The Official Album of EPCOT Center


Club 33

Playlist Author
I make no promises, but I wouldn't be surprised if the actual full "EPCOT Center" album shows up on iTunes in the not too distant future.
That was a year and a half ago but here's hoping that The Official Album of EPCOT Center does get a digital release at some point. I just bought a copy today from a used record store; while it's not the hardest album to find, the sound quality can't compare to modern digital releases.

It's an easy comparison to make because many of the tracks from the album have been released on CD. I went track by track with a good pair of headphones comparing the vinyl to the same tracks from the 2005 Happiest Celebration on Earth Walt Disney World Official Album. While the vinyl held up pretty well there was just a crispness and stability to the 2005 release that the record lacked. It got me thinking that it would really be nice to have the entire album at that quality.

Now, I suppose when I say "the entire album" I'm really referring to three (really two) tracks, as 9 of the 12 are present on the aforementioned 2005 release.

There's the original version of Golden Dreams, which was replaced in 1992 by the current version. I believe the original version did make it onto CD, on The Music of Disneyland, Walt Disney World & EPCOT Center. I just bought a copy of The Official Album of Disneyland/Walt Disney World released in August 1991, which presumably include the original version (and may be the last release to do so- or perhaps the track wasn't updated until later in the decade?).

There's The Computer Song, from the Astuter Computer Review. This was the first attraction at the park to close and as such, I don't believe it ever made it onto another release. This is the true "lost track" of this album.

And finally there's It's Fun to Be Free. While this track made it onto quite a number of other releases, including the 2005 OA, I'm not sure it's the same reason. The second half of the track has always been the same from the Epcot Center album all the way to the 2005 release, but the first half has changed. On the original Epcot Center album it was the Cool Jazz version of the song, whereas by the time of the 2005 release it was the Soft Shoe version. Both versions were released on the WDW Forever System (which is where I'm drawing the titles from) but unfortunately that release was mono and not the stereo of the official albums. It's also the latter of the version of the track (with the Soft Shoe version) that was used in the 25th Anniversary BGM Loop at the park. I have no idea when the track was changed; it could be that the Cool Jazz version only appeared on the original Epcot album.

In posting this thread, in addition to overtly pressing Randy for a digital release :)lol:) I was wondering if anyone could provide more information on the version changes of Golden Dreams and It's Fun to Be Free and which releases contain which versions.

PS- As to that opening quote, in fairness to Randy:

I want to make sure I didn't inspire false hopes here, but I was only referring to the possibility of an iTunes re-issue of the original EPCOT Center album the OP had mentioned.
But hey- anything's possible! With all of the recent merchandise releases capitalizing on the retro Epcot brand I think the chances are perhaps better than they might have been a few years ago.
 

gmeader

Member
...I was wondering if anyone could provide more information on the version changes of Golden Dreams and It's Fun to Be Free and which releases contain which versions.
I can provide some accurate info on the 92 re-do of Golden Dreams as that was my project. Since a lot of historical events had occurred between 1982-92 the Golden Dream Sequence of AA was updated to include then current images (Fall of the Berlin Wall, Shuttle Challenger, A Stronger Reference to Vietnam, etc.). These new images required that “Golden Dream” be extended by approximately 30 seconds and so George Wilkins was hired to write some additional new music.

He ended up writing a new choir section that comes in at the end of the moon landing sequence and continues on out to the end of the song. The final chord of the song was also extended by 4 beats in order to accommodate the new Statue of Liberty shot. Other changes included a newly recorded rhythm section (Piano, Bass, Drums, 12-string guitar and a new recording of the original French Horn parts). We also added the funeral cassion drum sequence heard during the Kennedy sequence as well as the moon landing fly over sfx and sub-woofer helicopter sound felt during the Vietnam sequence. Additionally we re-recorded the original male vocalist Richard Page (80’s band Mister Mister’s lead singer) and re-recorded the female vocals using Siedah Garret (Michael Jackson’s singing partner on Man in the Mirror & I Can’t Just Stop Loving You) since the original singer (Marty McCall ?) had passed away. In essence the 92 version was an all new recording with the exception of the original string parts and a portion of the choir parts from the 82 version.

As for the latest re-do I think (and I’ll verify this) that they added some new vocal parts and maybe a synth track or two. There was a lot of editing but not much new material as I understand it.

I remember that we notified Walt Disney Records that we had a new version of Golden Dream available but during my time at WDI it was never released. I don't know what has happened since then but I've got imagine that it was eventually released in some form.




....Anyway, if you're keeping score here is what was changed for the 92 re-do.


1) New record of the original Male vocalist.
2) New record of Female vocalist.
3) New record of original French Horn parts.
4) New record of Piano, Bass, Drums & 12-string Guitar parts.
5) New written and recorded Choir parts.
6) New drums for Kennedy Funeral March sequence.
7) New SFX's for image sequence.


That's about it as far as I can remember. Hope this helps.
 

Miss Tilly

I'm a Noob!
Astounding SoundmanG, thanks for the insight on AA. Personally, I found the original version to be much more emotional and effective (in terms of it's editing) - I don't tear up as much with the additional editing which was done - but none the less, AA is still one of those attractions that really hits your emotional side. Updates are required none the less to keep things fresh and in perspective of todays generations. I like many others here I'm sure, would love to see a box set dedicated to Epcot's music history. Think of the endless possibilities with that!
 

gmeader

Member
Astounding SoundmanG, thanks for the insight on AA. Personally, I found the original version to be much more emotional and effective (in terms of it's editing) - I don't tear up as much with the additional editing which was done - but none the less, AA is still one of those attractions that really hits your emotional side. Updates are required none the less to keep things fresh and in perspective of todays generations. I like many others here I'm sure, would love to see a box set dedicated to Epcot's music history. Think of the endless possibilities with that!
Yes there were several times during our mix that both myself and the music arranger would get teary eyed while playing the song. We did a playback for some NASA people and even they got emotional at the Challenger crew images. I agree, there was so much music written for EPCOT that it could easily fill several box sets. Maybe some day.
 

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