The Broadway musical On the Town, with songs by Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden, and Adolph Green, opened on December 28, 1944, and was greeted with the same enthusiasm that had met its predecessor, Bernstein's ballet Fancy Free. Bernstein had expanded upon his music and brought in lyricists Comden and Green to tell the story of three sailors on leave for a day in New York City. Comden and Green also were in the cast, along with Nancy Walker, and Decca Records, the pioneer of the original Broadway cast album, brought them into the recording studio over the course of 1945 to produce this three-disc, six-track album of selections from the score. Mary Martin, another Broadway star, but not one featured in On the Town, was employed to sing two ballads that, in the show, were handled by John Battles! So, this was hardly a full-fledged recording of the score by the original performers, but rather an incomplete approximation. Excellent songs such as the risqué "Come Up to My Place" and the wistful "Some Other Time" were missing, along with several of the major cast members. But what was included was terrific: Comden and Green camping their way through "I Get Carried Away," Walker still managing to be somewhat risqué with "I Can Cook Too," and a chorus rendering the "New York, New York" theme in "On the Town Opening."
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann