1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hello, Guest! Do you have any shopping to do at Amazon? You can help support Magic Music by using our special link. Thank you!
    Dismiss Notice

A History of the Official Album

Discussion in 'Disney Parks and Resorts' started by Randy Thornton, Feb 15, 2008.

  1. Randy Thornton

    Randy Thornton Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2002
    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    6
    In anticipation of the April release of the UPDATED Official Albums, I figured I'd give you a little background on the Official Album concept itself.

    Though Disneyland had been in operation since 1955, and Walt Disney World since 1971, the first Official Album didn't debut until 1980 (obviously, this does not include "Walt Disney Takes You to Disneyland" or the latter "A Day at Disneyland" as they did not include actual audio from The Park). Entitled: "The Official Album of Disneyland and Walt Disney World", it was a standard 12" vinyl disc. The content consisted of short audio clips from the major attractions in both parks (Disneyland and Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom).

    In 1983 another 12" vinyl disc titled "Official Album of EPCOT Center" debuted featuring material only from the new park.

    Both these albums remained unchanged until 1988 when the first CD was released in which both albums were combined into one product — the "Official Album of Disneyland / Walt Disney World and EPCOT Center". The only changes (over the previous releases) were the addition of the pre-opening versions of the Disneyland Splash Mountain songs and the removal of the EPCOT "Main Entrance Medley" and "The Computer Song". This CD has been considered by many to be the "Holy Grail" of Official Albums. Again, this disc remained unchanged (outside of several cover changes) for nearly 9 years.

    Then, with the closure of several of EPCOT's Future World attractions, those related tracks were removed from the album without replacement. Again, that particular album (the "Official Album of Disneyland and Walt Disney World") remained unchanged until the mid-to-late 1990s — despite the addition of new attractions to all three parks, as well as the opening of Disney/MGM Studios (now Disney's Hollywood Studios).

    In 1998, while Disneyland was still represented by the previous "Official Album of Disneyland and Walt Disney World", Walt Disney World received its first solo album which contained the same tracks only with Classic Soundtrack recordings included to represent The Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland attractions and several other non-park tracks. Some of you older Forum Members had extremely strong opinions about this release.

    1999 is when I first began my work on the Official Albums. Disneyland was still using the previous album and only Walt Disney World was to be updated. I was able to expand many of the main attraction scores from 1 minute clips to full musical experiences. In an effort to make the album more up-to-date, I began clearing tracks from attractions that had been overlooked or had been added to the parks in the previous 10 years. However, I couldn't add these tracks all at once, so every new release saw the addition of a few new tracks to catch up to the current roster of attractions.

    Disneyland finally received its own album (The Disneyland Official Album) in 2001 with the opening of Disney's California Adventure (which also received its own album). Both of these releases remained unchanged until 2005 with advent of Disneyland's 50th Celebration.

    It was for this event that I was first able to get both Disneyland and Walt Disney World expanded into 2-disc sets. However, as part of the 50th, I purposefully chose to include tracks that were from extinct attractions to fit in with the historic aspect of the celebration. It was a ploy that allowed me to establish a 2-disc format that I could carry forward. The Official Albums in 2006 (Disneyland's "Remember the Moments" and Walt Disney World's "Where Magic Lives") were the first true 2-disc standard Official Albums.

    Over the last 8 years, I've added over 50 new tracks as well as the expand many of the Classics like "Yo Ho", "Grim Grinning Ghosts", and "It's a Small World". We've gone from a single 15 track CD representing both resorts (1998 release), to two 2-disc sets representing each resort individually with up to 30 or more tracks per set.

    In all this time of new and/or expanded tracks, only 1 has remained the same since its debut in 1983.  I am happy to say that this next release has a new version of that track as well. So, with this new element, every single track has now been completely redone, or replaced.

    We've all become accustomed to a cluster of new tracks almost every year. It was unprecedented growth, and unlikely to happen again. It is more than possible an Updated Album will not be released every year. For those who may think this is a bad thing, please keep in mind that when one door closes, another one opens. From my vantage point, I can see the future. It's a bit blurry, but it looks pretty good from here. I really can't say any more than that at the moment.

