Charlie and Lola are the principal characters from a series of children's picture books by Lauren Child.
The stories are all narrated by seven year-old Charlie, and focus on the antics of his feisty four year-old sister, Lola. The books as well as the television series also emphasise the relationship between closely-aged siblings.
Charlie and Lola's Favourite and Best Music Record was released on 19th March 2007. The music is largely a development of existing interstitial and theme music taken from series 1 and 2. There are elements of easy listening, lounge, big band jazz, reggae, bluegrass, eastern European, sci-fi, Latin, classical and film music. There are 17 tracks plus one hidden track, with the very popular theme tune opening and closing the album. It is aimed at children and parents alike.
Each track is embellished with extracts of spoken word taken from the TV series. The use of spoken word adds narrative to the music in the absence of sung lyrics. The album is not so much a collection of songs as a collection of themed conversations and fantasies accompanied by music. In many cases, the spoken word is manipulated so that it sits rhythmically with the musical accompaniment. This gives the sense of a vocal performance but without the normal song writing techniques of melody and rhyme.
"The Bestest in the Barn" was released as a single on March 12th 2007. It features Lola and Lotta teaching various animals on their farm how to sing, dance and play music. This is the only track on the album which does not appear in any episode. Lola and Lotta do however appear as farmers in "I Do Not Ever Never Want My Wobbly Tooth To Fall Out". They also have a tendency to imagine that animals are capable of developing impressive human skills, as seen in "We Do Promise Honestly We Can Look After Your Dog" and "I Will Not Ever Never Forget You Nibbles".
The album is a collaboration between various composers and musicians who write and perform for the TV series. Much of the music is programmed but many tracks feature performances by outstanding live musicians from London based bands – Menlo Park, Polar Bear and Acoustic Ladyland (see credits below).
Four of the tracks have been animated by Tiger Aspect Productions: "The Bestest in the Barn", "Sizzles", "Batcat" and "It's Snowing". "The Bestest in the Barn" video is encoded as an mpeg on the album CD, and all four videos are included as DVD extras on the series 2 DVD collection.