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Music Behind The Magic


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Has anyone heard of the "Music Behind The Magic" Disney box set? I'm currently downloading the set from someone I know and judging from the track listings it appears to be the complete scores of The Little Mermaid, Beauty And The Beast, and Aladdin with demo versions of certain songs and cues. I guess the box set was released in 1994.

Here are the track listings from the set.

The Little Mermaid Disc 1

01- Fathoms From Below / Main Title (Demo Version)

02- Fathoms From Below (Final)

03- Main Title (Final)

04- Fanfare (Final)

05- Daughters Of Triton

06- Part Of Your World (Work Tape)

07- Part Of Your World (Demo)

08- Part Of Your World (Final)

09- Fireworks

10- Jig (Final)

11- Under The Sea (Work Tape)

12- Under The Sea (Demo Tape)

13- Under The Sea (Final)

14- Sabastian And Triton (Final)

15- Part Of Your World (Reprise)

16- Storm (Final)

17- Part Of Your World (Reprise) (Final)

18. Silence Is Golden (Demo Version)

19. Poor Unfortunate Souls (Demo Version)

20. Poor Unfortunate Souls (Final)

21. Poissons (Demo Version)

22. Poissons (Final)

23. Tour of the Kingdom (Final)

24. Kiss the Girl (Demo Version)

25. Kiss the Girl (Final)

26. Bedtime (Final)

27. Wedding Announcement (Final)

28. Eric to the Rescue (Final)

29. Part of Your World/Happy Ending (Work Tape/Final)

Beauty And The Beast Disc 2

1. Belle (Demo/Final)

2. Prologue (Final) - Orchestra

3. Belle (Reprise) (Demo Version)

4. Belle (Reprise) (Final)

5. Wolf Attack (Unreleased Master) - Orchestra

6. Gaston (Demo Version)

7. Gaston (Final)

8. Gaston (Reprise) (Demo Version)

9. Be Our Guest (Demo Version)

10. Be Our Guest (Final)

11. West Wing (Final) - Orchestra

12. Human Again (Demo Version)

13. Something There (Final)

14. Mob Song (Final)

15. Beauty And The Beast (Work Tape)

16. Beauty And The Best (Demo Version)

17. Beauty And The Best (Final)

18. Beast Lets Belle Go (Final) - Orchestra

19. Transformation #1 (Final) - Orchestra

20. Transformation #2 - Orchestra

21. Beauty and the Beast

Aladdin Disc 3

1. Arabian Nights (Final)

2. Legend Of The Lamp (Final)

3. On A Dark Night (Final) - Orchestra

4. One Jump Ahead (Final)

5. Street Urchins (Final) - Orchestra

6. One Jump Ahead (Reprise) (Final)

7. Count on Me (Demo Version)

8. Call Me a Princess (Demo Version)

9. Jasmine Runs Away (Final) - Orchestra

10. Market Place (Final) - Orchestra

11. Why Me (Unreleased Master)

12. Friend Like Me (Work Tape)

13. Friend Like Me (Final)

14. To Be Free (Final) - Orchestra

15. Cave Of Wonders (Final) - Orchestra

16. Prince Ali (Demo Version)

17. Prince Ali (Final)

18. Whole New World (Work Tape)

19. Whole New World (Final)

20. Kiss (Final) - Orchestra

21. Aladdin's Word (Final) - Orchestra

22. Humiliate the Boy (Demo Version)

23. Jafar's Hour (Final) - Orchestra

24. Prince Ali (Reprise)

25. Ends Of The Earth (Final) - Orchestra

26. Battle (Final) - Orchestra

27. Happy End In Agrabah (Final) - Orchestra

28. Arabian Nights (Reprise) (Unleashed Master)

29. Whole New World

Aladdin Disc 4

1. Arabian Nights (Reprise #1)

2. Babkak, Omar, Aladdin, Kassim

3. Arabian Nights (Reprise #2)

4. Proud of Your Boy

5. How Quick They Forget

6. Arabian Nights (Reprise #3)

7. High Adventure

8. Arabian Nights (Reprise #4)

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I have the set, and yes it's a good one. It came with a very nice hardcover book about the scores and composers. Many of the demo tracks feature the late Howard Ashman singing the parts, which is interesting to hear. And one of the most valuable tracks in my eyes is the narration-free version of the wonderful "Prologue" from Beauty and the Beast (Menken's best score after Pocahontas, IMO).

Ray Barnsbury

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Ashman's fake British accent is what's really interesting about the demos.

-Ross, who has and loves the set.

P.S.- Does anyone else disagree with every other poster from several message boards and think that "Call Me a Princess" is a sarcastic as Ashman can get? 'Cause I do.

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Like others said, the scores aren't nearly complete, though there may be SLIGHTLY more than the official OSTs.

It is a fantastic set, though, particularly the Aladdin discs, which just contain a WEALTH of alternate and abandoned songs. They make me wish someone would eventually make the original version (as featured on Disc 4) because I love the barbershop nature of it.

You should really seek an official copy of it sometime. I bought it for a song on eBay a few years ago.

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The "Arabian Nights" stuff interests me. A finale ("Arabian Nights (Reprise)") was recorded for the film, Bruce Adler, orchestra, and all, but not used. However, the recording eventually ended up as the finale to Aladdin and the King of Thieves, the final, direct-to-video sequel. It's a chillingly nostalgic piece of music (and probably the best thing about the sequels' somewhat adequate songs/scores, because, of course, it was written by the first film's composer and lyricist). One note about this set (assuming the MP3 I downloaded is accurate) - there's quite a lot of tape hiss. Does anyone know anything about the sound quality of the video soundtrack? Better?

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And one of the most valuable tracks in my eyes is the narration-free version of the wonderful "Prologue" from Beauty and the Beast (Menken's best score after Pocahontas, IMO).

Ray Barnsbury

I have the set as well, and it IS great! Although if you enjoy a narration-free "Prologue", you can always just listen to "Aquarium" from Camille Saint-Saens "Carnival of the Animals". The Prologue is an obvious ripoff of it.

Great music nonetheless.

-JCM

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And one of the most valuable tracks in my eyes is the narration-free version of the wonderful "Prologue" from Beauty and the Beast (Menken's best score after Pocahontas, IMO).

Ray Barnsbury

I have the set as well, and it IS great! Although if you enjoy a narration-free "Prologue", you can always just listen to "Aquarium" from Camille Saint-Saens "Carnival of the Animals". The Prologue is an obvious ripoff of it.

Great music nonetheless.

-JCM

Yeah, I know! I first realized that when I listened to the music from Impressions de France at Epcot, which uses various classical pieces. Still, Menken made more cinematic, and it works great.

Ray Barnsbury

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And one of the most valuable tracks in my eyes is the narration-free version of the wonderful "Prologue" from Beauty and the Beast (Menken's best score after Pocahontas, IMO).

Ray Barnsbury

I have the set as well, and it IS great! Although if you enjoy a narration-free "Prologue", you can always just listen to "Aquarium" from Camille Saint-Saens "Carnival of the Animals". The Prologue is an obvious ripoff of it.

Great music nonetheless.

-JCM

Yeah, I know! I first realized that when I listened to the music from Impressions de France at Epcot, which uses various classical pieces. Still, Menken made more cinematic, and it works great.

Ray Barnsbury

Definetly works great! Sets the perfect tone for the movie.

On a side note, with the exceptions of the Lion King, and Tarzan (both of which I do enjoy)...Disney movies have severely suffered from the loss of Menken's writing. He (and Ashman & Rice) really gave the life to Mermaid, Beauty, and Aladdin. (The others are good..but I consider those three to kinda be the Disney animated "trinity," if you will.)

-JCM

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On a side note, with the exceptions of the Lion King, and Tarzan (both of which I do enjoy)...Disney movies have severely suffered from the loss of Menken's writing. He (and Ashman & Rice) really gave the life to Mermaid, Beauty, and Aladdin. (The others are good..but I consider those three to kinda be the Disney animated "trinity," if you will.)

-JCM

Definitely. Those three in particular formed the core of the new Disney classics. It's sad to see that the days of those great animated musicals are pretty much long gone by now, in favor of more and more computer animated movies.

Ray Barnsbury

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On a side note, with the exceptions of the Lion King, and Tarzan (both of which I do enjoy)...Disney movies have severely suffered from the loss of Menken's writing. He (and Ashman & Rice) really gave the life to Mermaid, Beauty, and Aladdin. (The others are good..but I consider those three to kinda be the Disney animated "trinity," if you will.)

-JCM

Definitely. Those three in particular formed the core of the new Disney classics. It's sad to see that the days of those great animated musicals are pretty much long gone by now, in favor of more and more computer animated movies.

Ray Barnsbury

Well, Home on the Range sucked.

Oh, and Menken is working on one more musical for Disney. It will integrate live-action with cartoon scenes.

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narration-free version of the wonderful "Prologue" from Beauty and the Beast (Menken's best score after Pocahontas, IMO).

Ray Barnsbury

is Pocahontas really that good? i dont remember much of it, except for the two wonderful songs for the leading lady....

Burga - who rates Hunchback as possibly Menken's best.

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Oh, and Menken is working on one more musical for Disney. It will integrate live-action with cartoon scenes.
I just looked it up on IMDB...Enchanted could be good, I suppose.
is Pocahontas really that good? i dont remember much of it, except for the two wonderful songs for the leading lady....

Yes, it's really is (as Marc has agreed). I was kind of surprised when I got the album, as I just remembered the songs. The score is thematically rich, and very beautiful...the love theme (which is also the needless pop song "If I Never Knew You") in particular is really wonderful.

Ray Barnsbury

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I agree that both Hunchback and Pocahontas are great scores, but I don't think either movie had the impact or staying power that Mermaid, Beauty, and Aladdin did.

I also think Lion King was huge. Visually, I consider that to be the apex of Disney's animation. But maybe that's just me.

As for Enchanted, the new thing Menken is working on, I have high hopes for it, considering the lyricist is composer/lyricist Stephen Schwartz, who is the guy behind the lyrics & music for Wicked, Pippin, Godspell, and a ton of others.

It also has some heavy-hitter singers involved, including Idina Menzel (the original Elphaba from Wicked, and the original Maureen in RENT), and Paige O'Hara...the voice of Belle!

So here's hoping...could be good!

-JCM

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I hadn't seen The Lion King in years, when all of a sudden it was played in the bus on a school trip in my final year (of all places). Even on that crummy little monitor the opening scene blew me away.

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Yes, it's really is (as Marc has agreed). I was kind of surprised when I got the album, as I just remembered the songs. The score is thematically rich, and very beautiful...the love theme (which is also the needless pop song "If I Never Knew You") in particular is really wonderful.

Ray Barnsbury

Cool. May be my next purchase then. =) Btw, does anyone here have a DVD rip of the version of If I Never Knew You sung by Judy Kuhn and Gibson which was inserted back into the DVD? Beats the pop song version any day.

I also think Lion King was huge. Visually, I consider that to be the apex of Disney's animation. But maybe that's just me.

It is. :lol:

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Btw, does anyone here have a DVD rip of the version of If I Never Knew You sung by Judy Kuhn and Gibson which was inserted back into the DVD? Beats the pop song version any day.

PM commencing...

Ozzel - surprised there wasn't a rerelease of the soundtrack with the song on it.

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?!

No score post 1989 has been officially released in its complete form (and i only know of Mary poppins of the old ones) and many of them have had several re-releases

We only have the Mulan oscar promo and the leaked lion king.

They always put the songs first and then the score, with some small tibdits of score between songs.

US people usually get one less score track than international releases. (this is good, but for the is must suck for the US people...)

And you are a menken fan?

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He is a Menken fan, that's why he cannot think logically.

I hate Menken, he's robbed Williams of several Oscars!

Well his several winings did more damage to williams than shore....

