Original Song: Harold Faltermeyer (1985) via Crazy Frog "Axel F (The Frog Song)" (2005)
1985: Harold Faltermeyer, a Munich Eurodisco producer whose resumé included keyboards on Giorgio Moroder film scores, goes No. 3 in the U..S. with his proto-techno electrobeat barrage from the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack. 2005: Crazy Frog, an intentionally annoying animated amphibian born in a Swedish computer and averse to wearing pants, tops the pop chart in several nations across Europe and Down Under, with an “Axel F” cover that involves lots of fake reggae-toasting vocal bam-bams and repeated reminders that the artist is, in fact, a crazy frog.
Humorless Americans mostly stay oblivious, but the single reaches No. 50 Stateside anyway thanks to tween outlets such as Radio Disney. 2006: Kidz Bop, a usually nauseating multi-album franchise concocted by indie Razor & Tie Records that involves children doing G-rated versions of current pop hits, includes an “Axel F (The Frog Song)” remake on volume 9 of its series. Irrepressible kiddies imitate the fake froggie imitating both Jamaican ring-dinging and Faltermeyer's synths. How many records are both avant-garde and adorable at the same time?