    You guys have always been a great resource for me while working on these albums and I genuinely appreciate your devotion and passion.

    Many, many thanks!

    Randy Thornton


    As I mentioned in a previous post, I'll give you more detail on what's in store for the new updated albums at the end of March.
     
  2. Dr. Know

    Dr. Know Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2002
    Messages:
    691
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you for this excellent, informative post. I am looking forward to the new Official Album, and to the promise of future beyond that. I have to say that under Randy's stewardship, the Official Albums have gotten better every year. Thanks for listening to the fans!
     
  3. WDWGuy08

    WDWGuy08 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2004
    Messages:
    409
    Likes Received:
    3
    i am going to take a guess and say that that 1 track is the finale theme song from O Canada! Anyone think different?

    Also, Thank You Randy for listening to us the fans over the years and what we want to hear on the official albums. Also, Thank You for the history of the official album it was very interesting and a good read. Learned a couple of things I never knew too. Everything you do is ALWAYS welcomed and most appreciated! It is nice to have you on this board to learn of new projects and releases you are working on to get released to us fans. I just hope that in the near future MORE music from retired attractions like: Horizons, no pun their Jeff, hehe, Timekeeper, Dreamflight, etc.. can be released.
     
  4. almandot

    almandot Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Messages:
    807
    Likes Received:
    4
    Woo he's gonna update and extend walt's dedication speech! It'll be bigger, badder, with more explosions and a laser fight!
    .. Oh, from EPCOT, nevermind. Keep working on that one though. :D

    I still remember the first OA I bought. It was in 1996 and I got both the cassette tape and the CD of it for no particular reason I just really wanted the electrical parade music. It was my very first moment of "Hey, this isn't the whole parade and it's all cut up. Where's pinocchio!" ;). But it included some bubbly music I had never heard before. I enjoyed getting to hear things like the droid room and grim grinning ghosts. And as a little kid who grew up with DL trips I had no clue at all what I was listening to for the 2nd half of the album other than to just assume oh it's disneyworld stuff I guess. Sometimes I listened to magic journeys and makin memories for a bit but I mostly skipped all the rest.

    Never woulda guessed how much I'd get into this stuff 8 years later in '04, thank you internet I guess. ;) Or that I'd actually end up in the Electrical Parade now. That's just darn crazy. :p
     
  5. BLM07

    BLM07 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2002
    Messages:
    412
    Likes Received:
    0
    I still consider the 1988 / 1991 version my favorite, just because of the nostalgic value and there are so many different attractions represented. I love having Golden Dream as the last track, it's so grand and can be emotional, I think it makes a perfect finale. I somewhat miss that being the last track on newer albums.

    I do enjoy mixing the 1999 / 2000 WDW albums. Celebrate the Future Hand in Hand or Fantasy in the Sky can make a nice finale.

    Diggin' in Dinoland is skipped no matter where it is.
     
  6. almandot

    almandot Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Messages:
    807
    Likes Received:
    4
    Is electrical parade on one but not the other? Or is it a different electrical parade track on one than the other?
     
  7. BookPodder

    BookPodder I'm a Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2005
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi all,
    First off, Randy, I love the fact that you take the time to participate on a forum like this!  I also appreciate all you've done with Disney recordings over the years.  The park albums are a particular obsession of mine, and your post was a nice timeline of the history of the albums and is a great addition to our knowledge about them.

    My obsessive compulsive nature compels me to elaborate a bit on your post to point out a few more differences in the transition between the 1980 Official Album, the 1983 EPCOT Center Album and the first combined CD release in 1988.

    Though I'm probably making some errors of my own here, there are more changes between these releases than just the removal of two EPCOT tracks and the addition of two Splash Mountain tracks:

    The 1980 Album's Main Street Electrical Parade is a 6:04 edit, nearly 2 minutes longer than the version on the 1988 CD.

    The 1980 Album's track "The Music of Main Street" is a 2:10 track containing "Coney Island Washboard" (by the Dapper Dans) "Minnie's Yoo Hoo" and "Maple Leaf Rag".  This is split up for the 1988 CD into individual tracks with "Coney Island Washboard" not appearing on an Official Album again.

