The Story and Song from The Haunted Mansion


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.
 
These are all well and great but when are they going to release stuff for us younger folks? Like an EPCOT history album or something from the last 20 years or so. I guess it's just my age but I already have music from the Haunted Mansion and the Sherman Bros., I really don't need anymore. I yearn for new material that has never been released. Oh well, all is right with the world!
 

Marko

Member
I wonder if this second release could have anything to do with Pirates of the Caribbean, considering that has even been released on cd.
 
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*).

* That’s your clue for a part of the third major project.

I wonder if this second release could have anything to do with Pirates of the Caribbean, considering that has even been released on cd.
Judging by Randy's hint, it would seem the next project would have something to do with a Haunted Mansion ride-thru??
 

Gurgitoy2

Active Member
Hey, you won't hear any complaining from me. If I don't want something, I don't buy it. I love the fact that you were able to include the reproduced artwork for this, that's great! It's good you protected it and made sure it survived moves and stuff. I can't wait to see that. That's the thing I miss about older LP's being re-released on CD (and not just Disney). I miss all the artwork involved. I'm very happy you're basically re-creating the record, that's s great idea, thanks for making sure it was a quality release. I can toss out my old cassette copy of this LP now!
 

trentino

Member
Randy, this sounds really awesome. Can't wait for this disc! It too was a favourite album of mine as a kid. I remember you showing me the artwork you had stashed away ... great to hear that I'll be able to print it out. But the first question that came to mind was ... how big will I be able to print it?! I'd love to send it to one of those places who will print it on canvas -- somehow I think when you said print it, you meant on a sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 and not poster size.
 

Magic Music

Administrator
Playlist Author
But the first question that came to mind was ... how big will I be able to print it?! I'd love to send it to one of those places who will print it on canvas -- somehow I think when you said print it, you meant on a sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 and not poster size.
HeHe. I already told Randy that he needs to get the artwork over to the Print on Demand people at Disneyland. I would love to have canvas giclées of the ballroom scene on pages 4-5 and the graveyard scene on pages 8-9. Wonderful stuff.
 
I could have sworn this was re-release before, like at the kiosk of Disneyland Music. Am I crazy? Or was that just a straigh up re-release with no polishing?
 

Gurgitoy2

Active Member
I could have sworn this was re-release before, like at the kiosk of Disneyland Music. Am I crazy? Or was that just a straigh up re-release with no polishing?
It was not available from the kiosks at Disneyland or Walt Disney World, but you're right, it has been released before. The thing is, it was released on cassette only, I think in 1999. There was no effort to reproduce the record's artwork either...instead it was a generic shot of the outside of Disneyland's mansion. So, Randy's effort is basically new. It's never been on CD before, or restored, or had the original artwork included.
 

Horizons

Playlist Author
The thing is, it was released on cassette only, I think in 1999. There was no effort to reproduce the record's artwork either...instead it was a generic shot of the outside of Disneyland's mansion.
I have about six copies of the cassette (five unopened), why, I'm not sure. I can't wait for this to be released and I'm looking forward to the artwork. Let's hope an updated attraction mix, with all of the new audio included, is next on the list.
 
Yep--I'm still kicking around the site, Randy--it's just been a very busy time. Our son is starting college in a few weeks to study--music, and specifically composition (he's been composing for a few years already), with a strong--very strong--interest in film music. Not that all those years of Disney music, beginning with his beloved "Fantasia", had anything to do with his current state of mind... Anyway...great news about the Haunted Mansion release (I, too, have two mint copies of the cassette release)--but I'm a little confused. So the Walt Disney Company isn't completely abandoning direct-to-CD releases? Literally, just a few minutes ago I was reading about the controversial non-CD release of the "Up" soundtrack, which actually got me to jump over to the forum to see if there were any fiery discussions raging regarding CD or not to CD releases (just saw a performance of "Hamlet" last night). So, to review--the Haunted Mansion release and the Sherman Brothers set are being released directly to CD, to be available through retailers like amazon?

Nice to be back on board,
Mike
 

eyore

DLRP explorer
Premium Member
Playlist Author
Thanks for that info Chris.
All too often, here in the UK, we just can't get the things (especially iTunes - the UK Disney selection is "restricted" to say the least).
 
I was disappointed with the overall sound quality, and the fact that several elements that were originally stereo have now been changed to mono. I've done my own, more carefully preserved restoration, with all of the original stereo elements just as they were when the album was released. I *did* however, borrow a couple of Randy's editing ideas, and created one new minor transition of my own.
 

exetor999

Member
I still have two of the old records, and one is still mint. I covered it with wax paper originally, and shrink wrapped it in later years. I never got the cassette, but I now have two copies of the cd.
 
I still have two of the old records, and one is still mint. I covered it with wax paper originally, and shrink wrapped it in later years. I never got the cassette, but I now have two copies of the cd.
The cassette tape is actually better than the CD. The sound quality is just as good as the original Lp. On the CD, the sound quality has been altered too much, at least in my opinion.
 

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