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Unsung Musicals: The Ultimate Collection

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
A stage musical may fail for any number of reasons, but when it does, it takes everything -- the actors' performances, the choreography, the sets, the songs -- with it, and in the case of the music, that has meant, over the years, quite a body of good show tunes that went unrecorded. Producer Bruce Kimmel, on his three volumes of Unsung Musicals, aimed to rescue some of that music; this compilation presents the best of those collections, the first recordings of 18 songs from flop musicals of the 1960s to the 1990s. Often, the songwriters succeeded elsewhere, as names like Howard Ashman and Alan Menken (Little Shop of Horrors), Martin Charnin (Annie), Cy Coleman (Sweet ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
A stage musical may fail for any number of reasons, but when it does, it takes everything -- the actors' performances, the choreography, the sets, the songs -- with it, and in the case of the music, that has meant, over the years, quite a body of good show tunes that went unrecorded. Producer Bruce Kimmel, on his three volumes of Unsung Musicals, aimed to rescue some of that music; this compilation presents the best of those collections, the first recordings of 18 songs from flop musicals of the 1960s to the 1990s. Often, the songwriters succeeded elsewhere, as names like Howard Ashman and Alan Menken (Little Shop of Horrors), Martin Charnin (Annie), Cy Coleman (Sweet Charity), Marvin Hamlisch (A Chorus Line), Mary Rodgers (Once Upon a Mattress), Charles Strouse and Lee Adams (Bye Bye Birdie), and Jule Styne and Bob Merrill (Funny Girl) suggest. Sometimes, the shows in question (which either never progressed beyond workshops or out-of-town tryouts, or closed quickly on Broadway) sound like good ideas. There is Sherry!, a musical version of the hilarious play The Man Who Came to Dinner, for example, which ran only 65 performances on Broadway, as well as La Strada, based, like Sweet Charity, on a classic Federico Fellini movie, which lasted only one performance. The presence of so many talented professionals results in songs that are of high quality and identifiably in a Broadway show tune style. Many of them sound like they could be taken out of their shows to become standards, since they often are articulate, melodic love songs. (No doubt Kimmel intended to find just such songs.) Of course, there are also some tracks that benefit from insider knowledge. The only instance in which the performer who actually sang the song on-stage also sings it here is Jodi Benson's "Disneyland" from Smile, and it may increase the listener's enjoyment to be aware that Howard Ashman, who details a love of Disneyland in his lyric, went on to write songs for animated movie musicals at Disney, starting with The Little Mermaid, the title character of which was voiced by Benson. These sorts of details are featured in the liner notes by Ken Mandelbaum, who knows his way around Broadway failures, having written the book Not Since Carrie: 40 Years of Broadway Musical Flops. In addition to Benson (who also went on to Broadway success in Crazy for You), the singers include many talented Broadway and cabaret performers, such as Debbie Gravitte, Harry Groener, Judy Kuhn, and Michael Rupert, but special mention must be made of Christine Baranski's bravura reading of the Cole Porter-like lyric (courtesy of James Lipton) to "Sherry" and Liz Callaway's sensitive interpretation of the lullaby-like "New Words" from Maury Yeston's One, Two, Three, Four, Five. These are songs deserving of a second life, which is the whole point of the album.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/5/2001
  • Label: Varese Sarabande
  • UPC: 030206211122
  • Catalog Number: 062111

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Smile - Julie Anne Aho (3:20)
  2. 2 Hero (3:49)
  3. 3 Didn't Leave it Here (2:43)
  4. 4 Starfish (3:23)
  5. 5 Sherry! (6:02)
  6. 6 Smashing New York Times (3:20)
  7. 7 Silverware (2:05)
  8. 8 Hundreds of Hats - Jason Workman (4:12)
  9. 9 At the Same Time - Patrick Levis (3:02)
  10. 10 When it Happens to You (3:39)
  11. 11 Lawyers (2:35)
  12. 12 At My Side - Michael Rupert (3:25)
  13. 13 In a State (3:09)
  14. 14 Disneyland (3:06)
  15. 15 Reveille Sun - Glory Grampton (4:52)
  16. 16 The Memory of Tonight (4:17)
  17. 17 Stomp the Blues Away - Kimberlee L. Wertz (3:51)
  18. 18 New Words (4:13)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Jodi Benson Vocals, Track Performer
Sally Mayes Vocals, Track Performer
Tom Fay Musical Direction
Jonathan Freeman Vocals, Track Performer
Nikki Harris Taps
Melba Joyce Vocals, Track Performer
Liz Callaway Vocals, Track Performer
Christine Baranski Vocals, Track Performer
Lisa Beth Carroll Vocals, Track Performer
Christa Fuller Vocals, Track Performer
Jason Graae Vocals, Track Performer
Judy Kuhn Vocals, Track Performer
Lisa Mayer Vocals, Track Performer
Lanny Meyers Musical Direction
Michael Rupert Vocals, Track Performer
Lee Wilkof Vocals, Track Performer
Debbie Gravitte Vocals, Track Performer
Gregory Jbara Vocals, Track Performer
Lynne Wintersteller Vocals, Track Performer
Brent Barrett Vocals, Track Performer
Harry Groener Vocals, Track Performer
Gregg Edelman Vocals, Track Performer
Carolee Carmello Vocals, Track Performer
Timothy Jerome Vocals, Track Performer
Tammy Minoff Vocals, Track Performer
Kristine Fraelich Vocals, Track Performer
Jolie Jenkins Vocals, Track Performer
Victor Pond Vocals
Dori Rosenthal Vocals
Patrick Levis Vocals
Kimberlee L. Wertz Vocals
Jason Workman Vocals
Armsted Christian Vocals
Julie Anne Aho Vocals
Technical Credits
Sheldon Harnick Lyricist
Lee Adams Lyricist
Howard Ashman Lyricist
Vincent Cirilli Engineer
Nikki Harris Choreographer
Bruce Kimmel Producer, Liner Notes
Larry Moore Orchestration
Maury Yeston Lyricist
Lanny Meyers Arranger, Orchestration
Martin Charnin Lyricist
Ramón Bretón Mastering
Ken Mandelbaum Liner Notes
Matt Dubey Lyricist
Alfred Uhry Lyricist
Bonnie Janofsky Orchestration
Steve Orich Orchestration
David Campbell Lyricist
David Carney Lyricist
Paul Stryker Lyricist
Marta Kauffman Lyricist
Jon Forster Lyricist
Ralph Allen Lyricist
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    excellent !!

    could listen to this over and over stomp the Blues away is terrific!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews