Original Broadway Cast

Annie Get Your Gun [Prism]

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Prism Leisure, a British budget reissue label, takes advantage of the 50-year copyright limit on recordings in Europe to put out its own version of the 1946 original Broadway cast album of Annie Get Your Gun, originally released on Decca and still claimed as an American property by Universal. Although legally that should mean that the Prism album is not available for sale in the U.S., it actually was obtainable quite easily from American mail-order firms upon release, at a price of only about $8. Of course, it doesn't compare to the still-in-print American version; its sound adequate but clearly mastered from secondary sources, its annotations brief and error-prone. (Liner notes writer Tony Watts summarizes the plot inaccurately, suggesting he's never actually seen the show.) What may attract musical theater buffs, however, are the bonus tracks: three sets of excerpts from the double-EP of medleys of songs from the show recorded by members of the original London cast in 1947. Dolores Gray substitutes for Ethel Merman, giving a less distinctive, but still worthwhile performance, while Bill Johnson successfully replaces Ray Middleton. The songs are abbreviated, but still serve as a complement to the Broadway versions.

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