Lady And The Tramp

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Walt Disney Records, 1997

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 05/01/1998

You know, back when Walt Disney Records sent me a boatload of soundtracks to review, I think they had a more sinister plan: get me interested in buying the corresponding movies.

Well, their plan has worked - thanks in part to the fact I have a two-year-old happily wrecking my apartment, and thanks in part to the fact I'm basically a 27-year-old kid. If I've not bought some of the previously reviewed films whose soundtracks we've already reviewed ( Dumbo, The Jungle Book), I will be very soon.

But Walt Disney has done an evil thing to me by sending me the restored soundtrack to Lady And The Tramp, when the video won't be re-released until September. This could well be the most enjoyable soundtrack from the animated films I've listened to yet, and it contains some of the most touching music of them all - and I desparately want to see the film now. (Memo to my friends at Disney: I'm not asking for a promo copy of the film - but please let me know if it will be on cable anytime soon.)

The film was made famous not only for the love story between a well-bred cocker spaniel and a mongrel from the "wrong side of the tracks," but also for the vocal work of Peggy Lee, whose vocals on this album have lost none of their power since the film was released over 40 years ago.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Most of the instrumental pieces on Lady And The Tramp seem to flow together in a non-stop ebb - and though it is occasionally hard to follow the story in your mind at times, it can be done. The three-song sequence surrounding the new baby ("Baby's First Morning / What Is A Baby / La La Lu") is undoubtedly the prettiest thing that I've heard come out of the Disney stables yet, "La La Lu" occasionally moving me to tears. (They know how to hit the soft spot of a parent.)

But the story becomes a little more difficult to follow in the sequence following the Siamese Cats (and though some might be offended by this song, it is kind of funny); it's hard to tell, for example, where "You Poor Kid" stops and "He's Not My Dog" starts. However, once I hie myself to the local Blockbuster Video (where Mrs. Pierce happens to work these days) and watch this movie, I'm sure these small things will fall right into place.

Of course, Lady And The Tramp is also famous for the Italian restaurant scene, and the song "Bella Notte" is another incredibly beautiful song that was created for the movie. If I had any criticism of it, I would have liked to hear it run a little longer.

There is only one moment on Lady And The Tramp that I can absolutely live without - the dog chorus of "Home Sweet Home" in the pound. Now, mind you, when I listen to an album for review purposes, I listen to every single note, and I don't skip over tracks I hate. But on this one, I found myself slamming my head against my desk - hard - to try and alleviate the pain my ears were going through. I know the scene is an important one in the film, and the song fits the mood - but in the future, I'll definitely fast-forward past this one.

Unlike some of the recent re-issues of soundtracks to classic Disney movies, Lady And The Tramp contains no bonus tracks, alternate takes or interviews with the songwriters - and I was surprised to find myself missing these. It's not that the original album was lacking, but it was kind of neat to get these little historical nuggets as a bonus.

Lady And The Tramp is a movie that has passed from generation to generation as a classic for all time, and the soundtrack has held up very well over time. I still think this release is meant for adults, allowing them to relive the movie's scenes as they listen to it. But if the kids liked the movie, they'll like the soundtrack as well.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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© 1998 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Walt Disney Records, and is used for informational purposes only.