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Ultimate Broadway

4.5 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 30, 1998
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Frequently Bought Together

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Editorial Reviews

The most comprehensive Broadway anthology ever created-40 show-stopping tunes spanning more than six decades! Includes songs from Oklahoma, Annie Get Your Gun, Hair, Camelot; Rent, A Chorus Line, My Fair Lady, South Pacific, West Side Story, Evita, Phantom of the Opera, Hello Dolly, Dreamgirls, Chicago and many more.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 30, 1998)
  • Original Release Date: June 30, 1998
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Masterworks Broadway
  • Run Time: 147 minutes
  • ASIN: B000007SNS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,687 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Over 50 years of Broadway magic comes blazing forth in this amazing comprehensive CD set. "Ultimate Broadway" lives up to its title, treating listeners to 40 of the most heart-stopping, thrilling, and sensational show-stoppers of the greatest shows the stage has ever seen.
Beginning with Alfred Drake's lusty "Oklahoma!," the show credited with revolutionizing the Broadway musical, we are taken along for a dazzling two-hour ride through Broadway history. There are the unforgettable classics: Ezio Pinza's magnificent baritone wrapping around "South Pacific"'s treasured "Some Enchanted Evening," and Gertrude Lawrence exuding charm with Yul Brynner over the musical question "Shall We Dance?" from "The King and I." There is Julie Andrews' soaring coloratura flying with "My Fair Lady"'s "I Could Have Danced All Night." The ethereal beauty of "West Side Story"'s "Maria" and "Tonight." Robert Preston crashing his way through "Seventy-Six Trombones" from his star-making performance in "The Music Man." The queen of the Broadway musical, Ethel Merman, turning into a paramount with "Gypsy"'s "Everything's Coming Up Roses." Mary Martin's plaintive paean to the most beautiful sound in all the world, "The Sound of Music." Robert Goulet shows why he will always be the penultimate performer of the love ballad "If Ever I Would Leave You" from "Camelot." And Carol Channing's unforgettable swagger into the Harmonia Gardens to the tune of "Hello, Dolly." The irrepresible Zero Mostel winking his way through "Fiddler On the Roof"'s "If I Were a Rich Man."
And that's just the first side.
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Format: Audio CD
The idea of a "BWAY Hits" album is not new, but this one wants to be the best. The song selection is based on those songs that went on to achieve billboard popularity. But that doesn't mean the songs are particularly well-chosen, and anyone with more than a passing interest will question the selections. Is it right to choose "Oklahoma" over "People Will Say We're In Love," "Everything's Coming Up Roses" over "Some People," "People" over "Don't Rain on My Parade," "If I Were a Rich Man" over "Sunrise, Sunset?" You decide. It's terribly subjective. What I can't understand is why some alternate recordings were chosen over their cast recording equivalents. Why is "The Party's Over" taken from the movie soundtrack? Same for Liza's recording of "Cabaret." And the "No Business Like Show Business" recording is taken from the inferior 1966 Lincoln Center revival, even though the CD tries to maintain chronologic sequence--and again, Merman's great songs were overlooked. What about "I Got Lost In His Arms," or the magnificent "Anything You Can Do" duet? (And if you're going to include revivals, where are the "Anything Goes" revivals, or even the wonderful 1992 "Guys and Dolls" revival?) Even more inexplicable are the Judy Collins version of "Send in the Clowns" instead of Glynis John's sublime cast recording, and--most baffling of all--Aretha Frankling doing a live concert recording of "I Dreamed a Dream." Randy Graff and Patti LuPone aren't good enough? I wonder if Glenn Close was slighted intentionally, since Elaine Paige appears for Sunset Boulevard. And why were certain shows slighted completely?Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
A 2-disc set worthy of its "ultimate" title, this compilation pleases casual and serious musical fans alike. It's a great introduction to over 50 years of Broadway hits, and it captures the spirit and change of American musical theater through the twentieth century - from Rodgers and Hammerstein's pioneering "Oklahoma!" to Jonathan Larsen's ground-breaking "Rent," and every hit in between. This collection not only allows you to sample the great shows and songs but also the premiere recordings. Featured artists include Carol Channing, Ethel Merman, Mary Martin, Julie Andrews, Chita Rivera, and Elaine Paige among many other brilliant stars. Most tracks come from the original Broadway cast recordings, with some surprises. Aretha Franklin has a smoky, and stunning, rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream" from "Les Miserables."
There are too many notable performances to list them all, but among the standouts are: "Oklahoma" - Alfred Drake, "There's No Business Like Show Business" - Ethel Merman, "Some Enchanted Evening" - Ezio Pinza, "Shall We Dance," - Gertrude Lawrence and Yul Brynner, "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face" - Rex Harrison, "Tonight" - original cast of "West Side Story," "Seventy Six Trombones" - Robert Preston, "Camelot" - Richard Burton, "If I Were a Rich Man" - Zero Mostel, "The Impossible Dream" - Richard Kiley, "All That Jazz" - Chita Rivera, "Tomorrow" - Andrea McArdle, "Memory" - Elaine Paige, "Music of the Night" - Michael Crawford, and "Rent" - original cast.
This is a solid compilation album that won't disappoint with its breadth of talent, variety, and style.
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