in 1994 by Walt Disney Records, “The Music Behind the Magic: The
Musical Artistry of Alan Menken, Howard Ashman and Tim Rice” is a four
CD set highlighting the creative evolution behind the music of The
Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin.
The set includes
demos, tape recordings, final recordings, and unreleased master
recordings of some of the most beloved music in Disney history.
The book and CD case are both cloth bound.
The word genius gets tossed around waaaay too often these days when it comes to music.
If you want to hear musical genius unfold before your ears, one needs only to listen to these CDs.
first 2 discs show how 2 men, Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, in my
humble and honest opinion, saved the Walt Disney Company. The impression
I get is The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast were written
around the lyrics to these songs.
The third disc shows how
amazingly fortuitous it was that they found Tim Rice to help complete
the music for Aladdin after Howard Ashman’s untimely passing. Rice’s
lyrics meld seamlessly in with Ashman’s.
Some of my favorite material
from this set is hearing Ashman and Menken’s Little Mermaid Demos. It’s
just amazing to hear Ashman do different character voices. The standout
for me being his Ursula.
This set also comes with a wonderful book
that looks at this creative period in the rejuvenation of Walt Disney’s
Track Listing, on Amazon.