Dreamgirls: Music from the Motion Picture

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Tracy E. Hopkins
Modeled after the story of Diana Ross and the Supremes, the long-overdue film adaptation of the Broadway musical Dreamgirls -- starring Beyoncé Knowles, Eddie Murphy, and Jamie Foxx -- tells the story of three childhood friends and girl-group mates who rise to stardom in the early '60s. And just like the film, the soundtrack is an irresistible treat from start to finish. The stars -- Beyoncé as the Ross-like Deena Jones, Murphy as the James Brown-esque James "Thunder" Early, and Foxx as the Berry Gordy-reminiscent Curtis Taylor Jr. -- deliver stellar performances; but it's newcomer and onetime American Idol finalist Jennifer Hudson who steals the show, much like her...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Tracy E. Hopkins
Modeled after the story of Diana Ross and the Supremes, the long-overdue film adaptation of the Broadway musical Dreamgirls -- starring Beyoncé Knowles, Eddie Murphy, and Jamie Foxx -- tells the story of three childhood friends and girl-group mates who rise to stardom in the early '60s. And just like the film, the soundtrack is an irresistible treat from start to finish. The stars -- Beyoncé as the Ross-like Deena Jones, Murphy as the James Brown-esque James "Thunder" Early, and Foxx as the Berry Gordy-reminiscent Curtis Taylor Jr. -- deliver stellar performances; but it's newcomer and onetime American Idol finalist Jennifer Hudson who steals the show, much like her Broadway counterpart Jennifer Holiday, as Effie White, the Dreams' front woman, who loses the spotlight and her lover to the more glamorous Deena. With a commanding soprano caressed by gospel nuances, Hudson delivers several of the disc's highlights, including a chill- and tear-inducing rendition of "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going" and a dynamic version of "I Am Changing." To her credit, however, Beyoncé's star still shines brightly on the Dreams' disco version of "One Night Only" and the original song "Listen." Both Murphy and Foxx -- comedians who've dabbled in music before -- give convincing vocal performances; notably Murphy on the Marvin Gaye-styled "Patience" and Foxx on the tender "When I First Saw You." Rounding out the cast is Tony Award winner Anika Noni Rose, delivering seasoned vocal accompaniment throughout as the Dreams' Lorrell Robinson. Thanks to its superb cast, the magical Dreamgirls is the must-see film and must-hear record of the 2006 holiday season.
All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
When Dreamgirls became the most successful musical of the 1981-1982 Broadway season, composer Henry Krieger and lyricist Tom Eyen's score was not the primary reason most observers pointed to, opting instead first for director/choreographer Michael Bennett's imaginative, non-stop staging and second for the talented cast, led by Jennifer Hudson in the role of Effie Melody White. In the plot's fictionalized retelling of the story of Motown Records and the rise of the Supremes, Effie is the Florence Ballard character, shunted aside by manipulative record company president Curtis Taylor, Jr. read: Berry Gordy, Jr. in favor of the bland Deena Jones read: Diana Ross, who he thinks is more likely to reach a crossover audience. Krieger and Eyen did succeed in providing a showcase for Holliday in the volcanic torch song "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going," which topped the R&B charts and made the original Broadway cast album a gold record a rarity for show music LPs by 1982, but on the whole, their score struggled to achieve its twin goals of shadowing actual Motown and other pop music of the '60s and early '70s, while also expressing plot and character points. Twenty-five years later, the score has been reshaped for a movie version of Dreamgirls. On this 36-track deluxe edition of the soundtrack album the regular version has only 20 tracks and is 45 minutes shorter, for the most part even less of an attempt has been made at fidelity to the sounds of the '60s; in these new arrangements, the songs, which always had elements of early-'80s adult contemporary styles, lean even more toward American Idol power ballad territory. Ironically, Dreamgirls, which on-stage was sort of an anti-star vehicle driven by the injustice against Effie and her subsequent revenge, has been partially transformed into a star vehicle for other characters. One of those characters is Deena, here played, even more ironically, by Beyoncé Knowles who is, arguably, the Diana Ross of her times in more ways than one. Destiny's Child, her former group, also had its share of