I'm almost ready to end the listening party for Los Lobos' album of Disney covers called (appropriately enough) Los Lobos Goes Disney, but here's a new video for the utterly awesome leadoff track, "Heigh Ho." It's like one of those YouTube mashups except it's officially sanctioned and makes perfect sense, though watching the dwarves march with Los Lobos' voices coming out of their mouths is a little odd... Los Lobos - "Heigh Ho" [YouTube]
I've talked about it a lot, but Los Lobos' album of Disney covers, called Los Lobos Goes Disney (of course), is out today, October 27th, after being an Amazon exclusive since last month. Want to hear what one of the country's great bands does with one of the great American musical canons? OK. I'm proud to invite you to go here and join the listening party, courtesy of Disney. Even if you're not a big fan of Los Lobos or the Disney canon, just listen to the first track, the awesome cover of "Heigh Ho" - you won't be disappointed. [Too late: Limited time only, and all that jazz...]
Well, it wasn't September 1, as I mentioned earlier, but we have proof that the Los Lobos album of Disney covers not only exists, but will be sprung upon the population this month. Los Lobos Goes Disney is the title (check out that awesome cover art to the left), and it's being released September 22 as an Amazon exclusive. [Update: For a limited time, go here and listen to the whole thing.] The tracklisting -- a mix of stuff obvious and not (yay! it includes a song from Toy Story that isn't "You've Got a Friend in Me") after the jump.
Remember when I I told you about the new album of Disney cover songs set to be released by Los Lobos later this year? Of course you don't, because I did that almost a year ago. Well, it appears that the past year has been a difficult one for Los Lobos and the Mouse, whose Hollywood Records imprint dropped the band:
"Finally, after two years, we twisted their arms enough to where they are gonna release it, whatever that even means anymore, on September 1," says [Los Lobos guitarist Louie] Perez, who adds that even at this late date, the album has no title. "I think we are a little bit detached from it now. We're not exactly rolling up our sleeves to work on this record, because we don't really have anything to do with the label, and I think they are doing the same."Ouch. Perhaps it's not so surprising that Hollywood dropped the band -- take one look at Hollywood's roster, with the likes of Miley Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers, and seemingly every other Disney Channel graduate, and Los Lobos was the odd band out. (We'll ignore Queen for the sake of this discussion.) Having said that, if Hollywood just lets this album wither quietly, I will be peeved. Because the album has the potential to be great. In this interview, Perez says it includes “Lady and the Tramp,” and "a surf version of 'When You Wish Upon a Star.'" And here he says it'll also include "When You Wish Upon a Star," "Bella Notte," "You've Got a Friend in Me," and a Spanish-language take on "Heigh-Ho." (OK, can we at least put a ten-year moratorium on "You've Got a Friend in Me" covers?) Seriously, Disney, don't mess this up. Get this out there. Or I'll be forced to do something bad. Like, annoy a cat or something.
Well, it's not quite an album of songs from Mexico and Latin America along with some originals, but it'll be cool nonetheless, I should think -- Los Lobos is releasing a family-friendly album of Disney classics for a November release. Let's let Steve Berlin describe it (to Billboard):
"The conceptual framework is, we interpreted classic Disney songs like 'Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah,' 'When You Wish Upon A Star' and 'I Wanna Be Like You (The Monkey Song). There are no Elton John-era Disney tracks. But it came out really good, and we're all happy with it."Frankly, "Can You Feel The Love Tonight?" gets covered enough, we probably don't need yet another version. That song is many things, but it is not a "funky old song," which is how Berlin describes the record. The mention of Los Lobos' contribution to Stay Awake, the collection of reinterpretations of Disney classics from artists such as Tom Waits, Sinead O'Connor, and Sun Ra, makes me think that, 20 years after the release of that album, it's time for a sequel. Sure, Disney's got their DisneyMania line, but most of those artists weren't, er, born when Stay Awake was released.
I've been far too tardy in mentioning these two stories, but what I love about them is the idea that making music for kids and families is now an acceptable thought to artists whose artistic legacy would be secure even if they stopped making music today and spent the rest of their lives on the tennis court or at their local coffee shop. Case #1: Los Lobos, who are looking into recording a kids' album (scroll down). "I want to research children's music from Mexico and Latin America. And maybe write a couple of our own; as a songwriter, I'd like to try to write a few, to see what I can do," says Louie Perez, the band's percussionist. Case #2: Levon Helm, whose Midnight Ramble series I've previously been enthused by, received a nice write-up in the New York Times (additional charge now applies). “Kids need to see real people playing real songs on real instruments,” said Helm, whose latest Ramble featured Elizabeth Mitchell and Susie Lamper (keyboardist for Laurie Berkner) and -- this is pretty awesome news -- is recording the kids' rambles for release on CD and DVD by the end of the year. Helm's interest is spurred in part by financial necessity, but I gotta tell you, kids' music is not the place to go to become rich. Financially speaking, in any case. In other ways, perhaps. But with the cash, not so much.