    The Blue Grass Boys' "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" on the 1980 album is not on the 1988 CD.

    Though the Country Bear Jamboree is represented on both albums, it's by different tracks.  The 1980 album has a 3:36 medley while the 1988 CD has the oft-reused (from that point on) "The Great Outdoors" track.

    The 1980 Album has the track "The Steel Drum Band" which, like the Blue Grass Boys track, never appeared again on an Official Album.

    The 1980 Album has a 3:51 medley from America Sings and there's nothing from America Sings on the 1988 CD (the attraction closed in 1988)

    The final track of the 1980 Album is "The Hall of Presidents" and is not carried over to the 1988 CD.

    With the EPCOT Center album, though the 1983 album and the 1988 CD have "It's Fun to be Free" on them, they are very different versions.

    Finally, the 1988 CD adds several tracks — in addition to Splash Mountain tracks — that do not appear on either the 1980 Album or the EPCOT Center album: The Droid Rooms, The Mickey Mouse Club March, When You Wish Upon a Star, Tomorrow's Child, New Horizons and Space.  New Horizons and Space were both from the Horizons pavilion, which I don't think was actually open yet when the 1983 EPCOT Center album was released.

    Again, thanks for all you do for the world of Disney Music!
     
  8. almandot

    almandot Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Messages:
    807
    Likes Received:
    4
    Well what's funny about the 1980 electrical parade version is that, yes, it is 2 minutes longer than the cd release. However it's the same track. If you listen to the very last second of the shorter cd track you can hear the it's a small world unit pick up for a note during the fadeout, which is what the 1980 version continued on with. Possibly (probably) just because the small world unit had been taken out by then.. but then again they left in the briney deep (my bubbly music :D) but they probably felt it wasn't worth the effort that editing it out in the middle of the track would have been.
     
  9. daliseurat

    daliseurat Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for that history! I am proud to say that I have all the cd's! It is so nice to have someone like Randy at Disney. He truly understands the entire world of Disney sound and how important it is to reserve it. The fan community could ask for a better person. I can't wait till the blurry future clears to see what you've got in store!
     
  10. Gurgitoy2

    Gurgitoy2 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2002
    Messages:
    1,159
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, I'm not sure it's the real "holy grail".  I think that one is the CD version of the 1980 "Official Album" that was released in Japan.

    Also, you forgot one of the "Official Albums" in your list.  Disneyland (and Walt Disney World) were represented by the 1997 OA for a while, but Disneyland finally got it's own in 2000 for it's 45th anniversary, and it had most of the same tracks as the previous one, but did add some exclusive stuff, like the 45th Parade, and a few tracks from "Woody's Roundup".  Then, your 2001 version was introduced and replaced the anniversary version.
     
  11. Gurgitoy2

    Gurgitoy2 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2002
    Messages:
    1,159
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is amazing to me that nobody thought people wanted to hear the actual attraction music for so long.  I know it was pretty common in the 50's and 60's to have studio albums and such, but maybe it was thought that nobody would care?  I'm glad they finally started though, because I really love that 1980 Official Album!

    Oh, and your "one door closes, while another one opens" is pretty vague, but I'm hoping it means that park audio will find its way somewhere for people to get a hold of rather than a new Official Album each year.  Maybe we'll finally get attraction/parade albums on iTunes?
     
  12. Gurgitoy2

    Gurgitoy2 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2002
    Messages:
    1,159
    Likes Received:
    0
    You know, I don't know why I didn't think of attraction LP's that were around before the "Official Albums". There were a few releases of specific things before they brought bits & pieces together in one LP. There was "It's a Small World", "The Country Bear Jamboree", "Hall of Presidents", "America Sings", "The Enchanted Tiki Room & Jungle Cruise", "America on Parade" several versions of "The Main Street Electrical Parade", and numerous other entertainment LP's from both resorts, so I guess it wasn't like there was nothing availible, in fact, looking at it, there was quite a bit for that time period before the introduction of the OA.
     
  13. mmmfan

    mmmfan Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2005
    Messages:
    223
    Likes Received:
    0
    This thread is very interesting. Randy, thank you for providing this history of the official album.Can't wait to see what's on the new ones. :D
     
  14. gaysnappercarr

    gaysnappercarr Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2002
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    WOW!

