January 11, 1991 at 05:00 AM EST

Rockin' Through the Decades

Current Status
In Season
Comedy, Soundtracks
We gave it a B

Their familiar squeals may seem eternally youthful, but these animated rodents have been releasing albums for some 30 years now. Rockin’ Through the Decades isn’t their first stab at covering rock favorites — who could forget Chipmunk Punk, for instance? — but it’s their most comprehensive, featuring tunes from the ’50s through the ’80s (plus two remakes of original Chipmunk hits, one of them — ”Sleigh Ride” — produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis of the Time). Granted, most of us over 12 can only tolerate the trio’s distinctive sound — that of a record played at twice its intended speed — for so long. But there are some cute, even charming takes here on pop standards like ”Tutti-Frutti” and ”She Loves You.” Best — and funniest — of all, though, are the versions of more recent megahits by Michael Jackson (”Beat It”) and Cyndi Lauper (”Girls Just Want to Have Fun”), on which the Chipmunks’ chirping is eerily reminiscent of the original vocals. B

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