A bizarre recording, to say the least. The Wizard of Oz in Concert: Dreams Come True was recorded at a benefit concert for the Children's Defense Fund and, in keeping with the benefit concert tradition, the show was filled with stars, including Roger Daltrey, Jackson Browne, Nathan Lane, Jewel, Natalie Cole, Joel Grey, Debra Winger, Ronnie Spector, David Sanborn, Dr. John, Ry Cooder, and the Boys Choir of Harlem. The stars gathered together to perform The Wizard of Oz in its entirety, singing all of the Arlen & Harburg songs from the classic film, including ones that were left on the cutting room floor like "The Jitterbug." It was a well-intentioned concert that failed miserably in practice. Most of the performers -- especially Lane as the Cowardly Lion and Jewel as Dorothy (Daltrey played the Tin Man, Browne the Scarecrow, Cole was Glinda, Winger was the Wicked Witch, and Grey was the Wizard) -- turn in fine performances, but the music never really gels. The singers never settle down and begin interacting with each other, they just sing their own parts. And the attempts to meld rock, pop and blues into the songs comes off as clumsy and ham-fisted, not inspired. There's no denying that The Wizard of Oz in Concert: Dreams Come True is for a good cause -- part of the album's proceeds are donated to the Children's Defense Fund -- but as an enjoyable listening experience, the record falls far short of being pleasurable.
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