Today, with over a quarter-century of Springfield’s finest embedded in our brains, it’s hard to imagine a world without The Simpsons. The show set off a merchandising frenzy in its first season after being spun off The Tracey Ullman Show, and suddenly The Simpsons were everywhere. The year was 1990, and The Simpsons was a full-fledged pop culture phenomenon. From T-shirts to bootleg T-shirts to action figures and fast-food collectibles, a Simpsons album was inevitable.
The result was The Simpsons Sing the Blues, a record whose list of special guests was even more impressive than the show’s at that point, and it would propel the animated family to the top of the music charts. Released in 1990, the 10-track album boasted all the voices from the show singing both original songs and classic blues covers written by the show’s writers as well as talented industry names. Hitting No. 3 on the Billboard charts in America, going double platinum and spawning the No. 1 UK single “Do the Bartman,” The Simpsons Sing the Blues was a monster success at its time, and it still intrigues curious fans who stumble upon it today in the “special price” CD section of department stores.
With all the urban legends surrounding it, we decided to mark the 25th anniversary of the album’s release by speaking to the people who put it together. Here, in their own words, is the history of The Simpsons Sing the Blues.
Simpsons Writer/Producer - Al Jean
The Simpsons Sing the Blues Producer - John Boylan
“Do the Bartman” Writer/Producer - Bryan Loren
“Deep, Deep Trouble” Writer/Co-Producer - DJ Jazzy Jeff
Art Director - Bill Merryfield