phillip Wilcher towards a more rock and roll sound that was solidified on the tracks that Phillip Wilcher did not perform. This is a possible reason for his dismissal.
- Anthony Field asked Phillip Wilcher to contribute more original material, so, in response, Phillip wrote Mischief the Monkey in front of him in about five minutes.
- Two songs Get Ready To Wiggle and Dorothy the Dinosaur were filmed for ABC For Kids Video Hits and ABC For Kids Video Hits Volume 2 videos.
- Vini Vini is the only song in this album that doesn't use instruments, only hand claps.
- Phillip Wilcher adapted Brahms' Lullaby to Joseph John's Lullaby. It would later be used as the basis of the song Go To Sleep Jeff (Brahms' Lullaby) in 2003.
- Star Lullaby was later adapted to Shining Around The World in 2017.
- A re-issue of this album with all 26 tracks was released by Phonogram and marketed by Polygram. Another re-issue of this album with all 26 tracks was released by ABC Records and distributed by EMI.
- The booklet doesn't come with song lyrics and booklet doesn't have any photos. Instead, it only has black text on a white background (excluding the front and back cover).
- The album's title is not to be confused with the band that made the album.
- This is the only album where Greg's first full name "Gregory" is listed.
- The booklet says that the chief Kabasa player is actually a person who plays the Brazilian percussion instrument, the Cabasa.
- This was the first album to be manufactured and distributed by EMI Music Group Australasia.
- This was the first album to be engineered by Steve Pomfrett.
- This was the first album to be recorded at Tracking Station Recording Studios.
- The song "Mischief the Monkey" is now owned by Will Wagner.
- In the booklet, the accordion is misspelled as "Accordian".
- On the back cover, Spot the Dalmatian is misspelled as Spot the Dalmation.
- On the back cover, The word "the" was capitalized on Dorothy the Dinosaur and The Man In The Moon.
- In the booklet on the Cover pic information, Phillip Wilcher's name is misspelled as Philip Wilcher.