November 6, 2012

Strange Things 2: More Great Offbeat Disney Music

Welcome back to another plunge into the world of unusual, off-the-wall Disney recordings. These are all fun, top-notch tracks--sometimes historic, sometimes obscure, sometimes simply sung or performed in unexpected ways. All are on iTunes -- you just gotta know where to look!

Freddie Dreamers Disneyland Unbirthday Song album offbeat
Album: Freddie and the Dreamers in Disneyland

Oh, heck, yeah! Early-60's pop with zany humor and energy. If you like one track, you'll love the whole album -- a non-typical assortment including everything from The Ugly Bug Ball to The Ballad of Dick Turpin (from the rarely seen Disney film The Legend of Young Dick Turpin).

Dodgy Disney Age Believing Bedknobs Broomsticks offbeat album
Album: So Far on 3 Wheels:Dodgy on the Radio

Here's a unique take on a Sherman Brothers classic! Dodgy was a terrific British Power-Pop group, and they gave this Oscar-nominated Bedknobs & Broomsticks song a rough-edged, small-club rock band twist. Here's what I like most about it: if you close your eyes, it's easy to imagine the four vultures from Jungle Book belting this out.
Alan Dale I'm Late White Rabbit Disney offbeat music album
Track: I'M LATE
Album: Alan Dale: The Very Best of

Baritone 50's crooner Dale gives the White Rabbit a gruff edge and adds an Italian accent that turns the piece into a truly fun character performance.

And, man, the guy deserves a better album cover.

Dutch Disney Andre Van Duin Bibbidi Disney offbeat songs
Album: Animal Crackers

Andre Van Duin's Dutch interpretation of the Fairy Godmother song sounds even more whimsical than the original. I'm determined to learn this piece phonetically, syllable-by-syllable!

Ray Noble Bud My Favorite Dream Disney offbeat music song
Album: Bud Noble -- The Music of Ray Noble/In the Noble Manner

I don't mind a straightforward, easy-listening track on this list when it covers a seldom-performed great Disney song, and here British bandleader/arranger Ray Noble does a beautiful job on one of Disney's best hidden treasures.

"My Favorite Dream" is the Harp's wistful ballad from the Mickey & the Beanstalk half of the film Fun & Fancy Free. There's another track from the same film on this album: "My, What a Happy Day." It's not quite as good, but well worth adding to your Disney collection.

iTunes has this album classified as "New Age." Pffffff--really, iTunes?

Next, we have a soundtrack from a 90's Disney fantasy film most people have, sadly, never heard of.

Tall Tale Disney soundtrack Pecos Bill Paul Bunyan John Henry
Album: Tall Tale: The Unbelievable Adventures of Pecos Bill

This story of a boy trying to save his father's farm with the aid of Pecos Bill, John Henry and Paul Bunyan (with Babe the Blue Ox) deserved a better fate at the box office. At any rate, Randy Edelman's terrific, sweeping score is available to enjoy, and if you're a film music fan, you should check out the beautiful opening theme.

I love each and every one of the above tracks, and highly recommend them for anyone looking beyond hit singles to fill out their Disney playlists. There's a lot more to be discovered on iTunes and Amazon. Mouse Troop will be highlighting more offbeat Disney music soon!

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