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The 1970s


So this week Erik and Ken look back at the 1970s and have named some of their favorite musicals from the decade. What do you think has made their respective lists? There are a lot of familiar titles in the mix, and some terrifically unexpected ones as well! 

To complement Erik's and Ken’s columns, I'd like to offer up the following two albums for your consideration: 

  • Mack and Mabel - Jerry Herman and Michael Stewart's revisitation to the era of silent films had a powerhouse cast and, in my mind, an utterly beguiling score. It had only a brief Broadway run, but the joys of Herman's music live on thanks to the original cast recording.
  • The Wiz - This retelling of The Wizard of Oz introduced a young Stephanie Mills to the world and a song that became a semi-hit "Ease on Down the Road." The subsequent movie version might have slight tarnished the musical's reputation, but I remain a big fan of the original cast recording. If you've not listened in a while, not might be a good time to throw it on your player.

Remember, if you need to add any of the recordings mentioned here and in the guys' blogs to your collection, you can find links to them in the carousels on the BwayTunes.com homepage. 

We've turned the clock back about fifty years this week on BwayTunes, and this week's Spotify playlist gleefully wanders through the musicals of the 1970s (both hits and flops), along the way you'll hear some of what I presume might be your faves from the decade and a few tunes that you're unfamiliar with. I'm sort of proud of this one.

Our free song download this week comes from Bulldozer: The Ballad of Robert Moses, a fascinating musical look at the life and career of a man who shaped much of the landscape of New York City. Heading up the cast (and prominently featured on the album) is Constantine Maroulis as the title character.

Take a look at the marvelously diverse array of new music that we've gotten for you, particularly:

  • Follies - Stephen Sondheim's ravishing score for this 1971 musical sounds pretty incredible on this new recording that preserves last year's highly acclaimed London revival cast (from the Royal National Theatre). It's a marvelous addition to the collection.
  • Songs for a New World - This Jason Robert Brown score gets showcased beautifully on a new album that features the cast that presented the show last summer as part of City's Center's Off-Center seriesWhat's great about this recording is that it comes on two CDs meaning it is longer than any previous release of this much-loved show.

In addition to these albums, you’ll want to check out these new releases, which can be found in the main carousel at the top of the home page and in the “New and Recommended” one at the bottom of the page.

  • Band Geeks: The Musical - You'll find some giddy merriment at work in this tuner that's finally come to disc. A romp through the world of high school marching bands, Band Geeks sets toes a-tappin' and mouths a-smilin' from start to finish.
  • The Dancing Years - A rare treat awaits listeners with this new, complete recording of Ivor Novello and Christopher Hassell's 1939 operetta about a man who's in love with two women. Swirling melodies and gorgeous vocals abound on this beautifully assembled studio cast album.
  • Brigadoon - Kelli O'Hara and Patrick Wilson are both in fine voice on this beautiful recording of Frederick Loewe and Alan Jay Lerner's classic musical. We're all very happy to have a recording of this Encores! presentation.
  • "Loser Geek Whatever" - In anticipation of the Broadway bow of Joe Iconis' Be More Chill, the producers have released this nifty EP featuring three different versions of one of the show's terrific tunes.
  • Broadway My Way - Heather Headley, Tony winner for Aida, reinterprets such classics as "Over the Rainbow," "Look to the Rainbow," and "Home" on this lush new recording.
  • The Greatest Showman Reimagined - P!nk, Kelly Clarkson, Sara Bareilles, and Kesha are just some of the artists featured on this album that brings you new versions of the songs from the hit movie that starred Hugh Jackman.
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Imogen Heap's Drama Desk Award winning score for the epic theatrical adventure featuring J.K. Rowling's renowned boy wizard has been marvelously transformed into four suites for this new recording. 
  • Will He Like Me? - Philip Chaffin lends his voice to over a dozen classic Broadway tunes and, in the process, creates a moving song cycle.

When you get the next newsletter, it'll be less than a week until Valentine's Day.

I figure that it would be a good time to talk about "love" and all of that, but I wanted Ken and Erik to have some fun too.

So....I have asked them to put together short lists of some of the most unusual love songs written for musicals. Not sure what they'll pick, but I do know I'm gonna be interested to see their final answers.

One show and a couple of songs that came to me while I was thinking about it is Grand Tour. Jerry Herman's score for this musical has several tunes that express love but in unconventional ways. If you don't know it, I heartily suggest a listen. AND, Grand Tour also fits in with this week's theme of 1970s musicals.

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