Album Review: Walt Disney’s Happiest Songs

For my birthday this past Valentine’s Day, I received a vinyl record player. I had been wanted one for forever (what a high schooler thing to say…) so I was excited to try it out. I received two vinyls with the player: Carole King’s Tapestry and Haim’s debut Days Are Gone, both I highly recommend. Once I began listening and fell in love with the sound, I headed over to my best internet friend, my beloved eBay, where I searched or various Disney LPs. While searching, I remembered that I bought a Disney one about a year ago strictly for “historical” purposes.

I went searching in my room for it and was delighted to find Walt Disney’s Happiest Songs waiting for me. This album was released in 1967 in Gulf gas stations across the country. The compilation includes original soundtrack versions of classic Disney tunes, as well as some…odd reinterpretations of the tunes. Here are my thoughts, track-by-track:

  • Heigh-Ho from Snow White~ this version was MUCH different than the movie, think Disney’s On the Record. Lots of unique, classic 60’s harmonies that I enjoy oh so much. B+
  • When You Wish Upon A Star from Pinocchio~ How can a Disney fan NOT appreciate this song? The added benefit of the crackle from the LP makes it even better. A-
  • Bibbidi Bobbidi, Boo from Cinderella~ this version, by Mary Martin, was part burlesque show part scatting lesson and part odd. Whenever this song changes arrangements, it just never works for me. The song is so short originally that attempting to elongate it just messes it up. C+
  • Bella Notte from Lady and the Tramp~ While a different singer, it still encompasses the love that the original version gave off. Frankly, I prefer this version, being sung by a Tony Bennett-esque crooner, instead of the thick Italian accent. A-
  • You Can Fly from Peter Pan~ the original version of one of my favorite Disney songs? Yes please. A
  • Winnie the Pooh from…you know~ and this is where the album jumps the shark. Louis Prima and a chorus of characters from the film that sound like they just walked out of a bar. It is an odd arrangement, odd people singing, and overall odd. D
  • Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious from Mary Poppins~ Original version. Classic. Julie Andrews is a wonder. A+
  • I Wonder from Sleeping Beauty~ I have never been a huge Sleeping Beauty fan, so hearing this song was new to me since I had forgotten it even existed and WHAT DO YA KNOW…it is incredibly boring. Aurora, I am very happy you can sing some gorgeous high notes, but when the song puts me to sleep, I stop caring. C-
  • Bare Necessities from The Jungle Book~ I’ve always found this song a tad overrated, but I still enjoy it. Also, nothing is as overrated as Hakuna Matata…woof. Still, you can’t say no to a Phil Harris tune. B-
  • Alice in Wonderland from…duh~ this opening overture song is my favorite part of the boring and annoying film (yeah, I said it!), so seeing it on the album was a great plus! B+
  • I Bring You A Song from Bambi~ this arrangement was written by the same man who did the arrangement of Heigh-Ho on the album, but he really shines on this one. Wow. Beautiful. Best song on the LP, hands down. A+
  • Fortuosity from The Happiest Millionaire~ eh. C-

If you don’t have this album and are interested, be sure to head on over to eBay, as there are plenty of copies available there. What other albums do you want me to review (EPCOT and the Voices of Liberty are already on my list, just need to get my hands on a copy)? Let me know in the comments!

(photo courtesy of eBay user wmm2000)