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90 of 91 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This 2 CD recording should be MANDATORY for any musical theater buff- a rare opportunity to hear this historical show's developement from its off-Broadway roots to the megashow it became. Galt MacDermot's unforgettable score is wonderful in both versions (and while the film version tries to accomplish the unimagineable translation from a "non-book" musical to something with a traceable "plot", which I don't think it really does, the full orchestrations of its songs are truly realized by its composer...the versions of "Aquarius" by Ren Woods and "Easy To Be Hard" by Cheryl Barnes justify a manditory puchase alone).
The only "bummer" of this collection is that it doesn't include material from the two other New York HAIR recordings, which are still only available on out-of-print RCA LPs: DIVINE HAIR: MASS IN F(which featured several HAIR songs incorporated into a Catholic Mass) and DisinHAIRited (which has many of the songs cut from both the off-Broadway and Broadway companies).
If you get a chance, check out the book LET THE SUNSHINE IN (available from this website)- it will flesh out the political and historical relevance of this incredible show. For an even BETTER overview, the out-of-print THE AGE OF HAIR traces the show from its roots to the film version. Producer Michael Butler maintains the show's website ([...]) for updates on current productions and the many cast members from the original productions.
For its wonderful music, evocations of a past era and its timeless plea for peace("Let The Sunshine In", the finale song, always leaves me in tears), this is THE paragon show cd you must own!
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
The deluxe collector's edition released in 2003 is an excellent update for the "Hair" soundtrack. With the war in Iraq raging, the themes of war seem relevant again 37 years later. The first disc is the 1968 Broadway recording and shines with the remastering from BMG/RCA. The title track has such great energy and sense of freedom, "I let it fly in the breeze & get it caught in the trees." "Easy to Be Hard" is a lovely melody with a dramatic build, "Do you only care about the bleeding crowd? How about a needing friend? I need a friend." Shelly Plimpton on "Frank Mills" has always put a smile on my face about the girl who lost the address of a guy she likes. It's specificity about "the Waverly" and that he looks like "George Harrison of the Beatles" make it humorous, even though it's delivery is so straightforward deadpan. "Electric Blues" is a track not released on the first album, but sounds like the cast was having a huge amount of fun. Disc 2 contains the 1967 Off-Broadway production. In almost all aspects, it seems like a warm-up for the Broadway production. On "Hair," the vocals are ragged & have an assaulting quality in delivery. "Where Do I Go?" with Walker Daniels on vocals is more hushed, less musical. Walker also leads on "Exanapanetooch," a track not included on the Broadway production, wisely cut. The bonus tracks are interesting footnotes and the interview with composer Galt MacDermot is informative, but not probably something I'd want to listen to repeatedly. Overall, the remastering and verve of the original Broadway cast performance make this an excellent release. Enjoy!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
Despite the hostile and simple-minded review from the Amazon editor Dawn Eden, HAIR is a genuine masterpiece of musical theatre, a show that changed everything, including the lives of everyone who works on it and many who see it. As someone who has directed the show twice and written a book about it ("Let the Sun Shine In: The Genius of HAIR"), I can testify to the fact that it's NOT just a silly show full of nice pop tunes. It is a powerful piece of dramatic theatre that tackles head-on the most difficult issues of the 60s -- which unfortunately remain the most difficult issues of the new millennium. Though it may appear messy and haphazard to some, HAIR is a carefully wrought, intelligent, emotional experience unlike any other. No other show can move an audience quite like this -- I'll never forget seeing our audiences sobbing every night at the end of the show as the cast begged them to "let the sun shine in." We need this show now more than ever, and its deep resonance is even more profound today than it has been at any time since the 60s.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on December 11, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I first bought this album on vinyl when I was 14 yrs old. I grew up singing the songs (I'm surprised my parents were cool with this). The singing and lyrics are beautiful- particularly on Easy to Be Hard, 3-5-0-0, and Frank Mills. After seeing it on theatre and on screen- I still prefer listening to the album.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2000
Format: Audio CD
What can I say, I'm a 'Hair' cast member! This is one of, if not the, greatest cast recordings of all time. I've been in a number of musicals, and owned most of their cast recordings, but none of them have lingered in my car's CD player the way 'Hair' has. Having had the pleasure of meeting both Galt McDermot and James Rado, I can honestly say that both the lyrics and the music are brilliant, from the first mystical strains of 'Aquarius' to the powerful angst of 'The Flesh Failures.' And don't miss Diane Keaton insisting that 'Black boys are delicious!'
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2004
Format: Audio CD
ok, well, i think that this soundtrack is one of the best ever. i love the reality of the songs, like "frank mills". some of my personal faves are "Good Morning Starshine" "Aquarius" and "manchester england". i highly recommend this soundtrack. if you wanna party that is. they also make great audition sings.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 28, 2006
Format: Audio CD
One of the best shows ever to hit Broadway! I am in a theatre group in my town and the teens did "Hair" for a musical. It was my first, and I fell in love with the show and all its unique characters. The show is about a young man named Claude who is going to be drafted to Vietnam and feels confused about how to look at the situation he's in, and, with the help of his hippie friends, learns to "let the sunshine in." From Berger and his imaginary girlfriend Donna, to Jeannie and her enviormental concern, to Sheila and her protests, to Woof and Mick Jagger, to Crissy and her dream boy Frank Mills, Ragni, MacDermot, and Rado have created a one-of-a-kind cast of oddities set in NYC in the 1960s, who get by by as a tribe and live a free and meaningful life.

