On January 16th More Albums Debut on iTunes

10 new Walt Disney Records titles are being uploaded to iTunes. They are ?

JAN 16 2007

1. The Black Hole Soundtrack - NOT PREVIOUSLY AVAILABLE
2. Fess Parker: Cowboy and Indian Songs
3. Louis Prima: Let?s Fly with Mary Poppins
5. Mickey Mouse Disco
6. Echoes of Disneyland ? NOT PREVIOUSLY AVAILABLE
8. Babes In Toyland
9. Stan Jones: Ghost Riders In the Sky ? NOT PREVIOUSLY AVAILABLE
10. Tinpanorama

As before, all masters have been transferred and restored at 24bit / 96kHz.

Now before someone cries foul, I will explain the status of ?The Black Hole Soundtrack?. Though this was the first digitally recorded soundtrack, the digital technology of 1979 is not compatible with digital technology of today (or even 1982 when CD?s were introduced). This soundtrack was recorded with 4bit resolution at 32kHz sampling, thus making a pure digital release not only impossible, but any attempt to upsample or convert them would result in a recording far worse than the analog conversion that was done at the time. The reason it has taken me so long to get this soundtrack re-released is that I wanted to make absolutely sure that there was no way I could use the original digital recordings. I also couldn?t include more of John Barry?s score than was originally released ? as the album, as it stands, is all that was legally cleared for release. I did, however, hunt down the original analog transfer from 1979, digitally transferred and restored at 24/96 and re-created the album?s original content. I know some of you more ?passionate? will still be disappointed, but there is nothing more anyone could do. Still, even at the iTunes 128kbs compression, the album has never sounded better!

You can expect the next 10 or so titles sometime this March.

As a reminder, and until I can get the Digital Download Catalog page up and running on the Disney/WDR website, here is the list from the last upload from November 2006 ?

NOV 7 2006

2. Songs from the Mickey Mouse Club Serials
3. Hawaiiannette
4. Mary Martin Hi-Ho
5. Ukulele Ike Sings Again
6. Burl Ives: Chim Chim Cher-ee & Other Children?s Choices
7. Rex Allen Sings 16 Golden Hits
8. Let?s Get Together with Hayley Mills
9. Woody?s Round Up
10. Musical Highlights from the Mickey Mouse Club TV Show
11. Fairy Tale Weddings (Instrumental Impressions)
12. A Child?s Garden of Verses - NOT PREVIOUSLY AVAILABLE
13. Walt Disney Takes You To Disneyland
14. Professor Ludwig Von Drake
15. Annette?s Beach Party ? NOT PREVIOUSLY AVAILABLE
16. Summer Magic Soundtrack
17. Alice In Wonderland (Camarata)
18. Sebastian
19. Rhythm of the Pridelands
20. Walt Disney Records Archive Collection Volume 1 ? NOT PREVIOUSLY AVAILABLE
21. Walt Disney Records Archive Collection Volume 2 ? NOT PREVIOUSLY AVAILABLE

Randy Thornton


New Member
That's Great! Randy, is there any chance of all those fantastic old Disneyland & WDW parades and shows eventually being released on ITunes? (Or at the park in some form) :D
Tinpanorama! If I didn't already have the Wonderland CD, I'd definitely indulge. I'm especially excited about 'Saludos Amigos.'

As always, Randy, thanks for your effort and thanks for letting us know what to expect next week!


The Black Hole and Saludos Amigos!
Santa must have gotten my list late. Wow, great news indeed.
Keep up the good work Randy.


There are various itunes music stores for certain european countries.

wikipedia said:
To buy files through the store, a user must pay with an iTunes gift card or a credit card with a billing address in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom or the United States. Other people can only download free podcasts and previews.

That doesn't mean if it's available in the US store that it's available in another country's store however. I'm not sure if this is available in any of the other ones or not but you'd have to check in the store itself.


New Member
Thanks, Randy! I'm especially happy about "Tinpanorama" (I wasn't able to get it from the Wonderland CD kiosks before this service was discontinued. I had only learned of the kiosk service last spring, and when all was said and done, I was able to get six titles plus "Walt Disney Takes You to Disneyland"*).

And -- Woo-Hoo!!! -- on "The Black Hole!" While I have a very clean LP that I've imported on to my Mac computer, I'll be glad to get a professionally-processed version. This title was on my list in this forum's topic "Wish List For Disney Archives on iTunes."

*A question -- not aimed at Randy -- but one I wonder: How come, when the "Walt Disney Takes You to Disneyland" packaged CD cost about $3.00 more than the CD-on-demand titles at Walt Disney World, does it cost half as much as most other titles now available from iTunes?!


Is this service available for European customers as well? ???

If you mean the iTunes-store with "service" it is available ... if you mean the "service" of being able to buy these great Disney tracks... well ... at least for me as a German customer it is not.

For each iTunes-store around the world the rights owner needs to permit the sale of the items, which requires him to make sure he is allowed to license it there and his license is not e.g. limited to the US or he may already have licensed these rights to a third party for that country.

As was to be expected Walt Disney Records is not interested in solving the legal questions regarding licensing outside the main American markets. Afterall they have slowly moved to treating fans outside the US as second class customers several years ago (see e.g. the first and only Disney Yearbook) and since we stupid international fans continue to throw money at them nevertheless they surely see no need to change that. I mean, we even go to length like getting pre-paid US-iTunes-cards to buy those tracks ...

Sorry for that rant ... policies like that just annoy me ... but they make my local cd-shops and other labels really happy since quite a bit of my music budget that used to go to Disney now goes to other labels.

But to make it short: the answer you were looking for is: it depends on the country in Europe you are in. For Germany the answer is no and I assume it is the same at least for most other European countries.




New Member
Randy Thornton,

Let me thank you for all your hard work in getting this music cleared for released and remastered. It is obvious that you care about this music and making it available. The Black Hole is in particular high demand amongst film score buffs and SF fans just like me.

Now let me tell you why I can?t buy it.

These iTunes exclusives and distribution represent a triumph of marketing over quality and accessibility. This music should be available to everyone, not just people in US. It should also be available in the best quality possible.

You have done the bulk of the work necessary to release the music: finding the cues, restoring them, getting legal clearance from the rights holders, etc. Why not go the next step and release it on CD? If Disney Records isn?t interested there are many boutique labels like Film Score Monthly, Intrada and Varese Sarabande who I am sure would be interested in releasing at least a limited edition of this score.

128 ACC is just too low to do the music, especially symphonic music, like the Black Hole justice. iTunes 128 acc standard is far below the quality of music that is available on CD. People who say they can hear no difference between CD?s and 128ACC must be listening through perception filters because I can hear the difference on pop stuff. Besides, programs like Audition clearly reveal the difference. Better technology should not result in lower quality.

I spent about four grand last year on music but as much as I would like to own this release I can?t in good conscience support this product with my money. I know that Disney will not miss my 10.00 bucks, but I wanted to let you know why some people who would love to own this score are not going to buy it.

Thank you for reading this and I hope that I will be able to support future releases.

Alex Klein

New Member
Mr. Thornton:

I'm certain i'm speaking for a lot of people that value, support, and love film music.
I'm sure many appreciate your big effort into making THE BLACK HOLE available on iTunes.
However, i do find the matter rather disappointing as well.
First of all, i live in Colombia, south america. There is NO WAY i can get this great score via iTunes due to where i live. I'm sure many people are having the same problem.
The sound quality does not do much justice to this great symphonic score, as previously mentioned. I'm very disappointed that sound quality is not as it should be in this type of music, which is one of the most (if not the most) neglected type of music in the whole world.
As i'm sure you are aware of, THE BLACK HOLE is one of the most asked for, and wanted scores by John Barry and film music fans around the world. Why not release it on CD? There are plenty of labels that would gladly take the project and release it properly. It would sell extremely well, and it would do this wonderful score the justice and care it deserves.
More importantly, it would make a very important and significant chapter in the history of film music preservation.
Thank you.

Alexander klein


New Member
I am, honestly, glad that MWRuger commented as he did.

I am not terribly knowledgeable about sound and recording quality in all of its technical details, but I had heard in months past from another source that the digital recordings offered on iTunes was below CD quality.

That was why I was not at all pleased to hear last summer/fall that the Wonderland Music system was coming to an end, to appear in the more readily accessible iTunes Music Store. I'm thankful I learned about the CD burning system when I did: last spring -- which turned out to be the very "winter" of its lifetime; and I was able to afford a decent amount of music in the resulting timeframe.

I was already an iTunes customer before Disney unveiled its November 2006 collection (and I had, over time, also noticed that some Disney fare had been disappearing from the iTunes Music Store, including "Ukulele Ike Sings Again"). And, I will continue to purchase these Disney vintage titles.

I very much prefer the CD media product, but I figure that the current digital outlet will be the only way I can obtain the works that are "dear to my heart." I wonder, would Disney allow such extensive remastering efforts (read: expenditures) were it not for their engagement in the popular digital marketplace (and Randy's enthusiasm and "track" "record"!) at this time?


Let us not forget that while Randy may be an excellent sound and music producer, I doubt he has very little say in the distribution methods of the soundtracks he works on. We're lucky to have many of the titles at all, considering the very limited target audience these releases are aimed at. While they may not be the ideal method of obtaining these tracks, it certain beats spending lots of money on eBay for 40 year old vinyl records that may have too many pops and cracks to even restore.

Keep the music coming Randy!


New Member
Hello and my apologies for a slightly pessimistic first post !

I have lurked time and again on this forum for some time, as I am interested both in film music and in Disney comics & movies; however, I am not as knowledgeable as everyone here on the Theme Parks, and could not contribute much on this point, except to ask for releases of the music contributed by Goldsmith, Williams, Broughton, ...

Now, the motive for my delurking, along with fellow posters from Film Score Monthly, is the release of The Black Hole, whose announcement was met with mixed feeling: "a re-release at last!" and "oh, darn, compressed digital files"!
This spurred a new discussion on this point over at FSM's board (http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.asp?threadID=39258&forumID=1), and eventually led to this couple of posts.

First, of course, as the previous messages made clear, we do know that you do your best, Mr Thornton, and do not have full power. You made lots of film music lovers very happy with the re-release of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and The Rescuers Down Under a few years ago.
By posting here, we hope you can help forward our remarks on the subject of digital/CD releases.

The Disney vaults are notorious for two reasons: they hold hours and hours of wonderful music, but they are tightly locked, which means a good deal of those recordings may be decaying into oblivion.
As for modern scores, the problem is that the releases often consist mostly of songs (often unrelated to the movie, ie not featured in it, and sometimes even with different versions of the same song by pop stars), with little place left for the score.
A recent dire example of this is Bruce Broughton's Bambi II.

A nex trend is now developing, and it is just as worrying: exclusive digital release, as has been the case for Mark Isham's Eight Below, and now again with The Black Hole.

The reasons for our distress are the following:
- restrictions-- iTunes stores over the world do not carry the same tracks (plus the fear that the music might be further restricted to iTunes users only), and the downloaded files come with restrictions (so many downloads or uses or transfers);
- quality loss through compression.

Surely, the Disney Company is able to offer less compressed, and even uncompressed files: by definition, the files are compressed from better sounding originals, and besides, the Disney Company surely can spare a few more Mb to host the files.

Many of us are worried that this might become the the new way of releasing film music.
The technology itself is not the issue: digital downloads are certainly quite convenient.
The problem is the content: with HD video being developed, more sophisticated audio systems (whether Hi-Fi sets or Home Theater systems) getting more affordable, Internet connections getting faster and cheaper, as well as computer storage, why should digital audio downloads evolve backwards from the start?
It seems that the fact that many people listen to pop songs through their iPods in noisy streets justifies releasing music in lesser audio quality, because in such circumstances you can hardly hear anything anyway.

And then, why not later release the music in a more compressed form, with the excuse that "nobody will hear the difference between 90kps and 128kps", then between "80kps and 90kps", ...?

Some labels which specialize in film music releases do a hard job searching for the best sources, restoring them, producing the CDs, ... One of them (Intrada) even managed to get the licence for music from Amazing Stories from universal, whose vaults are as impregnable as The Disney Company's.
I fear that the studios might now decide no longer licence to anything for distribution, and prefer to release compressed music digitally.

As noted above, Mr Thornton, I know you are not the almighty figure that rules over the Walt Disney Company's music branch, and I am sure you have done your very best, both to remaster The Black Hole and to get the best possible release, but, as a producer for the Company, I hope you will accept to call attention on our messages, so that the powers that be understand that many film music lovers would rather have either a CD release or an uncompressed digital release (avaialbel worldwide)-- and that a good number will prefer to pay for a bootleg CD than for this release; in other words, by trying to save on server space, the Company is losing lots of prospective customers, on this and any similar releases in the future.
With so much time, efforts and money spent on remastering and producing, and so much music yet to be released, I humbly think the people in charge of distribution ought to pause and take our remarks into account.

Thank you for your work and for any help you can give us, so that the outstanding work of countless composers is not lost (and your own remastering work is not degraded by audio compression)!



New Member
Just bought & downloaded Saludos Amigos! What a joyful, wonderful album! The biggest surprise for me is the track, "Lake Titicaca" with its playful interpretations of the theme used throughout the Donald Duck & llama section of the film. It's just become my favorite Disney instrumental track of all time!

Thanks, Randy! It's awesome to be able to hear this material! :)