Most helpful positive review
172 of 172 people found the following review helpful
Be sure to get the remastered edition... Here's how to tell!
on September 1, 2004
Reading the reviews posted to date, some people complain the sound is tinny and the voices bounce between speakers while others claim the sound is fine.
Here is the story behind that!
THE MUSIC MAN original cast Lp was issued in 1958 in a lavish gatefold jacket adorned by the show's colourful postor logo (A cartoon of professor Hill and Marion the Librarian!) The album went right to the #1 position on Billboard's best-selling albums chart where it stayed for 12 weeks.
In the early 60s, Capitol had to press another batch of Lps to meet demand and they re-designed the cover. It was a single pocket jacket, no notes inside, just the songs and cast credits on the back and a colour photo of Preston. The label also doctored up the sound for "stereo" bouncing the voices from left to right.
IN 1987 Capitol issued their stereo remix on Compact Disc using the Preston photo cover. No liner notes, and the sound was harsh and tinny.
In 1993, as part of EMI's 40+ series of Broadway Classics reissues on the Broadway Angel label, THE MUSIC MAN was re-released using the original LP cover art. This time it was beautifully remastered and the stereo sound was restored to the original mix with the cast centre-stage. The booklet has fine notes and a detailed synopsis (something all the previous releases lacked.)
In short, IF buying THE MUSIC MAN (and it is a classic original cast album well worth having) be sure you get the remastered version on Broadway Angel. It is #3 in the series of Broadway Classics. Catalogue number: ZDM 7 64663-2.
AVOID the edition on Capitol label with the color photo of Preston. Though that edition was deleted many years ago, copies still turn up.
As for the performances, recorded just 9 days after the show opened to rave reviews, they are as fresh as can be. The whole album has a bright lively sound and moves swiftly through its 46 minutes. Compare with the movie soundtrack which retains Preston and Pert Kelton from Broadway, adds Buddy Hacket, Shirley jones and Ron Howard. Its a fine cast but marred by that flat, boxy Warener Bros soundstage sound. The recent Broadway revival also yielded a fine somehwat more complete album, but really, no one can ever replace Robert Preston and Barabra Cook!