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Hair - Actors' Fund of America Benefit Recording Cast Recording


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Audio CD, Cast Recording, June 14, 2005
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$17.09
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. AquariusLillias White 3:00$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. DonnaLea DeLaria 2:21$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. HashishThe Tribe 1:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. SodomyJai Rodriguez 1:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Colored SpadeChuck Cooper 1:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Manchester, EnglandEuan Morton 1:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Dead EndAna Gasteyer 2:26$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Sheila Franklin/I Believe In LoveShoshana Bean 1:20$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. I'm Black/Ain't Got NoThe Tribe 2:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. AirHarvey Fierstein 1:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. InitialsLaura Benanti 1:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. I Got LifeAdam Pascal 2:25$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen13. Going DownGavin Creel 2:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. HairRaúl Esparza 3:07$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen15. My ConvictionCharles Bush 1:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Easy to Be HardJennifer Hudson 3:48$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen17. Don't Put It Down!John Tartaglia 1:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. Frank MillsAnnie Golden 2:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen19. Be-In "Hare Krishna"The Tribe 2:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen20. Where Do I Go?Julia Murney 2:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen21. Hippie LifeEden Espinosa 2:12$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen22. Electric BluesToxic Audio 3:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen23. Black BoysKathy Brier 1:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen24. White BoysBrandi Chavonne Massey 2:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen25. Walking in SpaceSherie Rene Scott 4:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen26. Yes I's Finished on Y'All's FarmlandsThe Tribe0:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen27. Four Score/Abie, BabyBilly Porter 2:41$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen28. Good Morning StarshineLiz Callaway 2:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen29. Three-Five-Zero-ZeroThe Tribe 2:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen30. What a Piece of Work Is ManDarius De Haas 1:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen31. The Flesh Failures (Let the Sunshine In)Norm Lewis 4:18$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Hair - Actors' Fund of America Benefit Recording + Hair (Original London Cast Recording + Extras)
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 14, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Cast Recording
  • Label: Ghostlight
  • ASIN: B000929ADW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,170 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

The Actors Fund of America presented an all-star benefit performance of the timeless and powerful musical HAIR at the New Amsterdam Theatre in New York City on September 20, 2004, which raised over $500,000 for the non-profit organization and marked the fourth annual concert in the series, following Dreamgirls, Funny Girl and Chess. The concert received such a powerful response that Ghostlight Records gathered the all-star line up and band in the studio, and the end result is an amazing recording of this legendary pop score, which is already being hailed as one of the greatest recordings of HAIR ever! 2005.

Customer Reviews

There are many improvements to RCA's landmark, somewhat airless, original cast album.
Birdman
"Sheila Franklin/I Believe in Love" - Shoshana Bean, if you've ever heard her, is infamous for singing every song as one giant melisma.
Aidan Reilly
I have been giving verbal recommendations to everyone I meet, and I'm buying extra copies to give to friends as gifts.
Broadway fan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Aidan Reilly on January 6, 2007
Format: Audio CD
A disclaimer - you'll probably have more fun with this recording if you think of it as "Songs from Hair". This is NOT a recording of a traditional version of the show; it's more a cabaret, with each song being sung by a different artist. While this completely removes continuity and character development, it does free up the listener to appreciate Galt MacDermot's music, sung as it should be. Let's face it - the original RCA recording of the Broadway cast of 1964 is priceless as an artifact of its time, but it's not exactly a pleasant listen - the cast is of the "more enthusiasm than talent" school.

Here, though, there's no such problem.

There's a whole lotta belting goin' on in this album. Because each singer only has one song, and there's no need to conserve their voices for later in the show, everybody gives it their all - and in the case of such powerful singers as Gavin Creel, Lillias White, Shoshana Bean, Raul Esparza, Adam Pascal, Eden Espinosa, Orfeh, Jennifer Hudson, and Billy Porter? That's quite a lot. And the backup voices, if anything, are even more spectacular: listen to that anonymous chorus girl hit an air-raid-siren high note at the end of "Goin' Down".

