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Hi. It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, hasn’t it? I’ll level with you, on top of the usual burnout, every time I’ve done a By The Cover post, I’m always struck by some kind of bad luck immediately, or something bad happens in the world that affects me personally. Don’t believe me? The last time I did this was in February 2020; do I need to remind you how things went after? Still, I couldn’t resist dragging this series out of mothballs to honor the 30th anniversary of something that’s very much the reason why By The Cover exists at all.
On September 27th 1991, Disney released Simply Mad About The Mouse, a 35-minute collection of music videos featuring some of the most popular artists of the time covering, what else, Disney songs. It’s not the first time a well-known musician has taken Disney classics and made it their own, but none of them ever made a high-profile music video to go with it. These videos were exclusive to the Disney Channel and I remember occasionally hearing the songs on Radio Disney (yeah, remember when Radio Disney was a thing?) The CD version comes with two more songs; En Vogue’s “One Song/Someday My Prince Will Come”, which I already discussed in the first By The Cover, and an instrumental jazz version of “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf” titled “Mad About The Wolf” by Kirk Whalum – but we’re not here to talk about the CD. I had the VHS tape when I was a kid, and it had me spellbound. Without realizing it, I was introduced to singers who would go on to be some of my all-time favorites. As great as these covers are on their own, each video is a unique experience perfectly tailored to its artists’ genre and style. That tape I had disappeared ages ago, but an acquaintance gifted me a brand-new one after hearing me rave about it, and another friend even ripped me a higher-quality laserdisc copy for my birthday.
As of writing this, the individual songs are available for purchase on most online music stores, but the videos, either as a whole or individually, haven’t been re-released since 1991; it’s not even on Disney Plus. Thankfully, fellow Disney enthusiasts have kept the memory of Simply Mad About The Mouse alive through the magic of YouTube. So come with me as I explore this unearthed musical corner of Disney history and see what makes it worth going mad over.Continue reading