Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Andrew Lloyd Webber|
Highlights from Cats
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
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The Cat's Meow
dracadarkwingette | 06/02/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sorry for the corny title review. Moving on._Wow_. I can't believe this CD got mostly negative reviews, especially after what I went through to find it. Years ago a friend of mine bought this CD and then copied it on a cassette tape for me. I had never seen "Cats" or heard any music from it (besides "Memory", which everyone in Western civilization has heard), so this soundtrack tape copy was my first exposure to the music.And I, personally, loved it. I loved it so much and listened to it so often I wore out the tape. And trying to find this version again drove me nuts; I thought what I was looking for was selections from the original London recording -- but that was not the case, as I found out. I finally found this CD and was thrilled; I'm listening to it right now, and it's every bit as wonderful as I remember.I haven't heard the London version, apparently, but I have heard the Original Broadway recording. I have two huge pet peeves with the Broadway version of the CD, and the first is their slaughtering of the prologue "Jellicle Songs For Jellicle Cats". I _hate_ the Broadway version of it; I hate it, I hate it, I hate it. The singers on the Broadway often seem to be unable to reach all the notes, and they have a tendency to clip words. It in no ways measures up to the "Jellicle" Song on this highlight CD. Really. The version on this CD, of the original London version, is sung by actors and actresses with British accents who actually HIT all their notes. It has a mysterious, almost otherworldly feel to it; it sounds like something cats could actually be singing. My other complaint is the Broadway version of "Mungojerrie And Rumpleteazer", which I also don't care for. It is a cute tune (it's the one on the video/DVD recording of "Cats"), but it in no way measures up to the neat, slinky-sounding melody on this selection. Sung by an actor and actress in full Cockney accent, it sounds sneaky and cocky and exactly how I picture Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer. MUCH neater tune.The other songs are great, too. "The Rum Tum Tugger" lacks the jazzy sounds of the Broadway but makes up for it in the cocky British feeling. "Grizabella: The Glamour Cat" is haunting, and "Gus: The Theatre Cat" is bittersweet and heartwarming at the same time. "Macavity: The Mystery Cat" was my favorite song for years, with a delightful sneaky sound that makes chills go up my spine every time I hear it. And "Memory" comes off sweet and sad and beautiful, everything it's supposed to be, Elaine Paige or no.So, this is without a doubt my favorite version of "Cats". I do have the Original Broadway in full, which is nice if I want to hear ALL the music . . . but this version has all my favorite songs, and for me sounds the best. Get this for the version of "Jellicle Cats" alone if you can; it's mysterious and beautiful and quite feline. Enjoy. :)"
Is this even legal?
Mystitat | 08/02/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"You know, just from looking at the packaging after having bought this cd, I dont' think this recording is even licensed by The Really Useful Group (Andrew Lloyd Webber's production company which owns all the rights to Cats). RUG is mentioned NOWHERE on the packaging, as I'm pretty sure a legitimate recording would.
The only reason I bought this is because I'm really into obscure Cats recordings (especially from different countries), but I'm really sorry I spent money on this. It really sounds like some off-brand company just said, "Hey, let's make a recording of Cats selections! We'll just get a copy of the sheet music from the original London production, get ten or so decent singers, and a seven piece band! It'll sound just like a real cast recording!" Well, it doesn't. Most songs (especially "The Rum Tum Tugger" and "The Addressing of Cats") have none of the gusto that they would have on a real cast recording. And it really sounds like they're going off of the original London production (1981), even though this was recorded in 1996. There are verses inluded in the Prologue and Addressing that you won't find in any modern production.
One small plus, but not enough to redeem this cd: "Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer" is sung to the original, more jazzy tune that ALW wrote for the poem (he later rewrote the song before it opened on Broadway). The only reason I'm glad it was on here like that is because while I've heard the music for this jazzy version, I've never been able to see how the words would fit to it. And now that I've heard it, I can see why he rewrote it! It just sounds like they're talking in a fast rhythm, and most certainly not singing!
In short, don't waste your money on this pathetic excuse for a Cats recording."
Meredith Ra | unfortunately, not Abydos, but Ulysses, PA, | 04/10/2001
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This cd just doesn't live up to the movie or the original cast recordings. My mom bought it for me awhile ago after I watched the movie, and I was extrememly dissapointed. Bombalurina and Demeter did okay on 'Mcavity' but Rum Tum Tugger and Grizabella's parts were absolutely slaughtered. Also, on 'Old Deuteronomy', they got the words wrong. Whoever played the music did a poor job, also. I don't mean to be a dark cloud or anything, but, man, this cd could definitely be better. Let me suggest that if you want the music, buy either of the original cast recordings, or the movie."