Although the soundtrack to Victor/Victoria came out before the deluxe 31-track configuration that appeared in 2002 and again in 2016 (once even in an expanded edition), this was the most complete version yet, including 13 previously unreleased tracks when it was first issued. That might be less exciting than it sounds, as all but one of those are instrumental selections by the MGM Studio Orchestra rather than pieces with vocals by the musical's two stars, Julie Andrews and Robert Preston (though there is a previously unavailable rehearsal of "The Shady Dame from Seville" with Preston on vocals). Still, in its favor this package also boasts mastering from the original 24-track tapes; the complete version of "You and Me" (with both Preston and Andrews on vocals) that was heard on the original soundtrack album, though it wasn't sung to completion in the film; and learned liner notes on the film's production. As for the Henry Mancini-Leslie Bricusse-penned music, it's a throwback to the kinds of sounds that ruled the stage and screen a half-century prior to Victor/Victoria's release, albeit with better fidelity than you'd hear on a 1930s or 1940s film soundtrack, and with a somewhat saucier plot line than would have usually been allowed in some productions. Some might find that the constant orchestral interludes on the 2002 and 2016 deluxe editions dilute the flow of Preston and Andrews' slyly humorous performances, but at least in the digital versions, removing any undesired tracks from your Victor/Victoria playlist should prove to be a relatively easy task.
AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger
|Victor/Victoria, film score|