Rent [Original Broadway Cast Recording]
Sprawling and impassioned, messy and often overreaching, Rent remains the most significant Broadway musical of the late '90s. Using characters derived from Puccini's opera "La Bohème," composer Jonathan Larson weaves an arresting tale of a year in the life of a motley group of disenfranchised East Villagers coping with adult responsibility, poverty, AIDS, drug addiction, and other malevolent forces that continually surround them. This 1996 double disc, produced by veteran hitmaker Arif Mardin, features the marvelous original
cast, including Anthony Rapp, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Adam Pascal, Wilson Jermaine Heredia, and Idina Menzel. Rent contains an abundance of heartfelt, gorgeous songs, particularly "I'll Cover You," "Sante Fe," "Light My Candle," "Over the Moon," the searing "One Song Glory," and Rubin-Vega's fabulous "Out Tonight," as well as the show's theme of warmth and wonder, "Seasons of Love," also included as a bonus track performed by Stevie Wonder.