My opinion on Disney music hasn’t changed in over two decades — I still think it’s the best and can sing along to almost any Disney song ever written. I always bought soundtracks the day they came out and managed to get my hands on every Disney compilation ever produced. For the longest time, I thought The Hunchback of Notre Dame had some of the most under-appreciated music, and the “Hero’s Welcome” from Hercules has always been in my personal top 10 list.
For any girl of the ’80s, The Little Mermaid pretty much defined our youths, and just about no one can see a sunrise without singing the opening melody to The Lion King. In early November, I was able to see a sneak preview of Frozen before it was released in theaters, and I had the songs stuck in my head the following week (even though the soundtrack hadn’t been released, yet). IT WAS TORTURE! I had it on repeat the moment it was released, and by the time I was able to take my daughter Addie to see Frozen (the day it came out), she already had every lyric memorized.
I told anyone who would listen that they would love the soundtrack — Disney nerds, Broadway nerds, and anyone who had ears. Guess who was right? Me. If your curious how other Disney albums and soundtracks stack up to other albums released this year, here are the Disney soundtracks that have made it into the top 10, and how they did. Will Frozen be the all-time best-selling Disney album? So far things are looking pretty good for Ana and Elsa — it’s currently #1 on the Billboard 200!
Aladdin 1 of 7
The highest that Aladdin's soundtrack ever made it was #6 in 1993.
Major albums and artists in the same year:
- Bodyguard soundtrack (Hello, we all owned this right?)
- U2's Zooropa
- Depeche Mode's Songs of Faith and Devotion
- Meatloaf's Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell
See the entire 1993 lineup, here.
The Lion King 2 of 7
Pocahontas 3 of 7
This was kind of a big year for me — it was the year I moved on from Disney soundtracks to 'big girl music.'
Some of the albums that made it to the top in '95?
- Live's, Throwing Copper
- Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill
- Garth Brooks' The Hits
- Michael Jackson's HIStory:Past, Present and Future Book I
- Hootie and the Blowfish's Cracked Rear View
If any of these albums defined your musical growth, we must be the same age.
See the entire year of music in 1995, here.
Tarzan 4 of 7
In 1999 the Tarzan soundtrack, with music by Phil Collins, made it to #5.
While it may seem like Phil was shafted, here's who he was up against:
- Backstreet Boys' Millennium
- Britney Spears' ...Baby One More Time
- Limp Bizkit's Significant Other
- TLC's Fanmail
Number 5 isn't so bad!
See the entire year of music in 1999, here.
Cars 5 of 7
In 2006 the Cars soundtrack peaked at #6.
Only one album (Rascal Flatts) held on for 3 weeks at #1; other notable albums only held the #1 spot for 2 weeks:
- Rascal Flatts' Me and My Gang
- Hannah Montana Soundtrack
- Justin Timberlake's Future Sex/Love Sounds
- Red Hot Chili Peppers' Stadium Arcadium
- Dixie Chicks' Taking the Long Way
A lot of music was being put out in 2006, and tastes changed quickly.
See the entire year of music in 2006, here.
Frozen 6 of 7
After 9 weeks in the top 10, 3 weeks in 2014 has had Frozen as the #1 selling album.
Folks, Disney's work is done. (Now will it beat The Lion King's record?)
So far Frozen's only major contender has been Beyonce's self-titled album.
Worth Mentioning 7 of 7
Tangled, Beauty and the Beast, Princess and the Frog, The Little Mermaid, UP, WALL-E are all equally great albums in their own way. Why didn't they get Billboard mentions? They were up against some pretty major contenders when they were released. What's your favorite Disney song or soundtrack?
Find more of Casey’s writing on her blog moosh in indy. She’s also available on twitter, facebook, flickr and Instagram. If you can’t find her any of those places? Check the couch, she’s probably taking a nap.