The world hasn't lacked for recorded compilations of songs from Walt Disney films and stage shows, but the vast majority concentrate on such chestnuts as "When You Wish Upon a Star" and "It's a Small World After All." In his latest disk, "The Disney Albums," Phantom of the Opera and soon to be Dance of the Vampires star Michael Crawford also tackles various Mousterpieces, but excepting "Baby Mine" from "Dumbo," all the songs are from the post-"Little Mermaid" era.
The ten tracks on "The Disney Album," to be released in the U.S. by Walt Disney Records on Sept. 18, are:
"Colors of the Wind" ("Pocahontas")
"When She Loved Me" ("Toy Story 2")
"Your Heart Will Lead You Home" ("The Tigger Movie")
"You'll Be in My Heart" ("Tarzan")
"If I Never Knew You" ("Pocahontas")
"Baby Mine" ("Dumbo")
"Lion King Medley" ("The Lion King")
"I Know the Truth" (Aida)
"I Will Go Sailing No More" ("Toy Story")
Of the ten tunes, only the "Lion King Medley" and "I Know the Truth" are Broadway-related; the rest — barring the unlikely event that someone decides to make The Tigger Movie: The Musical — are from recent Disney films. Composers and lyricists include Randy Newman, Alan Menken, Tim Rice, David Zippel, Phil Collins and Stephen Schwartz.
According to a release from Judy Katz Public Relations, "The Disney Album" has already scored success overseas, reaching #1 in Australia and #2 in New Zealand. As for the "Dumbo" number, "Baby Mine," that song will have a life outside the CD: the tune's music video will be included on the 60th anniversary DVD release (Oct. 23) of the animated classic.
Since his world-famous, Tony-winning performance in The Phantom of the Opera, Crawford has concentrated on his concert and recording career. In recent interviews, composer Andrew Lloyd Webber has not completely ruled out the possibility of Crawford playing the Phantom again in the long-awaited film version of the musical. Before that eventuality, however, Crawford will appear on Broadway this season in the campy musical, Dance of the Vampires.
Prior to his Broadway success, the actor won an Olivier for the London mounting of Barnum and also had featured roles in the films "Hello, Dolly!" and "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," both based on stage shows.
For more information about "Michael Crawford: The Disney Album," check out the website: www.disney.coom/disneyrecords.