Sunday, January 4, 2009

And Birds that Warble on Key

Walt Disney Presents Aladdin, Re-Sequenced Soundtrack cover
12.06 x 12.06 cm (4.75 x 4.75 in)
Digital mixed media

As I had done with "The Little Mermaid" and "Beauty and the Beast," I re-sequenced the tracks of the "Aladdin" soundtrack in the order in which they are presented in the original motion picture.

"Aladdin" in some ways represents the end of a brief era, Howard Ashman's and Alan Menken's third and final collaboration on an animated Disney musical as well as the early years of the whole animation renaissance in American pop culture. This particular project I had actually completed before the "Beauty and the Beast" one, in order to gift a copy. Since then, additional work was done on the packaging, similar to what was done with "Mermaid" with an expanded booklet.

1. Arabian Nights 1:19
2. Legend Of The Lamp 1:25
3. On A Dark Night 2:56
4. One Jump Ahead 2:23
5. Street Urchins 1:53
6. One Jump Ahead (Reprise) 1:02
7. Jasmine Runs Away 0:47
8. Marketplace 2:37
9. The Cave Of Wonders 4:58
10. Friend Like Me 2:26
11. To Be Free 1:39
12. Prince Ali 2:52
13. A Whole New World 2:41
14. The Kiss 1:51
15. Aladdin's Word 1:52
16. Jafar's Hour 2:43
17. Prince Ali (Reprise) 1:08
18. The Ends Of The Earth 1:36
19. The Battle 3:38
20. Happy End In Agrabah 4:13
21. A Whole New World (Aladdin's Theme) 4:07

There aren't any surprises here as in new or alternate tracks added.

Track #1 is from the original soundtrack with the lines, "Where they cut off your ear/ If they don't like your face," which has been replace in subsequent re-releases of the soundtrack and the home video releases with the lines, "Where it's flat and immense/ And the heat is intense." The original lines, I think, aren't so bad, if you accept that Agrabah, the sultan-dom that it describes, is a fantasy world. In defense of the revised lyrics, while not as colorfully image invoking as the original, are fine but suffer due to poor sound mixing, leaving the inserted dubs audibly different than the rest of the song. It is perhaps more curious to me that where original lyrics were deemed offensive, the subsequent lines were kept, "It's Barbaric, but hey, it's home."

Bonus tracks are mostly demonstration versions taken from "The Music Behind the Magic," the four disc box set of music from the three Ashman/ Menken collaborations (and Tim Rice on "Aladdin"). If you are not familiar with this collection and you're a fan of Disney's "Aladdin," then you should know that the fourth disc contains the Ashman/ Menken demo tracks written for a version of the story in which Aladdin has a mother and is part of a team of four scavenging boys. From this original score, "Proud of Your Boy" was recorded by Clay Aiken and is included on the 2005 collection "Disney Mania 3."

Lastly, speaking of deleted songs, you can find a cover version of "Call Me a Princess" (Ashman/ Menken) on the iTunes Store by Broadway performer Kerry Butler. It's obviously written for a spoiled, self-centered girl that little resembles the spunky Jasmine that's in the final film.

1 comment: