Saturday, September 11, 2010

Quadraphonic Sound, Disneyland Style




This posting is a bit off topic but worth mentioning since I have acquired an SQ decoder and have gotten into the Quadraphonic craze, myself.

In the 1970s, a new and exciting new format came alive, and it was QUADRAPHONIC sound It became the forerunner of today’s surround sound and came in three major formats: SQ, QS, and CD-4. For matrix you had SQ (by CBS) and QS (Sansui) and for true discrete sound, CD-4. Most of the major labels got into the Quadraphonic craze but Disneyland/Vista did not join in with the others. Sadly, Quad was a commercial failure due to technical problems by the end of the 1970s but was revived in a different form as Surround Sound. Still, quad systems/decoders were even compatible with regular stereo discs and even you could play them with added effects and surprising results.

I know I’m a bit old school but I’ve been collecting Quad LPs for years and now I could appreciate what Quad has to offer. I found that certain Disneyland/Vista Stereo records sound sensational in Quad/Surround (depending on the album, of course). For example, Camarata Conducts Man of La Mancha gives that true “FantaSound” in all 4+ channels. Imagine hearing all of the stereophonic Storytellers and albums enhanced.

To experience the Quadraphonic magic, you need, a quad system with a built-in decoder or external decoder with two stereo receivers. It sounds primitive but the sound really surrounds you.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Official Album of Disneyland/Walt Disney World

Official Album of Disneyland and Walt Disney World 1980

This posting comes at a year when Disneyland Park is celebrating its 55th Anniversary and the recent news about the return of the Main Street Electrical Parade at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom and the 30th Anniversary of the very first Official Album of music from the Disney Theme Parks. This album undoubtedly one my favorites and
Remains the best of Official Albums.

After my very first visit to Disneyland back in 1981, this was a fantastic audio souvenir of Disneyland and something to recall the wonderful classic attractions including America Sings, Country Bear Jamboree, It’s A Small World and the nighttime classic, The Main Street Electrical Parade. From that year on, the Official Albums have been reissued with new material while updated versions of the main stay tracks from The Haunted Mansion, It’s A Small World, etc have been released. Still, the 1980 release holds a special place in my heart due to the aforementioned attractions no longer being at Disneyland. Here are the track listings of the album:

Side One
The Main Street Electrical Parade (Baroque Hoedown and a medley of Disney favorites)*
Pirates of the Caribbean (Yo Ho, A Pirates Life For Me)
The Music of Main Street
+The Dapper Dans (Coney Island Washboard)
+ The Saxophone Quartet (Minnie’s Yoo Hoo)
+ The Main Street Pianist (Maple Leaf Rag)
The Enchanted Tiki Room (The Tiki Tiki Tiki Room)
The Blue Grass Boys (Foggy Mountain Breakdown)
Country Bear Jamboree (Pianjo, Bear Band Serenade, Fractured Folk Song, How Long Will My Baby Be Gone, Ballad of Davy Crockett, and Come Again)

Side Two
The Disneyland Band (Mickey Mouse March)
It’s A Small World (It’s A Small World After All)
The Steel Drum Band (PP 99)
The Haunted Mansion (Grim Grinning Ghost)
The Royal Street Bachelors (Swanee River)
America Sings (Yankee Doodle, Dixie, My Old Kentucky Home, Polly Wolly Doodle, Down By The Riverside, I’ve Been Working on the Railroad, Old Chisholm Trail, She May Be Somebody’s Mother, The Bowery, After The Ball, Bill Bailey)
The Fife and Drum Corps (British Grenadiers)
The Hall of Presidents-Mr. Lincoln
*= Longer version features Casey Jr, and a Disney Neon Finale medley consisting of Heigh-Ho, When You Wish Upon a Star, Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah, Whistle While You Work, The Mickey Mouse March, and Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf. CBJ Track has “Heart, We Did All That We Could” sung by Teddi Barra.
What is interesting is that there are TWO versions of this release and it’s due to the fact that the first version features a longer medley of the Main Street Electrical Parade track and a different version of the Country Bear Jamboree with the song, “Heart, We Did All That We Could” sung by Teddi Barra. In order to obtain this track, look for this inscription on the dead wax (that’s the end of a record) WW-480* Otherwise, versions with the 680 on the dead wax will featured the above tracks.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Phonographs, Disney Style!

TWO DISNEY RECORD PLAYERS

One can’t play Disneyland Records (or any records for that matter) as a kid with out these babies. Sure there’s the Fisher Price record player but these two I have are cool with a capital C;

This first one is from Sears and it has two speeds (33 &45) to play your records on. The inside cover has a picture of Mickey Mouse in a stripe shirt with a comic book bubble saying, “Hi kids!” The tone arm is shaped like his arm and white glove and I can only assume you handle the arm by his pointed finger.