Some of the best tracks in the show include:

Aquarius

Donna

I Believe in Love

Going Down

Hair

Be-In (Hare Krishna)

Where Do I Go?

Walking in Space

3-5-0-0

Flesh Failures (Let the Sunshine In)

This show changed my life! "Hair" helps show that hippies were more than just tie-dyed T-shirts, but friends that lived life to the fullest extent by simply letting their "long beautiful hair" down!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on June 19, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Though Hair was before my time (I'm 26) I love every note of it. Coming from a generation that has seen the effects of rampant drug use and sex without responsibility, namely unwanted children and AIDS, I have many objections to some of the themes in Hair. Yet underneath it, I love it for its simple celebration of life and the glory of peace over war. I also love it for the obvious infleuence it had on my favorite musical, Rent.
The music is simply brilliant. Almost all the songs are compulsively singable, such as "Aquarius," "Hair," "I Got Life," "Good Morning Starshine" and "Let the Sunshine In." However, I think the two most meaningful and stirring songs on the recording are "Easy to Be Hard" and "Where Do I Go?" two songs that feature not only fine melodies, but stirring lyrics that still resonate in today's culture.
The only thing keeping me from rating this five stars are two minor complaints-first, there are a few tracks that probably worked on stage, but are very minor works and just slow down the CD-such as "The Bed," "My Conviction" and "Don't Put It Down." Oh well, on a CD with 32 tracks, I'd expect a couple of duds. My other complaint is that these singers have fantastic voices, but can't enunciate for anything. On several tracks-"Ain't Got No" "Electric Blues" "Black/White Boys" etc., it is very difficult to understand what is being said. I still don't understand all the words after listening to it dozens of times. None of the other reviews brought this up, probably because they know the show backwords and forwards. If this is your first experience with Hair,believe me, you'll have trouble, but it's still a great CD.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I first heard the soundtrack when I was way over in the Western Pacific in the Navy, during the 'Nam days. Man, the whole story and the songs made such an impression on me. When I got back to the States, I saw the play in Seattle, and it was absolutely one of the most liberating experiences of my life! What an uplifting story for such troubled times. The final song, "Flesh Failures/Let the Sunshine in" still inspires me. The movie version lacked the optimism of the play.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Well, it's very difficult for me to say a word about it.
I was in 1979 the director of the Original Spanish Cast of HAIR in a pre-democratic era. For me Hair was the first "new" musical. The history of musicals are after and before Hair very different, the concept of what a musical must be, more than this, what theatre must be radically changed.
The music is really wonderfull with songs who was flags of a generation and a hundred versions of it (do you remenber Oliver's Good morning starshine?)
What more can I say? Go hurry, buy it and trausure it like a diamond,for many reasons (not only musicals) it's one of the five best ever.
I select this version because I dislike the Original soundtrack of the film a lot (Well, I hate the film too),and the Original London Cast don't have Rado and Ragni singing in it.
I have all of them , but if you must choose only one, this is the one to spend the money.
Don't you believe me? Well,explain me the success of RENT if HAIR never.......
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