From Library Journal
Author of the very useful directory Musicals! ( LJ 6/15/84) and of the discography Braodway on Record (Greenwood, 1987), Lynch defines movie musicals as feature-length films where musical pieces relate to the plot. Consequently, he excludes concert documentaries, dance films , and filmed operas. He lists commercially marketed recordings alphabetically , appending to each its own lists of technical credits (composer, lyricist, musical director), casts, and musical numbers with performers. A chronological list of the films is also presented, as are two indexes: one for performer and one for technical credits. The great omission is a song index; for that, users are referred to other sources. For larger collections, this would be a worthy supplement; for those finding Broadway on Record useful, a companion.- Bonnie Jo Dopp, District of Columbia P.L.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
?One way of bringing a successful stage musical show to a large audience is to create a film version of it. Richard Chigley Lynch observes this logical progression by creating this companion volume to his Broadway on Record (Greenwood, 1987). A total of 666 recordings of movie musicals are analyzed in entries that list record labels and numbers (with references to reissues and available compact discs), songwriters, musical directors, cast members, other performers (such as Marni Nixon, who provided Natalie Wood's singing voice in West Side Story but did not appear in the film), and musical numbers with their performers. Occasional notes provide additional information of interest such as the availability of additional soundtrack cuts or the inclusion of spoken dialogue on the recording. The large number of entries make this book fairly complete. Lynch's working definition of a movie musical requires that "musical numbers must actually be performed in the film and must in some way be concerned with the film's plot" (Introduction). It generally doesn't include films with fewer than three musical numbers, dance and opera films, short films, and foreign films that were not popular in America. "Generally" is the operative word here as Purple Rain, 10, and many Astaire/Rogers films are included, while Eddie and the Cruisers, Flashdance and Footloose were left out. In addition to the basic discography, Lynch provides a chronology of films and indexes to performers and technicians (songwriters/musical directors). Claiming that an index to the 6,500 song titles would be unwieldy, the author refers us to Clive Hirschorn's The Hollywood Musical (Crown, 1981) and Nat Shapiro and Bruce Pollack'sPopular Music, 1920-1979 (Gale, 1985). Richard Lewine and Alfred Simon's Songs of the Theater (H.=tW. Wilson, 1984) largely does the trick, too. None of these volumes quite duplicate the scope and content of Movie Musicals on Record, thus allowing Lynch's book to contribute uniquely to public and academic library performing arts reference literature.--Donald W. Maxwell, Audio-visual Librarian, Carmel Clay Public Library, Carmel, Indiana.?-RQ