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The Best of Broadway - The American Musical (PBS Series)

4.5 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE COLLECTION OF BROADWAY MUSIC EVER ASSEMBLED! Decca Broadway & Columbia Broadway Masterworks have joined together in a historic partnership to offer music from the 6-part PBS series Broadway: THE AMERICAN MUSICAL Broadway's Greatest Hits - all on 1 CD! The definitive Broadway collection - features 21 of Broadway's most memorable songs of all time. A century's worth of Broadway's best - everything from Showboat to the Tony Award winner Wicked.

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A companion to the fabulous PBS series, the 21-song, 77-minute The Best of "Broadway: The American Musical" provides about as good a single-disc compilation as anyone could hope for. (There's also a five-CD version.) What sets it apart from so many other "best of Broadway" collections is its breadth--because it had access to a variety of record-label vaults it doesn't have to try to disguise gaps by using revivals or solo recordings. Here you get all the authentic stuff, including: Paul Robeson singing "Ol' Man River" from the first modern American musical, Show Boat; Ethel Merman singing "You're the Top"; the title song from Oklahoma!; Julie Andrews singing "I Could Have Danced All Night" from My Fair Lady; West Side Story's "America"; Betty Buckley singing "Memory" from Cats; Hairspray's "Good Morning Baltimore"; and "Defying Gravity" from Wicked, the newest show discussed in the PBS series. And it's hard to argue with the songwriters represented: Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Frank Loesser, Lerner and Loewe, Leonard Bernstein, Bock and Harnick, Kander and Ebb, Stephen Sondheim, and Andrew Lloyd Webber, among others. Obviously, no single-disc compilation could ever please everyone (did we really need two ALW songs?), but as a sampler intended for people who watched the series and want to hear more of the Great White Way, The Best of "Broadway: The American Musical" can't be topped. --David Horiuchi
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 5, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Verve
  • ASIN: B0002W4T9E
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,853 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Neaklaus VINE VOICE on April 7, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This CD from Decca Broadway is a wonderful selection of some of

the "Greatest Hits" of the Broadway stage. Decca and Sony have

done an excellent job of remastering the various recordings, some

of which still show some of their age, but come across quite

well. Are there a lot of songs that I would have put on this

disc? Yes, but the ones on here are good choices. I may have to

get a copy of the Five disc set and the DVD's just to see if any

more of my favorites made it on the list. What this disc seems to

try to do is show the evolution of the Broadway song from it's

early days to the present. It succeeds quite well I think.

If you enjoy Broadway theater this CD is a must!
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I loved listening to this CD. The music from Broadway's best loved musicals are on this album. I recogized most of these songs, even though I've only seen a few of them on the local stage. I have so many favorites on this CD. It is hard to pick one. I'm a big fan of Barbara Streisand. I loved her performance of People from Funny Girl. Memory is the hit song from the musical Cats. Betty Buckley's performance of this song is so emotional and sincere.

I loved the song Annie. It is a wonderfully optimistic song performed by the original Annie Andrea McArdle. Another highlight for me is the song One performed by the cast of a Chorus Line. Luck Be A Lady Tonight is another of my favorite broadway songs on this CD from Guys and Dolls. The music of the night is a beautiful song by Michael Crawford from Phantom of the Opera. Richard Kiley has such a strong and powerful voice. He sounds so inspirational singing The Impossible Dream from Man from La Mancha. My dream is to see some musicals on Broadway someday and listen to these songs performed live.

I'm surprised that there isn't any music from Miss Saigon or Jesus Christ Superstar included here. I think they are classic musicals with great songs Maybe they will appear on a future compilation from PBS.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A great CD of the best of Broadway, from the 20s forward. I listen to it in my car. Love that the pieces are by the original artists: Ethel Merman, Al Jolson, Barbara Streisand and many more. Great value
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When my father who had Alzheimers would get agitated, we would put on his favorite show tunes and it would calm him down. My two sisters and uncle grew up on these tunes as well and when my father passed away, I bought a copy for each of us to remember him by. When we listen to it, we feel him humming right along with us.
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This soundtrack was only dissapointing to me because some of the tracks I looked most forward to hearing I didnt care for. I did not like Marissa Jaret Winokur's version of Good Morning Baltimore-it sounds way too whiny, and Jill Hayworth's version of Cabaret is nowhere near the passion of Liza Minnellis.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a pretty good compilation, but I have to wonder at some of the choices that went into it.

"Good Morning Baltimore" is almost the least impressive song from Hairspray. "You Can't Stop the Beat" was a much more anthemic song from that show.

I agree that it's too bad Les Mis didn't make it in. I would have traded that for anything Sondheim, although that's a personal preference :) .

Still, the opportunity to hear the original performers and orchestras perform these works, all in one place, is a great deal.
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By JaqsNY on October 31, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This one plays in the car, on the ipod and in the house. When the kids were little they would ask if we could take them to "The Street". That is what they called Broadway (little did they know at that time how famous that street is). They still love it and we can not get enough of it. This CD covers the best and makes you want to go and see a live performance. You can not beat that.
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My CEO said we don't sing Broadway songs nearly enough. I gave him this CD on a particularly stressful day and he said it eased his anxiety. What a hit!
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