The Best Princess Albums You've Never Heard

We all have songs from our favorite princess movies on our playlists, but did you know that there are many obscure princess albums don't come from a movie or show? Princesses are known for their beautiful voices, so songs performed by them are calming and lovely. They have a style of music that's somewhere between classical, Broadway, and romance. Many princess performers have also released solo albums where they hand-pick their own songs, giving it a personal touch. Here are a few of my favorite princess albums that you've probably never heard.

"The Little Mermaid: Songs from the Sea" was released in 1992 and is available in physical and digital form on Amazon. It contains original songs performed by the actors from the 1989 movie. Jodi Benson dominates the CD, as expected, with her iconic mermaid voice, but there also new songs from Sebastian, Scuttle, and Ariel's sisters that allow you to get to know those characters a little better. If you listen to the tracks in order, the album tells a story about Ariel wanting to respond to a message she found in a bottle from a little girl who wants to learn about mermaids. My favorite track, "Dreaming," is similar to "Part of Your World" if it had been sung to a human girl. The song has a lullaby quality to it due to Jodi Benson's relaxing vocals. The song "There's Only One Ariel" is a fun number that reveals what Ariel's sisters say about her when she's not around. All of the songs on the album emit pleasant imagery of mermaid and siren mythology with a whimsical quality, which makes it one of my favorite stand-alone princess albums.

The "Princess Tea Party" album from 2005 also features the voice of Jodi Benson along with other princess actresses Lea Salonga, Judy Kuhn, and original Broadway actress Susan Egan replacing Paige O'Hara as Belle. Susan's voice has a dignified and ethereal quality behind it and is a perfect match for Belle. The replacements for the older princesses are terrific at recreating their voices as well, particularly Lesley French as Aurora, who is a much closer match to Mary Costa than the person who played her in Disney Princess Enchanted Tales. The songs on the CD are about different aspects of having a tea party, such as picking out the tea, getting dressed up, celebrating a birthday sharing stories with friends, etc. Though the lyrics are nothing special, the delivery is lovely. Everyone who worked on this album took their job very seriously despite the admittedly silly theme. Like "Songs from the Sea," each track on "Princess Tea Party" has a lovely ethereal quality to it that makes the listener feel happy and relaxed.

The 1998 album called "Cinderella: Songs from the Classic Fairy Tale" is unfortunately unavailable in digital format. It contains cover tracks of many different musical versions of "Cinderella," including Rodgers and Hammerstein, Disney, and the 1976 British movie, The Slipper and the Rose. The latter has a haunting cover of the song "Tell Him Anything" performed by the Susan Egan, who sang as Belle on "Princess Tea Party." Her version of this song moved me so much that it inspired me to watch the movie it came from. The cover of "On the Steps of the Palace" also made me interested in learning more about Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods. It is a clever idea to compile the most popular songs from different versions of such a famous fairy tale because it allows people to become familiar with more obscure adaptations of it. I also recommend checking out the cast recording of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella featuring Lea Salonga, who is known for the singing voices of Jasmine and Mulan, as Cinderella.

Many Broadway princesses have released solo albums to promote their singing. Susan Egan, who performed on two of the three albums I have listed so far, has released numerous solo albums over the course of her career including "The Secret of Happiness" from 2011. "The Secret of Happiness" contains the song "Nina Doesn't Care," which Susan wrote about her daughter boasting that Ariel will always be her favorite princess even though she originated the role of Belle on Broadway. There was also an amusing music video made from the song. Kerry Butler, who has also played Belle on Broadway but is most famous for voicing the title character from Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders, released a Disney-inspired solo album in 2008 called "Faith, Trust, and Pixie Dust." It contains soothing covers of various Disney songs including "Colors of the Wind" from Pocahontas and the deleted song "Call Me a Princess" from Aladdin. Her performances are relaxing and fun at the same time. It's no wonder she was chosen to record the demo songs for Ariel in the Broadway version of The Little Mermaid.

These albums are perfect if you are in mood to wind down after a long day or relax on a lazy weekend afternoon. Unlike movie soundtracks, they don't have extended instrumental tracks, and unlike princess compilation CDs, they each follow a specific theme or musical style. I wish more movies had supplemental albums like "Songs from the Sea" because it gives a unique perspective on Ariel's world that I would not have gotten from the movie or TV series alone. Many Broadway performers have solo albums, but I think Kerry Butler's "Faith, Trust, and Pixie Dust" is really something special because her love of Disney and fairy tales shines through in her performances. If there are any other obscure princess albums that you love, feel free to share them in the comments below.


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