The second one shown here has got to be the coolest tie-in to Disney’s multi-platinum hit, MICKEY MOUSE DISCO.

I bought this on Ebay years ago and while it may look like a regular player, the front panel lights up to the music depending on the volume. The top lid bears the from cover of the MMD LP and the inside shows the rear cover artwork. I did some research and found out that this was manufactured in Canada and the owners of this record player were also treated to a free copy of the album, :D. Here is my YouTube video of it in action playing some tunes.
And BTW, the sound from both are obviously monaural but the sound reproduction sounds good for a a kids phonograph.

Friday, July 3, 2009

MICKEY MOUSE DISCO-30 YEARS AND STILL SHAKING, STRUTTIN', MOVIN' AND GROOVIN'!


This monthly post is dedicated to the 30th Anniversary of the album, MICKEY MOUSE DISCO. It was released in 1979 and featured 9 disco songs-three of them Disney standards. Without a doubt, this is one of the best Disney LPs I ever owned and it still gets played to this day via vinyl or on CD when on the go. To see an ad for the album, see the previous post for Disneyland Record Commercials.

The album cover was beautifully done by Dick Duerrstein and illustrated by the Alvin White Studio. The front features Mickey and Minnie dancing with a cavalcade of disco lights on a dance floor . The rear cover features a smaller version of the title logo with a huge spotlight on the right right Daisy and Donald, Horace Horsecollar (with his cool plaid bellbottoms and platforms), Clarabelle Cow and Chip & Dale all dancing to the beat with more flashing lights.

The songs on the album:

Disco Mickey Mouse
Welcome to Rio
The Greatest Band
Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah (Oscar Winner from Song of the South)
Macho Duck (a parody of The Village People’s Macho Man and featured Donald Duck, voiced by Jim Tadevic, NOT Clarence “Ducky“ Nash)
Mousetrap (written by album producer Jymn Magon)
Watch Out For Goofy (Goofy makes a cameo, voiced by Tony Pope)
It’s A Small World
Chim Chim Cher-ee (Another Oscar Winner from Mary Poppins and is Instrumental with a great sax solo)

The arrangements were done by Dennis Burnside, with the exception of It’s a Small World.

Interestingly, the tracks Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah and Chim Chim Cher-ee were both on the Musicor Records’ album CARTOON DISCO, released one year before and in the same arrangements but remixed differently. That album also featured disco versions of the Mickey Mouse March, Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf, and Whistle While You Work. One has to wonder why these tracks weren’t included on Mickey Mouse Disco. If I had a wish, it would be an expanded version of Mickey Mouse Disco with the original release and the Cartoon Disco Disney tracks as bonus cuts.

Disney released the album in July 1979 and it went Gold in April 1980, then a month and a half later, it reached Platinum and in October 1984, it became the first children’s album to reach Double Platinum status.

It reached #35 on the Top 40 album charts. And Record World magazine named it the Number #1 Children's Album.

In addition, the album was released world-wide and international versions were released in the Latin American countries and in Japan. Also, tie-in merchandise were made such as record players, record cases, etc and a 7-8 minute cartoon was released featuring 5 songs from the album set to clips from classic Disney shorts such as Thru the Mirror, Clock Cleaners, Mickey’s Delayed Date, etc.

The album’s legacy still lives on as you can get the album on vinyl on Ebay but in digital form on Itunes.

After 30 years, that Mouse will never fail and never will this classic album.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Take your Disney Songs with you with DISNEY SONGTAPES

In the early 1980s, Disneyland Records released most of their 2500 series on cassettes with 24 page books with lyrics to all of the songs (unless they were instrumentals. From The Best of Disney Volume One to Disney's Merry Christmas Carols, listeners were treated to beautiful full-color Disney illustrations and easy to read lyrics, and like the Disney Storytellers on vinyl or cassette, were designed to help build reading skills. SEE the pictures HEAR the tape READ the book. SING!

These were inserts that held each cassette, much like the Disney Storytellers on Cassette.






Here is the list of Titles listed inside each booklet at the back.




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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Disneyland LP TV Advertisements

These best-selling Disney LPs featured animated advertisements that easily caught my eye and led me to add these to my collection. Today, they leave a lasting memory for me either in vinyl form or CDs.

MOUSERCISE (1982)



MICKEY MOUSE SPLASHDANCE (1983)



DISNEY'S CHILDREN'S FAVORITES Volumes I, II and III