Original Soundtrack

How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying [Rykodisc]

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It took United Artists five and a half years after the Broadway opening in the fall of 1961 to turn How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying into a movie in the spring of 1967, perhaps because the show had one of the longest runs in theater history up to that time. Times moved swiftly in the '60s, but the story's harshly satiric look at American business was even more relevant in the tumultuous late '60s than it had been in the heady days of the early '60s (in fact, it was still relevant in 1995 when a successful revival hit Broadway). Robert Morse repeated his star-making role, and Rudy Vallée repeated his career comeback role in the film, and eight of the show's excellent Frank Loesser songs (notably the standard "I Believe In You") made it onto the screen, not a bad total for Hollywood. (One song, "Coffee Break," was filmed and cut, but it's restored on the album.) All this bodes well for the soundtrack, which comes off well, despite the typically thin, boxy movie sound that modern digital technology can't do much to improve. Still, the version to own is the original cast album, which contains more songs and fresher performances. (The Rykodisc reissue is an enhanced CD that allows you to run the film's trailer on your computer.)

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