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The Music Man (1957 Original Broadway Cast) [Angel Reissue] Cast Recording

4.7 out of 5 stars 89 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Cast Recording, November 21, 1992
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Editorial Reviews

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Although Robert Preston and Barbara Cook put in stellar performances, it's the music that's the star of this hugely successful document of the 1958 Broadway smash. Written entirely by Meredith Willson, it drew from memories of his childhood in a small Midwestern town. Preston plays a traveling salesman/con artist, while Cook is the dull spinster "Marian the Librarian," whose love for Preston's character makes her come alive. "Seventy-Six Trombones" has become a marching band standard, while "Ya Got Trouble" (featuring dizzying fast-talk from Preston) and "'Til There Was You" (with a gorgeous vocal from Cook) remain well known even among those who have never seen the show. The latter was also a favorite of the Beatles, who covered it on their first album. --Dawn Eden
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 21, 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Cast Recording
  • Label: Angel
  • ASIN: B000002SNL
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,450 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mark Andrew Lawrence on September 1, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Reading the reviews posted to date, some people complain the sound is tinny and the voices bounce between speakers while others claim the sound is fine.

Here is the story behind that!

THE MUSIC MAN original cast Lp was issued in 1958 in a lavish gatefold jacket adorned by the show's colourful postor logo (A cartoon of professor Hill and Marion the Librarian!) The album went right to the #1 position on Billboard's best-selling albums chart where it stayed for 12 weeks.

In the early 60s, Capitol had to press another batch of Lps to meet demand and they re-designed the cover. It was a single pocket jacket, no notes inside, just the songs and cast credits on the back and a colour photo of Preston. The label also doctored up the sound for "stereo" bouncing the voices from left to right.

IN 1987 Capitol issued their stereo remix on Compact Disc using the Preston photo cover. No liner notes, and the sound was harsh and tinny.

In 1993, as part of EMI's 40+ series of Broadway Classics reissues on the Broadway Angel label, THE MUSIC MAN was re-released using the original LP cover art. This time it was beautifully remastered and the stereo sound was restored to the original mix with the cast centre-stage. The booklet has fine notes and a detailed synopsis (something all the previous releases lacked.)

In short, IF buying THE MUSIC MAN (and it is a classic original cast album well worth having) be sure you get the remastered version on Broadway Angel. It is #3 in the series of Broadway Classics. Catalogue number: ZDM 7 64663-2.

AVOID the edition on Capitol label with the color photo of Preston. Though that edition was deleted many years ago, copies still turn up.
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By Craig on November 21, 2001
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Am I the only one who has to suck back tears every time Barbara Cook sings these songs from The Music Man? What a gifted singer! I have listened to her renditions of Mr. Wilson's songs since I was a pre-teen. I am now 51. I have worn-out my original LP recording and am now the happy owner of the CD. About 20 years ago, I wrote to and received a letter back from Mr. Wilson. I wanted to tell him how much his music has meant to my life and that it inspired me to compose and arrange music. I will always treasure his letter. May I suggest that you buy this ORIGINAL CAST recording? I believe that you will treasure it for many years to come. As a side note, I was fortunate enough to hear Barbara Cook many decades later in concert. I was not disappointed.
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Format: Audio CD
Robert Preston, Barbara Cook, Pert Kelton, and the rest of the cast hand in a very amiable performance of the Music Man, as the original 1957 cast. The Tony award-winning cast and musical is a must-have for everyone who enjoys old-fashioned Broadway with some nice twists. This is much better than the newer Revival cast recording, and although that recording is more complete, the voices on it are no match for those on this CD. Robert Preston is better that Craig Bierko, and is also better on this recording than he is in the movie soundtrack. Barbara Cook, with her down-to-earth rendition, is better than both the ever-breathy Shirley Jones and Rebecca Luker, whose almost coloratura tendencies aren't in character. As I said, this is a must-have for any musical lover's music library.
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Format: Audio CD
If you find the orchestrations "tinny" then you'd better check your speakers. They are lush and fabulous. Robert Preston is better than in the movie soundtrack and Barbara Cook is brilliant-the perfect Marian. Also, you get the wonderful song "My White Knight" which does not appear in the film. This is the preferred recording.
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Format: Audio CD
Here's one of those shows from that late final flowering of the Golden Age of Broadway. Meredith Willson wrote a score that had so much melody and charm to it, at times, it threatens to melt. It's faithfully presented on the film soundtrack, but the Original Cast Recording features two incomparable jewels of the Lyric Theatre: the silken, Miss Barbara Cook, and the, well, uniquely-voiced, Mr Robert Preston. Yet, when these two come together at the end of "Till There Was You", we truly know we're alive and warm: Broadway knows few lovelier, sheer thrilling, moments of love, expressed. All carefully and expansively caught on this CD. Do buy this one...
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Format: Audio CD
Just how can you go wrong when you have the sensational Robert Preston, the gorgoeusly voiced Barbara Cook, the Buffalo Bills, one of the most spirited musical ensembles in memory, and Merideth Willson's rousing score? Obviously, nothing went wrong with this musical, one of the most successful of its day and deserving of every penny it raked in. This soundtrack brings back this affectionate ode to small-town Americana in all its glory. Apparently a restored reissue, the sound is great and everyone is in great voice. With seventy-six trombones leading the big parade, this will certainly be a worthy addition to anyone's musical library, or CD collection.
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Format: Audio CD
Meredith Willson's THE MUSIC MAN is one of the most beloved of all Broadway musicals. The story is charming and endearing, while the score is tuneful and very inventive. There are rhythm numbers ("Rock Island" and "Ya Got Trouble"), ballads ("Goodnight, My Someone" and "Till There Was You"), barbershop numbers ("Sincere," "It's You," "Lida Rose"), quirky comedy songs ("The Sadder but Wiser Girl," "Marian the Librarian," "Shipoopi") a march ("Seventy-Six Trombones"), and even an aria ("My White Knight"), as well as other wonderful songs for the ensemble ("Iowa Stubborn," "The Wells Fargo Wagon"). The original Broadway cast recording, starring Robert Preston as the fast-talking con man Harold Hill and Barbara Cook as the skeptical young librarian and music teacher Marian Paroo is the finest recording of THE MUSIC MAN. Preston's charisma seems to leap right out of the speakers; his patter in "Ya Got Trouble" is a marvel, absolutely clear and precise. Cook's pure, golden soprano and heartfelt phrasing are a joy to hear. Add the famous barbershop quartet The Buffalo Bills and the rousing orchestrations of the legendary Don Walker, and you have a truly fabulous show album. This original Broadway cast recording of THE MUSIC MAN is a must-have for anyone who loves musicals.
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