The Wiz [Original Cast Recording]

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The Wiz original cast recording is a joyous, vibrant celebration of life, couched in the fantastic terms of a modernized retelling of The Wizard of Oz, with an entirely black cast. And it is fantastic in both senses -- both fantasy-based, like the children's story by L. Frank Baum that it is born from, and also superbly performed. This version far outshines the movie soundtrack (despite the movie having such big-name draws as Diana Ross and Michael Jackson). In this 1975 release, Stephanie Mills is an absolute delight as Dorothy and Andre De Shields is an engaging, rascally Wiz. The songs are stellar too; from the ominous, atmospheric instrumental "Tornado" to the gently affirming, confidence-building "Be a Lion" to the Wiz' grand I'm-outta-here finale, "Y'All Got It," this production is glorious. Listeners will feel uplifted. Very highly recommended, both for children and adults.

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