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Movin' Out (Based on the Songs and Music of Billy Joel) (2002 Original Broadway Cast) Cast Recording, Live

4.3 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Movin' Out ~ Cast Recording

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A criticism that has long dogged Billy Joel's career involves his songs' direct, heart-on-the-sleeve emotional sentiments and a musical approach that often revels in pop music's past glories instead of reacting against them. Ironically, those are the very strengths of Twyla Tharp's dialog-free pop ballet based on Joel's infectious canon of music, including his recent forays into the classical realm. This live cast recording is fueled by the piano and vocals of Michael Cavanaugh, who, backed by an ensemble handpicked by the songwriter, gooses every last drop of drama from Joel's already theatrical songs with a verve worthy of the legend himself. But divorced from Tharp's always kinetic choreography, and despite angular reworkings of "We Didn't Start the Fire" and other Joel standards, it's a collection that sometimes sounds akin to Joelmania: not really Billy, but an incredible simulation. --Jerry McCulley
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 15, 2002)
  • Original Release Date: October 15, 2002
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Cast Recording, Live
  • Label: Masterworks Broadway
  • Run Time: 78 minutes
  • ASIN: B00006LWQK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,949 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I just recently saw the Broadway production of "Movin Out". This musical basically puts to life the music of Billy Joel. Characters such as "Brenda and Eddie" and "Anthony" (Tony) are put to life as it traces the story of a group of friends from the 60s, through the Vietnam War, and the after effects of the war. (I for one always wanted to know the story of what happened to Brenda and Eddie) The setup of the play is pretty interesting. The characters I mention tell their story through Dance - there is no dialogue and the characters do no singing. The singing is done the young Piano Player named Michael Cavanaugh (who really does play Piano). Cavanaugh and his backup band are actually suspended above the stage (on another stage) and sing and perform Billy Joel's music. The Dance numbers are nice (John Selya who plays 'Eddie' will really shine), but it is ultimately Cavanaugh's vocals that are going to be the really the stars of this show. Here is what is so great about this soundtrac - You get all of the vocals from the production on one CD - no editing, no shortening. This is as good as it gets on a soundtrack. You might be missing the visual dance of the production, but you are getting what is the best part. Even if you haven't seen this play before, you will probably still get blown away from Cavanaugh's voice.

At first I was skeptical about anyone doing Billy Joel vocals, but Michael Cavanaugh finds a way to pull this off. Cavanaugh doesn't attempt to duplicate Joel's style here, he brings a much different dimension to Joel's vocals and it works. While Joel has more of a blue collar style to his vocals, Cavanaugh has some powerful vocals - a true broadway quality. This is not meant to knock Billy Joel - who is one of the greatest vocalists of all time.
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By A Customer on November 1, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Having seen the show, "Movin Out", twice last summer in Chicago I was very anxious to get my hands on this CD. I was not disappointed...well, ok..maybe a little bit. Compared to the three song promo CD I'd acquired earlier, the sound on this CD seems a little tinny...not as rich as the studio recording I already had. This CD was recorded in Chicago in August- not sure if it was done on stage or not- but it does have a live quality to it that lacks the round richness of the usual studio recording. As I was mainly interested in the show because of the drummer, Chuck Burgi, I was a bit disappointed that the drums don't sound as clear and sharp as what I had before.
That said, Michael Cavanaugh is fantastic...I wouldn't call him a Billy Joel sound alike as some reviews have...he has a younger voice, perhaps not carrying the miles of Joel, but in keeping with the themes of the dance show- youth, hope, possibilities. His piano playing is quite proficient.
The band is brilliant! Tommy Byrnes is Joel's regular lead guitarist and Burgi and Greg Smith have very impressive resumes(Rainbow,Meatloaf,Brand X,Hall & Oates,BOC, Alice Cooper). I think Smith and Byrnes sing backup. Wade Preston is on the keyboards, the arrangements for which were done by Joel's own keyboard guy, David Rosenthal. Dennis DelGaudio is the other guitarist- he's been a part of the Long Island band scene for years. These guys have been friends for a long, long time. An awesome four man horn section makes up the rest of this amazing band.
It is unfortunate that the CD was rushed through and doesn't reflect the exact lineup of the tunes in the show, the worst case being that the finale band-only number of "NY state of mind" is left off the CD entirely. When I saw the show, this number led to standing ovations both times.
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By A Customer on July 27, 2003
Format: Audio CD
When I first heard of the whole concept of "Movin' Out" - a ballet using the songs of Billy Joel played and sung by someone who is not Billy Joel- I thought it was a pretty stupid idea. I thought it was a cheap way to make money off of a great songwriter, performer, and his masterpieces. However, I listened to the CD, and while it does not take the place of Billy Joel (as nothing ever could), it is excellent in its own right. The songs are all wonderful, and are performed with energy and exceptional musicianship. The songs are so loyal to Billy's own versions (he did orchestrate them) but the performers give a little bit of their own character to the music. (My only complaint is this arrangement of "We Didn't Start the Fire"). Michael Cavanaugh, the pianist/lead singer, is amazing. His voice is incredible and soulful; he puts all of his heart into the music. His pianistic skills are flawless - listen to "Prelude" and you'll know what I mean. The other musicians are fabulous as well, and were handpicked by Billy Joel himself. I saw this musical on Broadway and was very pleased. I think it's better than London's "We Will Rock You" (based on the songs of Queen)and Broadway's "Mamma Mia" (based on the songs of Abba) in that the whole cast does not sing and the arrangements are not for a stage chorus. Rather, the one guy and his piano backed up by the band is as close to Billy Joel as anyone will get.
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Format: Audio CD
In anticipation of seeing this show, I picked up a copy of the cast cd. The orchestrations were crisp and Michael Cavanaugh's voice was quite good as the "piano man". Best Tracks include:

Scenes From An Italian Restaurant

Movin' Out

We Didn't Start The Fire

Goodnight Saigon

But after attending the show in Chicago last weekend, it was clear that the focal point is (and should be) Twyla Tharp's amazing choreography and the music merely forms a quaint storyline as background. And now? I'd just rather hear Mr. Joel's original versions instead.
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