Los Lobos Goes Disney

Disney Sound

lobosThere’s no shortage of single- and various-artist Disney tributes: “Dave Digs Disney” (Dave Brubeck), “Let’s Fly With Mary Poppins” (Louis Prima), “Disney Songs the Satchmo Way” (Louis Armstrong), “Stay Awake,” “Heigh-Ho! Mozart,” “Bossa Disney Nova” and “Got No Strings” (Michelle Shocked) are but a few over a half-century.

So was Los Lobos thinking “Why not?” Sort of. The group’s paean to classic Disney movies and theme-park attractions wasn’t conceived until its contract with Hollywood Records was finished and the Disney-owned label asked, “What about that kids record you were supposed to give us?” A one-album deal with the Mouse’s children’s imprint was drawn up and the rest is history.

But “Goes Disney” is as much for a boomer’s inner child as it is for kids. Few youngsters are likely to be begging their parents to buy it because they were floored by the rockin’ cover of “Ugly Bug Ball,” originally sung by Burl Ives in 1963’s “Summer Magic.”

Other selections along subversive/obscure lines include the ska version of “Grim Grinning Ghosts” (Thurl Ravenscroft would be proud of Conrad Lozano’s vocals) and the mariachi-infused “Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room.”

Elsewhere, there’s the bilingual “Heigh-Ho” that emulates the dwarf chorus but in a lower register, complete with whistling but also wonderfully anachronistic electric guitar and congas. And 20 years after the boys did “I Wan’na Be Like You” for the various-artist tribute “Stay Awake,” they cover it again — albeit at a slower tempo and almost Brazilian-style.

Both Roger Miller compositions from “Robin Hood” are a pleasant surprise; hearing the slowed-down “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” is like the first listen to the Beatles’ “Revolution 1” after hearing the B-side of “Hey Jude” 20 gazillion times; and the closing surf instrumental “When You Wish Upon a Star” gives way at the end to an abbreviated Tex-Mex “It’s a Small World.”

Definitely not your father’s — or your grandfather’s — Disney.gnm_end_bug

1. Heigh-Ho (“Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs”)
2. I Wan’na Be Like You (“The Jungle Book”)
3. Not In Nottingham (“Robin Hood”)
4. The Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room (The Enchanted Tiki Room)
5. Grim Grinning Ghosts (Haunted Mansion)
6. I Will Go Sailing No More (“Toy Story”)
7. The Ugly Bug Ball (“Summer Magic”)
8. Cruella De Vil (“101 Dalmatians”)
9. Bella Notte (“Lady And The Tramp”)
10. Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah (“Song Of The South”)
11. The Bare Necessities (“The Jungle Book”)
12. Oo-De-Lally (“Robin Hood”)
13. When You Wish Upon A Star/It’s A Small World (“Pinocchio”/It’s a Small World)

Total time: 38:45

External links:
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