The play 1776, a musical retelling of the Continental Congress and the writing of the Declaration of Independence, seemed like an unlikely idea for a Broadway musical until it opened in 1969 and ran over 1,200 performances, spawning a charting cast album and a 1972 movie whose soundtrack album also reached the charts. But the show did not have a Broadway revival until 1997, when it became a surprise hit all over again. You can hear why on the new cast album, which, like earlier versions, proves unexpectedly stirring, perhaps because many of the issues it raises remain important today, and perhaps also because Sherman Edwards' lively, funny score holds up so well, and certainly because the cast, led by Brent Spiner's John Adams, is so effective.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann