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Fame the Musical (1999 Original American Cast Recording) Cast Recording

3.9 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Cast Recording, March 23, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

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First things first: You won't find "Out Here on My Own" or "Hot Lunch Jam" in Fame: The Musical. Unlike the Broadway version of its early-'80s counterpart, Footloose, this not-yet-ready-for-Broadway production doesn't migrate the movie (or its music) to the stage but merely uses the same subject matter as did the film and subsequent TV series--the dance, drama, and music students at New York City's High School of Performing Arts. In fact, the story is set in 1980-1984, right after the film's release, and one of the teachers laments, "We're the Fame school now. Ever since that movie came out." To help establish that distinction, Fame: The Musical has an almost entirely new set of songs by Steve Margoshes and Jacques Levy, though rest assured that you will at least get the title tune--twice, with a Latin groove. Reflecting the various backgrounds of its ensemble cast, the score offers samples of rap ("Tyrone's Rap"), soft-rock balladry ("Let's Play a Love Scene"), and gospel ("Mabel's Prayer")--all pleasant and serviceable, but unlikely to grab you the way Michael Gore and Dean Pitchford's movie soundtrack did (The story also only hints at the seedy underside of inner-city New York explored in the film.) As graduation nears, one character talks excitedly of the feeling of electricity coursing through her, but no, she doesn't break into "I Sing the Body Electric." That would be a little too much to hope for. --David Horiuchi
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 23, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Cast Recording
  • Label: Drg
  • ASIN: B00000I0D9
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #120,753 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert Lopez on July 7, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This Cd is pretty good, but I do need to compare it to the Original London Cast Recording (which is hard to find.) The new Cd certainly has its high points but it also has many weak spots, namely the vocals of the character Carmen (Natasha Rennalls)and Tyrone (Dwayne Chattman). Just for the record, I saw Natasha Rennalls (now Natasha Neary) play the part of Carmen in Los Angeles. She was PHENOMENAL. But this recording does not do her justice. The vocal director has her sing it too bubble gum pop. When I saw her live she didn't sing like that. Also, her dancing was AMAZING, and her stage presence was very commanding. But I do have to complain about the song "In LA" when she takes the key higher to sing, "oh, they know how to do it in L a[...]" Not LA. L A[...] What were they thinking? I was so disapointed. If you wanna hear the definitive version of "In LA" get the London Cast sung by unknown DIVA Loraine Velez who belts the song like there's NO tomorrow!

On the plus side there are a lot of great singers on this CD. Miss Sherman (Regina Le Vert) and Miss Bell (Kim Cea) belt their way through "The Teacher's Argument" like it's some kind of singing contest. It's amazing and sung better here than the London Cast. Also Le Vert belting her soulful rendition of "These Are My Children" is wonderful too.

Serena and Nick are great too played by Jennifer Gambatese (Tarzan & All Shook Up) and Gavin Creel (Millie, Mary Poppins). "I Wanna Make Magic" definitely sounds better sung by Creel. His voice is strong and smooth. Gambatese does well with the bulk of the songs "Let's Play A Love Scene" & (reprise), "Think Of Meryl Streep". Although I am partial to the London Cast sung by Gemma Wardle.
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Format: Audio CD
I was very excited to receive this C.D.! But, after I listened to it, I wondered if I had just wasted 15 bucks! I must say that this recording is a little weak, but it DOES grow on you! I was upset that the song "Fame" wasn't featured more. It is on the C.D. twice, for like a very short time. Some of the lyrics are cheesy and the man who sings "Can't Keep it Down" has a nasely voice. "Tyrone's Rap" has to be the WORST song I have ever heard on Boardway. What were they thinking? But, all in all, I am now happy w/ my purchase. Although, I think it could have been better, I would recommend this C.D to you if you have extra money and want a high energy musical. But the way, does anyone know where I can find the London cast of this? Thanks
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Format: Audio CD
I saw the American touring company in Boston last night ("press night") and was blown away. I have seen every musical that is currently up and running on Broadway and have yet to see a show that surpasses Fame in terms of energy, enthusiasm, or even sheer, all-around talent. (And you thought Rent had energy??). The only weakness of the show is that it doesn't follow through on or develop many of the story lines (but that would, of course, take a few more hours and considering the time they had, I think they did a pretty decent job). This recording, however, doesn't do justice to the the outstanding production. The energy and talent simply doesn't transfer well to CD. But please, I almost made the mistake of passing up an opportunity to see Fame because I was upset with the quality of the recording...don't make the same mistake! I'll admit, the music sounds pretty corny in your stereo, but when you see it live...wow. Go see Fame.
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Format: Audio CD
I saw the play and listened to the music a lot. i find that the music puts me in a good mood and i just love broadway music especially fame and les miserables. if you enjoy broadway music you'll love this. I know i do. the cast brings a fresh new way to sing these songs. All of the singers are fun and i love the way "carmen" sings fame. It was an amazing play. Humerous songs( just like reproduction from Grease II. I enjoyed the play/music and highly reccomend this CD for all who enjoy Broadway music. or any other type of music.
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Format: Audio CD
People seem to think that the Fame soundtrack was better. All I can say, and please excuse me for it: what are you on? I have seen both the play, performed very well by people in Fairbanks (you rock, ppl!) and the movie. And everyone in my family agreed that the movie cannot possibly compare with the play.
I will admit that the title song is one of the best songs in the world. But it's not like they took it out of the play. And while Out Here On My Own had a very pretty tune, in the lyrics department it could not hope to compare with songs like Teacher's Argument or In LA.
Frankly, there were three good songs in the movie and one that has a good dance scene to it but is not really worth listening to. Of those three good songs, one is in the musical and the other two, while still good, just aren't enough to make me agree that the movie soundtrack could ever compare to this soundtrack.
Some people say that the play doesn't touch on important issues like the movie does, and perhaps that is true. But that, it seems to me, is irrelevant while discussing the music, as the music in the movie wasn't about any issues any more than the music in the play is. Another concern is that the lyrics are simplistic. Well, so are the lyrics in the movie. And so are the lyrics to most Abba songs, and most Tatu songs, and most songs in other musicals, say, the Music Man or to some extent Oklahoma and Showboat. Does that make us like them less? You want good lyrics, you go watch something with Sondheim or Cole Porter lyrics.
My favorite song on this would probably be Lets Play A Love Scene. Although Fame, Teacher's Argument, and Bring On Tomorrow are excellent. I rather liked In LA, although I maintain that the person in Fairbanks did it better.
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