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'Snow White' More Than a Soundtrack

July 02, 1993|ROBERT HILBURN | TIMES POP MUSIC CRITIC

"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"--the movie--isn't the only Walt Disney landmark available again. There's also "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," the soundtrack album. And it, too, is a delight.

Where the 1937 "Snow White" movie has the distinction of being Disney's first full-length animated feature, the "Snow White" album was also a historic first: the first genuine soundtrack release.

In the liner notes for the 1993 album that has been released by Walt Disney Records, producers Randy Thornton and Michael Leon report that the original RCA Victor soundtrack represented the first time the actual music from a film was used in an album. Previously, they say, the norm was for movie music to be re-recorded or redone by other artists.

Among the best-known songs from the film: "Someday My Prince Will Come," "Whistle While You Work" and "Heigh-Ho," all of which were written by Larry Morey and Frank Churchill and were hit singles at the time.

The new, 73 1/2-minute package, which also contains compositions by Leigh Harline and Paul J. Smith, goes far beyond the original, five-song soundtrack by featuring a generous amount of additional material.

The new items: "You're Never Too Old to Be Young," a demo track that wasn't used in the film; an unabridged version of "Music in Your Soup"; and nearly 50 minutes of underscore.

The fact that Thornton and Leon were able to assemble the music at all after all these years was apparently a minor miracle.

In researching the project, they discovered that the film's complete music-only tracks no longer exist. So they had to find other audio sources.

"Luckily, we were able to locate 'Snow White' nitrate optical instrumental tracks--just as they were about to be shipped off to the Library of Congress storage vaults," they write in the liner notes.

But even those tracks were not complete. It was only after locating five other "Snow White" music-only and music-effects masters that they were able to begin the process of piecing all the music together. The result is a warm tribute to a glowing body of music.

Also in the racks:

* Leo Sayer's "All the Best" on Chrysalis. An interesting, sometimes inspired British pop-rock singer who had some chart success in the late '70s. His two No. 1 singles: "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing" and "When I Need You." Among the inspired moments: "The Show Must Go On" and "Giving It All Away." (63 minutes, written comments on all the tracks by Sayer)

* The Sweet's "The Best of the Sweet" on Capitol. Sixteen selections from the hook-conscious late-'70s/early-'80s British rock group, including the U.S. hits "Ballroom Blitz" and "Fox on the Run." (61 minutes, liner notes)

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