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Smokey Joe's Cafe: The Songs Of Leiber And Stoller (1995 Original Broadway Cast) Cast Recording

4.8 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Cast Recording, May 30, 1995
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

21 songs

Amazon.com

As good as Pomus and Gordy were, they can't compare with the premier rock & roll songwriters of the pre-Beatles era: Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller, Chuck Berry, and Percy Mayfield. The team of Leiber (the lyricist) and Stoller (the composer) created such enduring standards as "Kansas City," "Hound Dog," "Stand By Me," "Spanish Harlem," "Jailhouse Rock," and many more. Those songs and 33 more were assembled into a bookless Broadway musical called Smokey Joe's Cafe, which was nominated for eight Tony Awards. If this soundtrack album is any indication, the show was an abomination, an act of self-betrayal by Leiber and Stoller, who not only participated in putting the show together but also co-produced the album with Arif Mardin. Instead of remaining true to the songs' rock & roll roots, the soundtrack producers have allowed the obscure stage performers to commit Broadway's worst sins: excessive earnestness, undernourished rhythms, and bombastic over-singing. Everyone in the cast has a good singing voice, but no one has a distinctive musical personality. Michael Park's Presley parody on "Jailhouse Rock," B.J. Crosby's confusion of vocal power for vocal attitude on "Hound Dog," and Victor Trent Cook's syrupy version of "I (Who Have Nothing)" prove Broadway chorus dancers are no substitute for real rock & roll singers. --Geoffrey Himes

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Act 1. Neighborhood
  2. Act 1. Young Blood
  3. Act 1. Falling
  4. Act 1. Ruby Baby
  5. Act 1. Dance With Me
  6. Act 1. Neighborhood (Reprise)
  7. Act 1. Keep On Rollin'
  8. Act 1. Searchin'
  9. Act 1. Kansas City
  10. Act 1. Trouble
  11. Act 1. Love Me / Don't
  12. Act 1. Fools Fall in Love
  13. Act 1. Poison Ivy
  14. Act 1. Don Juan
  15. Act 1. Shoppin' For Clothes
  16. Act 1. I Keep Forgettin'
  17. Act 1. On Broadway
  18. Act 1. D.W. Washburn
  19. Act 1. Saved

Disc: 2

  1. Act 2. Baby, That is Rock & Roll
  2. Act 2. Yakety Yak
  3. Act 2. Charlie Brown
  4. Act 2. Stay A While
  5. Act 2. Pearl's A Singer
  6. Act 2. Teach Me How to Shimmy
  7. Act 2. You're The Boss
  8. Act 2. Loving You
  9. Act 2. Treat Me Nice
  10. Act 2. Hound Dog
  11. Act 2. Little Egypt
  12. Act 2. I'm A Woman
  13. Act 2. There Goes My Baby
  14. Act 2. Love Potion #9
  15. Act 2. Some Cats Know
  16. Act 2. Jailhouse Rock
  17. Fools Fall In Love
  18. Spanish Harlem
  19. I (Who Have Nothing)
  20. Act 2. Neighborhood (Reprise #2)
  21. Stand By Me
  22. Smokey Joe's Café, musical revue: Act 2. Stay A While - Original Broadway Cast
  23. Smokey Joe's Café, musical revue: Act 2. Pearl's A Singer - Original Broadway Cast
  24. Smokey Joe's Café, musical revue: Act 2. Teach Me How to Shimmy - Original Broadway Cast
  25. Smokey Joe's Café, musical revue: Act 2. You're The Boss - Original Broadway Cast
  26. Smokey Joe's Café, musical revue: Act 2. Loving You - Original Broadway Cast
  27. Smokey Joe's Café, musical revue: Act 2. Treat Me Nice - Original Broadway Cast
  28. Spanish Harlem, song - Original Broadway Cast
  29. Smokey Joe's Café, musical revue: Act 2. I (Who Have Nothing) - Original Broadway Cast
  30. Smokey Joe's Café, musical revue: Act 2. Neighborhood (Reprise #2) - Original Broadway Cast
  31. Smokey Joe's Café, musical revue: Act 2. Stand By Me - Original Broadway Cast
  32. Smokey Joe's Café, musical revue: Act 2. Some Cats Know - Original Broadway Cast
  33. Smokey Joe's Café, musical revue: Act 2. Jailhouse Rock - Original Broadway Cast
  34. Smokey Joe's Café, musical revue: Act 2. Fools Fall In Love (Reprise) - Original Broadway Cast
  35. Neighborhood (reprise 2)


