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West Side Story (1961 Film Soundtrack) [Soundtrack]

Leonard Bernstein , Stephen Sondheim , Marni Nixon , Rita Moreno Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)

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MP3 Music, 16 Songs, 2012 $4.99  
Audio CD, Extra tracks, Original recording remastered, 2004 $10.88  
Audio CD, Soundtrack, 1992 --  
Vinyl, Soundtrack --  
Audio Cassette, 1992 --  
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West Side Story West Side Story 4.7 out of 5 stars (128)
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Product Details

  • Performer: Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Marni Nixon, Rita Moreno
  • Audio CD (November 24, 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B0000027WF
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #142,050 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Overture
2. Prologue
3. Jet Song
4. Something's Coming
5. Dance At The Gym
6. Maria
7. America
8. Tonight
9. Gee, Officer Krupke
10. I Feel Pretty
11. One Hand, One Heart
12. Quintet
13. The Rumble
14. Somewhere
15. Cool
16. A Boy Like That/I Have A Love
17. Finale
18. End Credits

Editorial Reviews

Leonard Bernstein's musical update of Romeo and Juliet, with a young Stephen Sondheim's brilliant lyrics, had already galvanized Broadway with its vivid reinvention as a parable of racial intolerance and generational conflict. But director Robert Wise's lavish widescreen presentation broke fresh ground by taking the story to its most impressionable audience, the teenagers who could identify directly with Tony and Maria, and opened up Jerome Robbins's kinetic choreography through bravura camera work. The original soundtrack album was not merely a huge seller but a unique touchstone for an otherwise rock-oriented audience, and its release on CD benefits from an expanded program untenable in its initial LP release, as well as a 20-bit digital transfer. With Richard Beymer, Marni Nixon (Hollywood's vocal doppelgänger of choice, here standing in for Natalie Wood), and Rita Moreno dominating, the show's bounty of terrific songs and exciting instrumental pieces remains an ear-filling treat, mixing operatic passions, tart social commentary, and high comedy. From "Tonight" to "One Hand, One Heart," "America" to "Jet Song," this is a landmark in American musical theatre and film beautifully realized on disc. --Sam Sutherland

Product Description

West Side Story ~ West Side Story (1961 Film Soun

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
285 of 290 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get this, but don't stop there October 20, 2002
By Dan3
Format:Audio CD
Most people are trying to choose between this (the movie soundtrack) and the Original Broadway Cast recording. I am here outlining the principal differences between these two CDs.

1) The movie soundtrack contains the entire Dance at the Gym sequence, some of the best music in West Side Story. PLUS there is an absolutely tremendous trumpet player who takes an extended solo in the Mambo that has to be heard to be believed. It's not in the music, so you won't find it anywhere but here. The Original Broadway Cast recording starts at the second half of the Mambo, and leaves out the Blues number entirely (among others).
[Edit 11/17/2005: I recently learned that trumpet player's name is Uan Rasey. He is the same guy who plays on lots of old movie soundtracks, including An American In Paris and Chinatown.]

2) Jim Bryant (on the movie soundtrack) goes up to this great high note at the end of Something's Coming that Larry Kert does not attempt in the Broadway recording. Again, not in the music, but amazing.

3) The movie version of America, pitting the Sharks against their girlfriends, is far superior.

4) The movie's Prologue has been revised, and now includes the "Cool" theme as well as *most* of the original material. The two themes are interwoven in an interesting way. But you do lose a couple of great moments from the original...

5) There is no ballet sequence in the movie! Very unfortunate.

6) Much of the singing is done more musically in the Broadway Cast recording, by Larry Kert and Carol Lawrence; pay attention to their diction and phrasing, it's no contest.