    This is a great post for me as I'm kinda 'new-ish' to really collecting park music.

    My first park CD was the 100 Years Of Magic CD from 2001 (bought off of eBay) and when I was in WDW in October of 2007 I bought the 2006 'Where Magic Lives' 2 CD set.
    (and a lot more park cd's - LOL. Wishes, Illuminations, Festival Of The Lion King, Magic In The Streets, SpectroMagic, and Magic Kingdom Event Party Music)

    Are there any websites that have album art and track listings for the other Official Albums listed in the history? I'd love to see them and see what tracks are on them!

    Thanks SO MUCH for this post - and heck - for the whole site. I read it every day - but very seldom post - but I couldn't let THIS go by without a "THANKS!"
     
  15. YellowRainbowFan76

    YellowRainbowFan76 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2005
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    The very first Official Album (1980) remains my all-time favorite of all issues over the years. It has nostalgic value to me as it was about around that time I went to Disneyland for the very first time. I've had copies of this album over the years and now I have two copies and for one particluar reason: The MSEP track on one copy is longer and has more music from the Dumbo unit which includes Casey Jr. and the Entry of the Gladiators. Also in the track, is more of the Disney Neon Finale with a larger melody such as Heigh-Ho, When You Wish Upon A Star, Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah, Whistle While You Work, The Mickey Mouse March, the track fades with Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf. In addition, the Country Bear Jamboree track has the Teddi Barra song, "Heart, We Did All That We Could", instead of Terrance the Shaker's song, "How Long Will My Baby Be Gone".

    To those who have the 1980 album, have you noticed this in your copies?
     
  16. ispace

    ispace Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2002
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    0
    Remember also that this album was released on CD in Australia by Pickwick in the late 1980s (PKD 6041).  I know because I have a copy in my hands at the moment, but I haven't seen another copy here since I bought it.

    Regards,
    Brett.
     
  17. TomTO

    TomTO Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Randy for all your valuable input ... and to the rest of you also. This is the ONLY website I visit every day.

    Can anyone tell me if new release will be available anywhere else other than the parks?

    Regards,
    Tom
     
  18. Dirk

    Dirk Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2002
    Messages:
    470
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the great input Randy ...

    Well, there were actually TWO versions of the 2001 OA, just pulled them up to verify this ... the first one had 16 tracks, featured a photo of WDW's Splash Mountain logs in the top right corner of the back-cover and had the title "Walt Disney Records presents Disneyland Park The Official Album" on the spine. The item# was 60684-7.

    The second edition had the same front-cover but had written "Walt Disney Records presents The Official Album Disneyland Park" on the spine. Also the item# changed to 60047-7. On the back-cover a photo of DL's Splash Mountain logs replaced the one from WDW. But there is also an additional track: "Parade of the Stars" clocking in at 4:19 was added as track #14.

    And just so to complete the list regarding WDW: The WDW OA of 2000 (itself an updated version of your WDW OA from 1999) was re-released in 2001 with the sub-title "Celebrating 100 Years of Magic" featuring a second "bonus CD" including only one track - the song "Share a Dream Come True". Afterwards in 2003 the very first version of the WDW OA titled "The Official Album Where magic lives. Walt Disney World" was released (20 tracks, item# 60064-7). The title and the single-disc-format was kept for the 2004 update (item# 61158-7), which packaging-wise closely resembles the 2003-version.

    Maybe this helps new collectors a bit...

    Yours

    Dirk
     
  19. almandot

    almandot Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2005
    Messages:
    807
    Likes Received:
    4
    And the OA didn't go completely unchanged for 9 years really.. The space mountain, light magic, fantasmic finale, and Illuminations tracks made their way in for example in 1997-nevermind Bill got this one, only saw his 45th anniversary oa mention.
     
  20. Gurgitoy2

    Gurgitoy2 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2002
    Messages:
    1,159
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, Randy meant that the album went unchanged from the 1988 version (minus cover changes in 1991) until the 1997 Official Album that you mention.  So, that was 9 years until any major changes/deletions.
     

Share This Page