Let me start by saying that there is no such thing as an iBuck... it's just the name I gave to the money on my iTunes gift card. So, don't go thinking you've missed yet another new thing... it's just me making up stuff. You aren't that far behind the curve yet.
Anywho, I was thrilled when my husband gave me an iTunes gift for my birthday. Other than one album I knew I had to have (Michael Buble's newest, To Be Loved... obviously), I was at a loss as to what else to buy. I mean, all this music! Showtunes! Disney! Classics! Where to begin? (Btw, I'm no stranger to iTunes, as indicated by my previous sentence. I just rarely buy a whole album at once, because whittling away your bank account in 99 cent increments is far more justifiable, no?) And I wanted to make sure that I got songs I really loved, not just music that's "okay." (Deep thinking going on over here.)
So off to the vast abyss that is the iTunes store I went... and this is what I (painstakingly) decided upon.
1. Michael Buble's To Be Loved (entire album)
I've already talked about this a little bit, but this really is a fantastic collection of songs. There are a few new MB originals, like the single "It's a Beautiful Day" and "I've Got It Easy," a really sweet version of "You've Got a Friend in Me" (which is Michael's and his wife's "song" and finding out they went to Disney for their honeymoon confirmed him as my favorite singer ever) and, as always, several classics redone such as "You Make Me Feel So Young," "Young at Heart," and a jazzy rendition of "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You." He has some cool duets this time around too, including Reese Witherspoon (who knew, right?), Bryan Adams, and Naturally 7 (awesome as always.)
2. Danny Kaye- "Lullaby in Ragtime" and "The Best Things (Happen While You're Dancing)"
Honestly, I wanted the entire soundtracks from both "The Five Pennies" and "The Court Jester" but I refrained and only bought a couple of songs, with no guarantee that I won't go back and purchase more of Danny Kaye's music. I never really thought of him as a singer until I watched "The Five Pennies" in which he plays a musician but I love to hear him sing and most of his songs are from some of my very movies (White Christmas, hello!) Lullaby in Ragtime is from The Five Pennies, which is a fantastic movie that I highly recommend (and it's on Amazon Prime! Hooray!). And The Best Things is from White Christmas and could practically be the soundtrack of my childhood, I watched that movie so often as a kid. It's cool to hear Danny Kaye sing these pretty songs and then turn around and do something so comedically difficult like the Jester song... the man is seriously talented and a comedic genius. But, I digress. Simply put, I love him.
3. "Are We Dancing?" from the Sherman Brother's score, The Happiest Millionaire
This movie is one of those obscure Disney films that even my family didn't know about until a few years ago, but we love it and have watched it countless times since discovering it. The fact that the Sherman brothers wrote the score did as much to endear it to me as anything (along with Fred MacMurray and John Davidson in leading roles) but the songs are just beautiful and this one is my favorite. John Davidson's voice is just magic.
P.S. If you're unfamiliar with the Sherman brothers (Richard and Robert), they brought us classics such as The Aristocats, Summer Magic, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Follow Me Boys, The Jungle Book, The Sword and the Stone and my favorite, Mary Poppins. Their songs are so fun and their lyrics are SO clever. Yep, they are awesome. In fact, the only composer I know of that can rival them (comparatively... in this type of genre) is Alan Menken (Wicked, Enchanted, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin.) True talent.
4. Carpenters- bits and pieces of the 35th Anniversary Gold album
I remember so vividly the summer my parents purchased the two-disc Gold set of Carpenters songs and I flipped out- not just because I loved the music but because up until that time (I was 15) I had no idea that the Carpenters sang anything but Christmas music. If Disney music is the soundtrack of the Baines family, then the Carpenters were the soundtrack of our Christmases. Anyway, I was thrilled to have this whole other world of gorgeous singing opened up to me, because let's face it- Karen Carpenter is vocal perfection. Oh, that alto. I simultaneously envy and admire it. I didn't purchase the entire album (even though knowing what song comes next is part of the fun) but I did get ten of my favorites... including Only Yesterday, I Know I Need to Be in Love, We've Only Just Begun, Solitaire, Won't Last a Day Without You... you know, the best ones. =) Listening to the album that summer also helped educate me in terms of lyrics with some actual depth and meaning (unlike so much of pop today, which is, um... stupid.)
So, there you have it... my totally eclectic mix of tunes. I really did want to buy all three Disney Classic albums and call it a day, but I figured since SO many of those songs play on my Pandora station (and I can't listen to my Carpenters station for more than like three consecutive songs before it turns into a hippie show and I feel like I might be getting high) I should go with the more obscure songs that aren't as readily available. The only thing that I am really itching to get my hands (or, ears?) on next time is the marvelous discovery I made that is the Jim Brickman Carpenters album... whaaat? Yes, please!
I am quite pleased with my "Happy" playlist right now. Every song I bought makes me smile, and that's what pretty much what I was going for. Now if I could just sing like Karen... is there an app for that? =)