Brian Wilson In The Key Of Disney

"The Beach Boys sound and the Disney people make a fantastic collaboration. I tried to do justice to all their songs."
– Brian Wilson

The former Beach Boys mastermind Brian Wilson is a living legend – an angelic-voiced genius who changed the landscape of pop music before spending decades battling his own demons. And now he wants to release an album of Disney songs, so that's exactly what he's going to do. Are you going to tell Brian Wilson not to do that? The LP includes Wilson's reinterpretations of songs from movies like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Dumbo, The Lion King, and Toy Story 3. Working with arranger Paul Von Mertens, Wilson performs songs like Dumbo's "Baby Mine", Snow White's "Heigh-Ho" and "Whistle While You Work", The Lion King's "I Just Can't Wait to Be King", and "Yo Ho (A Pirate's Life for Me)" from the Pirates of the Carribean ride.
– Pichfork

In The Key Of Disney
2011 –  Disney Pearl Records 

1. You've Got A Friend In Me
. The Bare Necessities
. Baby Mine
. Kiss The Girl
. Colors Of The Wind
. Can You Feel The Love Tonight
. We Belong Together
. I Just Can't Wait To Be King
. Stay Awake
0. Heigh-Ho / Whistle While You Work / Yo Ho (A Pirate's Life For Me)
1. "When You Wish Upon a Star


Disney's promotional album sample

Disney's promotional video for "You've Got A Friend In Me"


There was always a sun kissed simplicity about the music in Disney’s films which makes it a natural for America’s most beach-worshipping singer-songwriter, Brian Wilson. His take on eleven songs from the Disney catalog—spanning decades old animated classics like Snow White to the more current fare of Toy Story 3 – is an immaculately produced collection that feels like Wilson had as much fun recording it as the movies are to watch. In short it sounds like a classic Beach Boys album with sumptuous vocal harmonies and the layered but buoyant Phil Spector approach that Wilson has used to such acclaim in the past.
– American Songwriter

Fans of Brian Wilson and Walt Disney will get good vibrations on Oct. 25, when the former Beach Boys leader releases his new album, In the Key of Disney. On his second project for Disney Pearl Records, Wilson lends his distinctive vocals and arrangements to 11 songs from Disney's film catalog. "The Beach Boys sound and the Disney people make a fantastic collaboration," says Wilson, 69. "I tried to do justice to all their songs." The tracks include songs from Disney's early animated classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs all the way to last year's Toy Story 3. Working with co-arranger Paul Von Mertens, Wilson imbues the songs with complex falsettos and an innocence associated with the Beach Boys sound. Dumbo lullaby Baby Mine features harmonies that might have fit on Wilson's In My Room. An instrumental medley of Snow White's Heigh-Ho and Whistle While You Work also incorporates a line from Yo Ho (A Pirate's Life for Me), the theme song of Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean attractions. Wilson believes he took Tim Rice and Elton John's I Just Can't Wait to Be King, from The Lion King, furthest from its source, transforming it into a rock number with a Bo Diddley beat. "We took it to the max," he says. Disney initially approached Wilson about recording an album of its movie tunes in 2009. However, Wilson wanted to record a set of songs by George and Ira Gershwin first. That album, last year's Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin, has sold 53,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

Though Wilson has not previously covered Disney, the songs' writers have played roles in his career. Robert and Richard Sherman, who wrote Mary Poppins' Stay Awake, also penned the Four Freshmen hit Graduation Day, which the Beach Boys covered in 1965. And When You Wish Upon a Star, from Pinocchio, inspired one of Wilson's most famous hits. "I heard it while I was driving my car, and I started humming a melody in my head," Wilson says. "I went home and finished it, and it was called Surfer Girl." For Wilson, the goal of the project was twofold: to make an album that his grandchildren could enjoy while bringing attention to those who penned many Disney classics, among them Frank Churchill, Ned Washington and the Shermans. "(We wanted to do) a good job bringing Disney people to the fore, so people could appreciate them."
– USA Today