When I was a wee lad, the first LP I owned was Timbertops, a children's "concept album" released by The Buttercups in 1974. I was captivated by the premise—a young girl is visited by all sorts of peculiar anthropomorphic characters in her treehouse— and by the music, which was already dated (it was by then the mid-80s) but full of fun and very catchy.
If you tried to find MP3s or the band online, you wouldn't have had much luck before today. But for a couple of UK library references, it's as if it never existed. And the band (not to be confused with the new The Buttercups) never did another record. I still have no idea who the singer is! The writers were Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley, one of the great songwriting partnerships you've never heard of. My best guess is that it was a quick, one-off stab at the kids' music market that came to nothing.
Anyway, I finally remembered it and spent ages tracking down an LP, digitizing it and uploading it all to YouTube, no copyright intended. It was really something to reacquaint myself with the cast, and I'm pleased to report that the creators mostly avoided stereotypes and other crutches oft-found in similar stuff from the era (Note: mafia frogs Ricky and Rocky are vaguely coded Italian; Welsh witch Myfanwy is depicted as a gypsy, and then there's MacGregor, a gruff Scottish terrier with a plaid beret.)
It's true that Timbertops might be a bit too kiddie for most grown-ups. The album doesn't really have a narrative; it's just vignettes of the oddballs that visit Jo in Timbertops. The best tracks are probably Red (a hippie fox; the last line of the song offers an early taste of post-McGovern liberal self-doubt) and Sharkey (a promiscuous cat whose adventures could be a parody of at least half a dozen Morrissey songs.)
Below, the album cover, the characters, the songsheet and the songs themselves. (Here's a YouTube playlist)