1969 Studio Cast

Hair (DisinHAIRited)

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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann

Throughout its various runs off-Broadway, at the Cheetah nightclub, and on Broadway, the musical Hair was subjected to continual tinkering by composer Galt MacDermot and lyricist/cast members James Rado and Gerome Ragni, with songs and other elements added and removed. In fact, Rado and Ragni were briefly fired from the production in April 1969 for introducing too many changes, especially ones that made the show more risqué. The same month, however, the original Broadway cast album topped the charts, and RCA Victor became more interested in all those extra songs than the show's producer. So, the creative team reconvened with past and present cast members and put together this follow-up album, which annotator Nat Shapiro admitted was undefinable: "In addition to being a very special bonus trip," he wrote, "DisinHAIRited is an extension, an amplification and a continuation of Hair. Some of its songs were first written or projected for the original New York Shakespeare Festival production, some for Broadway, and some for this recording. This is not an original-cast album. (Actually, we don't know what it is.)" While the collection didn't contain any sure-fire hits on the order of "Aquarius," "Good Morning Starshine," or "Hair," it did have the same combination of irreverence, wit, and timely commentary in the lyrics and pop/rock eclecticism in the music that its predecessor had. "I Dig," for example, was another of those non-rhyming personal statements like "Frank Mills"; "The Bed" was gentle, sexy, and catchy; and "Eyes Look Your Last/Sentimental Ending" was a closer with the intensity of "The Flesh Failures/Let the Sunshine In." (Such songs as "Electric Blues" and "Going Down" had long since made it into the stage production.) If the album was ultimately a coda to the first LP, it nevertheless had its pleasures for fans of the show.

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