controversy and personnel changes, with attendant lawsuits. Not surprisingly, Deena Jones is softened in the movie and given a new solo song, "Listen," co-written by Knowles. That the song is out of character for Deena and defies the logic of the plot doesn't seem to matter; Knowles must have a showcase, and this is it. Similarly, Eddie Murphy, as James Thunder Early, a James Brown-like singer unable to smooth his rough edges sufficiently to cross over, also gets an out-of-character number, "Patience," which improbably bids to transform Early into a kind of Marvin Gaye figure. Again, the plot suffers, but a star is accommodated. The one other major star in the film, Jamie Foxx, having already won an Academy Award for Ray, doesn't seem to have felt the need to turn Curtis into a good guy with a big solo number. Instead, he revels in his villainy, all but twirling a mustache on occasion. Neither "Listen" nor "Patience" is really a bad song, however, and both are competently sung. Both were composed by Krieger with new lyricists, along with two other new songs, "Love You I Do" and "Perfect World." Eyen has died in the interim. The real problem is that they take some focus away from the show and film's real star, Effie, here played by Jennifer Hudson. Hudson is an American Idol runner-up, but that should not be held against her. In fact, she's a major talent, and she dominates the musical and dramatic proceedings exactly the way Effie is supposed to, not only on "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going," but throughout, from "the Dreamettes"' first song, "Move," to "Dreamgirls Finale," with convincing performances of "Love You I Do," "I Am Changing," and "One Night Only" in between. It is striking that, while Holliday won the Tony Award for Best Actress for Dreamgirls the stage musical, Hudson entered the 2006-2007 movie awards season being touted for Best Supporting Actress nominations for the same part in the film version. But on the soundtrack album, at least, the added attention given to her co-stars is a minor complaint. To work, Dreamgirls requires one major talent, and Jennifer Hudson is it for the screen version, just as Jennifer Holliday was on-stage. Meanwhile, this deluxe edition of the soundtrack rights a wrong that dates back 25 years. On-stage, the music in Dreamgirls practically never stopped, with lots of incidental songs and even much of the dialogue delivered as recitative with underscoring. But the original Broadway cast album didn't have room for that much music, and a lot of it was never recorded. Admittedly, the songs that were jettisoned, such as the extra numbers in the talent show sequence at the top of the show, were minor, and the recitative was actually better forgotten. But theater music fans would have preferred a more complete recording, and some of that preference is satisfied here, with lost songs from the show such as "I'm Lookin' for Something," "Goin' Downtown," "Takin' the Long Way Home," "I Want You Baby," "Heavy," "I'm Somebody," "Step on Over," and "Effie, Sing My Song" featured for the first time on disc. Meanwhile, "Ain't No Party" has been cut. "It's All Over," one of the recitative pieces, which is the scene preceding "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going," is also here, and it shows that this kind of material doesn't work well in mere audio. Actually, it doesn't work very well in the movie, either. "Perfect World," a newly written incidental song, is a curiosity. For the show, Krieger made a point of never writing outright copies or parodies of Motown songs, but "Perfect World" is a spot-on re-creation of an early Jackson 5 number like "ABC," and it is performed in the film by a group clearly meant to suggest the Jackson 5. The result is a cheap laugh, a gratuitous swipe at the hapless Michael Jackson, and it demonstrates perfectly why Krieger was wise to avoid this kind of thing originally. Also included are radically altered dance mixes of "One Night Only" and "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" the former done in a late-'70s, electronic Euro-disco style, as if by Donna Summer with Giorgio Moroder producing, and the album concludes with Krieger's vocal-and-piano demo of "Patience." These tracks make for entertaining extras. [This is the Deluxe Edition of the soundtrack.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/5/2006
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 886970201223
  • Catalog Number: 702012
  • Sales rank: 470

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 I'm Lookin' for Something - Keisha Heely (2:17)
  2. 2 Goin' Downtown - Luke Boyd (1:25)
