London Revival Cast 1982

Salad Days [London Revival Cast 1982] [That's Entertainment]

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In many ways, this is an admirable recording as well as a charming piece of music, and a historically significant release as well. The revival of Julian Slade and Dorothy Reynolds' Salad Days that led to this recording dated from 1976, and the performances at hand date from six years later. The key players -- Christina Matthews, Adam Bareham, Elizabeth Seal, Sheila Steafel, et al. -- are present in their roles, and delightful down to the last note. And there are a lot more notes here than are present in the 1954 original London cast recording, some nine minutes' more music, including several numbers that weren't represented on the earlier recording. But fine as it is -- and it is essential listening for anyone who appreciates English musical theater, or musical theater in general, as well as possessing charm that can reach even casual listeners -- this recording doesn't have quite the same sweet innocence of the performances on that old Oriole cast album (re-released in the mid-'90s on Sony West End). Composer Julian Slade also reveals himself a pianist of some prodigious skill here, playing accompaniment to his own show in inimitable fashion, with extremely light orchestral support. It's probably worth owning on that basis alone, and worth many listens, even if it isn't quite as beguiling, note for note, as the 1954 cast effort.

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