THE LION KING: THE LEGACY COLLECTION (2014)
So emotionally shaken this reviewer was after watching The Lion King 20 years ago, he pestered his parents to buy him the soundtrack immediately he stepped out of the cinema. For someone who grew up in an average family, music existed in the form of cassette tapes.
So began his wonderment listening to songs like the grandiose “Circle of Life”, the jolly “I Can’t Wait To Be King”, the slapstick “Hakuna Matata” and the romantic “Can You Feel The Love Tonight”. That was on side A of the cassette tape. If he wanted to re-listen to Jeremy Irons threatening to take over the world in the sinister “Be Prepared”, he had to press the rewind button on his player and somehow gauge where the song was.
Turning over to side B he re-lived the tragic moments of Mufasa’s death in “…To Die For” and Simba’s triumphant return in “King of Pride Rock”. These edited score tracks by Hans Zimmer were brief but satisfying – till now (okay, things got a little better when this reviewer bought the CD edition of the soundtrack with his first army pay).
Over the next two years, Disney will re-release the soundtracks to classic films as part of The Legacy Collection, each featuring new liner notes, documentaries, artwork and previously unreleased music. Kicking off the series is this two disc edition soundtrack of the very much loved classic to celebrate its 20th anniversary.
On disc one (runtime: 74 minutes) you get 30 minutes of Zimmer’s score which hasn’t been released elsewhere. What a treat! You get to re-visit the film’s best moments through the playful “Didn’t Your Mother Tell You Not To Play With Your Food”, the dramatic “We Are All Connected”, the scary “Simba, It’s To Die For” and the frenzied “Stampede”. Then, get your tissues ready for the heartbreaking “Mufasa Dies”, before picking up your spirits in the nostalgic “Kings of the Past” and the rousing “Remember Who You Are”. It all culminates with “The Rightful King”, a glorious 12 minute track which captures the dynamic storytelling of Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff’s 1994 commercial and critical success. Interspersed within these splendid score cues are the songs you are familiar with.
Over at disc two (runtime: 47 minutes), there’s “The Morning Report” and “Warthog Rhapsody”, two songs omitted from the original theatrical release. Score demo tracks then follow, before Elton John’s renditions of “Circle of Life”, “I Just Wait To Be King” and “Can You Feel The Love Tonight”.
Fans will also be pleased to read producer Don Hahn’s liner notes and enjoy Lorelay Bove’s lush new artwork in the CD booklet. This new edition of the beloved soundtrack is a must own, and we are definitely looking forward to upcoming releases of other Disney favourites like Mary Poppins, Lady and the Tramp, Cinderella and Pocahontas.
Recommended Track: (21) The Rightful King – Disc One
Review by John Li