Stage Door Orchestra

South Pacific [Highlights From]

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The anonymous individual singers who perform with the equally anonymous Stage Door Orchestra on this album of songs from South Pacific are not bad, but that's the best you can say about this odd collection. Technically speaking, all the songs from the stage musical are present, although they have been sequenced oddly. The rationale seems to have been to group songs by a given character/performer together, so that, for example, Lieutenant Cable's "Younger Than Springtime," sequenced third in the running order even though it is the ninth song heard in the show on-stage, is followed by his other song, "You've Got to Be Carefully Taught," the 12th song in the show, and Bloody Mary's "Happy Talk" (tenth on-stage) is the sixth song here, followed by her "Bali Ha'i" (seventh on-stage). Meanwhile, the two choral numbers "Bloody Mary (Is the Girl I Love)" and "There Is Nothin' Like a Dame" (fifth and sixth on-stage) are shoved to the end of the disc as the 15th and 14th tracks, perhaps because neither features a chorus; they're instrumentals! That means, however, that they sound a little better than the other tracks on the album, since the voices have not been well recorded. Meanwhile, the liner notes consist of a short, barebones essay by Chris White in which lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II is referred to as "Roger Hammerstein." Just about any other version of South Pacific on record can be recommended over this inept one.