Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory [Original Soundtrack]

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory [Original Soundtrack]

5.0 4
by Leslie Bricusse
     
 

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This 1971 screen musicalization of Roald Dahl's children's book boasts an enchanting and memorable score from Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley that boasts a handful of classic songs ("The Candyman," "Golden Ticket," "Pure Imagination," and the wonderful "Oompa Loompa" interludes). The songs, however, have had a life of their own beyond the film--"The Candyman" would

Overview

This 1971 screen musicalization of Roald Dahl's children's book boasts an enchanting and memorable score from Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley that boasts a handful of classic songs ("The Candyman," "Golden Ticket," "Pure Imagination," and the wonderful "Oompa Loompa" interludes). The songs, however, have had a life of their own beyond the film--"The Candyman" would later become a hit for Sammy Davis, Jr., while "Pure Imagination" has been recorded by musician Michael Feinstein among others. The soundtrack's arrangements by Walter Scharf are terrific and this Hip-O reissue boasts remarkably clear stereophonic sound that should enchant listeners for years to come.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
The CD version of the soundtrack to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory issued in conjunction with the 25th anniversary re-release of the movie is a somewhat uneven presentation of a very good musical score. The movie's producers were trying for a musical along the lines of Mary Poppins or Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, that is, something that could appeal to children but not bore adults, and vice versa, depending upon how one approached it. They got more than they bargained for -- almost too much, in terms of its appeal at the time -- in an immensely tuneful score by Leslie Bricusse with delightful fantasy-laced lyrics by Anthony Newley, wrapped up in a film that appealed to the more worldly perceptions of children, and to parents who recalled that side of themselves. But that wasn't close to all parents at the time, many of whom were so appalled by the nasty edge to the story and screenplay that they failed to grasp the score's beauty or the ultimately satisfying conclusion to the movie; but over time, audiences caught up to the movie, and today it's widely regarded as a classic, and may well be the last successful live-action musical created specifically for cinema and aimed at kids (or, at least, the last not to come from Disney); and the fact that it was so far ahead of its time in 1971 has resulted in its seeming far less dated today than a 1971 movie would normally have a right to. This CD tries to treat the score as it has deserved, giving a nicely, brightly mastered account of such songs as "The Candy Man," "Cheer Up, Charlie," and "I Want It Now/Oompa Loompa," and such jaunty instrumental pieces as "Lucky Charlie" (with its vaguely Irish lilt). The movie also got a superb musical turn out of Jack Albertson ("I've Got a Golden Ticket"), working in the mode of Albert Sharpe. And then there's "Pure Imagination," as sung by Gene Wilder -- to be sure, Julie Budd and others sing it better on any technical level one might care to cite, but there is something beguiling about the non-singer Wilder working his way through those lyrics and the melody. Not everything about the CD is perfect, however -- the score itself is a little short, containing only about 30 minutes of music; the rest of the running time involves linking dialogue and sound effects. Most of what's here is rewarding when the makers stick to music -- the problem is that some of the tracks aren't much more than arrays of sound effects, with "Everlasting Gobstoppers/Oompa Loompa" coming off a lot like outtakes from any early-'70s Pink Floyd album. Other tracks, such as "The Wondrous Boat Ride," just get by, offering mixing music and effects; while others, such as "The Bubble Machine," might've worked better without the sound effects. And one track, "Wonkamobile, Wonkavision/Oompa Loompa," offers so little music that its presence -- apart from the Oompa Loompa song in the last third -- is a complete cheat to extend the running time. But it ends on a musical high point with the gorgeous, wistful finale, and is easily worthwhile for devoted fans of the composers or the movie.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/08/1996
Label:
Hip-O Records
UPC:
0076744002020
catalogNumber:
40020
Rank:
6933

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Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think the Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory should be rated with 5 stars. This soundtrack features the favorites of the video. I love listening to the CD while I'm cleaning. All the songs are upbeat, and singing along is a MUST!!! :)
JMCostanza More than 1 year ago
Nice songs and very good quality. Great price too!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My daughter loves this CD and listens to it every day. I can relive the movie just listening to the CD. Great music for kids!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago