Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Disney-ish Music

"Stay Awake" recently came up on the shuffling iPod and it hit right to play the album all the way through.

Produced and created in 1988 by Hal Wilner (who's 1985 "Lost in the Stars" was my introduction to Kurt Weill which quickly to Brecht who pulled me down the rabbit hole I find myself today) the album doesn't sound dated, necessarily, but the excitement it stirred 20 (gah -20!) years ago is gone. "Lost in the Stars", on the other is still rousing -from Andrea Parkins' first accordion pull though Van Dyke Parks' singular interpretation of music from the Broadway play "Johnny Johnson".

Growing up in the 80s, the Disney product had little to offer a boy.  Most of the classic films weren't available and the big re-releases;Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, etc. were aimed at girls.

Sure, The Black Cauldron and Tron had macho appeal but not enough to impart any special feelings towards the name "Disney".  That's deadly to nostalgia business -which is the Disney Co's main vein of revenue.

"Stay Awake" may still sway a listener with that childhood connection to Disney films, not for everyone.

Oddly, my childhood had a different Disney influence -courtesy of K-Tel records most likely.

Disneyland Records produced a two volume "Disney's Children's Favorites".  These disks collected traditional and public domain songs.

The artwork isn't horribly offensive  -although I didn't like it as a child and I still don't care for it much.  Of course, it's uncredited.

This is how I learned at an early age that "Sidewalks of New York" is the same melody as "Bicycle Built for Two". (I prefer the former a.k.a. "East Side, West Side").

You'll sometimes hear an artist or writer say "I'm influenced by everything I see, hear, touch and smell."  And you'll think, "That's an evasive answer to a stupid question."  When you really think about it, it's not all that crazy of a statement.

1 comment:

Liesje said...

I still have the booklet for that first album somewhere at home. The tape is long gone, unfortunately.