Track-by-track:

1. "Aquarius" - The famous chorale opening, led by the inimitable Lillias White. The orchestrations and backup singing sends shivers down the spine, and White brings the gospel something fierce. 5/5

2. "Donna" - In the first of many gender-bendings on the album, "Donna" is here sung by Lea DeLaria, who does a passable job, if she tends to overemote. 3/5

3. "Hashish" - All-chorus listing of various hallucinogens and illegal mind enhancers. Fun as always, but a trifle. 2/5

4.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Birdman on June 29, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This is a magnificent version of HAIR, although listeners may not take to it instantly. There are differences in orchestration and in choral parts too. The trade-off is worthwhile, though. There are many improvements to RCA's landmark, somewhat airless, original cast album. You'll hear many songs that were deleted from the original recording, and the ssonics will blow you away.

The voices of the many Tony-winners here, especially Lillias White, are fabulous. The band is full of punch and the pieces very well-defined. Indeed, it is the revision of the work that brings it up-to-date. This version of HAIR belongs to this generation because of its unrestrained passion, laughter and anger, too.

All sales benefit the Actor's Fund of America, which is especially satisfying. Few organizations stand by performing artists through thick-and-thin in a comparable way.

Nothing will ever replace the RCA OCR, but if you love this musical, the present recording will encourage you to love it a little more.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Musical Lover on August 17, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I approached this recording with trepidation.

Everyone has grown up with HAIR. Everyone knows HAIR. Even if you think you don't, you do. So many of these songs have wormed their ways into pop culture that you'll be finding yourself wondering aloud (as I did the first time I heard the OBCR), woah, you mean that song is from a musical?

And, to be honest, after Broadway's hit-or-miss track record with revivals and "reinterpretations" lately, I was suspicious of a HAIR re-doing. Would the new arrangements sound too plastic? Would the cast even be able to recapture the hurt, anger and passion of the younger generation of 30 years ago?

Well, thankfully, my reservations went completely unrealized. This recording is a wonderful and refreshing take on a rather dated Broadway show.

The recording is clear and brilliant, the ensemble is pitch perfect, and the soloists sing until their throats bleed. The arrangements, when they differ with the original, are at least as good, and in some cases, better.

Recommendable to all fans of theatre and pop crossover music.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By dramadude 186 on August 16, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I love "Hair." I think the musical is absolutely brilliant in its use of the rock sound, its unbridled heart, and its deep-felt political convictions. None of that is on display here, lost instead in a (admittedly impressive) line-up of Broadway heavy hitters trying to prove who can sing the highest with the most riffs.

As other reviewers have pointed out, you are much more likely to enjoy this album if you consider it a "greatest hits" type event of songs from the show, rather than a cast recording. Each song is sung by a different soloist, with several of the songs being given to people of the opposite gender. And there is some truly impressive singing to be heard. However, more often than not, the need to pack as many vocal pyrotechnics into songs that rarely run longer than 3 minutes gets in the way of being able to hear the songs' message or even melody.

Some examples of the many missteps on this CD:
-Lillias White's "Aquarius." I *love* her, think she has a fantastic voice, and can riff up a storm, but she goes overboard here, distracting from what is truly a great opening number.
-Harvey Fierstein's "Air." The man's hysterical, and if ever there was a song fit for his distinct gravelly voice, one about pollution should be it. But by the end it's virtually unlistenable.
-Laura Benanti's "Initials." Turning a song that was never meant to be a solo into one is dubious enough, but what really kills this track for me is the misguided attempt at humor when she takes a "lozenge" and begins singing operatic ornamentations over the melody. I don't care how good she sounds doing it (and she does sound *very* good), it is just inappropriate for this song and this score.
-Jennifer Hudson's "Easy to Be Hard." Again, absolutely *love* her.
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