Jason Leppert | September 15, 2016 12:30 PM ET
Hey Cruise Lines: Turn Up The Music
Just last week, Princess Cruises released the first-ever musical album from a cruise line, and you know what? The “Magic to Do” original cast recording is actually pretty darn good; so much so that I’d love to see more cruise companies follow suit.
To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Princess album when it was first announced. Would it be a so-so recording of a live performance from onboard the ship with microphone crackle and wireless delays or a fully-produced disc and download? As it turns out, and much to my pleasure, it’s the latter.
It sounds to both my wife (who is an instrumentalist with a degree in music) and me that the recording was produced in a controlled studio environment, not just a shipboard stage. We already knew from the line’s great “Magic to Do” documentary that the backing track that accompanies the live musicians was made in studio, and it would seem the combined vocals and instrumentals were similarly added in for the equally great recording currently available on iTunes.
But now, I want more. Growing up a Disney fan just down the coast from Disneyland, I snatched up every official album of the theme park music from “Fantasmic!” to the rides themselves, and I’ve always wished that the Disney Cruise Line would release its own mixes as well. Alas, it hasn’t happened yet. I thought a collection of the music it plays onboard for pirate night or “Star Wars Day at Sea” would alone be awesome, but now I’m thinking Disney could release original cast recordings from its great production shows onboard.
Guest entertainers have sold their CDs in cruise ship gift shops for as long as I can remember, so why not the cruise lines? Think of ones from Royal Caribbean International and Norwegian Cruise Line as well. Their onboard Broadway revivals of the likes of “Grease” and “Mamma Mia!” or “Rock of Ages” and “After Midnight” respectively would translate to recordings seamlessly. Even Carnival Cruise Line’s revue-style shows on disc would work well and likely sell well too.
The only thing that might possibly be holding them back is music licensing restrictions, but new agreements could perhaps overcome them. Certainly any original content would be fair game for publication, and at least Disney Cruise Line, as part of a broader in-house entertainment synergy, could begin recording right away.
I think now only time will tell. If Princess Cruises’ “Magic to Do” recording is a success, others will present theirs as well, and I’ll be first in line to buy them.
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