Product Details

  • Performer: B.J. Crosby, Victor Trent Cook, Frederick B. Owens, Ken Ard, Adrian Bailey, et al.
  • Conductor: Louis St. Louis
  • Composer: Jerry Leiber, Jerry / Spector, Phil Lieber
  • Audio CD (May 30, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Cast Recording
  • Label: Atlantic
  • ASIN: B000002J4V
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,910 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Was AMAZED at the Hines "official" review. I disagree vehemently. (His initial statement seems to indicate that he did NOT see the show ... Major Bummer for Mr. Hines, I'd say.)
Saw the show in NYC in December, 1996 -- bought the CD in the theatre lobby on my way out, as I KNEW I had to own it. It's worn from use (by myself and by my 22 year old daughter).
Yes, I own the original versions of many of the songs ... have a big collection which includes many CD's, tapes, and LP's (Yes, I'm THAT old...) of the Drifters, Coasters, and Ben E. King. I have loved all these songs since dancing to them at my high school sock-hops 30+ years back. Classics. What's not to like?
I see no reason to make a comparison between the original artists' renditions, and the versions found on this album. I frankly find it absurd to judge artistic works (or various interpretations of the same works) as if they were in competition with one another.
I receive just as much enjoyment from listening to the songs on "Smokey Joe's Cafe" as I do listening to the original artists' renditions. And this CD offers a compilation and variety that is hard to resist.
I recommend this HEARTILY, whether or not you ever see the show.
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Format: Audio CD
The combination of Leiber and Stoller is amazing. Together they created some of the best known hits of the 50s and 60s. Who could forget "Jailhouse Rock"? Along with "Jailhouse Rock" many other songs grace the stage in Smokey Joe's Cafe. Get this CD. It is one of the best Broadway musicals I have seen. The talent displayed by this cast is unparalled... even better than the original recording in some cases! I highly recommend this to ANYONE. Heck, I've been listening to it for 5 years... and I'm only 20!
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Format: Audio CD
I first heard the CD about 4 years ago and listened to it countless times. Then the road tour came to Olympia, WA, and I went to see it. What a pleasure it was to see it, the singers have great voices and just bring the music alive, making it enjoyable. I particularly enjoyed "Little Egypt", and "I'm a Woman..." I recommend this CD to anyone who loves listening to the good times of the 50s and 60s and anyone who has to the chance to see the performance, go and see it! You won't regret it :)
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Format: Audio CD
No other Broadway Cast Recording has ever contained the rich and potent performances you'll find when listening to "Smokey Joe's Café". There's no need to go see the show... the album satisfies more than enough for even the most skeptical of listeners. Pattie Darcy Jones sings with one of the most weathered and emotional voices I ever heard, never mind just in theater. The entire company performs successfully together and wails individually as soloists! If I could recommend you buy one album in your lifetime, it should be this one. The cast of "Smokey Joe's Café" captures a piece of Americana long forgotten with every note they sing. Buy it!
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Format: Audio CD
Everything everyone says is true! This is a GREAT CD!You'll want to get two copies.You can't listen to it and not dance!This is one cd that you won't have to skip over tracks to get to the next "good" song.You'll listen to it all the way through. Press the REPEAT button on your cd player!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Leiber & Stoller provided much of the soundtrack of American kids growing up in the Fifties in particular. This revue shows the remarkable range and virtuosity, as well as talent, of these songwriters, who could do ballads and humor as deftly and memorably as classic, canonical rock & roll. This CD is a gem.
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Format: Audio CD
There was no book for the show. The songs, and their delivery by the cast is everything. And they deliver. The four guys who serve as a blues quartet harmonize like they've were singing together since high school. B. J. Crosby's "Hound Dog" doesn't just deliver power; there is plenty of attitude as well. The biggest problem is that some of it is delivered visually on stage and the soundtrack can't capture all of it.
My biggest problem is limiting myself to a top 10 of the 38 songs.
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Format: Audio CD
One of the key ingredients in the British Invasion was the songs of Leiber/Stoller.
What they were about was to bring together black and white rather than masters of melody in the Lennon/McCartney sense.Collaborating with others at times or even rewriting other people's songs (eg Kent Harris' Clothes Line which became the Coasters' Shoppin' for Clothes)their earliest known songs were for black singers like Jimmy Witherspoon,the Robins and Charles Brown from 1951 but the first mainstream hit was for a mixed white group the Cheers in 1954-the song Black Motorcycle Boots and Denim Trousers was covered in France by Edith Piaf-while the Robins became the Coasters which would mean that both groups were regarded as the same when the albums and CDs began so Smokey Joes Cafe is on all Coasters collections.By 1957 they had begun a series of hit singles from Searchin' onwards.
In the U K info came through in dribs and drabs such as the fact that Elvis had charted high with Hound Dog but no one knew the song had been made earlier by Big Mama Thornton a song which was heard in Las Vegas by Elvis when he saw Freddie Bell & the Bellboys who were possibly the first to cover it.You began to realise that it was more suitable for a woman but Leiber /Stoller's songs were in the main larger than life as they dispensed with the idea of the blues being risque.Analyse the lyrics close enough and you can see that the idea was to inject comedy like the songs were an audio version of Amos n Andy
In todays world though the PC brigade would read horrible things into the lyrics same as they've done with Nursery Rhymes.
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