  3. 3 Takin' the Long Way Home - Michael-Leon Wooley (2:17)
  4. 4 Move - Anika Noni Rose (2:07)
  5. 5 Fake Your Way to the Top - Anika Noni Rose (3:54)
  6. 6 Big (2:39)
  7. 7 Cadillac Car - Anne Warren (2:21)
  8. 8 Steppin' to the Bad Side - Anika Noni Rose (5:58)
  9. 9 Love You I Do (2:49)
  10. 10 I Want You Baby - Anika Noni Rose (2:53)
  11. 11 Family - Anika Noni Rose (3:22)
  12. 12 Dreamgirls - Anika Noni Rose (3:20)
  13. 13 Heavy - Anika Noni Rose (1:33)
  14. 14 It's All Over - Anika Noni Rose (3:40)
  15. 15 And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going (5:05)
Disc 2
  1. 1 I'm Somebody - Anika Noni Rose (1:26)
  2. 2 When I First Saw You - Jamie Foxx (2:16)
  3. 3 Patience - Anika Noni Rose (3:34)
  4. 4 I Am Changing (4:04)
  5. 5 Perfect World - Steve Russell (1:32)
  6. 6 I Meant You No Harm/Jimmy's Rap - Eddie Murphy (3:11)
  7. 7 Lorrell Loves Jimmy/Family (Reprise) - Anika Noni Rose (2:12)
  8. 8 Step on Over - Anika Noni Rose (0:22)
  9. 9 I Miss You Old Friend - Loretta Devine (1:52)
  10. 10 Effie, Sing My Song - Keith Robinson (1:31)
  11. 11 One Night Only (2:58)
  12. 12 One Night Only - Anika Noni Rose (3:10)
  13. 13 Listen - Beyoncé Knowles (3:40)
  14. 14 Hard to Say Goodbye - Anika Noni Rose (2:37)
  15. 15 Dreamgirls (Finale) - Anika Noni Rose (2:46)
  16. 16 Curtain Call (3:55)
  17. 17 Family (End Title) - Anika Noni Rose (2:37)
  18. 18 When I First Say You - Beyoncé Knowles (3:02)
  19. 19 One Night Only - Anika Noni Rose (6:08)
  20. 20 And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going (6:19)
  21. 21 Patience - Henry Krieger (4:48)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Beyoncé Vocals
Jennifer Hudson Vocals
Jamie Foxx Vocals
Eddie Murphy Vocals
John Beasley Piano
Robert Becker Viola
Denyse Buffum Viola
Darius Campo Violin
Larry Corbett Cello
Darrell Crooks Guitar
Nathan East Bass
Stephen Erdody Cello
Armen Garabedian Violin
Berj Garabedian Violin
Endre Granat Violin
Gary Grant Trumpet
Alan Grunfeld Violin
Jerry Hey Trumpet
Dan Higgins Saxophone
Stephen Holtman Trombone
Peter Kent Violin
Ricky Lawson Drums
Cynthia Moussas Violin
Greg Phillinganes Piano
Michele Richards Violin
Anatoly Rosinsky Violin
Haim Shtrum Violin
David Stenske Viola
Kristin Wilkinson Viola
John Wittenberg Violin
Kenneth Yerks Violin
Gayle Levant Harp
Susan Chatman Violin
Daniel Smith Cello
Damon Thomas Keyboards
Michael Hart Thompson Guitar
Larry Greene Choir, Chorus
Suzie Katayama Cello
Mario Diaz de Leon Violin
William Frank "Bill" Reichenbach Jr. Trombone
Tim Carmon Piano
Wayne Bergeron Trumpet
Glendon Campbell Drums
Harvey Mason Jr. Bass, Percussion, Drums, Keyboards
Kevin Randolph Piano, Keyboards
Gordon Campbell Drums
Sara Parkins Violin
Julian Hallmark Violin
Roberto Cani Violin
Richard Bowers Choir, Chorus
Daphne Chen Violin
Eric D. Jackson Guitar
John Hayhurst Viola
Eric King Choir, Chorus
Randy Spendlove Guitar, Keyboards
Nicole Thrash Choir, Chorus
Melissa Bereal Choir, Chorus
Alyssa Park Violin
Vanessa B. Freebairn Smith Cello
Andrew Duckles Viola
Kevin Shannon Choir, Chorus
Jen Kuhn Cello
Sharon Jackson Violin
Rudolph Stein Cello
Josefina Veraga Violin
Natalie Ganther Choir, Chorus
Nicole Ganther Choir, Chorus
Camille Grigsby Choir, Chorus
Cassandra Grigsby Choir, Chorus
Tereza Stanislav Violin
Erica L. King Choir, Chorus
Frederick Fiddmont Saxophone
James Johnson Bass
Anthony Moore Drums
Kalia Rafa Choir, Chorus
Robert Thrash Choir, Chorus
Dreamgirls Cast Ensemble Vocals
Technical Credits
Jerry Hey Arranger
Glen Brunman Soundtrack Executive Producer
Damon Thomas Arranger
The Underdogs Arranger, Producer
Erwin Gorostiza Art Direction
Tim Carmon Arranger
Damon Intrabartolo Arranger
Richie Jones Producer, Remixing
Harvey Mason Jr. Arranger
Beyoncé Knowles Producer
Mathew Knowles Soundtrack Executive Producer
Randy Spendlove Arranger
Vlado Meller Mastering
Dabling Harward Engineer
Chris Spilfogel Engineer
Billy Condon Arranger, Liner Notes, Soundtrack Executive Producer
Matt Sullivan Arranger
Deborah Lurie Arranger
Fusako Chubachi Art Direction
Henry Krieger Arranger
Frank Rich Author
David Campbell Arranger
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Takes you back!

    The movie is loosely based on Motown and the Supremes. That takes me back to my youth. The soundtrack stands by itslef. Anything Jennifer Hudson sings is wonderful. Beyaonce's "Listen" is something you want to play sometimes to your significant other. Especially when they need to LISTEN. When I first her "When I first saw you" I cried. Foxx does a good job with the song.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted April 15, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews