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Canterbury Tales (1969 Original Broadway Cast) [Cast Recording, Original recording remastered]

Richard Hill , John Hawkins , Neville Coghill , Sandy Duncan , Martyn Green , Hermione Baddeley , George Rose Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)


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MP3 Music, 23 Songs, 2008 $12.49  
Audio CD, Cast Recording, Original recording remastered, 1994 --  
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 24, 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Cast Recording, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Angel Records
  • ASIN: B000008DZE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,203 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
(5)
4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful, Fun -- if Forgotten -- Musical May 31, 2010
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
One of the few London/Broadway musicals of the many I saw live in the 70's & 80's that has had lasting appeal -- lively, risque, and fun! So sad that it can now be found only on out-of-print collectors listings -- it definitely deserves better!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It Depends On What You're At June 18, 2008
Format:Audio CD
If you don't like rock in musicals, "Canterbury Tales" won't change your mind. I'm surprised that Gene deSantis gives it a generous three stars, and I can't disagree with his review, but...oh dear, I must suggest that "Canterbury Tales" contains moments of cheap fun, depending on one's disposition.

Not that the terrible lyrics (a disturbingly common trait in British musical comedy) help matters, nor do the out-of-tune brass on the recording; and we can only bear with such irrelevant 'numbers' as "Where Are The Girls of Yesterday?" or "Beer Is Best".
Listening to "Canterbury Tales" CAN be, at times, rather like overhearing a group of drunken 20-somethings having a hilarious time after a hard day at the office.

Having seen and digested "Canterbury Tales' before I was old enough to know better, I can report that if I play the music to "What Do Women Want?" on the piano at my workplace, someone is bound to ask me what that melody was. There are a few other such catchy, even lilting moments in the score; think "Love Is Blue" - there was a brief period in the 1960's when the trend was madrigal-rock, which I think I prefer over Pachelbel's Canon-rock (this may be the result of too much time spent on the phone waiting for the next available representative)...

First-time listeners may or may not recognize that George Rose's goofy calypso, "If She Has Never Loved Before" stopped the show on Broadway (it ran about four months; and if memory serves, I believe Sandy Duncan won the Tony, or at least was nominated - we don't hear enough of her). And the very sound of Hermione Baddeley shouting her songs is funny.

So, "Canterbury Tales" gets another generous three stars - the glass partly filled.
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5.0 out of 5 stars AN ORCHID IN A DANDELION PATCH November 26, 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
My B.A. EngLit of course included Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, which is considered one of the Great Goofs upon the literally lethal religious restrictions and persecutions of Chaucer's times: cloaked by an hilariously over-the-top deadpan aura of oh-so-(in)sincere religious confession and penitence, Chaucer's characters are a serendipitously got-up group of individuals of varied social scale who naturally fall in with each other on The Road To Canterbury Cathedral, an annual sin-cycle penitential washing pilgrimage. And just to alleviate the boredom of the long journey, some of the penitents pass the time by revealing what sins they're going to be confessing in Canterbury. And thusly is Chaucer's Great Goof upon the contemporaneously lethal religious restrictions and persecutions set in motion: who doesn't secretly love a terrific dirty story, no detail too prurient. And Chaucer hits the goal-posts running when he has his characters manage to wedge in, along the way, any and all sins they haven't committed yet-- while there's still time before absolution at journey's end.

CANTERBURY TALES was a wonderfully bold, risk-taking production that synergised more traditional medieval musical motifs with electric acid rock, further mine-fielding the stage with such explosively hilarious and immortal talents such as George Rose and Hermione Baddely. The show played quite well in the UK, but was rather a fizzle on Broadway because we Americans lack sufficient education and culture to be even remotely capable of "getting" this sort of elegant brilliance and strategically sly hilarity. Many of Shakespeare's apparently innocuously indecipherable phrases were actually howlingly erotic imageries-- what academics oh-so-soberly refer to as "low references". And Chaucer was A Grand Master of Under-The-Religious-Radar stealth ribaldry.

In Loving Memory of George Rose, whom I shall always believe was doing the classical Great Good.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Lot's of FUN July 30, 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I saw the show shortly after it opened on Broadway, LOVED it, Great Cast. Good to hear all the fun songs again
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Right-on! With-it!! Now!!! Ugh April 10, 2008
Format:Audio CD
Faced with an identity crisis and the shriveling of its talent in the late sixties Broadway turned to "rock" musicals, most of which weren't rock and weren't very musical. "Canterbury Tales" is a prime example, its book and lyrics coming largely from the expert in Chaucer Made E-Z, Nevill Coghill, and a sizable hit in London -- Liz and Dick showed at the premiere. It was such a hit several producers (including Frank Loesser, his last stage involvement before his untimely death) rushed it to the Main Stem, where it inevitably bombed. You can hear why: for one thing, it doesn't have a sentimental bone in its body -- it's all the blatting of horns and a lot of whoooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOA and everybody singing at the top of their lungs, and not one moment of beauty or passion or wit, or even sex, unless you count a bad pun about the male anatomy as sexy. We might not expect wit from Chaucer, the Judd Apatow of his day; we might expect some beauty in the sounds and passion in the rhythms of his Middle English, but these could hardly survive in the commercial crucible of a Broadway show; besides, perhaps some of Chaucer's guffawing is so bald ("The Miller's Tale" comes to mind) as to destroy any chance for nuance and subtlety in the approach, or the music. Too much of British literature had already turned into musicals, from Shakespeare to Shaw to Sherlock Holmes; Chaucer was one author too many.

There would be more bad "rock" musicals until "Pippin" ended the genre with its profits and marketing and excess, and though Branson East has soldiered on with tuneless tourist traps since, shows like "Canterbury Tales" were the ultimate death blow to the source of so much of America's finest music.
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