Classic Disney Volume 5
Walt Disney Records, 1998
REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 05/23/1999
Chances are, if you have kids, you've purchased at least one volume in the Classic Disney series. Compiling both the best-of and little-heard music from 60 years of "musical magic", the discs literally have something for everyone.
Now, I'm at a bit of a disadvantage. Having only the latest volume, Classic Disney Volume 5, in my collection - and not having the courage to ask my friends at Disney for the other volumes (hey, I've got to buy some of the music I review) - I'm behind the times regarding what to include or exclude. All told, the previous four volumes compile 100 songs from Disney's history, and breezing through some of the titles on CDNow, it looks like they've done their homework.
Volume 5 is a disc that draws about 40 percent of its content from recent releases from the Disney film vaults. Movies like Mulan ("I'll Make A Man Out Of You"), Hercules ("I Won't Say I'm In Love") and The Hunchback Of Notre Dame ("God Help The Outcasts") all get their fair turn in the spotlight - though I'll be honest, I'm surprised that "Reflection" from Mulan wasn't included. (Maybe in Volume 6, perhaps?)
There are guaranteed to be some songs in here that will be new to some people. Unless you had the Burl Ives re-issue from about a year ago, chances are you've not heard his take on "Lavender Blue (Dilly Dilly)" (from 1949's So Dear To My Heart), and "Humphrey Hop" (from 1956's In The Bag) was a new one to me. Discs like this one are literally treasure chests, both for our kids and the inner child in all of us.
This isn't to say that I liked every song on the disc. The selection from 1977's Pete's Dragon, "Boo Bop Bopbop Bop (I Love You Too)", was one I could have easily gone the rest of my life without hearing again. (It struck me as cornball when I was six, and not much has changed.) And while I absolutely love Winnie-The-Pooh (possibly because I've now seen the movie some 20 times, thanks to my daughter), there's something not right about this version of "The Rain Rain Rain Came Down Down Down" - it sounds too new, not like the version in the film.
Still, these all are small points to make about a volume that is otherwise well thought out and documented. Even if Classic Disney Volume 5 is the first of the discs you pick up, it's not a bad place to start - at least the kids will have a modern reference point with the newer movies. But to be fair, this one belongs nestled next to the other four volumes in the series.