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The Me Nobody Knows (The Original 1970 Cast Recording) Cast Recording

4.5 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Cast Recording, September 5, 2001
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Product Details

  • Performer: Irene Cara, Beverly Bremers, Hattie Winston, Northern Calloway
  • Composer: Gary William Friedman
  • Audio CD (September 5, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Cast Recording
  • Label: 150 Music
  • ASIN: B00005NSV9
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,791 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I performed in this musical at the Buffallo Arts Academy back in 1986. It is STILL one of my all-time favorite shows! The score is excellent and the performances powerful. The only drawback? About 1/3 of this beautiful score went unrecorded! Lost are such gems as "Rejoice, Children", Nell's gospel "Take Hold the Crutch" Lloyd and Lillian's beautiful deut "What Happens to Life?", "Fugue for Four Girls" and (a personal loss for me because I played Benjamin) "Flying Milk and Runaway Plates". If only recording technology back then allowed more recording time. Otherwise this CD is highly reccomended!
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Format: Audio CD
I was initially worried that this album would be something along the lines of Liz Swados's Runaways, but that score had several drawbacks that this show does not, only one of which is Liz Swados herself. Both scores needed to have a contemporary and "with it" feel to be authentic as expressions of the angst of children and teenagers, but the earlier The Me Nobody Knows had the benefit of a more fertile pop/rock landscape.
That's not to slight the contribution of composer Gary William Friedman, though: his tunes are original and genuinely appealing, particularly on the up-tempo "Light Sings", the haunting "Sounds", and the stirring "Let Me Come In" finale. Lyricist Will Holt provides more of a mixed bag, perhaps inevitably given the melodramatic subject matter. The liner notes indicate, though, that the book and lyrics were directly adapted from transcripts of interviews they conducted with inner-city children, in which context his work seems far more impressive.
That's the one real problem with the disc, though: these are kids singing, and no matter what their problems or how cute and clever they are, there are limits to how much I'm going to want to hear from them. On the other hand, if they're going to be this insightful, it's not the bitter pill it might otherwise have been. What's more, the performers are all strong -- none stand out, as they're all children and none is allowed by the format to create a character through an arc of songs, but all have the voice required for their music.
The class of this album extends to its sound quality (analog distortion is at a minimum; but for the arrangements it could have been recorded recently) and to the dazzling package (extensive liner notes and beautiful photos).
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By Ashleriah on December 22, 2004
Format: Audio CD
It seems that most of the (7) reviewers of this CD are people who have participated in a production of TMNK, and I am no different from them. And I hold the same disappointments that they do. Many of my favorite songs are MISSING! Plus, I really don't like the voices of the people who do it. William sounds like he has marbles in his mouth, and "How I Feel," which is supposed to be chilling and haunting, was completely ruined by whoever played Catherine. Regardless, this CD still gets 3 stars because, well, the music is awesome. Everybody knows RENT, so imagine a 70's version of that, as far as music goes, where the melody lines are carried by the brass section rather than the guitars (think RENT, only ska-style). So unless you were in the show yourself, you won't miss the missing songs.

P.S.- I played Lillie Mae, and my big songs, the "Fugue" and "Robert, Alvin, Wendell and Jojo" are gone.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I had the extreme pleasure of performing in a half a dozen productions of THE ME during my adolescence. My LP wore out a long time ago, and, to be honest, I hadn't really thought about the show in a long time.

A few weeks ago, a friend and I were talking about the past, and THE ME came up. After a search on Ebay, I bought her the album. In an email, she told me that she, too, had forgotten just how wonderful the score was.

As I was surfing Amazon that night, I decided to search for another copy. Imagine my shock when I discovered that the CD was being released (after 30 years) on the very next day. Waiting for the box to arrive was torture.

I've spent the better part of the evening listening to the CD over and over again, remembering just how I burned through my original LP. The score is amazing, the voices raw and powerful, the songs beautiful, the sound and texture still alive after 30 years.

Why didn't I go to 5 stars? Well, even though the liner notes provide some photos I'd never seen before, after 30 years I really expected a little more in the way of extra material.

Still undecided? Then buy this one for Northern J. Calloway. Many will remember him as "David" on Sesame Street. He never got a chance on that venue to show his versatility and range. On this CD, his amazing performance reminds us of the many gifts of his youth; he was taken from us too soon.

Many thanks to Gary William Friedman, Will Holt, Stephen Joseph and Herb Shapiro. Their work is extraordinary.
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Format: Audio CD
I played Lillian in a production in Maryland in the late 70's. It was very difficult to find the LP, but after I bought it, I just about wore it out. Yes, it is missing some of the songs from the musical, but what remains is so meaningful to all ages, from teens to adults. For those of you who have not experienced the life of the ghetto, the songs in this musical were taken from authentic poems that ghetto kids wrote. They are so powerful and the voices on this cd show the torment and all the other emotions that go into this life with violence all around.
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