Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Fantasound: Not Just For Fantasia Only
I've been writing a lot about Walt Disney's Fantasia (1940) lately, and that magnificent film is being released as a Diamond Edition Blu-ray later this month...so what better time than now to take a look at Fantasound. I don't exactly mean the Oscar-winning multichannel sound system created for Walt's animated masterpiece but rather a little-known series of recordings released in the late 1960s by Disney's prestige label, Buena Vista Records. Promoted as a sophisticated adult listening experience for the serious audiophile, and recorded mostly in Europe, these specialized LPs were first issued in 1967. The Fantasound albums featured classical selections and the scores of Broadway shows (and The Happiest Millionaire, the Disney musical in release at the time). Billboard magazine reported that Vista launched a major promotional campaign for this internationally-distributed adult-oriented series, elements of which included posters, counter displays and special discount rates to retailers. Another promotion was included on the inner sleeve included in all Vista albums, the Fantasound detail of which is pictured above (click on the image for a larger view). Plus watch this blog for news of some of my upcoming writing about Fantasia.
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This is fascinating - I had no idea. I think the world has forgotten how important soundtrack albums were, way back before home video. It was the only way to experience the movie in anyway at home.
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