Disney & Sony


Hey there, Hi there, Ho there,

Ok - Disney is in a sad state, but sometimes I wonder how blind the management can get. What am I talking about?

The release of soundtrack CDs - no, not the non-release of classic soundtrack CDs of Disney classics (heck, the company's management stopped caring about its tradition years ago), I'm speaking of soundtrack CDs to "current" blockbuster movies.

While I got used to read in the credits that the score was recorded on Sony sound stages (hey, why should we record in Disney soundstages or build our own if we can help the competition make some more profit??), I wonder how it happened that more often and often soundtracks for Disney releases end up on non-Disney-labels.


"Coyote Ugly" - a Touchstone Production had its soundtrack released on "Curb Records" licensed to WEA International (=Warner) for Europe. This soundstrack not only had the hit song "Can't Fight The Moonlight" by LeAnn Rimes included but is now 3 years after the movie's release still selling so well, that just several months ago a CD "More Music from Coyote Ugly" was released here in Europe! Talk about money going down the drain for Disney...

"South Pacific" - the ABC Premiere Event. Sure it wasn't the big hit expected but with Glenn Close, Harry Connik Jr., to name just two out of the cast, and the classical material it was sure that the soundtrack CD would be a long term addition to the catalogue of what ever label would release it. A CD that one would be able to sell to theater fans in a few years time jsut as well as now. Surely WDR or one of the other Disney labels would jump on this, as ABC as Disney company certainly would ask them ... wrong thought. This one went to the Sony Music Soundtrax label.

"Chicago" - a Miramax production this one was sure to guarantee more than decent slaes during the movie's initial release thanks to a famous cast and the incredible media attention and also had the added bonus of possible long term sales to theater music fans thanks to being a new recording of a classic with added material of the original composer/lyricist team. For sure another CD Disney would want to release on one of their labels and with Miramax practically being a Disney label (even so run relatively independent) this should be out of question. No, not for Disney actively trying to avoid to make any money in the CD area. This CD went out to Sony Music Soundtrax EPIC label ...

While I can see that "Coyote Ugly" maybe had to go to Curb as it seems to be the home record company of LeAnn Rimes I don't see why it had to happen with the other two releases - plus I'm sure that if one would look further there would be more cases like these.

Isn't it sad that Disney not only ignores their own incredible archive of musical material but also actively pursues a policy to hand away the rights for new material??



I think this is one thing that Disney can't be totally blamed for. The use of soundstages and recording studios is tied up in sizes, Union contracts, etc. As for the distribution, that too is tied up in legal mumbo-jumbo with Artist rights, distribution deals, etc. Yeah, I'd love it if Disney could use all of there own locations, distribution channels, and the like but there is SO MUCH more than just slapping a Disney Records label on it and calling it good.

Besides, considering the current state of the company, there are far more important things that need to be fixed before Disney tries to rewrite the rules of how movie soundtracks get made.

Ever wonder why so many recordings of OST's are recorded in the UK, London especially? The studios record there to dodge the "expensive" Union rules that labor has negotiated here in the states.
The nerve, taking good stockholer funds under the pretense to "make a living"!


This is a no-win situation for all parties involved. Disney (and the other studios) want to keep the costs down. Therefore, they prefer less musicians and less time spent recording the score. The unions are trying to make sure that their members are earning a living. Then when you add in royalty issues, time constraints and other "lawyer/executive created junk it makes everyone unhappy and less willing to work for the good of the art.

I fear Hollywood will need a situation like Broadway had this past spring to get both the musicians and the execs. willing to "recreate the wheel" so that the composers only have to worry about writing the best music possible for the best musicians around to make the best films possible.

Isn't the business side of showbusiness grand! ;)