May 032020
 

from WE LOVE DISNEY
Written by Alan Menken & Howard Ashman

Released in October 2015, We Love Disney was one of the last projects conceived and supervised by David Foster during his tenure as president of Verve Records. For We Love Disney, Foster enlisted an impressive number of young music stars to give new life to many songs of the timeless Disney catalogue.

The interaction between the revered super-producer and today’s stars that included Ariana Grande, Jessie J, Jason Derulo, Tori Kelly and Jessie Ware gave first-rate results on those reinvented classics from The Lion King, Alice In Wonderland, Mary Poppins, The Aristocats and The Jungle Book, among others. A delicate “The Rainbow Connection” from The Muppet Movie was sung by Gwen Stefani and was one of the cd’s highlights. “The Rainbow Connection” was reviewed here in the past and can be read about and heard in the archives.

For this Song of the Week, the focus was on Ne-Yo’s fantastic reworking of the swinging “Friend Like Me” from Aladdin. The R&B superstar, with the Hitman’s support, did an incredible job with his versatile vocals in a territory musically closer to Michael Buble’s jazz/pop style than Ne-Yo’s usual neo-soul material. Foster’s brilliant work behind the glass provided the singer with an irresistible, jazz-infused backing track that featured Foster’s piano, Vinnie Colaiuta’s drums and Brian Bromberg on bass. Another key element was the punching orchestral arrangement courtesy of award-winning maestro Chris Walden.

We Love Disney debuted respectfully at #8 on Billboard’s Top 200. This cd was a good occasion to listen to fresh versions of very familiar songs performed by new singers who were directed by the best vocal producer of our times, David Foster.

Listen


  • Lead Vocals: Ne-Yo
  • Piano: David Foster
  • Bass: Brian Bromberg
  • Drums: Vinnie Colaiuta
  • Synth, Programming & Sound Design: Jochem van der Saag

 

  • Strings & Horns Arranged by Chris Walden & David Foster
  • Produced & Arranged by David Foster
  • Co-Produced by Jochem van der Saag & Tierce “Kizzo” Person

Lyrics

Well, Ali Baba had them forty thieves
Sheherezade had a thousand tales
But, master, you in luck ’cause up your sleeves
You got a brand of magic never fails
You got some power in your corner now
Some heavy ammunition in your camp
You got some punch, pizazz, yahoo and how
All you gotta do is rub that lamp
And I’ll say

Mister Aladdin, sir
What will your pleasure be?
Let me take your order
Jot it down
You ain’t never had a friend like me
No no no

Life is your restaurant
And I’m your maître d’
C’mon whisper what it is you want
You ain’t never had a friend like me

Yes sir, we pride ourselves on service
You’re the boss, the king, the shah
Say what you wish, it’s yours!
True dish, how about a little more baklava?

Have some of column A
Try all of column B
I’m in the mood to help you though
You ain’t never had a friend like me

Can your friends do this?
Can your friends do that?
Can your friends pull this out their little hat?
Can you friends go, poof!

So don’t ya sit there slack-jawed, buggy-eyed
I’m here to answer all your midday prayers
You got me bona fide and certified
You got a genie for your charge d’affaires
I got a powerful urge to help you out
So whatcha wish? I really wanna know
You got a list that’s three miles long, no doubt
Well, all you gotta do is rub like so oh oh

Mister Aladdin, sir, have a wish or two or three
I’m on the job, you big nabob
You ain’t never had a friend, never had a friend
You ain’t never had a friend, never had a friend
You ain’t never (never) had (had) a friend like me
You ain’t never had a friend like me