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  • Annie
  • Customer Reviews

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on January 5, 2016
I have had a major soft spot in my heart for ANNIE since seeing a local stage production of it nearly thirty years ago. With its poignant yet funny libretto and tuneful score, ANNIE became a smash hit during the 1977-1978 Broadway season, and since that time there have been a couple of other recordings of the show; these include the soundtrack of the 1982 movie adaptation and a revival-cast recording. For me the 1977 original Broadway cast recording is a must-have for several reasons. First, it preserves the Annie of Andrea McArdle, whose young-girl belting voice became the prototypical sound for the role. Second, it preserves the original orchestrations of Philip J. Lang, which are wonderfully evocative of the 1930's when the musical is set (listen, for example, to the low-down jazz arrangement of "Easy Street") and often heartbreaking (e.g. the tender violin part in "Maybe"). And thirdly, it preserves the performances of three cast members -- Dorothy Loudon as Miss Hannigan, Raymond Thorne as President Franklin Roosevelt, and the silver-voiced Laurie Beechman as the "Star to Be" (among other supposed "bit" roles) -- that I don't feel could ever be surpassed. Donald Craig in one of the score's catchiest songs, "You're Never Fully Dressed without a Smile," sounds just like a 1930's radio singer, while Sandy Faison's bell-like soprano makes you wish Grace Farrell had been given a solo. If Reid Shelton as Daddy Warbucks does not sing quite as well as a couple of others I have heard in the part, there is no poor singing on the album, and the ensemble work in numbers like "NYC" and "You Won't Be an Orphan for Long" is especially strong. If you love ANNIE as I do, then the original Broadway cast recording is one you should not be without.
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on October 10, 2013
This is the Original Broadway Cast album that I was raised on and now my daughter is going to be doing the musical this winter. It is still, by far, my favorite of all the Annie albums.
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on June 11, 2013
Who doesn't love Annie? It's great to be able to own the original broadway musical soundtrack. No one does this better then the original cast.
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on November 15, 2017
Enjoyed knowing the music before going to seeing the musical.
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on June 3, 2015
Song list is not organize.
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on December 16, 1999
From the time I first saw this show in community theater when I was seven, I have been in love with it. It may seem silly to say, but it spawned my interest in theater, musicals, and history! This is a musical that can bring a smile to the faces of the most bitter people. Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin outdid themselves with the charasmatic music and lyrics. "Tommorrow" is one of the most beautiful songs ever written, and was actually the last song from a Broadway show to become a standard. The cast is lead with great passion by Andrea McArdle as the title character, Dorothy Loudon as a delightfully wicked Miss Hannigan, Reid Shelton as Warbucks, orphans that aren't sappy (a great achievment), and a quality ensemble (listen for Laurie Beechmen as "The Star to Be" during the "NYC" number). Annie was the first CD I ever owned, and i've listened to it hundreds of times. Take it from me: It's a keeper!
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on January 7, 2000
Many dismiss "Annie" as a perky kiddie show. Though they are not entirely wrong, this CD shows that the musical really has an excellent score. Besides "Tomorrow" and "Hard Knock Life," there are great songs like "Something was Missing," "Easy Street" and "NYC," that are largely forgotten for one reason or another. This is an excellent addition of the CD that includes a full synopsis and story of how the show came to be. The CD also comes with some interesting bonus tracks and explanations of why the songs were cut. This CD is a must-have for anyone who is even remotly interested in musical theater.
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on May 8, 2017
I love the songs but the lyrics are not written anywhere in the leaflet that came with the CD. My 7 year old is Sad that She can't read along and learn the words of the songs.
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Judge me as you will, but I really do enjoy the musical Annie. So somewhere along the way, I bought the original Broadway cast recording to supplement the 1999 TV movie version I usually listen to. I don’t drag it out that often, but when I do I enjoy it.

The soundtrack includes all the classic songs we associate with the musical. It opens with “Maybe,” in which Annie sings her dream of her parents. There’s her other solo, the famous song “Tomorrow.” And all the orphans join her to sing about their life in “It’s a Hard-Knock Life.” Moving over to the villains, we’ve got Miss Hannigan’s lament “Little Girls” and the song she sings with her brother and his girlfriend, “Easy Street.”

Of course, as we’re going through the familiar songs, there are some differences. The other orphans actually join Annie in the final two lines of “Maybe,” something that caught me off guard the first time I heard it. The version of “Easy Street” here leaves out much of the talking that takes place during the song when performed on stage, and I miss it.

But the biggest change comes in “I Don’t Need Anything but You.” This duet between Daddy Warbucks and Annie includes two extra verses I’ve heard no where else. And since I love the song, I enjoy hearing those verses. Those kind of changes happen as a show goes through its first initial production (I’ve noticed it on other soundtracks I have), but I wish they hadn’t chopped them.

Both movies versions have cut out some songs that really help anchor the piece in the 30’s, and those songs are here. Early in the musical, we get “We’d Like to Thank you Herbert Hoover,” a song as known as “Hooverville,” at least in the two productions I’ve seen recently. This song is the rantings of the poor who are just struggling to get by during the Great Depression. Also falling into this category is “A New Deal for Christmas.” Frankly, while I get the attempts to tie things into history (FDR is a character after all), I don’t feel this song works with the rest of the play.

There is only one reprise on this disc, and that’s the reprise of “Tomorrow” as sung by Annie, FDR, and members of his cabinet in the second act. Frankly, I find this version of the song hilarious, and I’m thrilled to have it here.

The music is dated. Part of that is on purpose as the composer was trying to capture the popular music of the 30’s for the songs. That part actually works well and creates some of the most memorable numbers here from the jazzy “Easy Street” to the toe tapping “You’re Never Fully Dressed without a Smile” or the Charleston inspired “I Don’t Need Anything but You.”

However, another part of it doesn’t work. The arrangements, including the vocals, feel like old Broadway soundtracks. Even though this is from the 70’s, there’s a certainly feel to it that gives it away. I find that puts me off a bit when I’m listening to it. And the horn section is very front and center on this disc, too.

When I got this disc, it came with some bonus tracks. There’s the first public performance of “Tomorrow,” but the real gems are the songs that were originally written and then cut from the musical. We even get a description of the original opening. And who would have guessed the Miss Hannigan’s original name was Miss Asthma? Anyway, it is easy to see why these songs were cut. You can see how the ideas behind some of them, like “Apples,” turned into other songs (in this came “We’d Like to Thank you Herbert Hoover.”) Others, like the song written for the fake "Parents" to sing as they try to claim Annie, just would have slowed things down. Of these, the most interesting one is “Just You Wait.” Written for Miss Asthma, the tune was saved, but the lyrics were changed to “Little Girls.” Again, the musical is better for it.

Of course, one danger from this soundtrack is getting the songs stuck in your head for days. And it’s always something like “Hard Knock Life” or “Little Girls” and never “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile.”

No, the original Broadway cast version of Annie is not my first choice when it comes to this musical’s soundtrack. But when I want to hear those songs I am missing, I do enjoy hearing the entire show here.
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on May 20, 2016
We are enjoying the extra bits on the end that are "outtakes" - parts of the story that did not make it into the play, or the original album that I wore out in 1977.
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