Various Artists

Great Musicals

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"Great musicals aren't always hits or award winners," writes annotator and A&R director Bill Rosenfield in his liner notes for Great Musicals, which a cover sticker nevertheless identifies as "great songs from Broadway blockbusters." Prepared as an entry in a series of albums commemorating RCA Victor Records' 100th birthday, the album is an odd sampler of music from the company's archives. Far from reflecting RCA's long history, it concentrates on later times, with nine out of 14 tracks dating from the 1990s or later (though not all the songs are of that vintage). Rosenfield seems to have focused on finding less-well-known numbers from successful shows, like "Dancing" from Hello, Dolly!, or from shows of the last several seasons, successful or not, such as "New Music" from Ragtime, "Lady's Maid" from Titanic, and "All the Wasted Time" from Parade. Balancing the obscurities are standards like "Do-Re-Mi" from the 1998 revival of The Sound of Music and performances by stars like Nathan Lane (duetting with Faith Prince on "Sue Me" from the 1992 revival of Guys and Dolls) and Matthew Broderick (singing "Rosemary" from the 1995 revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying), who were in Broadway's biggest new hit, The Producers, on the release date of this compilation. The result is a mixture not unlike the group of seriously intended new shows and flashy revivals that has made up the typical Broadway schedule of the 1990s and early 2000s. Not all of the musicals are great, nor are all the songs, but the chosen numbers stand alone well, and the sequencing works. (Note that the "previously unreleased" recording of "Unlikely Lovers," drawn from a 2001 club date, is not actually a new song, only a new performance of an excellent number from the 1990 show Falsettoland.)

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 4:38 Amazon
2 6:53 Amazon
3 4:27 Amazon
4 3:40
5 3:58 Amazon
6 2:50 Amazon
7 2:25 Amazon
8 4:04
9 4:29 Amazon
10 4:55 Amazon
11 3:24 Amazon
12 5:17 Amazon
13 4:41
14 5:37
blue highlight denotes track pick