7) Many of the songs (e.g. Cool) were reorchestrated for the movie, adding things like electric guitar and bass, and they're a little tacky.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Having grown up on the original Broadway cast recording, I was skeptical about the movie soundtrack, but its musical direction is impeccable and turning "America" into a boys v. girls number is inspired. The cd's addition of previously unreleased dance music makes the experience more complete. Even Bernstein's own recording with his hand-picked cast (Te Kanawa, Carreras, etc.) can't match the vivacity and excitement of the soundtrack. Bravo to all!
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Still not all there! July 18, 2002
By marknyc
Format:Audio CD
I bought this assuming it would restore all the material cut for the LP, but was saddened to find it didn't. The same cut in the "Prologue" that was made for the LP appears here - about a minute. So one of Bernstein's nicer themes is never heard on the CD or LP.
There is new material, but a lot of it has dialogue over it! Who wants to listen to dialogue scenes over and over again? Bad decision.
Finally, it's nice to see Marni Nixon and Jim Bryant get their proper credit, but Betty Wand did >not< sing "America" or the "Quintet" - those are both Rita Moreno, who has a great voice but couldn't sing "A Boy Like That" since it was below her range. So let's credit the shadow-singers, but let's not get carried away!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Classic soundtrack has disappointing expansion! June 25, 2002
By Joe NY
Format:Audio CD
The movie soundtrack for WEST SIDE STORY is among one of the all time greats. A huge best selling LP, I cannot think of one individual who grew up with LPs that did not have a copy. I greatly anticipated this long-awaited "expanded and re-mastered" CD release, expecting generous underscore segments, which could not be included on the LP format. Unfortunately I was disappointed to learn that the new material is simply lifted off of the final, "mixed" film tracks, which come complete with dialog, sound effects and lengthy silent sequences. Therefore I can only recommend this release with reservations. The CD's producers have missed a great opportunity to give West Side Story's' soundtrack the ultimate audio presentation which would have been possible if the "unmixed" music masters were utilized.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The absolute best recording May 12, 2003
Format:Audio CD
"West Side Story" features some of the greatests music ever to reach both the stage and the big screen. Leonard Bernstein's incredible score and Stephen Sondheim's wonderful lyrics are what make both the play and the film memorable.
Hands down, this recording from the film is the best of all recordings for several reasons.
1. Almost all of the music Bernstien wrote is available on this disc. This CD includes the Overture, the complete "Dance at the Gym" with the Blues, Mambo, and Jump that was missing from the LP release, the underscore for the "Rumble" sequence, and the "Finale" that underscores Tony's funeral procession. The only major piece that is missing is the "Ballet" sequence.
2. The orchestra plays the songs at reasonable tempos that are neither grudgingly slow nor lightning fast. Conductor Johnny Green knew what he was doing when he slowed the "Mambo" down from the original Broadway release; in the Broadway version, the "Mambo" is finished in less than 2 minutes!!!
3. In the movie, "America" features both the male and female Sharks; in the Broadway version, only the girls are in the song. With new lyrics and the guys, "America" is a much more memorable piece than it was before.
4. Finally, the music was re-orchestrated for the better. The orchestra sounds fuller and more powerful than in the Broadway release.
If you have any choice, buy the movie version; it is far superior to any other release. Or, buy both the movie and the Broadway versions, but stay away from any others. Only the originals are worth owning.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 9 days ago by Chase Dyer
5.0 out of 5 stars West Side Story
My very favorite stage show and movie. I saw the show on Broadway and at a local theater. I saw the original movie in a movie theater, and watch it on TV whenever I get the chance. Read more
Published 14 days ago by Gail Wolfberg
5.0 out of 5 stars brought back memories
of my senior class play in 1969. we did West Side Story and I was in the chorus. The play takes plac in the Manhattan neighborhood that is now where Lincoln Ctr for the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Maggie's mom
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gift from Leonard Bernstein
I remember seeing this 'at the movies' when I was a teenager. I could not decide whether I was more fond of the Jets or the Sharks. The story is timely, no matter when it is told. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Patricia Kinner
3.0 out of 5 stars Strange Tracks
Okay, I love West Side Story and a lot of the songs from it, but this album was not the best. I understand that it's old, so the audio quality is the best, but they made some... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Leah C.
2.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat disappointed
Some of the tracks not able to hear when downloaded onto a tablet,best to order a remastered version.Sound quality not there.
Published 2 months ago by cosmo
5.0 out of 5 stars ##### GOOD STUFF #####
We are using this music at our nursing home to benefit the residents we serve. They love it! Good stuff!
Published 3 months ago by P. Kelly Rhoads
5.0 out of 5 stars Best musical ever
We watched it and loved it as a family and now that my kid's high school has performed it, it is on the shuffle list and the family enjoys the music.
Published 3 months ago by Suzn
5.0 out of 5 stars Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim were/are masters of their...
A ground-breaking musical work worthy of both academic study and pure aesthetic savoring. Bernstein's ability to bend the rules musically and yet keep the work very accessible... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Paul C. Sumares
5.0 out of 5 stars The Bar for All Aspiring Musicals
Never, never, never gets old: not the story, not the music and certainly not the man behind it all. Unfettered genius, without equal, without parallel.
Published 3 months ago by David H. Smith
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