The SECOND major release of summer '09... Have you ever seen a haunted house? You know the kind I mean... The Story and Song from The Haunted Mansion [floatright][img]http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61Ox6CXslNL._SL500_AA300_.jpg[/img][/floatright]Originally released in 1969, this Disneyland Records Storyteller was intended as a promotional album to commemorate the opening of Disneyland's Haunted Mansion. Long since out of print, this recording has become a cherished childhood memory for many a Disneyland guest. "The Story and Song from The Haunted Mansion" was produced before the attraction opened, and includes original scenes and effects that never made it into the final version. The album also took a bit of literary license by introducing the story of two teenagers who take refuge inside the eerie mansion during a mysterious rainstorm. Legendary voice artist Thurl Ravenscoft narrates, as the Ghost Host (voiced by Pete Renoudet [Reneday]) guides his guests through his ghastly manor. The young teenagers are played by Robie Lester (Disneyland Records' original story teller), and the young (future Academy Award® winning director) Ron Howard. For the CD release, I've added a Bonus Track of "Grim Grinning Ghosts" – like the track on the Official Albums, but a new mix. The CD packaging mirrors that of the original vinyl release – complete with the 11 pages of illustrations by renowned Disney Artist Collin Campbell. As a special treat, the CD includes all of Mr. Campbell's paintings in a specially designed electronic gallery. Just slip the disc into your computer and you’ll not only have the ability to view these terrific paintings, but print them out as well! This was one of my favorite albums as a kid! I loved this thing. I was 9 when this album came out and I had to have it! In all honesty, when I first got the album, I was disappointed it wasn't the true soundtrack. It ultimately didn't matter though; it still became a cherished treasure. Little did I realize at that tender age, that not only would I be able to restore and re-release this very album on CD, but I'd also be in a position to build that ride-thru I always wanted (twice even*). For those of you who are familiar with this classic, you may recall that it had a few... well, production issues – uneven dialog, the odd sound effect or three cutting off, and several other noticeable 'quirks'. This wasn't due to some slap-shod production, but the technology of the time. This was a rather ambitious record – dialog, sound effects, and music, all telling an atmospheric adventure. This was produced before multi-track tape machines. There was no over dubbing as we know it today. It became clear to me that this was probably built by using multiple tape machines, each providing a small element of each scene – 1. Dialog, 2. Ambient sounds, 3. Sound effects, 4. Music, and so on. Each scene appears to have been built and mixed in this way, and then edited together. This explains sound effects getting cut-off, the uneven dialog and the EQ variances. In spite of this, the album is remarkable for its time and quite a technical achievement – especially for a 'children's record'. The other storytellers in our catalog of the time weren't nearly this ambitious – just narrator, perhaps dialog from the film (used sparingly) and music. Nothing as complicated as what they tried to do for "The Story and Song from The Haunted Mansion". We spent several weeks cleaning up and fixing a lot of those technical issues, but I wanted to maintain the album's original feel. A good percentage of the album's charm comes from some of these very 'quirks', and I wanted this to be the album I grew up with. I believe we achieved just that. The things I felt the original producers would have done, had the technology allowed, I fixed. Others, I just preserved. Making this release really extra special is the artwork. Back in my early days here at Walt Disney Records, I found all of Collin Campbell's original paintings for this album. Over that last 21 years, I've guarded these works of art as we've endured numerous moves and shifts in out storage facilities. I always kept these paintings safe. I've wanted to release this album since I started here, but it needed to be the right time and for the right purpose. With the Mansion's 40th, the time had finally arrived!!! The paintings were scanned in at very high resolution and the package was built from the ground up with these new images. With print technology far more advanced today than in 1969, the final product looks absolutely stunning – better than the original release by a considerable margin! The album will make its debut before the general public at the D23 Expo, and will then be released nationwide shortly thereafter. Yep, ya heard that right – NATIONWIDE. Randy Thornton * That's your clue for a part of the third major project.