search & destroy: musical cast recordings vs motion picture soundtrack

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mig is otm

Just speaking personally, though I would never argue it's superior to the 1972 film soundtrack I like listening to the 1966 original Broadway cast recording of Cabaret. One reason is you have Jill Haworth in the Sally Bowles role, so an English performer playing what was originally supposed to be an English character. And you have songs that aren't in the film - even characters that aren't in the film - just as the film has songs that aren't in it.

Josefa, Thursday, 29 September 2022 13:36 (four months ago) link

I am not a fan of musicals but when I encounter them in my research I find the cast recordings more often have the kind of embarrassing hammy stuff that puts me off, for example here is Celeste Holm's in "Oklahoma!", her aw-shucks singing style is one of the most irritating sounds I have ever encountered, I know it's supposed to be out of tune, but compare w/ Gloria Grahame in the film, who is perfectly bearable.

link.exposing.politically (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Thursday, 29 September 2022 14:03 (four months ago) link

Broadly agree with mig's post. I don't really think there is a single rule to indicate whether the movie soundtrack is better or worse than a cast album. If you are a fan of the musical, you generally need both (or more). I'm thinking of shows like Rocky Horror and Little Shop of Horrors, where the soundtrack production is incredibly dynamic on some songs but misses out on some fantastic singing/acting and of course many complete songs as well as cues, overtures etc.

Mention of Annie Get Your Gun reminds me that the Kim Criswell stage version from the 90s is superb. There's a really hokey Doris Day version from the 60s which was a TV production. Haven't seen it but the album is common.

An interesting one is the Joseph Papp version of Pirates of Penzance. The film of the Central Park live production has Patricia Routledge as Ruth while the movie has Angela Landsbury. The rest of the cast are the same. However, there is no soundtrack album for either of those versions, only the intermediate Broadway transfer which has Estelle Parsons. That album has the entire live show - not just the songs but all the dialogue and every musical cue. It's weird that this is how they did it but the benefit is that the movie makes tons of edits to songs and dialogue so the movie soundtrack would have been inferior anyway.

everything, Thursday, 29 September 2022 18:44 (four months ago) link

Good thread. Don't know what I can really add, although I have been meaning to mention the deluxe version of the Hair Original Broadway Cast Recording which also has nice Off Broadway versions of the songs. Some of which feature Jill O'Hara, who also appeared in the original production of Promises, Promises, which cast album does not appear to be streaming.

Ride On Proserpina (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 29 September 2022 20:15 (four months ago) link

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