Mamma Mia!

Mamma Mia!

Mamma Mia

CD(Dutch Import)

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Overview

After more than nine years (and counting) of continuous stage performances, the musical Mamma Mia!, featuring songs from the ABBA catalog awkwardly stitched into a romantic comedy plot, was adapted for the big screen by the same producer/director/writer team that had taken it to the theater. (That would be Judy Craymer, Phyllida Lloyd, and Catherine Johnson, respectively.) Like its counterpart, it pleased moviegoers but not critics, and thankfully the film itself is not the primary subject of this consideration. The soundtrack album simply consists of 18 ABBA songs sung by the stars of the movie, most of whom are not professional singers. The instrumental portions of the music are remarkably similar to the original ABBA recordings, which is not surprising given that ABBA member Benny Andersson, who produced this album, reunited the original studio musicians to re-create their parts. Their playing (his, in particular) is a bit less precise here and there three decades on, but for the most part it's hard to tell the difference. On the original recordings, the Swedish singing group revealed its ESL (English as a Second Language) limitations, just as the songwriters (Andersson, fellow member Björn Ulvaeus, and sometimes Stig Anderson) revealed their ESL lyric-writing limitations. Here, the first of those problems is alleviated, while the second is somewhat elided by performers who are actors used to finding ways to say (or sing) even the silliest lines with some conviction. That's all to the good. But the generally low to mediocre quality of the singing is such as to suggest an all-ABBA night in a karaoke bar. The singers may be divided into those who embarrass themselves and those who manage to avoid doing so. In the latter category, the most prominent is Meryl Streep, in the starring role of Donna, an innkeeper living on a Greek isle with her daughter Sophie, who is about to be married and, never having been told who her real father is, sets the plot in motion by writing to three of her mother's ex-boyfriends and inviting them to the wedding. Streep, who has some stage singing experience, is actually better when she's belting than when she has to be more intimate and expressive, as she is called on to do for most of the ballad "The Winner Takes It All." Amanda Seyfried, as Sophie, also does well (and she even gets an extra solo, singing "Thank You for the Music" with only piano accompaniment as the album's hidden track). Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård, and Julie Walters are not heard from much, and therefore also fit into the non-embarrassing category. The real problem is Pierce Brosnan, who simply can't sing at all, but who tries hard during such leads as "SOS" and particularly "When All Is Said and Done," to often painful effect. (It's too bad that Christine Baranski, a ringer who has real musical theater chops, only gets to sing "Does Your Mother Know," not only because the album would be improved vastly with more of her, but also because she is so much better than the others that she makes them sound even worse than they are.) Onscreen, just as on-stage, Mamma Mia! is at best a guilty pleasure. On disc, it is no more than a souvenir of the film experience (which didn't keep this album from topping charts all over the world upon its release).

Product Details

Release Date: 07/12/2011
Label: Imports
UPC: 0602517741843
catalogNumber: 943033
Rank: 40251

Tracks

  1. Honey, Honey
  2. Money, Money, Money
  3. Mamma Mia
  4. Dancing Queen
  5. Our Last Summer
  6. Lay All Your Love on Me
  7. Super Trouper
  8. Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)
  9. The Name of the Game
  10. Voulez-Vous
  11. SOS
  12. Does Your Mother Know
  13. Slipping Through My Fingers
  14. The Winner Takes It All
  15. When All Is Said and Done
  16. Take a Chance on Me
  17. I Have a Dream

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Benny Andersson   Piano,Keyboards
Rutger Gunnarsson   Bass,Bouzouki
Per Lindvall   Drums
Meryl Streep   Vocals
Lasse Wellander   Bouzouki,Guitar
Christine Baranski   Vocals
Julia Waters   Vocals
Leif Lindvall   Trumpet
Jan Bengtsson   Flute,Baritone Saxophone,Piccolo Trumpet
Martin Lowe   Conductor,Musical Direction
Julie Walters   Vocals
Jörgen Stenberg   Percussion
Pierce Brosnan   Vocals
Pär Grebacken   Clarinet,Recorder,Saxophone
Kalle Moraeus   Bouzouki,Guitar,Violin
Mats Nilsson   Choir, Chorus
Colin Firth   Vocals
Amanda Seyfried   Vocals
Dominic Cooper   Vocals
Ashley Lilley   Vocals
Rachel McDowall   Vocals
Philip Michael   Vocals
Stellan Skarsgård   Vocals
Henrik Orwander   Choir, Chorus
Anders Andersson   Choir, Chorus
Perra Moraeus   Alto Saxophone
Markus Lönneborg   Choir, Chorus
Mats Nilsson   Choir, Chorus
Cecilia Skarby   Choir, Chorus
Jesper Sjölander   Choir, Chorus
Robert Carlson   Choir, Chorus
Martin Redhe Nord   Choir, Chorus
Anna Rydgren   Choir, Chorus
Anna Afzelius   Choir, Chorus
Stefan Rundqvist   Choir, Chorus
Magnus Borén   Choir, Chorus
Johanna Eriksson   Choir, Chorus
Robert Skowronski   Choir, Chorus
Sara Dahlgren   Choir, Chorus
Mamma Mia Cast Ensemble   Choir, Chorus
Children of the Italia Conti School   Choir, Chorus
Jenny Miina   Choir, Chorus
Tobias Ahlsell   Choir, Chorus
Robin Olsson   Choir, Chorus
Thérèse Löf   Choir, Chorus
Michael Blomqvist   Choir, Chorus
Anki Albertsson   Choir, Chorus
Philip Michael   Vocals
Hans Johansson   Choir, Chorus
Lasse Jonsson   Acoustic Guitar
Calle Jakobsson   Tuba
Jan Bengtson   Flute,Baritone Saxophone,Piccolo Trumpet
Hans Johansson   Choir, Chorus

Technical Credits

Benny Andersson   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Executive Producer
Björn Ulvaeus   Composer,Executive Producer
Lorenzo Agius   Cover Photo
Stig Anderson   Composer
Andrew Dudman   Engineering
Bernard Löhr   Engineering
Chris Barrett   Engineering
Rupert Christie   Orchestration
Judy Craymer   Executive Producer
Thomas Bowes   Orchestra Leader
Göran Arnberg   Orchestral Arrangements
Abbie Lister   Assistant Music Supervisor
Steve Price   Engineer,Engineering

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