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Disney In Depth: Previewing Walt Disney Records’ Legacy Collection
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Brett Nachman   |  @   |  
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Walt Disney Records has only scratched the surface in delivering crowd-pleasing soundtracks. Sure, Frozen may be at the top of the Billboard charts with its earth-shattering sales – and deservedly so, might I add – but Disney is drawing from its vault to produce more must-buy music.

The announcement of the Walt Disney Records Legacy Collection promises the releases of at least one dozen new albums based on Disney films or parks celebrating anniversaries in 2014 and 2015. The start of this special set of music will not only contain songs and scores from previous releases, but also previously unreleased demos. Bonus material: score! Complemented by animator Lorelay Bove‘s original artwork to match the respective pieces’ themes, these albums will undoubtedly offer a treasure trove of musical goodness for those who enjoy Disney soundtracks.

An album commemorating The Lion King‘s 20th anniversary marks the premiere of this series. The two-disc album, already available for pre-order on Amazon, will debut on June 24. The album will include many tracks never featured on any previous major releases. Additionally, the second disc will offer no less than seven demos. This, too, reflects Frozen‘s deluxe soundtrack, as its Disc 2 was supplied with a plethora of early versions of songs, scores, and even cut material.

Walt Disney Records has been emphasizing varying its types of releases recently with the creation of electronic-themed versions of songs in DCONSTRUCTED and selling a major compilation of tunes with the Disney Classics Box Set. Likewise, Disney’s music-centric YouTube channel (DisneyMusicVevo) has showcased its legacy of songs, such as the videos below, which pay tribute to Mary Poppins and The Little Mermaid, respectively.

Speaking of those two features, both Poppins and Mermaid celebrate anniversaries this year. Walt Disney Records is taking note by recognizing each with a place in this Legacy Collection series. The Mary Poppins soundtrack takes flight on August 26, while The Little Mermaid washes ashore on November 17. This year will also see the emergence of a Sleeping Beauty-themed entry on October 7. That will coincide with a new Blu-ray, as the animated classic will turn 55 this year. Bets are Maleficent will also come out on Blu-ray the same day to match the timing – as well as to precede Halloween.

What can we expect in 2015 for the Walt Disney Records Legacy Collection? The press release suggests there will be eight additions to this series, including some highly coveted entries. Celebrating their 75th anniversaries in 2015 are Fantasia and Pinocchio, which will hit on January 3, 2015 and February 3, 2015, respectively. Even Disney-Pixar makes a mark with the 20th anniversary release of Toy Story, to premiere on March 17, 2015. Disneyland lights 60 candles on its cake next year, and the anticipated album’s release on April 7, 2015 excites this park buff. Lady and the Tramp turns 60 and its album debuts on May 12, 2015. Pocahontas (20th anniversary) arrives on June 23, 2015, while The Aristocats (45th anniversary) and Cinderella (65th anniversary) will see an early release at the Disney D23 Expo on August 14, 2015 – the two albums will have a general release at a later date.

As a connoisseur of Disney music, I could not be more thrilled by the new Legacy Collection releases from Walt Disney Records. These types of albums afford nostalgia for those of us who first remember hearing these songs and medleys when we were children. Simultaneously, these releases give the children of this generation to discover these tunes, and perhaps to become enthralled in demos, instrumental versions and other musical pieces that may inspire their passion for Disney music. Let’s give a virtual round of applause to Walt Disney Records for establishing this collection. I hope that these releases prove profitable and feasible for Walt Disney Records, because, if so, this could be just the start of more titles from the Legacy Collection in the future. Decide with your dollars and support the Walt Disney Records Legacy Collection!

Here is a complete list of all of the announced upcoming releases from the Walt Disney Records Legacy Collection:

2014:

The Lion King (20th Anniversary) 6/24/14
Mary Poppins (50th Anniversary) 8/26/14
Sleeping Beauty (55th Anniversary) 10/7/14
The Little Mermaid (25th Anniversary) 11/17/14

2015:

Fantasia (75th Anniversary) 1/3/15
Pinocchio (75th Anniversary) 2/3/15
Toy Story (20th Anniversary) 3/17/15
Disneyland (60th Anniversary) 4/7/15
Lady and the Tramp (60th Anniversary) 5/12/15
Pocahontas (20th Anniversary) 6/23/15
The Aristocats (45th Anniversary) 8/14/15 (D23 Expo only)
Cinderella (65th Anniversary) 8/14/15 (D23 Expo only)

This is Brett Nachman, signing off. Follow me on Twitter for alerts of new editions of Disney In Depth, Thursdays on Geeks of Doom.

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