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Stay Awake: Various Interpretations of Music from Vintage Disney Films
Betty Carter
Stay Awake: Various Interpretations of Music from Vintage Disney Films
Genres: Alternative Rock, Blues, Folk, Jazz, Special Interest, Pop, R&B, Rock, Soundtracks, Classic Rock, Children's Music
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #1


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D. P. (MusicMan) from NEW YORK, NY
Reviewed on 12/19/2011...
Go for this one, especially if you have fond memories of these old Disney classics..and an open mind. You've never heard them performed this way, and it's a rare treat! (I'm not listing this. I'm keeping my copy!)
Alyssa E. from SOUTH WINDSOR, CT
Reviewed on 9/16/2006...
Very unique versions of classic Disney songs.

CD Reviews

Alternating dark , melancholy and wistful, good but for grow
Mark Paul Suszko | 05/15/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I found that listening to this work end to end is going to put you in some peculiar moods. The overall feeling is definitely downbeat, even the up-tempo songs have a decidedly ironic and dark bent. My favorite song in this album has to be the exceptionally soulful rendering of "Baby Mine" by Bonnie Raitt; it turns the sentimental mother-child ballad into something more on the romantic side. I have often slow-danced this one with the wife, and you can really feel a hot intensity under the surface of this number. James Taylor's "Second Star To The Right" is exceptionally wistful in his trademark style. Sun Ra's cover of "Pink Elephants" remains true to the original while retaining the peculiar spacy Sun-Ra vibe. One of the more "accessible" Sun-Ra performances I've ever heard.

Tom Waits and Ken Nordine are commanding presences as well. The Tom Waits version of "Hi-Ho" made my wife's imagination conjure nightmare images of murderous doings in Gacy's basement; it creeps her out so badly, she refuses to hear one note of it. I prefer to imagine the dwarves in manic, Fred C. Dobbs-like pursuit of their underground treasure, working too fast in a mine full of hazards and fearsome environments... with a workplace like that, it's no wonder they'd really appreciate a Snow White coming into their lives. Perfect music if you are on your way to a job you hate...

I agree the Sinead O'Connor piece (Someday My Prince Will Come) and Suzanne Vega "Stay Awake" tracks are here mostly for their postmodern ironic effect, and I find them hard to listen to with patience. In Sinead's case, the shock value of her performance of this particular song choice gets dulled over time as people forget who she is and why her singing this is supposed to be funny.

The Nordine pieces, which bookend the album, really demand good headphones for best appreciation, and reward repeated listening. Cruising thru quotes of ee cummings, with puzzling snatches of what seems to be an audio montage of soundtrack clips from old Disney park attractions, and other spooky imagery, he conjures up a tour thru a darkened, haunted vault of musty film cans and ragged posters, the perfect place for an adult to look back on childhood perceptions and potentials and compare his youthful fantasies with the cold realities and incomplete goals and disappointments of old age. Pretty heavy stuff. Yet it manages to finish, if not upbeat, still, with a sense that we still have time left to wring meaning from our pasts, and to put ourselves on a path to personal redemption.

The whole album leaves me with this kind of feeling, as if I have passed unscathed thru something more dark and dangerous than I really understood, and survived to come out into sunlight on the other side. Like the old "dark ride" rollercoaster attractions of Disney's park, you will want to experience the ordeal of getting scared and surviving it again and again."
The Mouse never roared like this ...
Marcus Wright | Orlando, Florida | 01/08/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Disney Music can sometimes seem a little too ... well ... Disney. Neat, catchy little tunes sung by voices that you just KNOW have never seen a zit in their lives. Subject matter that is trite at best, portraying characters so cute that they're almost embarrassing.Embarrassing, because even at thirty years old, you still whistle Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah from "Song of the South" when you're happy.Don't you?Fear not, closet Disney-phile. This album takes all those songs from your favorite movies, and gives them an adult twist. This album will serve a two-fold purpose. First, you can get your fix of Disney anytime your middleaged-child heart desires. But most importantly, if you get "caught" by your friends, you can pass it off as serious music.Whether a mere fresh coat of paint (as with "I Wanna Be Like You" from Jungle Book) to a slight sarcastic tone on old favorites (Sinead O'Conner singing "Someday My Prince Will Come" -- 'nuff said there!), to downright spooky versions of bettime songs (Suzanne Vega's acapella version of "Stay Awake"), to absolutely twisted rehashes of formerly tired standby's (Tom Waite rebuilds "Heigh Ho" in his own graven image), this album is a fantastic work. It not only transforms these scores into wonderful new pieces of art, but it also remains true to the basic spirit of Disney. Perhaps it is irreverent in places. Yes, it may even poke a little fun at our favorite childhood icon. But it is still a respectful tribute to the original artists who put these tunes in our heads in the first place."