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.
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."
Wonderful Interpretations of Disney Tunes
James Jones | Clive, IA United States | 01/09/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"There's a lot more in the music of Disney films than one--than _I_--thought, and the musicians here do a fine job of making it clear, giving you a different point of view but always with respect for the music. You can tell that in Tom Waits's vision, the dwarfs sweat, belong to the UMW, and head out for a beer after a day at the mines. Buster Poindexter's utterly over-the-top "Castles in Spain" is as much fun to listen to as it clearly was for him to sing. "Feed the Birds" is heartbreakingly beautiful, as is Bonnie Raitt's "Baby Mine." Ken Nordine's soundscapes set the mood at the beginning and especially near the end. Disney film music is not just for kids, and this CD proves it."
the passionate listener | Rome, Italy | 10/04/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Well... it's not that easy to add something significant to the other reviews as I share very similar feelings with all people loving this album. I found this vinyl, earmarked as "second choice", in a clearance shop in the periphery of Rome, Italy in spring 1990, paying some $3 for it (!!!), and since then it became one of my favourite albums. Were it not worth listening for the superb renditions of Susanne Vega or Sinéad O'Connor, it is just amazing to hear Michael Stipe doing backing vocals in "Little April Shower" or discover Bill Frisell and Wayne Horvitz performing in the opening medley and two more tracks. Were it only one reason to own this album, it would be the Tom Waits track, that with the parallel Brecht version in "Lost in the stars" (the 1985 album dedicated to Kurt Weill) are absolutely necessary to be able to own the complete Tom Waits hell collection. Last but not least, it's the eclectic producer Hal Willner that has to be credited for this incredible, everlasting music that unveils the very nature of disney world. It's very good news that this album is available in cd, I would have never believed. Quality wins at the end."
Really good stuff
Mrpoopoo | Corning, NY United States | 04/28/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I picked this up on CD when it was first released and I was in college, it was always one of my dirty pleasures packed next to harder, grungier, and/or funkier stuff. Well, most of the other stuff has not stood the test of time too well, but Stay Awake still comes out every once in a while. Like the earlier reviewer, I frequently sing my daughters to sleep with Blue Shadows on the Trail ala Syd Straw, and my 2 year old has taken to singing along with me. My one complaint is the medley style of the tracks... some tunes rate an individual track, while other tracks might have three or four tunes faded together. Plenty of different styles on here to satisfy a wide variety of tastes, but it's the purer and more sentimental ones that have always stuck with me. I strongly disagree with the reviewer who thinks Aaron Neville was trying to sex up the Mickey Mouse Club march, I've always felt that his version is laced more with plaintive nostalgia than anything prurient. I've always wished that somebody would put together a Stay Awake 2, but if that means Jessica Simpson gets called in to remake Hakuna Matata, I'll pass."