Rock bands target the Teletubby generation

Top bands are starting to target children as young as four. Saint Etienne and Erasure are among those set to release albums presenting pop for the tots.

Mercury Prize-nominated and Brit-winning band Belle & Sebastian is master-minding a secret project asking contemporaries to record tracks for children, while US act They Might Be Giants have released a kids' album, No.

The aim is to create something more sophist-icated and bearable for parents than badly recorded versions of "The Wheels on the Bus" which they have been forced to listen to for years.

In October, Saint Etienne is releasing "Up the Wooden Hills", with an upbeat "Daytime" side and a more soporific "Sleeptime" side to calm youngsters before bed.

Sophie Barker, singer with chill-out act Zero 7, released an album of lullabies at Christmas and plans further children's recordings.

Later this month at the ultra-cool Meltdown Festival organised by Patti Smith, there will be an evening of kids' tracks performed by stars such as Beth Orton and Yoko Ono.

The movement goes back a long way. The Beatles would often include a track aimed at children: "Yellow Submarine" on Revolver and "Octopus's Garden" on Abbey Road.

And there is also a long history of Jamaican reggae acts recording children's songs. Many are included on a new compilation by Trojan Records, Reggae for Kids.

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