Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Jule Styne, Betty Comden, Adolph Green|
Bells Are Ringing (1956 Original Broadway Cast)
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
In 1956, Judy Holliday was at the peak of her fame--she had just won an Oscar for Born Yesterday, and her old buddies Comden and Green were about to write a Broadway show for her. Bells Are Ringing may not be among compose... more »
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In 1956, Judy Holliday was at the peak of her fame--she had just won an Oscar for Born Yesterday, and her old buddies Comden and Green were about to write a Broadway show for her. Bells Are Ringing may not be among composer Jule Styne's top-drawer scores, but the show benefits from Comden and Green's reliably zany book and lyrics (it's simply impossible not to crack up at songs like "Mu-Cha-Cha"), and Holliday is magnificent as phone operator Ella Peterson. The bonus tracks include Styne doing "Boogie Woogie Shoogie, Baby of Mine," which was cut from the show because the vocally challenged leading man, Sydney Chaplin, couldn't handle it. But even he can't ruin the show's biggest hit (the wonderful "Just in Time"), which brilliantly manages to be equally emotional and funny--the exact combination that made Holliday such a compelling star, come to think of it. --Elisabeth Vincentelli
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Judy Holiday shines in this light, attractive score
Mark Andrew Lawrence | Toronto | 04/07/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"To answer a question from another reviewer, yes BELLS ARE RINGING was the first original cast album that Columbia records taped in both stereo and mono. The mono release came first but in 1958 Columbia issued a stereo edition. (Note to collectors: The mono LP used different takes on some numbers. For example there was no crowd cheerng in Just in Time.) Columbia re-released the abum with a different more glamorous photo of Judy Holiday in 1960 to tie in with the release of the film. The album stayed in print right though the end of the Lp era in the late 1980s.
Thomas Shepard has done his usual masterful job restoring the old tapes and even adding some previously deleted dance music. The only slight drawback is in the final song, I'm going Back, a short section of the stereo tape was damaged. You will note that from 2:28 to 2:59 the sound switches to mono.
A nice touch is using the old Columbia records label on the Cd!
The show itself proved unreviavable a few years ago when the wonderful Faith Prince to a crack at it. She is perhaps the the performer closest in style to Judy Holiday, (though she s NOT a star of the same calbre of Holiday!) but the book is too dated now. It was a pretty simplistic book even in 1956! And while the score has its share of gems, it also has a few non-so-steller moments (Hello Hello There, Salzburg, The Midas Touch) and a leading man (Sydney Chaplin) whose unsteady singing voice ruins his songs.
The movie soundtrack (with Holiday again this time teamed with Dean Martin, recently reissued by DRG) drops five of the songs and adds two new ones and gives us lusher orchestrations.
Despite the best efforts of Faith Prince (and the fact this it is the most complete recording of the score) the 2001 Broadway revival cast is a curiously dull recording that just never sparkles the way this origianl 1956 cast album does."
Wonderful record of a great star performance.
Cowboy Buddha | Essex UK | 05/29/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Bells Are Ringing is a classic, old-fashioned Broadway show from the days when musicals were still called "musical comedies" - and rightly so. Written primarily as a vehicle for the brilliant Judy Holliday and intended as nothing more ambitious than an evening's entertainment with a lot of laughs and a few memorable songs. The show's creative pedigree is impeccable - book and lyrics by the dependably witty Comden and Green and music by the great Jule Styne. The collaboration produced standards such as "The Party's Over" and "Just In Time" in a score than can only be described as bright and breezy. As was the custom with Columbia Records in those days, the cast album was recorded on the Sunday after the show's opening, so the performances are as fresh as ever. And the modern re-mastering has served the originals well.Of course, Bells Are Ringing is first and foremost Judy Holliday's show and admirers of her tragically brief career will welcome this souvenir of her only Broadway musical. From the quiet heartbreak of "The Party's Over" to the belted-out showstopping "I'm Going Back" she is perfect with every word and note. Most of the rest of the cast is also good, although co-star Sydney Chaplin was hopefully a better actor than singer. And there is an unfortunate tendency to bring in the chorus when they are really not needed. But nothing gets in the way of Judy Holliday demonstrating the real meaning of star quality.As a kind of bonus, the CD includes a few of the show's songs being sung and played by Jule Styne. These tracks are interesting but unlikely to be listened to more than once or twice. Judy, on the other hand, should be enjoyed over and over again."
The faith prince recording and the judy holliday recording..
liz | usa | 08/07/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Although the new cast recording with Faith Prince helped me understand the show much better (its surprising how a song i listened to on this original album was suddenly seen in a much clearer light). This is all mostly because the new recording includes dialogue leading into it (with underscoring). I would have to disagree with anyone however, who said that Judy Holliday is mostly remembered for her acting and the comedy she brings to this role and not her singing. Her singing is beautiful and her emotions thorougly felt. "The Party's Over" is amazing and deserves far more credit as one of the best in the score. "I'm going back" is also done terrificly, her voice varies incredibly in just that one song. "Long Before I knew You" and "Just in time" are also terrific and whoever it is that plays Jeff does not lack at all in his vocals. He sings the songs so smoothly...they just flow right with him. There are also great ensemble numbers "It's a simple little system" , "Drop That name" and "the Midas touch" is sooo cute. I'd have to say that if you buy this CD and love it...or already know you loves this cd...buy the new broadway recording with Faith Prince for a new understanding of it. Although I dislike how Prince sings "The Party's Over" (With that song you have to go full out on the vocals..she speak-sang to much of it). But of course, many of the tracks on the new recording are wonderful (its lucky that many of the original arrangements were kept) and the song "Better Than a Dream" should be listened to..I just love it and i dont recall it being on the original. Anyways...I defiently reccomend this musical to listen to and for singers out there who are looking for new material "The Party's Over" is a wonderful song to perform!"