Heck, he robbed me 8 oscars! :unsure:

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Yeah, I am. But I've never been too upset about the missing music from Disney albums. I mean, except for a few highlights, which are usually included, most of the music relies heavily on mickey-mousing, which makes it harder to listen to on its own (that doesn't mean I don't appreciate animation scores, mind you). And you can't possibly think that the unreleased bits are necesarily better than the songs - even if you don't like musicals, the orchestral peformances in some of them is wonderful. And the CD releases are usually 50-70 mins long.

So, it comes down to this - songs over score. I find it perfectly rational that they'd choose the songs. Yes, it was a wrong choice in the case of Mulan, where the songs sucked and the underscore was brilliant, but it was the right choice for Beauty and the Beast, Little Mermaid, or even Pocahontas (which is, in my opinion, the best album release of a Disney movie ever). It's not like we're neglected all of the music. We're just given the most considering the means.

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Yeah, I am. But I've never been too upset about the missing music from Disney albums. I mean, except for a few highlights, which are usually included, most of the music relies heavily on mickey-mousing, which makes it harder to listen to on its own (that doesn't mean I don't appreciate animation scores, mind you). And you can't possibly think that the unreleased bits are necesarily better than the songs - even if you don't like musicals, the orchestral peformances in some of them is wonderful. And the CD releases are usually 50-70 mins long.

70 mins long?

They mostly go between 40 and 60.

There must be just one or two 70 mins disney cds...

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I've seen that disc in stores and considered picking it up, having heard good things about the score.

I understand I'm better off leaving it on the shelf then.

The songs are annoying even for me.

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Well if it's for a cheap price then it's still a worthwhile purchase.

It contains just over 30 minutes of Goldsmith's score. and that's great.

I think I didn't buy it at the time, because it wasn't cheap. Lousy CD prices.

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I've never understood why the Mulan songs are hated....I like them just fine, though they're not necessarily up to the level of the classics from the Menken "trilogy." In any case, Goldsmith's suite from Mulan, which uses two of the songs in addition to Goldsmith's themes, is wonderful!

Ray Barnsbury

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Goldsmith, probably. Why shouldn't he use the melodies Matt Wilder composed for the characters in the same film?

I've never understood why the Mulan songs are hated....I like them just fine, though they're not necessarily up to the level of the classics from the Menken "trilogy." In any case, Goldsmith's suite from Mulan, which uses two of the songs in addition to Goldsmith's themes, is wonderful!

If you can make it through "A Girl Worth Fighting For" without cringing once, your tolerance threshold for pain is way superior than mine.

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I will refer you answer to "A Girl Worth Fighting For", just because it's the easier target. I mean, you can grow to enjoy the opening song and "I'll Make a Man Out of You" as guilty, kistch pleasures... somehow. They have Donny Osmond there.

The voices are indeed annoying. At times, it feels like watching one of those Simpsons musical numbers, especially that little guy who seems to be singing with a really sore throat. The music is also annoying - it's neither Chinese (although it has some Chinese percussion that seems to be 'out there' without being part of the song), nor is it really standard Disney music. The inclusion of the "1812" overture at the end for some reason that escapes my mind doesn't really improve things. The chorus is also annoying, with that military individual asks, group answers formula. As for the lyrics, it just doesn't work. Zippel tries to make these guys look macho writing a sexist, macho song about them, but seriously - how blatantly sexist and macho can you get in a Disney movie, which are generally sexist per se? It just doesn't work.

Add to that, Lea Salonga trying to sing like a man with what seems to be an attempt at comedy acting and you get a direct trip to the Skip Button.

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A note on the thread's original topic - I managed to obtain the track "Arabian Nights (Reprise)" from the King of Thieves soundtrack. Compared to the version from this box set, it is slower, but equal in pitch (the box set's version does sound slightly out of tune, but not nearly by a semitone). It still has significant tape hiss, but the general sound quality is much better. In other words, the King of Thieves soundtrack presents this music more definitively than the Music Behind the Magic set does.

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