Ralph Burns Orchestra – Carbaret (OST) (1972)

FrontCover1Cabaret is a 1972 American musical drama film directed by Bob Fosse, and starring Liza Minnelli, Michael York, and Joel Grey.

Set in Berlin during the Weimar Republic in 1931, under the presence of the growing Nazi Party, the film is loosely based on the 1966 Broadway musical Cabaret by Kander and Ebb, which was adapted from the novel The Berlin Stories / Goodbye to Berlin (1939) by Christopher Isherwood and the 1951 play I Am a Camera adapted from the same book. Only a few numbers from the stage score were used for the film; Kander and Ebb wrote new ones to replace those that were discarded. In the traditional manner of musical theater, called an “integrated musical”, every significant character in the stage version sings to express his or her own emotion and to advance the plot. In the film version, the musical numbers are entirely diegetic. All of them take place inside the club, with one exception: “Tomorrow Belongs to Me”, the only song sung neither by Grey’s character of the Kit Kat Klub’s Master of Ceremonies nor by Minnelli’s character of Sally Bowles.

In 1931 Berlin, young American Sally Bowles performs at the Kit Kat Klub. A new British arrival in the city, Brian Roberts, moves into the boarding house where Sally lives. A reserved academic and writer, Brian wants to give English lessons to earn a living while Cabaret
1972
RŽal. : Bob Fosse
Liza Minnelli
COLLECTION CHRISTOPHELcompleting his doctorate. Sally tries to seduce Brian, but he tells her that on three previous occasions he has tried to have sexual relationships with women, all of which failed. They become friends, and Brian witnesses Sally’s bohemian life in the last days of the Weimar Republic. Much later in the movie, Sally and Brian become lovers, concluding that his previous failures with women were because they were “the wrong three girls”.

Maximilian von Heune, a rich playboy baron, befriends Sally and takes her and Brian to his country estate where they are both spoiled and courted. After an unexplained off-screen experience with Brian, Max drops his pursuit of the pair in anger. During an argument, Sally tells Brian that she has been having sex with Max, and Brian reveals that he has as well. Brian and Sally later reconcile, and Sally reveals that Max left them 300 marks and mockingly compares the sum with what a professional prostitute gets.

Sally learns that she is pregnant but is unsure of the father. Brian offers to marry her and take her back to his university life in Cambridge. At first, they celebrate their resolution to start this new life together, but after a picnic between Sally and Brian, in which Brian acts distant and uninterested, Sally becomes disheartened by the vision of herself as a bored faculty wife washing dirty diapers. Ultimately, she has an abortion, without informing Brian in advance. When he confronts her, she shares her fears, and the two reach an understanding. Brian departs for England, and Sally continues her life in Berlin, embedding herself in the Kit Kat Club.

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A subplot concerns Fritz Wendel, a German Jew passing as a Protestant, who is in love with Natalia Landauer, a wealthy German Jewish heiress who holds him in contempt and suspects his motives. Sally advises him to be more aggressive, which eventually enables Fritz to win her love. However, to get her parents’ consent for their marriage, Fritz must reveal his religion, which he does and the two are married by a rabbi.

The Nazis’ violent rise is an ever-present undercurrent in the film. Their progress can be tracked through the characters’ changing actions and attitudes. While in the beginning of the film, a Nazi is kicked out of the Kit Kat Klub, the final shot of the film shows the cabaret’s audience is dominated by uniformed Nazis. The rise of the Nazis is also demonstrated in a rural beer garden scene when Max and Brian stop for drinks. A blonde boy – only his face is seen initially – sings to an audience of all ages (“Tomorrow Belongs To Me”) about the beauties of nature and youth. The camera shifts to show that the singer is wearing a brown Hitler Youth uniform.

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The ballad gradually transforms into a militant Nazi anthem, one by one, nearly all the adults and young people watching rise and join in the singing. The song culminates with the singer donning his Hitler Youth cap and lifting his hand in the Nazi salute. Max and Brian return to their car after witnessing this show of growing support for the Nazi movement, where Brian asks Max, “Do you still think you can control them?” Later, Brian’s confrontation with a Nazi in the streets of Berlin leads to nothing but him being beaten.

While he does not play a role in the main plot, the “Master of Ceremonies” serves a background role throughout the film. His intermittent songs in the Kit Kat Klub are increasingly risqué and pointedly mock the Nazis initially, while a later song reveals the growing acceptance of anti-Semitism. (by wikipedia)

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All the songs were written by Kander and Ebb, mostly for the 1966 Broadway production. It starts and ends with a cymbal stroke. The style is inspired by old cabaret and burlesque songs in Berlin and by Kurt Weill. Willkommen is sung by Joel Grey, who worked hard on his German accent and who was in the original Broadway cast. The first original Mein Herr introduces Liza Minnelli as Sally Bowles. Maybe This Time was already recorded by her in 1964.

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The satirical Money, Money uses the sound of the cash register, like Pink Floyd one year later. If You Could See Her is a comical song with a serious undertone, in which the ape represents a non-Aryan. Tomorrow Belongs to Me announces the rise of the Nazi movement. Cabaret is the apotheosis in which Liza gives her everything and proves what a unique theatrical performer and vocalist she is. It’s a musical representation of the conflicting ideologies in the early thirties. Cabaret represents life and life is a cabaret. (Bonnie Laurel)

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Personnel:
Ralph Burns Orchestra
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vocals:
Joel Grey – Liza Minnelli – Mark Lambert – Greta Keller

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Tracklist:
01. Joel Grey: Willkommen 4.31
02. Liza Minnelli: Mein Herr 3.37
03. Liza Minnelli: Maybe This Time 3.11
04. Joel Grey, Liza Minnelli: Money, Money 3.05
05. Joel Grey: Two Ladies 3.12
06. Sitting Pretty (Instrumental) 2.27
07. Mark Lambert: Tomorrow Belongs To Me  3.07
08. Joel Grey: Tiller Girls 1.41
09. Greta Keller: Heiraten (Married) 3.35
10. Joel Grey: If You Could See Her 3.55
11. Liza Minnelli: Cabaret 3.35
12. Joel Grey: Finale 2.29

Music:John Kander
Lyrics: Fred Ebb

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Jerry Herman – Hello, Dolly! (The Original Broadway Cast Recording) (1964)

FrontCover1.jpgHello, Dolly! is a 1964 musical with lyrics and music by Jerry Herman, directed and choreographed by Gower Champion, and a book by Michael Stewart, based on Thornton Wilder’s 1938 farce The Merchant of Yonkers, which Wilder revised and retitled The Matchmaker in 1955. The musical follows the story of Dolly Gallagher Levi, a strong-willed matchmaker, as she travels to Yonkers, New York to find a match for the miserly “well-known unmarried half-a-millionaire” Horace Vandergelder.

Hello, Dolly! first debuted at the Fisher Theater in Detroit on November 18, 1963[1], then moved to Broadway, produced by David Merrick, in 1964, winning 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. This set a record which the play held for 37 years. The show album Hello, Dolly! An Original Cast Recording was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2002.[2] The album reached number one on the Billboard album chart on June 6, 1964, and was replaced the next week by Louis Armstrong’s album Hello, Dolly![3] Louis Armstrong also was featured in the film version of the show, performing a small part of the song “Hello, Dolly!”.

The show has become one of the most enduring musical theater hits, with four Broadway revivals and international success. It was also made into the 1969 film Hello Dolly! which won three Academy Awards, and was nominated in four other categories. (by wikipedia)

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Gerald Sheldon Herman (July 10, 1931 – December 26, 2019) was an American composer and lyricist, known for his work in Broadway musical theater. He composed the scores for the hit Broadway musicals Hello, Dolly!, Mame, and La Cage aux Folles. He was nominated for the Tony Award five times, and won twice, for Hello, Dolly! and La Cage aux Folles. In 2009, Herman received the Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre. He was a recipient of the 2010 Kennedy Center Honors.

Herman is the only composer/lyricist to have had 3 original productions open on Broadway at the same time from February to May 1969: Hello, Dolly!, Mame , and Dear World. He was the first (of two) composers/lyricists to have three musicals run more than 1500 consecutive performances on Broadway (the other being: Stephen Schwartz): Hello, Dolly! (2,844), Mame (1,508), and La Cage aux Folles (1,761). Herman is honored by a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at the 7000 block of Hollywood Boulevard.

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Other honors include the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre, named after him by the University of Miami. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1982.

Herman’s work has been the subject of two popular musical revues, Jerry’s Girls conceived by Larry Alford, and Showtune (2003) conceived by Paul Gilger.[40]

A 90-minute documentary about his life and career, Words and Music by Jerry Herman by filmmaker Amber Edwards, was screened in 2007 and then broadcast on PBS.[41] [42] In the 2008 animated film WALL-E, Herman’s music from Hello, Dolly! is a theme for the character WALL-E.

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In 1989, American-playwright Natalie Gaupp wrote a short play titled “The Jerry Herman Center.” The play is a comedy which portrays the lives of several patients in “The Jerry Herman Center for Musical Theatre Addiction.” In 2012, Jason Graae and Faith Prince collaborated on The Prince and the Showboy, a show which pays tribute to Herman; Graae worked extensively with Herman and described him as “a survivor of the highest degree [who] lives his life as an eternal optimist.”

Herman was openly gay and at the time of his death was partnered with Terry Marler, a real estate broker.

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Herman was diagnosed HIV-positive in 1985. As noted in the “Words and Music” PBS documentary, “He is one of the fortunate ones who survived to see experimental drug therapies take hold and was still, as one of his lyrics proclaims, ‘alive and well and thriving’ over quarter of a century later.”

Herman’s memoir, Showtune, was published in 1996.

Herman died at a hospital in Miami on December 26, 2019, at age 88 (by wikipedia)

Okay … enjoy the music of one of the great musicals of the Sixties.

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Personnel:
Eileen Brennan (Irene Molloy)
David Burns (Horace Vandergelder)
Carol Channing (Dolly Levi)
Jerry Dodge (Barnaby Tucker)
Igors Gavon (Ambrose Kemper)
Sondra Lee (Minnie Fay)
Charles Nelson Reilly (Cornelius Hackl)
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Orchestra directed by Jerry Herman, Gower Champion & Philip J. Lang

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Tracklist:
01. Orchestra: Prologue 1.14
02. Carol Channing & Company: I Put My Hand In 3.09
03. David Burns & Company: It Takes A Woman 2.35
04. Charles Nelson Reilly, Jerry Dodge, Igors Gavon, Carol Channing: Put On Your Sunday Clothes 4.17
05. Eileen Brennan: Ribbons Down My Back 2.43
06. Carol Channing, Eileen Brennan, Sondra Lee: Motherhood 1.49
07. Carol Channing, Charles Nelson Reilly, Jerry Dodge, Sondra Lee, Eileen Brennan: Dancing 4.28
08. Carol Channing & Company: Before The Parade Passes By 3.19
09. Eileen Brennan, Charles Nelson Reilly, Sondra Lee, Jerry Dodge: Elegance 2.27
10. Carol Channing & Company: Hello, Dolly! 5.43
11. Charles Nelson Reilly, Eileen Brennan & Company: It Only Takes A Moment 3.43
12. Carol Channing: So Long Dearie 3.01
13. David Burns, Carol Channing & Company: Finale 4.14

Music & lyrics by Jerry Herman

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Ronan Hardiman – Michael Flatley’s – Lord Of The Dance (1996)

FrontCover1Lord of the Dance is an Irish musical and dance production that was created, choreographed, and produced by Irish-American dancer Michael Flatley, who also took a starring role. The music for the show was written by Ronan Hardiman.

Michael Flatley found his first fame starring in Riverdance, but he left the show in late 1995 due to conflicts over creative control. He dreamed of, and put into action, a plan of putting together a dance show capable of playing in arenas and stadiums instead of traditional theatres.[1] Later on, Flatley soon began thinking of rhythm patterns and steps for an a cappella number. This number would later become “Planet Ireland”, the show’s finale. The show took six months to bring it from conception to the stage. Auditions were held in the SFX City Theatre in Dublin.

Lord of the Dance had preview shows at the Point Theatre in Dublin from 28 June to 1 July 1996. The show staged a premiere performance on 27 June 1996 – the video was filmed on 2 July 1996. The story follows the character “Lord of the Dance” and his fight against the evil dark lord “Don Dorcha” from taking over Planet Ireland. The “Lord of the Dance” defeats the dark lord’s invasion with help from a little spirit. There is also a story with a “love vs lust” theme expressed through dance throughout the show. “Saoirse, the Irish Cailín” fights for the love of the “Lord of the Dance” against the wicked “Morrighan, the Temptress”. The stories are based on ancient Irish folklore and some Biblical references; the title itself, along with the central musical theme, is taken from a contemporary hymn. (by wikipedia)

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Part showtunes, part classical, and part folk music, Ronan Hardiman’s score to Lord of the Dance, the musical starring dancer Michael Flatley, successfully avoids all the inherent pitfalls of such an enterprise. Hardiman has emerged as Ireland’s finest interpreter of traditional music for films, TV, and the theater, and under his guidance the 19 lush orchestral tunes, augmented with many traditional instruments, are rife with the spirit of the Emerald Isle.

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Two of the tracks feature the taps of Flatley and Co, while the rest highlight the score as composed by Hardiman with all its subtle textures intact and not masked by the live sound of tap dancing. Lord of the Dance is a perfect and very listenable fusion of Broadway and the indigenous heritage of Irish music making. (by Derek Rath)

Ronan Hardiman’s score takes a dancing trip through the Emerald Isle! The two bonus tracks feature the taps of Michael Flatley with the Lord of the Dance troupe.

But: If you want to discover all these great Irish Folk tunes … listen to the originals like The Dubliners & Co.

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Personnel:
Maire Breatnach (fiddle)
Anne Buckley (vocals)
Richie Buckley (saxophone)
Roy Carter (oboe)
Bill Dowdall (flute)
Gerard Fahey (bouzouki, bagpipes. whistle)
Michael Flatley (percussion)
Ronan Hardiman (keyboards, programming)
Dave Keary (guitar, bouzouki)
Tom McDonagh (bouzouki)
Tony Molloy (bass)
Mairead Nesbitt (fiddle)
Gary Sullivan (drums)
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Lord Of The Dance Troupe (percussion)
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Orchestra & Choir counducted by Anne Dudley

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Tracklist:
01. Cry Of The Celts 4.24
02. Suila Ruin 3.14
03. Celtic Dream 5.37
04. Warriors 3.08
05. Gypsy 2.08
06. Breakout 3.46
07. The Lord Of The Dance 4.44
08. Spirit In The New World 1.31
09. Fiery Nights 3.09
10. Lament 3.22
11. Siamsa 4.27
12. Our Wedding Day 3.24
13. Stolen Kiss 3.26
14. Nightmare 3.37
15. Victory 2.44
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16. Cry Of The Celts (bonus version) 2.21
17. The Lord Of The Dance (bonus version) 4.44

Music: Ronan Hardiman
Lyrics: Michael Flatley
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Broadway Musicals Society – Oklahoma (Rodgers & Hammerstein) (1962)

FrontCover1.JPGOklahoma! is the first musical written by the team of composer Richard Rodgers and librettist Oscar Hammerstein II. The musical is based on Lynn Riggs’ 1931 play, Green Grow the Lilacs. Set in farm country outside the town of Claremore, Oklahoma Territory, in 1906, it tells the story of farm girl Laurey Williams and her courtship by two rival suitors, cowboy Curly McLain and the sinister and frightening farmhand Jud Fry. A secondary romance concerns cowboy Will Parker and his flirtatious fiancée, Ado Annie.

The original Broadway production opened on March 31, 1943. It was a box-office smash and ran for an unprecedented 2,212 performances, later enjoying award-winning revivals, national tours, foreign productions and an Academy Award-winning 1955 film adaptation. It has long been a popular choice for school and community productions. Rodgers and Hammerstein won a special Pulitzer Prize for Oklahoma! in 1944.

This musical, building on the innovations of the earlier Show Boat, epitomized the development of the “book musical”, a musical play where the songs and dances are fully integrated into a well-made story with serious dramatic goals that are able to evoke genuine emotions other than laughter. In addition, Oklahoma! features musical themes, or motifs, that recur throughout the work to connect the music and story. A fifteen-minute “dream ballet” reflects Laurey’s struggle with her feelings about two men, Curly and Jud.

Act I
OriginalPoster1943In Oklahoma territory in 1906, cowboy Curly McLain looks forward to the beautiful day ahead as he wanders into farm girl Laurey Williams’s yard (“Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'”). He and Laurey tease each other, while her Aunt Eller looks on. There will be a box social dance that night, which includes an auction of lunch baskets prepared by the local women to raise funds for a schoolhouse. The man who wins each basket will eat the lunch with the lady who prepared it. Curly asks Laurey to go with him, but she refuses, feeling that he has waited too long. He attempts to persuade her by telling her that he will take her in the finest carriage money can buy (“The Surrey with the Fringe on Top”), but she teases him about it until he says he made it up to get back at her. She flounces off, not realizing that he really has rented such a rig.

The lonely, disturbed farm hand Jud Fry has become obsessed with Laurey and asks her to the dance. She accepts to spite Curly, although she is afraid of Jud. Meanwhile, cowboy Will Parker returns bedazzled and souvenir-laden from a trip to modern Kansas City (“Kansas City”). He won $50 at the fair, which, according to his girlfriend Ado Annie’s father, Andrew Carnes, is the money he needs to marry Ado Annie. Unfortunately, he spent all the money on gifts for her. Will also purchased a “Little Wonder” (a metal tube used for looking at pictures, but with a hidden blade inside) for Ado Annie’s father, unaware of its deadly secret. Later, Ado Annie confesses to Laurey that while Will has been away, she has been spending a lot of time with Ali Hakim, a Persian peddler. Laurey tells her she’ll have to choose between them, but Ado Annie insists she loves them both (“I Cain’t Say No”). Laurey and her friends prepare for the social, while Gertie Cummings flirts with Curly (her obnoxious laugh floating in to taunt Laurey). Laurey tells her friends that she doesn’t really care about Curly (“Many a New Day”).

Andrew Carnes discovers Annie with Ali Hakim. After questioning Ado Annie about their relationship, he forces Hakim at gunpoint to agree to marry her. Hakim and the other men lament the unfairness of the situation (“It’s a Scandal! It’s a Outrage!”). Curly discovers that Laurey is going to the box social with Jud and tries to convince her to go with him instead. Afraid to tell Jud she won’t go with him, Laurey tries to convince Curly (and herself) that she does not love him (“People Will Say We’re in Love”). Hurt by her refusal, Curly goes to the smokehouse where Jud lives to talk with him. Curly suggests that since Jud does not feel appreciated, he could hang himself, and everyone would realize how much they care about him (“Pore Jud Is Daid”). Their talk turns into an ominous confrontation about Laurey. After Curly leaves, Jud’s resolve to win Laurey becomes even stronger, and he vows to make her his bride (“Lonely Room”).

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Confused by her feelings for Curly and her fear of Jud, Laurey purchases a “magic potion” (referred to as smelling salts, but actually laudanum) from Ali Hakim, which the unscrupulous peddler guarantees will reveal her true love. She muses on leaving her dreams of love behind and joining the man she loves (“Out of My Dreams”), then falls asleep under the influence of the opiate (“Dream Sequence”). In an extended dream ballet sequence, Laurey first dreams of what marriage to Curly would be like. Her dream takes a nightmarish turn when Jud appears and kills Curly. She cannot escape him, confused by her desires. The dream makes her realize that Curly is the right man for her, but it is too late to change her mind about going to the dance with Jud; he has come for her, and they leave for the box social.

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Act II
At the social, during an upbeat square dance (“The Farmer and the Cowman”), the rivalry between the local farmers and cowboys over fences and water rights has led to fighting, which Aunt Eller ends by firing a gun to silence everyone.[16] Laurey is upset when she sees Curly at the dance with Gertie. In an effort to rid himself of Ado Annie, Ali Hakim buys Will’s souvenirs from Kansas City for $50. Jud also contributes to this by purchasing Will’s Little Wonder, knowing of the blade concealed within it. The auction starts and Will bids $50 on Ado Annie’s basket, not realizing that without the $50, he would no longer have the money her father insisted he needs to “purchase” marriage with her. Desperate to be rid of Ado Annie, the peddler bids $51 to get the basket so that Will can approach Andrew Carnes with the $50 and claim Ado Annie as his bride. The auction becomes much more serious when Laurey’s basket comes up for auction. Jud has saved all his money so he can win Laurey’s basket. Various men bid, trying to protect Laurey, but Jud outbids them all. Curly and Jud engage in a ferocious bidding war, and Curly sells his saddle, his horse, and even his gun to raise money. Curly outbids Jud and wins the basket. Jud discreetly tries to kill Curly with the Little Wonder, but his plan is foiled when Aunt Eller (knowing what is happening) loudly asks Curly for a dance. Later that night, Will and Annie work out their differences, as she reluctantly agrees not to flirt with other men (“All Er Nuthin'”).

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Jud confronts Laurey about his feelings for her. When she admits that she does not return them, he threatens her. She then fires him as her farm hand, screaming at him to get off her property. Jud furiously threatens Laurey before he departs; Laurey bursts into tears and calls for Curly. She tells him that she has fired Jud and is frightened by what Jud might do now. Curly, seeing that she has turned to him for guidance and safety, reassures her and proposes to her, and she accepts (“People Will Say We’re In Love (Reprise)”). He then realizes that he must now become a farmer. Afterwards, Ali Hakim decides to leave the territory and bids Ado Annie goodbye after telling her Will is the man she should marry.

Three weeks later, Laurey and Curly are married and everyone rejoices in celebration of the territory’s impending statehood (“Oklahoma”). During the celebration, Ali Hakim returns with his new wife, Gertie, whom he unwillingly married after being threatened by her father with a shotgun. A drunken Jud reappears, harasses Laurey by kissing her and punches Curly, and they begin a fist fight. Jud attacks Curly with a knife and Curly dodges, causing Jud to fall on his own knife. Jud soon dies. The wedding guests hold a makeshift trial for Curly, at Aunt Eller’s urging, as the couple is due to leave for their honeymoon. The judge, Andrew Carnes, declares the verdict: “not guilty!” Curly and Laurey depart on their honeymoon in the surrey with the fringe on top (“Finale Ultimo”). (by wikipeda)

Here´s an album, recorded in the early Sixties for the Musical Masterpiece Society (Musical Masterpiece Society was a daughter of Concert Hall. Just as Concert Hall, Musical Masterpiece Society worked with a subscription for post-order, but with Musical Masterpiece Society one didn’t need to purchase a fixed amount of discs.

Originally the label by the Josefowitz brothers was called Musical Masterworks Society, but because the word “Masterwork” was already used since the 1930’s by Columbia, the name needed to be changed to “Musical Masterpiece Society”.)

This album was produced for the German record market, so all the liner notes are in German.

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Personnel:
Broadway Musicals Society conducted by Frank Y. Bennett

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Tracklist:
01. Overture 3.30
02. Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin’ 2.27
03. The Surrey With The Fringe On Top 2.58
04. Kansas City 2,31
05. I Cain’t Say No 2.55
06. Many A New Day 2.50
07. It’s A Scandal, It’s An Outrage 2.09
08. People Will Say We’re In Love 2.38
09. Pore Jud Is Daid 3.53
10. Out Of My Dreams 2.19
11. The Farmer And The Cowman – Farmer Dance 5.46
12. All Er Nothin’ 3.04
13. Oklahoma 1.50

Music: Richard Rodgers
Lyrics: Oscar Hammerstein II

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Mbongeni Ngema – Sarafina ! The Music Of Liberation (Musical) (1988)

LPFrontCover1Sarafina! is a South African musical by Mbongeni Ngema depicting students involved in the Soweto Riots, in opposition to apartheid. It was also adapted into a 1992 film starring Whoopi Goldberg and Leleti Khumalo. Sarafina! premiered on Broadway on 28 January 1988, at the Cort Theatre, and closed on 2 July 1989, after 597 performances and 11 previews. The musical was conceived and directed by Mbongeni Ngema, who also wrote the book, music, and lyrics. The play was first presented at The Market Theatre, Johannesburg, South Africa, in June 1987. The cast included Leleti Khumalo as Sarafina.  Sarafina! is a South African musical by Mbongeni Ngema depicting students involved in the Soweto Riots, in opposition to apartheid. It was also adapted into a 1992 film starring Whoopi Goldberg and Leleti Khumalo. Sarafina! premiered on Broadway on 28 January 1988, at the Cort Theatre, and closed on 2 July 1989, after 597 performances and 11 previews. The musical was conceived and directed by Mbongeni Ngema, who also wrote the book, music, and lyrics. The play was first presented at The Market Theatre, Johannesburg, South Africa, in June 1987. The cast included Leleti Khumalo as Sarafina.

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Leleti Khumalo received a Tony Award nomination, Best Featured Actress in a Musical, as well as a NAACP Image Award for her Broadway theatre portrayal of the title character. The production was also nominated for the Tony Award for: Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Choreography, and Best Direction of a Musical.
The show presents a school uprising similar to the Soweto uprising on 16 June 1976. A narrator introduces several characters among them the schoolgirl activist Sarafina. Things get out of control when policemen shoot several pupils at the school. Nevertheless, the musical ends with a cheerful farewell show of pupils leaving school, which takes most of the second act.
The production of the play was chronicled in the documentary film Voices of Sarafina!. (by wikipedia)

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Conceived and directed by Mbongeni Ngema, Sarafina! is the “little musical that could.” Despite considerable financial hardship in moving the show to production, it premiered in Johannesburg, South Africa and, within three months, was transported intact to New York for a limited engagement at Lincoln Center. It proved so popular there that it moved to Broadway, where it received five Tony Award nominations and ran for 597 performances. Sarafina! concerns apartheid and its repressive conditions as reflected in the lives of a group of high school students in Soweto during the 1980s.

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The title character is an endearing rebel who retains her zeal for civil rights despite harassment and incarceration. The score, by Ngema and Hugh Masekela, features the stomping dance rhythms, electronic keyboard, blasts of brass, and idiosyncratic vocal harmonies that are trademarks of Mbaqanga, the pop sound of South Africa’s black townships. The album offers exhilarating, letter-perfect performances that pulse and spin inexorably toward the climactic number, “Bring Back Nelson Mandela,” during which Sarafina (Leleti Khumalo) impersonates the then-imprisoned leader and imagines what he might say upon release. (by Charles Wright)

This is maybe one of the most important presentation in this blog, because you can hear the sound of black power … the sound of people who wants to be free …

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Personnel:
Baby Cele (Mistress It’s A Pity)
Dumisani Dlamini (Crocodile)
Khumbuzile Dlamini (Scabha)
Lindiwe Dlamini (Teaspoon)
Ntomb’khona Dlamini (Magundane)
Congo Hadebe (Silence)
Thamsanqa Hlatywayo (Bhoboza)
Lindiwe Hlengwa (Lindiwe)
Leleti Khumalo (Sarafina)
Siboniso Khumalo (Siboniso)
Thandani Mavimbela (Thandani, Priest)
Mhlathi Khuzwayo (S#ginci, Police Lieutenant)
Nonhlanhla Mbambo (Dumadu)
Linda Mchunu (China)
Pat Mlaba (Colgate)
Mubi Mofokeng (Mubi, Police Sergeant)
Nandi Ndlovu (Nandi)
Nhlanhla Ngema (Stimela Sasezola)
Thandekile Nhlanhla (Thandekile)
Cosmas Sithole (Timba, Policeman)
Kipizane Skweyiya (Kipizane)
Harrison White (Harry)
Vanessa Williams (Vanessa)
Thandi Zulu (Thandi)
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Lemmy “Special” Mabaso (saxophone)
Hugh Masekela (horns)
Master Eddie Mathibe (keyboards)
Douglas Mnisi (guitar)
Makate Peter Mofolo (trumpet)
Ray Molefe (trumpet)
Bruce Mwandla (drums)
S’Manga Nhlebela (bass)
Livy Phahle (keyboards)

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Tracklist:
01 Overture (Ngema) 1.48
02. Zibuyile Emasisweni (Ngema) 2.06
03. Sarafina (Masekela) 3.18
04. The Lord’s Prayer (Ngema) 3.43
05. Yes, Mistress It’s A Pity (Masekela/Ngema) 5.15
06. Give Us Power (Ngema) 3.49
07. Afunani Amaphoyisa e Soweto (Ngema) 2.45
08. Freedom Is Coming Tomorrow (Ngema) 4.26
09. Excuse Me Baby (Ngema) 2,21
10. Meeting Tonight (Ngema) 1.06
11. Stand and Fight (Ngema) 1.30
12. Uyamemeza Umgoma (Ngema) 4.22
13. Voster Sisolilwela (Ngema) 1.37
14. Wawungalelani (Ngema) 5.09
15. Mama (Ngema) 5.15
16. Sechaba (Ngema) 4.19
17. Isizwe (Ngema) 3.05
18. Goodbye (Masekela) 2.10
19. Kilimanjaro (Ngema) 1.59
20. Africa Burning In The Sun (Masakela) 2.19
21. Olayithi (Ngema) 3.52
22. Bring Back Nelson Mandela (Masakela) 4.51
23. Freedom Is Coming Tomorrow (Reprise) 1.49

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Various Artists – Jesus Christ Superstar (1970)

FrontCover1.jpgJesus Christ Superstar is a 1970 rock opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. The album musical is a musical dramatisation of the last week of the life of Jesus Christ, beginning with his entry into Jerusalem and ending with the Crucifixion. It was originally banned by the BBC on grounds of being “sacrilegious.”

The album’s story is based in large part on the Synoptic Gospels and Fulton J. Sheen’s Life of Christ, which compares and calibrates all four Gospels. However, greater emphasis is placed on the interpersonal relationships of the major characters, in particular, Jesus, Judas and Mary Magdalene, relationships that are not described in depth in the Gospels.
Lyricist Rice said he took inspiration from the Bob Dylan song “With God on Our Side”.
“Herod’s Song” is a lyrical rewrite of “Try It and See”, previously written by Lloyd Webber and Rice as a proposed British entry into the 1969 Eurovision Song Contest to be sung by Lulu, then recorded and released as a single by Rita Pavone. The writers had also included it (as “Those Saladin Days”) in an aborted show called Come Back Richard Your Country Needs You.
The melody of “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” also predates Jesus Christ Superstar; it was rewritten from a 1968 Lloyd Webber/Rice collaboration titled “Kansas Morning”.Recording

For the recording, Lloyd Webber and Rice drew personnel from both musical theatre (Murray Head had just left the West End production of Hair) and the British rock scene (Ian Gillan had only recently become the singer of Deep Purple). Many of the primary musicians — guitarists Neil Hubbard and Henry McCullough, bassist Alan Spenner, and drummer Bruce Rowland — came from Joe Cocker’s backing group The Grease Band. Saxophonist Chris Mercer had also played with Hubbard in Juicy Lucy.Release
The first piece of Superstar released was the title song, as a single in November 1969 backed with the instrumental “John Nineteen Forty-One.” The full album followed almost a year later.

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The album topped the U.S. Billboard Pop Albums in both February and May 1971 and ranked number one in the year-end chart ahead of Carole King’s massive hit Tapestry. It also served as a launching pad for numerous stage productions on Broadway and in the West End. The original 1970 boxed-set issue of this 2-record set was packaged in the U.S. with a special thin brown cardboard outer box which contained the 2 vinyl records and a 28-page libretto. The album was listed as the top-selling LP on the U.S. Billboard Pop chart of 1971. It is also the sixth most successful album of all time in Norway, peaking at No. 3 and staying on the charts for 87 weeks. (by wikipedia)

Jesus Christ Superstar started life as a most improbable concept album from an equally unlikely label, Decca Records, which had not, until then, been widely known for groundbreaking musical efforts. It was all devised by then 21-year-old composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and 25-year-old lyricist Tim Rice. Jesus Christ Superstar had been conceived as a stage work, but lacking the funds to get it produced, the two collaborators instead decided to use an album as the vehicle for introducing the piece, a fairly radical rock/theater hybrid about the final days in the life of Jesus as seen from the point of view of Judas. If its content seemed daring (and perhaps downright sacrilegious), the work, a “sung-through” musical echoing operatic and oratorio traditions, was structurally perfect TheaterProgramfor an album; just as remarkable as its subject matter was the fact that its musical language was full-blown rock music. There was at the time an American-spawned hit theater piece called Hair that utilized elements of rock music, but it wasn’t as unified a work as Webber and Rice’s creation, and it was less built on rock music than on pop music that referred to rock; Webber and Rice’s work presented a far sharper, bolder musical edge and pushed it much further and harder than Hair ever did. Serving as their own producers, the two creators got together more than 60 top-flight singers and musicians (including Chris Spedding, John Gustafson, Mike Vickers, P.P. Arnold, and members of Joe Cocker’s Grease Band, not to mention Murray Head, Ian Gillan, and Yvonne Elliman in key singing roles), and managed to pull the whole production together into a more than coherent whole that contained a pair of hit singles (the title track and “I Don’t Know How to Love Him”) to help drive AM radio exposure. What’s more, the whole album sounded like the real article as far as its rock music credibility was concerned — it was played good and hard for a studio creation. Released in America by Decca as a handsomely decorated double-LP set complete with illustrated libretto, Jesus Christ Superstar seemed to pick up where the Who’s Tommy (also a Decca release) and Hair had left off, and audiences from across the age and cultural spectrum responded. Teenagers who didn’t know from Jesus, opera, or oratorios liked the beat, the hard rock sounds, and the singing and bought the album, as did parents who felt that the record offered a chance to understand some aspects of this youth culture around them, and especially its music — and so did some more forward-thinking clergy and theologians, who saw any opportunity to spread the word about Jesus where it wasn’t previously going as intrinsically good.

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The result was a chart-topping LP followed in short order by a Broadway production and, a little later, a multi-million-dollar movie (oddly enough, the original double LP created barely a ripple in England in 1970 and 1971, though there was eventually a British stage production that went on to become what was then the longest-running musical on London’s West End). And all of this acceptance and embrace in America took place scarcely five years after an innocent observation by John Lennon concerning the relative popularity of the Beatles and Jesus, made in England but reported in the American tabloids, had led to protests and a media boycott of the band’s music and their 1966 tour across the Bible Belt. Jesus Christ Superstar, by contrast, passed through the border and Southern states without any controversy, speaking volumes in the process about what had happened to American society in the interim. The original release was also the first “event” album of the ’70s, presaging a brace of generally less successful efforts in that direction, ranging from Lou Adler and Lou Reizner’s orchestrated version of Tommy (Pete Townshend’s rock opera basically blown up to Jesus Christ Superstar dimensions) to the soundtrack All This and World War II and Leonard Bernstein’s Mass. (by Bruce Eder)

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Personnel:

Victor Brox (Caiaphas, High Priest)
Barry Dennen (Pontius Pilate)
Yvonne Elliman (Mary Magdalene)
Ian Gillan (Jesus Christ)
Murray Head (Judas Iscariot)
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Mike d’Abo (King Herod)
Annette Brox (Maid by the Fire)
Paul Davis (Peter)
John Gustafson (Simon Zealotes)
Brian Keith (Annas)
Paul Raven (Priest)
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Neil Hubbard (guitar)
Henry McCullough (guitar)
Chris Mercer (saxophone)
Peter Robinson (keyboards)
Bruce Rowland (drums, percussion)
Alan Spenner (bass)
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Harold Beckett (trumpet)
Anthony Brooke (bassoon)
James Browne (horns)
Jim Buck, Sr (horns)
Jim Buck, Jr. (horns)
John Burdon (horns)
Joseph Castaldini (bassoon)
Norman Cave (piano)
Jeff Clyne (bass)
Ciclone (saxophone)
Keith Christie (trombone)
Les Condon (trumpet)
Alan Doggett (synthesizer)
Ian Hamer (trumpet)
Ian Herbert (clarinet)
Clive Hicks (guitar)
Karl Jenkins (piano)
Frank Jones (trombone)
Bill LeSage (drums)
John Marshall (drums)
Andrew McGavin (horns)
Anthony Moore (trombone)
Douglas Moore (horns)
Peter Morgan (bass)
Chris Spedding (guitar)
Louis Stewart (guitar)
Chris Taylor (flute)
Steve Vaughan (guitar)
Mike Vickers (synthesizer)
Brian Warren (flute)
Mick Weaver (keyboards)
Andrew Lloyd Webber (keyboards, synthesizer)
Alan Weighall (bass)
Kenny Wheeler (trumpet)
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Strings of the City of London Ensemble
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backgroumd vocals conducted by Geoffrey Mitchell:
Pat Arnold – Tony Ashton – Tim Rice – Peter Barnfeather – Madeline Bell – Brian Bennett – Lesley Duncan – Kay Garner – Barbara Kay – Neil Lancaster – Terry Saunders – Alan M. O’Duffy
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Children’s choir conducted by Alan Doggett on 01.
The Trinidad Singers conducted by Horace James on superstar

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Tracklist:

CD 1:
01. Overture 3.59
02. Heaven On Their Minds 4.22
03. What’s The Buzz/Strange Thing Mystifying 4.13
04. Everything’s Alright 5.14
05. This Jesus Must Die 3.37
06. Hosanna 2.09
07. Simon Zealotes/Poor Jerusalem 4.47
08. Pilate’s Dream 1.28
09. The Temple 5.43
10. Everything’s Alright (reprise) 0.32
11. I Don’t Know How To Love Him 3.38
12. Damned for All Time/Blood Money 5.09

CD 2:
13. The Last Supper 7.08
14. Gethsemane (I Only Want to Say) 5.33
15. The Arrest 3.21
16. Peter’s Denial 1.28
16. Pilate and Christ 2.44
17. King Herod’s Song (Try It and See) 3.03
18. Judas’ Death 4.15
19. Trial Before Pilate (Including the 39 Lashes) 5.13
20. Superstar 4.16
21. The Crucifixion 4.06
22. John Nineteen: Forty-One 2.09

Music written by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyrics written by Tim Rice

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The US labels

Alan Jay Lerner & Frederick Loewe – My Fair Lady (OST (1964)

FrontCover1My Fair Lady is a 1964 American musical film adapted from the Lerner and Loewe eponymous stage musical based on the 1913 stage play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw. With a screenplay by Alan Jay Lerner and directed by George Cukor, the film depicts a poor Cockney flower seller named Eliza Doolittle who overhears an arrogant phonetics professor, Henry Higgins, as he casually wagers that he could teach her to speak “proper” English, thereby making her presentable in the high society of Edwardian London.

The film stars Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison as Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins respectively, with Stanley Holloway, Gladys Cooper and Wilfrid Hyde-White in supporting roles. A critical and commercial success, it won eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Director. In 1998, the American Film Institute named it the 91st greatest American film of all time.

In Edwardian London, Professor Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison), a scholar of phonetics, believes that the accent and tone of one’s voice determines a person’s prospects in society. In Covent Garden one evening, he boasts to a new acquaintance, Colonel Hugh Pickering (Wilfrid Hyde-White), himself an expert in phonetics, that he could teach any person to speak in a way that he could pass them off as a duke or duchess at an embassy ball. Higgins selects as an example a young flower seller, Eliza Doolittle (Audrey MoviePosterHepburn), who has a strong Cockney accent. Eliza’s ambition is to work in a flower shop, but her thick accent makes her unsuitable. Having come from India to meet Higgins, Pickering is invited to stay with the professor. The following morning, Eliza shows up at Higgins’ home, seeking lessons. Pickering is intrigued and offers to cover all expenses if the experiment should be successful.

Eliza’s father, Alfred P. Doolittle (Stanley Holloway), a dustman, shows up three days later, ostensibly to protect his daughter’s virtue, but in reality simply to extract some money from Higgins, and is bought off with £5. Higgins is impressed by the man’s honesty, his natural gift for language, and especially his brazen lack of morals. Higgins recommends Alfred to a wealthy American who is interested in morality. Eliza goes through many forms of speech training, such as speaking with marbles in her mouth, enduring Higgins’ harsh approach to teaching and his treatment of her personally. She makes little progress, but just as she, Higgins, and Pickering are about to give up, Eliza finally “gets it”; she instantly begins to speak with an impeccable upper class accent.

As a test, Higgins takes her to Ascot Racecourse, where she makes a good impression initially, only to shock everyone by a sudden lapse into vulgar Cockney while cheering on a horse. Higgins, who dislikes the pretentiousness of the upper class, partly conceals a grin behind his hand. Eliza poses as a mysterious lady at an embassy ball and even dances with a foreign prince. At the ball is Zoltan Karpathy (Theodore Bikel), a Hungarian phonetics expert trained by Higgins. After a brief conversation with Eliza, he certifies that she is not only Hungarian, but of royal blood, declaring her to be a Princess.

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After all the effort she has put in, however, Eliza’s actions aren’t even acknowledged; all the praise going to Higgins. This, and his callous treatment towards her afterwards, especially his indifference to her future, causes her to throw Higgins’ slippers at him, and to walk out on him, leaving him mystified by her ingratitude. Accompanied by Freddy Eynsford-Hill (Jeremy Brett), a young man she met at Ascot and who is charmed by her, Eliza returns to her old life, but finds that she no longer fits in. She meets her father, who has been left a large fortune by the wealthy American to whom Higgins had recommended him, and is resigned to marrying Eliza’s stepmother. Alfred feels that Higgins has ruined him, since he is now bound by morals and responsibility. Eventually, Eliza ends up visiting Higgins’ mother (Gladys Cooper), who is enraged at her son’s behaviour.

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The next day, Higgins finds Eliza gone and searches for her, eventually finding her at his mother’s house. Higgins attempts to talk Eliza into coming back to him. He becomes angered when Eliza announces that she is going to marry Freddy and become Karpathy’s assistant. He makes his way home, stubbornly predicting that she will come crawling back. However, he comes to the realization that he has “grown accustomed to her face.” Henry returns to his study to lament his loneliness. As he listens to Eliza’s recorded voice, she reappears in the doorway behind him, turning off the recording and saying in her old Cockney accent, “I washed my hands and face before I come I did.” Higgins looks surprised then pleased before asking for his slippers once more as Eliza smiles on behind him, leaving the audience to decide what happens next. (by wikipedia)

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My Fair Lady is–deservedly–one of the most famous musicals of all time. Its popular 1964 film version, directed by George Cukor, has ensured that for most people Audrey Hepburn is Eliza Doolittle, while Broadway-heads swear by Julie Andrews’s stage performance, immortalized on the 1956 cast album. Of course, for the purposes of a CD review it’s more accurate to compare the performances of Andrews and Marni Nixon, who sang the songs lip-synched by Hepburn in the movie. While Andrews usually comes out on top (especially on “I Could Have Danced All Night”), Nixon is no slouch (after all, she also dubbed Natalie Wood in West Side Story and Deborah Kerr in The King & I). Rex Harrison, of course, does his own vocals, but then he doesn’t so much sing his songs as talk them. While Nixon and Harrison are tops, the truth is that Lerner and Loewe’s songs are so good as to endure almost anybody’s interpretation: “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly,” “With a Little Bit of Luck,” “On the Street Where You Live,” “Get Me to the Church on Time,” and so on–not many shows can boast as many classics. The movie version’s real bonus is Andre Previn’s swellegant orchestration. (by Elisabeth Vincentell)

And I add a large collection of lobby cards from this classic movie. Thanks to legendsofsfandfantasyart.blogspot

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Personnel:
Rex Harrison ( Professor Henry Higgins)
Audrey Hepburn (Eliza Doolittle)
Stanley Holloway (Alfred P. Doolittle)
Marni Nixon )as Eliza’s singing voice)
Bill Shirley (for Jeremy Brett) (Freddy Eynsford-Hill )
Wilfrid Hyde-White (Colonel Hugh Pickering)
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The Warner Bros. Studio Orchestra conducted by André Previn

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Tracklist:
01. Overture 3.27
02. Why Can’t The English Learn To Speak? (Rex Harrison, Audrey Hepburn, Wilfrid Hyde-White)
03. Wouldn’t It Be Loverly? (Marni Nixon (for Hepburn))
04. I’m An Ordinary Man (Harrison)
05. With A Little Bit Of Luck (Stanley Holloway)
06. Just You Wait (Hepburn, Nixon)
07. The Rain In Spain (Harrison, Hepburn, Nixon, Wilfrid Hyde-White)
08. I Could Have Danced All Night (Nixon)
09. Ascot Gavotte
10. On The Street Where You Live (Bill Shirley (for Jeremy Brett))
11. You Did It (Harrison, Hyde-White) (without the choir “Congratulations”)
12. Show Me (Nixon, Shirley)
13. Get Me To The Church On Time (Holloway)
14. A Hymn To Him (Why Can’t A Woman Be More Like A Man?) (Harrison, Hyde-White)
15. Without You (Nixon, Harrison)
16. I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face (Harrison) 4.53

Music and lyrics: Alan Jay Lerner & Frederick Loewe

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Various Artists – The Rocky Horror Picture Show (OST) (1975)

FrrontCover1The Rocky Horror Picture Show is the original soundtrack album to the 1975 film The Rocky Horror Picture Show, an adaptation of the musical The Rocky Horror Show that had opened in 1973. The soundtrack was released as an album in 1975 by Ode Records, produced by Richard Hartley.
This low-budget freak show/cult classic/cultural institution concerns the misadventures of Brad Majors (Barry Bostwick) and Janet Weiss (Susan Sarandon) inside a strange mansion that they come across on a rainy night. After the wholesome pair profess their love through an opening song, their car breaks down in the woods, and they seek refuge in a towering castle nearby. Greeting them at the door is a ghoulish butler named Riff Raff (Richard O’Brien), who introduces them to a bacchanalian collection of partygoers dressed in outfits from some sort of interplanetary thrift shop. The host of this gathering is a transvestite clad in lingerie, Dr. Frank N. Furter (Tim Curry), a mad scientist who claims to be from another planet. With assistants Columbia (Nell Campbell) and Magenta (Patricia Quinn) looking on, Frank unveils his latest creation — a figure wrapped in gauze and submerged in a tank full of liquid.

With the addition of colored dyes and some assistance from the weather, Frank brings to life a blonde young beefcake wearing nothing but skimpy shorts, who launches into song in his first minute of life. Just when Brad and Janet think things couldn’t get any stranger, a biker (Meat Loaf) bursts onto the scene to reclaim Columbia, his ex-girlfriend. When Frank kills the biker, it’s clear that Brad and Janet will be guests for the night, and that they may be next on Frank’s list — whether for murder or carnal delights is uncertain. And just what is that mystery meat they’re eating for dinner, anyway? In addition to playing Riff Raff, O’Brien wrote the catchy songs, with John Barry and Richard Hartley composing the score. (vy Derek Armstrong)

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The album peaked at No. 49 on the Billboard 200 in 1978. It reached No. 12 on the Australian albums chart and No. 11 on the New Zealand albums chart. William Ruhlmann of Allmusic gave the album a star rating of five stars out of five and described it as the “definitive version of the [Rocky Horror] score”.

Following its initial release, the album was not successful, and was deleted everywhere but in Canada. Marty Scott, co-founder of Jem Records, obtained a licensing agreement from Ode Records owner Lou Adler, which enabled the album to be imported to the United States. Scott also obtained a production and distribution license from Adler, which resulted in renewed interest in the album.

The soundtrack omits two of the songs sung in the film: Rocky’s “The Sword of Damocles”, and the Frank-N-Furter-led “Planet, Schmanet, Janet” (often erroneously referred to as “Wise Up, Janet Weiss”). Also omitted is “Once in a While,” which was shot for the film but later unincluded.
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“The Sword of Damocles” and “Planet, Schmanet, Janet” are included on the album “25 Years of Absolute Pleasure” however “Planet, Schmanet, Janet” is missing the last verse (don’t get hot and flustered) and they are in mono and ported directly from the film itself and so include all the sound effects and dialogue that would normally be omitted from a soundtrack album.
In 2011 these three songs were released, as MP3 format only, in their stereo, studio mixes on the download only release “The Rocky Horror Picture Show Complete Soundtrack: Absolute Treasures 2011 Special Edition”. The album was later issued on double red vinyl for the film’s 40th anniversary. However, incidental music and cues are not included and “The Sword of Damocles” features an unknown lead vocalist in place of Trevor White. The latter is included with Trevor White’s vocals as a bonus track for the iTunes edition; this is the same version found on the “25 Years of Absolute Pleasure” release, albeit in stereo and contains the dialogue and sound effects from the film. (by wikipedia)
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For the 1975 film version of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, American producer Lou Adler wisely mixed the best of the London and Los Angeles stage versions, shooting the movie in England with Tim Curry and several of the other original cast members, plus Meatloaf (years before Bat Out of Hell), and Americans Barry Bostwick and Susan Sarandon as the innocent couple Brad and Janet. Adler also brought back original London stage musicians in place of the slick studio musicians who had marred the L.A. cast album. The film version resequenced the songs and reassigned some of the vocals, with Brad’s song “Once in a While” dropped. But it all worked out fine. The strings that were added to ballads like “Science Fiction/Double Feature” only improved them; the rockers rocked out; Bostwick and Sarandon proved to be the best Brad and Janet ever; the original cast members, especially Curry, reveled in the opportunity to immortalize their portrayals; and Rocky Horror’s potential as a witty parody of cheap movies, rock & roll, and sexual mores was fully realized.

The film soundtrack album became the definitive version of the score, despite lacking the songs “Planet Shmanet Janet” and “The Sword of Damocles.” The Rocky Horror Picture Show was not successful in its initial theatrical run, but then a strange thing happened. In 1976, the Waverly Theater in New York’s Greenwich Village began showing the film at midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. Soon, a cult of repeat viewers began turning up every week; they began to dress like the characters, call out their own comments at strategic moments, sing along, and add their own theatrical effects. The phenomenon spread across the U.S., with fans rivaling Trekkies and Deadheads for loyalty and eccentricity, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show took on a life Richard O’Brien never could have anticipated. (William Ruhlmann)

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Personnel:
Count Ian Blair (guitar)
John Bundrick (keyboards)
Mick Grabham (guitar)
Phil Kenzie (saxophone)
B.J. Wilson (drums)
Dave Wintour (bass)
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background vocals:
Abigale Haness – Susan Morse – Bruce Scott
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Trackist:

Richard O’Brien:
01. Science Fiction/Double Feature 4.30

Barry Bostwick, Susan Sarandon:
02. Dammit Janet 2.51

Barry Bostwick, Susan Sarandon, Richard O’Brien:
03. Over At The Frankenstein Place 2.37

Richard O’Brien, Patricia Quinn, Little Nell:
04. Time Warp 3.15

Tim Curry:
05. Sweet Transvestite 3.21
06. I Can Make You A Man 2.07

Meat Loaf:
07. Hot Patootie – Bless My Soul  3.00

Tim Curry:
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8. I Can Make You A Man (Reprise) 1.44

Susan Sarandon, Little Nell, Patricia Quinn:
09. Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me 2.27

Jonathan Adams, Little Nell, Susan Sarandon, Tim Curry:
10. Eddie 2.44

Barry Bostwick, Susan Sarandon, Little Nell, Peter Hinwood, Tim Curry, Trevor White, Jonathan Adams   :
11.1. Rose Tint My World :
11.2. Floor Show
11.3. Fanfare/Don’t Dream It
11.4. Wild and Untamed Thing 8.13

Tim Curry:
12. I’m Going Home 2.48

Barry Bostwick, Susan Sarandon, Jonathan Adams:
13. Super Heroes 2.45

Richard O’Brien:
14. Science Fiction/Double Feature (Reprise) 1.26
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15. Time Warp (1989 remix – extended version) 5.36
16. Time Warp (music – 1 = background track = U mix) 4.09

All Songs written by Richard O’Brien.
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Ivan Rebroff – Un Violon Sur Le Toit (1969)

FrontCover1Instantly recognisable in trademark Russian chic – Cossack hat and brightly coloured peasant garb or fur greatcoat – Ivan Rebroff, who has died aged 76, was a European singing sensation. During the 1960s and 70s, he projected a television-friendly image and a sentimental picture of Mother Russia at odds with cold war rhetoric. More importantly, his voice gained him admirers worldwide. His repertoire comprised folk songs and carols, opera and operetta, hymns and songs from musicals, delivered variously in Russian, German, French, English and Afrikaans.

Rebroff employed his extraordinary vocal range – described in the Guinness Books of Records as extending “easily over four octaves from a low F to a high F, one and a quarter octaves above C” – on albums with titles such as Kosaken Müssen Reiten (Cossacks Must Ride, 1970). During his lifetime, his recordings were extensively repackaged and recompiled. The sheer scale of his success has not been properly tallied, but he reportedly chalked up 49 gold discs across five continents.

Rebroff, the epitome of a Russian singer for many, was, in fact, born Hans-Rolf Rippert in Berlin’s Spandau district. He always played his cards close to his chest about his origins. His engineer father apparently came from Hessen, while his mother, he said, was Russian. He grew up in Belzig in Brandenburg and Halle in Saxony-Anhalt. He progressed from singing in choirs to studying singing, piano and violin in Hamburg between 1951 and 1959 on a Fulbright scholarship. His professor of singing and voice, Adolf Detel, guided him towards eastern European song.

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There are two, not necessarily contradictory accounts of why he adopted the stage name “Ivan Rebroff”. In Russian that surname means “rib” and consequently carried an echo of Rippert since Rippe means “rib” in German. Rebroff was also supposedly the name of a famous singer with Moscow’s Bolshoi theatre. (Reinforcing this russification, “Ivan” is also German slang for Russian, much in the vein of “Tommy”.)

After graduating, Rebroff showed his versatility, donning many musical hats including major operatic roles, singing in Cossack choirs and performing the work of Hugo Wolf. In 1968 he made his French breakthrough at the Théâtre Marigny in the leading role of Tevye in Un Violon sur le Toit (the French version of Fiddler on the Roof) and bringing If I Were a Rich Man in its original version to the French public’s notice. France’s love affair with Rebroff had begun and Rebroff joined Zero Mostel, Chaim Topol, Shmuel Rodensky, Alfie Bass and Lex Goudsmit in the international pantheon of Tevye interpreters.

Rebroff lived in many places but finally settled on the Greek island of Skopelos. Until almost the end of his life, he maintained a rigorous touring schedule, and his last concert was in Vienna in December.

Rebroff never married. After his death, Horst Rippert emerged to lay claim to part of his estate. The German press described him as his “secret brother”. (by The Guardian)

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And here is his french version of “Fiddler On The Roof”:

Fiddler on the Roof is a musical with music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and book by Joseph Stein, set in the Pale of Settlement of Imperial Russia in 1905. It is based on Tevye and his Daughters (or Tevye the Dairyman) and other tales by Sholem Aleichem. The story centers on Tevye, the father of five daughters, and his attempts to maintain his Jewish religious and cultural traditions as outside influences encroach upon the family’s lives. He must cope both with the strong-willed actions of his three older daughters, who wish to marry for love – each one’s choice of a husband moves further away from the customs of his faith – and with the edict of the Tsar that evicts the Jews from their village.

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The original Broadway production of the show, which opened in 1964, had the first musical theatre run in history to surpass 3,000 performances. Fiddler held the record for the longest-running Broadway musical for almost 10 years until Grease surpassed its run. It remains Broadway’s sixteenth longest-running show in history. The production was extraordinarily profitable and highly acclaimed. It won nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical, score, book, direction and choreography. It spawned four Broadway revivals and a highly successful 1971 film adaptation, and the show has enjoyed enduring international popularity. It is also a very popular choice for school and community productions.

Fiddler on the Roof is based on Tevye and his Daughters (or Tevye the Dairyman), a series of stories by Sholem Aleichem that he wrote in Yiddish between 1894 and 1914, and is also influenced by Life Is with People, by Mark Zborowski and Elizabeth Herzog. Aleichem wrote a dramatic adaptation of the stories that he left unfinished at his death, but which was produced in Yiddish in 1919 by the Yiddish Art Theater and made into a film in the 1930s. In the late 1950s, a musical based on the stories, called Tevye and his Daughters, was produced Off-Broadway by Arnold Perl. Rodgers and Hammerstein and then Mike Todd briefly considered bringing the musical to Broadway but dropped the idea.

TheFiddler

The Fiddler by Marc Chagall, from which the musical takes its name

Investors and some in the media worried that the show might be considered “too Jewish” to attract mainstream audiences. Other critics considered that it was too culturally sanitized, “middlebrow” and superficial; Philip Roth, writing in The New Yorker, called it shtetl kitsch. For example, it portrays the characters of the local Russian officer and Fyedka as sympathetic, instead of brutal and cruel, as Sholom Aleichem had described them. Aleichem’s stories ended with Tevye alone, his wife dead and his daughters scattered; in Fiddler, the family ends up together, emigrating with hope to America. The show found the right balance for its time, even if not entirely authentic, to became “one of the first popular post-Holocaust depictions of the vanished world of Eastern European Jewry.” Harold Prince replaced the original producer Fred Coe and brought in director/choreographer Jerome Robbins. The writers and Robbins considered naming the musical Tevye, before landing on a title suggested by various paintings by Marc Chagall that also inspired the original set design. Contrary to popular belief, the “title of the musical does not refer to any specific painting”. During rehearsals, one of the stars, Zero Mostel, feuded with Robbins, for whom he had contempt because Robbins had testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee and was a closeted Jew, while Mostel was publicly proud of his heritage. Other cast members also had run-ins with Robbins, who reportedly “abused the cast, drove the designers crazy [and] strained the good nature of Hal Prince”

Act I:
Tevye, a poor Jewish milkman with five daughters, explains the customs of the Jews in the Russian shtetl of Anatevka in 1905, where their lives are as precarious as the perch of a fiddler on a roof (“Tradition”). At Tevye’s home, everyone is busy preparing for the Sabbath meal. His sharp-tongued wife, Golde, orders their daughters, Tzeitel, Hodel, TheFiddler2Chava, Shprintze and Bielke, about their tasks. Yente, the village matchmaker, arrives to tell Golde that Lazar Wolf, the wealthy butcher, a widower older than Tevye, wants to wed Tzeitel, the eldest daughter. The next two daughters, Hodel and Chava, are excited about Yente’s visit, but Tzeitel is unenthusiastic (“Matchmaker, Matchmaker”). A girl from a poor family must take whatever husband Yente brings, but Tzeitel wants to marry her childhood friend, Motel the tailor.

Tevye is delivering milk, pulling the cart himself, as his horse is lame. He asks God, whom would it hurt “If I Were a Rich Man?” Avram, the bookseller, has news from the outside world about pogroms and expulsions. A stranger, Perchik, hears their conversation and scolds them for doing nothing more than talk. The men dismiss Perchik as a radical, but Tevye invites him home for the Sabbath meal and offers him food and a room in exchange for tutoring his two youngest daughters. Golde tells Tevye to meet Lazar after the Sabbath but does not tell him why, knowing that Tevye does not like Lazar. Tzeitel is afraid that Yente will find her a husband before Motel asks Tevye for her hand. But Motel resists: he is afraid of Tevye’s temper, and tradition says that a matchmaker arranges marriages. Motel is also very poor and is saving up to buy a sewing machine before he approaches Tevye, to show that he can support a wife. The family gathers for the “Sabbath Prayer.”

After the Sabbath, Tevye meets Lazar at Mordcha’s inn, assuming mistakenly that Lazar wants to buy his cow. Once the misunderstanding is cleared up, Tevye agrees to let Lazar marry Tzeitel – with a rich butcher, his daughter will never want for anything. All join in the celebration of Lazar’s good fortune; even the Russian youths at the inn join in the celebration and show off their dancing skills (“To Life”). Outside the inn, Tevye happens upon the Russian Constable, who has jurisdiction over the Jews in the town. The Constable warns him that there is going to be a “little unofficial demonstration” in the coming weeks (a euphemism for a minor pogrom). The Constable has sympathy for the Jewish community but is powerless to prevent the violence.

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The next morning, after Perchik’s lessons with her young sisters, Tevye’s second daughter Hodel mocks Perchik’s Marxist interpretation of a Bible story. He, in turn, criticizes her for hanging on to the old traditions of Judaism, noting that the world is changing. To illustrate this, he dances with her, defying the prohibition against opposite sexes dancing together. The two begin to fall in love. Later, a hungover Tevye announces that he has agreed that Tzeitel will marry Lazar Wolf. Golde is overjoyed, but Tzeitel is devastated and begs Tevye not to force her. Motel arrives and tells Tevye that he is the perfect match for Tzeitel and that he and Tzeitel gave each other a pledge to marry. He promises that Tzeitel will not starve as his wife. Tevye is stunned and outraged at this breach of tradition, but impressed at the timid tailor’s display of backbone. After some soul-searching (“Tevye’s Monologue”), Tevye agrees to let them marry, but he worries about how to break the news to Golde. An overjoyed Motel celebrates with Tzeitel (“Miracle of Miracles”).

In bed with Golde, Tevye pretends to be waking from a nightmare. Golde offers to interpret his dream, and Tevye “describes” it (“Tevye’s Dream”). Golde’s grandmother Tzeitel returns from the grave to bless the marriage of her namesake, but to Motel, not to Lazar Wolf. Lazar’s formidable late wife, Fruma-Sarah, rises from her grave to warn, in graphic terms, of severe retribution if Tzeitel marries Lazar. The superstitious Golde is terrified, and she quickly counsels that Tzeitel must marry Motel. While returning from town, Tevye’s third daughter, the bookish Chava, is teased and intimidated by some Russian youths, but one of them, Fyedka, protects her, dismissing the others. He offers Chava the loan of a book, and a secret relationship begins.

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The wedding day of Tzeitel and Motel arrives, and all the Jews join the ceremony (“Sunrise, Sunset”) and the celebration (“The Wedding Dance”). Lazar gives a fine gift, but an argument arises with Tevye over the broken agreement. Perchik ends the tiff by breaking another tradition: he crosses the barrier between the men and women to dance with Tevye’s daughter Hodel. The celebration ends abruptly when a group of Russians rides into the village to perform the “demonstration”. They disrupt the party, damaging the wedding gifts and wounding Perchik, who attempts to fight back, and wreak more destruction in the village. Tevye instructs his family to clean up the mess.
Act II:
Months later, Perchik tells Hodel he must return to Kiev to work for the revolution. He proposes marriage, admitting that he loves her, and says that he will send for her. She agrees (“Now I Have Everything”). They tell Tevye that they are engaged, and he is appalled that they are flouting tradition by making their own match, especially as Perchik is leaving. When he forbids the marriage, Perchik and Hodel inform him that they do not seek his permission, only his blessing. After more soul searching, Tevye relents – the world is changing, and he must change with it (“Tevye’s Rebuttal”). He informs the young couple that he gives them his blessing and his permission.

Tevye explains these events to an astonished Golde. “Love,” he says, “it’s the new style.” Tevye asks Golde, despite their own arranged marriage, “Do You Love Me?” After dismissing Tevye’s question as foolish, she eventually admits that, after 25 years of living and struggling together and raising five daughters, she does. Meanwhile, Yente tells Tzeitel that she saw Chava with Fyedka. News spreads quickly in Anatevka that Perchik has been arrested and exiled to Siberia (“The Rumor/I Just Heard”), and Hodel is determined to join him there. At the railway station, she explains to her father that her home is with her beloved, wherever he may be, although she will always love her family (“Far From the Home I Love”).

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Time passes. Motel has purchased a used sewing machine, and he and Tzeitel have had a baby. Chava finally gathers the courage to ask Tevye to allow her marriage to Fyedka. Again Tevye reaches deep into his soul, but marriage outside the Jewish faith is a line he will not cross. He forbids Chava to speak to Fyedka again. When Golde brings news that Chava has eloped with Fyedka, Tevye wonders where he went wrong (“Chavaleh Sequence”). Chava returns and tries to reason with him, but he refuses to speak to her and tells the rest of the family to consider her dead. Meanwhile, rumors are spreading of the Russians expelling Jews from their villages. While the villagers are gathered, the Constable arrives to tell everyone that they have three days to pack up and leave the town. In shock, they reminisce about “Anatevka” and how hard it will be to leave what has been their home for so long.

As the Jews leave Anatevka, Chava and Fyedka stop to tell her family that they are also leaving for Kraków, unwilling to remain among the people who could do such things to others. Tevye still will not talk to her, but when Tzeitel says goodbye to Chava, Tevye prompts her to add “God be with you.” Motel and Tzeitel go to Poland as well but will join the rest of the family when they have saved up enough money. As Tevye, Golde and their two youngest daughters leave the village for America, the fiddler begins to play. Tevye beckons with a nod, and the fiddler follows them out of the village. (by wikipedia)

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Personnel:
Philippe Ariotti (vocals)
Sibyl Bartrop (vocals)
Florence Blot (vocals)
Janet Clair (vocals)
Geneviève Darnault (vocals)
Monique Galbert (vocals)
Maria Murano (vocals)
Carlos Otéro (vocals)
Marco Perrin (vocals)
Ivan Rebroff (vocals)
Eliane Thibault (vocals)
Michel Vernac (vocals)
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Marco Perrin et les Hommes (vocals)
Les Chœurs + Orcvhestre under the direction of Wal-Berg (Voldemar Rosenberg)

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Tracklist:
01. Traditions 7.55
o2. Un Homme À Marier 3.45
03. Ah, Si J’Étais Riche 4.55
04. Prière Du Sabbat 2.55
05. À Toi, À Moi, L’Chaim 3.35
06. Prodigieux, Miraculeux 2.11
07. Le Rêve 6.50
08. Un Jour S’En Vient 3.53
09. Si Tu M’Aimes 3.40
10. Loin De Notre Maison 2.30
11. Anatevka 3.00

Music: Jerry Bock
Original lyrics: Sheldon Harnick
French lyrics: Maurice Vidalin

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Oscar Brown Jr. – Jean Pace- Sivuca – Joy (1970)

FrontCover1Joy – “A musical come-together,” is a musical from 1970. It had a respectable 208 performances in New York, having already had a run in San Francisco. And this is the original cast recording.

Oscar Brown’s score for a hip play that he wrote (one of his many plays!) – performed by him, Sivuca, and Jean Pace. Despite the “show” quality of the material, this actually stands simply as a great Oscar Brown Jr. LP, and the production is nice and intimate, and sounds just like an ordinary studio album. Sivuca’s great, and his breathy voice and playing really open up Oscar Brown with some great Brazilian touches. And as usual, the writing’s great, especially on tracks like “Brown Baby”, “Mother Africa’s Day”, “Funky World”, and the great version of “Afro Blue”, featuring Oscar’s classic lyrics. Also features a wonderful version of Johnny Alf’s “Sky & Sea” – done by Sivuca with an incredible lilting groove! (by dustygroove)

It reminds me a lot of the famous Stax album “Ghetto: Misfortune’s Wealth” by 24 Carot Black. Funky, soulful, all around very well done soundtrack.

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Personnel:

James Benjamin (bass)
Oscar Brown Jr.(vocals)
Everaldo Ferreira (drums)
Jean Pace (vocals)
Sivuca (vocals)
Norman Shobey (vocals, congas)
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a bunch of unknown studio musicians

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01. Time (Brown Jr.) 2.56
02. What Is A Friend (Brown Jr./Henrique/Sivuca/Shobey) 2.48
03. Funny Feelin’ (Brown Jr./Henrique/Pace) 3.50
04. Under The Sun (Brown Jr./Pace) 2.29
05. Wimmen’s Ways ((Brown Jr) 10.55
06. Brown Baby (Brown Jr./Pace) 4.04
07. Mother Africa’s Day (Brown Jr./Sivuca) 3:18
08. A New Generation (Brown Jr./Pace) 2.58
09. Sky And Sea (Alt) 4.55
10. If I Only Had (Pace) 3.20
11. Nothing But A Fool (Reis/Barbosa) 3.05
12. Much As I Love You (Brown Jr./Sivuca/Shobey) 3.31
13. Afro Blue (Pace) 3.07
14. Funky World (Brown Jr) 8.42

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