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Promises, Promises (1968 Original Broadway Cast) Cast Recording

4.5 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

In the late '90s, Burt Bacharach--thanks to a boxed set, new collaborations, and numerous reissues--just keeps popping up. And for good reason: his music is nostalgic, filled with great melodies, and instantly recognizable. For many, he's the essence of pop. Promises, Promises, the composer's 1968 Broadway collaboration with lyricist Hal David, is based on the 1960 Billy Wilder film, The Apartment, written by Neil Simon. Jerry Orbach's performance as Chuck Baxter is powerful (it also won him a Tony Award), and though some of the music in Promises, Promises is dated, it's simply infectious. As Fran Kubelik, Jill O'Hara (Hair) performs reflective numbers such as "Whoever You Are" and "I'll Never Fall in Love Again." Bacharach's title theme (a hit for Dionne Warwick) sounds better than ever here--both performed instrumentally and sung by Orbach. At 45 minutes, it's a short listen, but for fans of Bacharach or Broadway, it's highly recommended. --Jason Verlinde

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Overture
  2. Half As Big As Life
  3. Upstairs
  4. You'll Think Of Someone
  5. Our Little Secret
  6. She Likes Basketball
  7. Knowing When To Leave
  8. Wanting Things
  9. Turkey, Lurkey Time
  10. A Fact Can Be A Beautiful Thing
  11. Grapes Of Roth
  12. Whoever You Are
  13. Where Can You Take A Girl?
  14. Christmas Day
  15. A Young Pretty Girl Like You
  16. I'll Never Fall In Love Again
  17. Promises, Promises

Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 3, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Cast Recording
  • Label: Rykodisc
  • ASIN: B00000JRM6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #187,136 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This light musical rendition of the successful play "The Apartment" is delightful, chock full of tunes crafted by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Though written in the sixties, the songs still have a fresh flavor and enjoyable feel that remain timeless. The story itself may seem a bit quaint by today's standards: a young and rising executive-wannabe named Chuck Baxter tries to curry favor with his higher-ups by letting them borrow his apartment for their romantic trysts. His conscience finally gets to him and he realizes what kind of creep he's becoming; is a promotion really worth losing part of his soul? In the end, he stands up to the men using him and tells them where to get off.
The movie version starred Jack Lemmon, who was great for the part. In the musical, the role went to Jerry Orbach, who was then in his prime as a Broadway musical star. The other cast members in this production are all fine, but he's the one who really shines. His voice isn't potent and powerful, as it was in "Carnival", but instead takes on a lighter tone perfect for the fresher style of music in "Promises, Promises". His part is demanding: nine out of seventeen songs are sung wholly or in part by Chuck. The rest of the cast keeps pace with the lead, especially Edward Winter(J.D. Sheldrake), Marian Mercer(Marge MacDougall) and a young Donna McKechnie(Vivien Della Hoya). The female lead is performed by Jill O'Hara, whose strangely squeaky voice charmed at times, but seemed to fail her in a few spots. However, none of the songs was disappointing and her shakiness was rare enough to not be too grating.
Our favorite song was the signature tune "What Do You Get When You Fall In Love?", sung by Orbach and O'Hara.
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Format: Audio CD
What can you say about Burt Bacharach and Hal David other than they have been responsible for some of the most loved, most covered songs of the last forty years. In 1968 at the height of their powers they turned to the theater and wrote what has long been considered one of the best Broadway scores of the period.
Why it took so long for the Cast Recording to be released on CD is a mystery but it's been worth the wait because the sound quality really is a marked improvement over the LP. The score is first-rate from beginning to end. With songs like the title number, "I'll Never Fall In Love Again", and "Whoever You Are", you can't fail to be persuaded by Bacharach & David's great gifts. The show buzzes from overture to finale (and THAT overture, by the way, is one of the most exciting recorded). There's no hiding the period of the show, it's quintessentially a work of the sixties, tremendously orchestrated by Jonathan Tunick, and sung powerfully by the cast, in particular Jerry Orbach. But when all's said and done, it is the melodic quality, the rhythmic vitality, and the lyrical savvy of this work that makes it so irresistible. I warmly endorse the album. It's full of heart and hope - and not a little heartache too. Burt Bacharach surely is among the very best melodists America has produced, and with the passage of time this show's score seems more and more comfortable in the company of other masterpieces of the Broadway stage.
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It's really great to have this cast recording available again! And so appropriate, given the passing of Jerry Orbach, that one of his best performances can again be purchased.

When I think of the sounds of the 1960s, the Beatles and the Beach Boys come immediately to mind. BUT - the music of Bert Bacharach (often with the wonderfully honest and unsentimental lyrics of Hal David) is almost the "official" soundtrack for the period of the second half of that decade. Promises, Promises is a snapshot of that time, when corporate life was almost exclusively dominated by men, sexual liberation was coming on fast, and New York was (or thought it was) the cultural center of America. With this outstanding Broadway cast recording, you can't go wrong! Great to be able to stop playing my sadly worn vinyl LP!
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Format: Audio CD
The pop/mod sound of the 1960s perfected by the songwriting duo of Bacharach and David made it's way to the Broadway stage in 1968 with "Promises, Promises", a musical adaptation of Billy Wilder's 1961 Oscar winning film "The Apartment".

The plot is simple: It revolves around Chuck Baxter who lends out his apartment to various executives at Consolidated Life hoping for some kind of an advancement in return, the twist comes when Fran, the charming cafeteria hostess he's smitten with turns out to be the mistress of "THE BIG BOSS".

The Overture is one of the best composed for the stage, right up there with the overture from "Gypsy" in that it captures the mood and spirit of the entire show.

Jerry Orbach shines as "Chuck" and he tackles the signature Bacharach meter changes head on with his renditions of "Half as Big as Life", "She Likes Basketball" and "Promises, Promises". Orbach was awarded the Tony for Best Actor for his performance.

Jill O'Hara who made a splash as "Sheila" in the Original Off Broadway production of "Hair" the previous year hit the big time (and scored a Tony nomination) for her turn as "Fran Kubelik". Her voice is perfectly suited for the vulnerability and fragility of her character, especially in the show stopping number "Knowing When To Leave". "Whoever You Are, I Love You" and her duet with Orbach on "I'll Never Fall In Love Again" are also standouts.

"Turkey Lurkey Time" may be weak as far as lyrics go but no one can beat that infectious Bacharach beat that frames the entire song. It became one of the best remembered show stoppers of it's time thanks to the brilliant choreography of the late-great Michael Bennett. The number brought the house down EVERY TIME.
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