Various Artists

Broadway Magic: Broadway, 1968-1980

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Broadway Magic: Broadway 1968-1980 is the fourth of six budget-priced compilations of cast recordings issued by Universal Music's Decca Broadway imprint, covering the six decades since the founding of the American Decca Records label. Actually, Decca was part of MCA Records during the period covered by the disc, and the label was phased out by the early '70s. But the company that later morphed into Universal also gobbled up lots of other firms, with the result that there was plenty of catalog for producers Brian Drutman and Joseph S. Szurly to choose from -- tracks on this disc originally appeared on LPs issued by Motown, Casablanca, ABC, ATCO, and MGM/Verve Records in addition to Decca and MCA. Nevertheless, the album represents only a sampling of some of the Broadway music of those years. There are no songs from Company, Follies, Grease, A Little Night Music, The Wiz, A Chorus Line, Chicago, Pacific Overtures, Annie, or Sweeney Todd, simply because the cast albums for these shows went to other record companies. There wouldn't be a song from Hair, either, if the producers hadn't bent the rules by using a track from the Original London Cast album. And the inclusion of the old songs "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" and "Won't You Charleston with Me?," drawn from revivals, makes the date range questionable. But revivals are a part of Broadway, too, and by mixing them in with British imports, elements of rock and disco, and more traditional show tunes, this short album gives a taste of what the Great White Way sounded like in the '70s.

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