28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on July 21, 1999
This expanded soundtrack is a great recording in its own right. However the original Broadway cast album (with Julie Andrews, et. al.)is more satisfying overall. The movie soundtrack features Andre Previn's rich Oscar winning(well deserved)musical scoring. Also included are several members of the stage version most particularly Rex Harrison. Since Harrision recorded his vocals "live" on the movie set, they often have a tinny, offsetting sound compared to eveyone elses, but its not too distracting. The downside is the Nixon/Hepburn vocal combination. Nixon's dubbing of Hepburn is not as successful(and much more obvious)as her other efforts(Kerr/Nixon in "King and I" was perfect, good results were also had in "West Side Story"). I believe Hepburn should have been allowed to use more of her vocals, which were recently located for the movie's restoration. Perhaps Nixon should have "kicked in" once Hepburn becomes a "lady" during the second hafe of the film. Of course, in the best of all possible worlds Julie Andrews should have been allowed to repeat her stage role, but this was not to be. Its good to have this expanded cd available. The original LP omitted a great deal of music because of time constants. This cd makes up for that. One complaint: the expanded version includes too much incidental dialog and sound effects. Obviously these selections were "lifted" from the final "mixed" tracks as heard in the film and have no place on a music only CD. The cd producers should have made an effort to located the "unmixed" musical tracks and properly edit them for the cd. My suggestion is get both the Broadway recording for its great performances and the movie soundtrack for its wonderful scoring and completness.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 1999
When it comes to "My fair lady," I prefer the original Broadway cast recording to this soundtrack. Because Audrey didn't sing! Of course, in the movie she was very wonderful and lovely. But in the soundtrack, Marni Nixon sings Eliza's songs. I have four recordings of My Fair Lady, my best is the original Broadway Cast Recording. But the orchestration by Andre Previn is by far the best. I recommend it because of this wonderful orchestration.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
This CD of the songs from the 1964 film My Fair Lady really does a great job of giving you the flavor of this spectacular musical. The sound quality is superb; and the artwork is well done.
The overture is as beautiful as it was the very first time I ever heard it while watching this film. The lush musical arrangement works very well to mark the beginning of this classic and timeless motion picture. The strings sound great. "Why can't The English?" is performed mainly by Rex Harrison; he can't really sing but the way he essentially speaks his lines to this tune really makes this number hum along well! Rex Harrison is able to use his voice to boom out the lyrics to anyone even remotely within earshot--and this impresses me very much.
"Wouldn't It Be Loverly" features the Marni Nixon singing in place of Audrey Hepburn (Hepburn's singing voice was dubbed). Marni sings this with great sensitively and she pegs down that accent like the pro she always was! "With A Little Bit Of Luck" has the great Stanley Holloway performing to perfection; and there's a great number in "The Rain In Spain" when Eliza Doolittle finally manages to get the "proper" accent down pat.
"I Could Have Danced All Night" features Marni Nixon at her very best; the operatic qualities of her voice really shine through on this number! Bill Shirley also does a great job on "On The Street Where You Live." Bill could really belt this out! "Show Me" also showcases Marni Nixon's great talents as a vocalist; her voice sounds clear as a bell and she never misses a note!
"A Hymn To Him" is a very funny number performed primarily by the great Rex Harrison; he delivers this with panache, heart and soul. Again, his essentially speaking his lines never seems to interfere with his exceptional ability to deliver a song flawlessly. It's amazing. "Without You" again has Marni Nixon dubbing the voice of Audrey Hepburn for this great number from the ending portion of this motion picture; and as usual Marni delivers this with all the heart and soul of a greatly talented chanteuse.
"I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face" is really the last musical number just before the ending credits; and Rex Harrison simply never sounded better! He aces this easily and it makes a fine ending musical song for this motion picture soundtrack album. Of course, we also get the music from the ending credits.
My Fair Lady is one of the best musicals ever made. This soundtrack album of songs and music from the motion picture is a must have for fans of the great musicals.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2003
JAVLPK cracks me up. He sniffs that Marni Nixon sings with an "American twang", which is ridiculous. She doesn't, and Hepburn wasn't English either, by the way ...
Nixon, one of the most underrated and briliant sopranos of our time, brings her unique personality to the songs, which were beautifully done by Andrews on the OBC. Nixon has a focussed, controlled electricity to her singing that sets her apart from Andrews.
Andrews and Nixon are both excellent, just different, and fans of the show should own both albums.
Is JVLPK aware that MY FAIR LADY is an *American* musical? After hearing the hilarious American accents attempted at times in the West End, I think JVLPK should cut Nixon a little slack. I'll never forget Denis Quilley doing Arthur Miller's early play ALL MY SONS in the West End. He and his stage family, supposedly middleclass suburban Americans, all sounded like Chicago mobsters out of a '30s gangster movie. It was like an American actress trying to impersonate Princess Diana by talking cockney. LOL.
Just as tin-earred American actors imagine that one generic English accent will do for all British characters, English actors sometimes return the favor. There are thousands of American accents across this huge continent, just as there are endless types of British accents. Actors need to learn to match the accent to the character.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2005
My personal opinion on this CD is that it's "Loverly". The music is absolutely wonderful!!! I think that you would have to be crazy not to like this CD!!! I mean, "I Could've Danced All Night" is beautiful, "Get Me To The Church On Time" is slightly humorous, and very cheerful, and there isn't a single song on this CD that's irritating!!! I'm writing this review down to inform you that THIS IS A MUST-HAVE CD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2003
I have both of the Julie Andrews CDs and the Film Soundtrack. While I have to admit that the Soundtrack does not have as good of a sound as the other two, this is still my favorite version. I think that Marni Nixon is a wonderful singer - and a bit underrated. While Julie's voice in the other two albums is certainly sweet and pretty, she sounds wooden in the Broadway Album and very hammy in the London version. I think Julie put more emotion and better acting in her later work like "The Sound of Music" or "Victor/Victoria".
On the other hand, Marni's voice sounds smooth and natural - matching Audrey's acting. Her voice has a strength, vibrancy, and enchantment to it that can't be matched. Her "I Could Have Danced All Night" is a good example. While Julie's version of the song is quiet and introspective, Marni's is joyful and soaring. In addition, Marni's "Just You Wait" and "Without You" sound sweeter and more natural than Julie's renditions.
The rest of the soundtrack is fine to me. I think that Bill Shirley has the best singing voice as Freddy compared to the other two albums. Stanley Holloway is solid. Rex Harrison sounds about the same here as in the other albums - but I'm not really a fan of him. I think that his talk - singing is a little overrated and from what I read, he was about as abrasive in real life as the character he was playing in the movie. The additions of some acting scenes (the "C'mon Dover" yell from Audrey) are nice. The orchestra sounds the best here.
I highly recommend this album, particularly because of Marni's beautiful vocals - but the rest of it is nice, too. Only the sound quality is a little weak. It's too bad that Audrey couldn't get her singing voice to the level that the filmakers wanted her to be.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on December 23, 2000
As much as I love this film, I always listen to the Andrews/Harrison Broadway recordings when I'm in the mood for the score. I bought this disc for the "unreleased tracks" in hopes of getting Audrey's original vocals. WRONG! The extra tracks are all direct from the film's soundtrack with dialogue and other extraneous foley sounds. A real disappointment. The best thing about this one is the orchestrations of André Pevin. For Audrey's original vocal tracks get the DVD - they are included there; and she's not bad!
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on August 8, 2000
I was fortunate enough to see Rex Harrison in 1981 during his revival of "My Fair Lady," and even though Rex was way past his prime, the evening was magical. This original cast album from 1956 preserves forever this wondrous musical, where every single song is superb. This album pales in comparison. It pains me to give a paltry four stars to anything connected to "My Fair Lady," but this album is much inferior to the stage version.
Still, all the songs here are pure magic, there isn't a clinker in the bunch and that's saying something considering the record contains 16 songs, most of them standards. One misses Julie Andrews, which is to be expected and it makes you tear your hair out that she wasn't cast as Eliza in the 1964 movie version.
"The Rain in Spain" is infectious and fun, you almost want to get up and dance as its sung. Even though Rex talk-sings his way through the album, he brings a charisma and charm that was his alone. Listen to the sly irony he brings to "I'm Just an Ordinary Man," and pay close attention to his show-stopping finale, "I've Grown Accustoned to her Face." The way Harrison places a poignant stress on the word "face" will stay in your memory forever.
Though this album is worth owning, the 1956 version should be required to round out any serious record collection, no matter what the genre. This is the soundtrack by which all others should be judged, it's magnificent!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
My sweet mother, who has accomplished MANY things in her life, not the least of which was successfully raising ten children in a very happy home (thanks to her!), absolutely adored all of the old musicals, and I'd be surprised if there were too many songs from those films that I or my nine younger siblings didn't know by heart by the time we left home. I think the way she kept her sanity was by constantly singing or humming, and she really had a beautiful voice - I would've put my mother up against the film's leading actress's (Audrey Hepburn) rendition of "I Could've Dance All Night" any day! The movie came out in 1964... it was most certainly a "date night" for Mom & Dad, finding someone to sit for my baby sister and I so my mother (expecting her third) could get a little relaxation.
It's not surprising that this was one of the first old musicals I grew to have an appreciation of as an adult. It won eight Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Rex Harrison, and was a story about a poor woman with a heavy Cockney accent, who sold flowers in the streets of London in the early 1900's, and the very arrogant professor of phonetics who bet he could teach her to speak "proper" English and be able to fit into high society.
I bought this when I was "on a mission" to do something out of the ordinary when it came to gifts for Mom. Given her love of musicals, I'd come up with a great (for me, anyway!) idea a couple of years ago for her birthday - she'd always had a fondness for the Rodgers & Hammerstein musicals, so I put a collection together for her that she very much enjoyed. Then I decided to pursue her love of old movie musicals even further. Typed a Google search for "Top 25 Film Musicals", and the first thing that popped up was just such a list that the American Film Institute came up with in 2006! I'd already given her two of them (Rodgers & Hammerstein's "The Sound of Music" and "The King and I"), so over the course of a year, I was able to track the rest all down (finding the best price on Amazon for about half of them) for a total of about $350, which gave me a supply of gifts that covered Mother's Day, another birthday and two Christmases! It was SO nice to have a year in which I didn't have to rack my brain for gift ideas, but - even BETTER! - to see Mom's reaction as she opened each new "treasure", all of which represented memories to her as well. My Fair Lady was #8 on the list, which covers the '30s through the '00s, so it was fun for her to recall "where her life was at" when each of the musicals came out. Wish I could keep this neat lady around forever... "Wouldn't It Be Loverly?"
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2000
I loved this soundtrack. Marni Nixon does a beautiful job singing for Audrey. Included on the soundtrack are a few lines here and there, and of course the famous improper outburst by Eliza Dolittle. They have included even the small fillers by the ensembles which is a nice touch. Overall a good soundtrack to add to your musical library