Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Richard Hill, John Hawkins, Neville Coghill|
Canterbury Tales (1969 Original Broadway Cast)
Genres: Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
It Depends On What You're At
steve lowenthal | NYC | 06/18/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"If you don't like rock in musicals, "Canterbury Tales" won't change your mind. I'm surprised that Gene deSantis gives it a generous three stars, and I can't disagree with his review, but...oh dear, I must suggest that on a certain level "Canterbury Tales" contains moments of cheap fun, depending on one's disposition.
Not that the terrible lyrics (a disturbingly common trait in British musical comedy) help matters, nor do the out-of-tune brass on the recording;
and we can only bear with such irrelevant 'numbers' as "Where Are The Girls of Yesterday?" or "Beer Is Best".
Listening to "Canterbury Tales" CAN be, at times, rather like overhearing a group of drunken 20-somethings having a hilarious time after a hard day at the office.
BUT...the rock musical is far from dead - in fact, it's gone serious, portentous...DEEP,God help us; throw in overwordy, melodically foursquare and derivative. I'm thinking of, for example, "Miss Saigon", "Jekyll and Hyde" and some other Touching, Singable and bankrupt contraptions that pass for theater scores these days. You've heard all of Frank Wildhorn's moves somewhere else; he's a tune-cobbler. The same can often be said of Andrew Lloyd Webber. I say enough already with the power ballads (am unable to discuss "Rent" or "Spring Awakening", not having heard them in their entirety - greetings from planet Neptune).
Having seen and digested "Canterbury Tales' before I was old enough to know better, I can report that if I play the music to "What Do Women Want?" on the piano at my workplace, someone is bound to ask me what that melody was. There are a few other such catchy,even lilting moments in the, uh, score. Think "Love Is Blue" - there was a brief period in the 1960's when the trend was madrigal-rock, which I think I prefer over Pachelbel's Canon-rock (this may be the result of too much time spent on the phone waiting for 'the next available representative')...
First-time listeners may or may not recognize that George Rose's goofy calypso,"If She Has Never Loved Before" stopped the show on Broadway (it ran about four months; and if memory serves,I believe Sandy Duncan won the Tony,or at least was nominated - we don't hear enough of her). And the very sound of Hermione Baddeley shouting her songs is funny.
Kill me for saying so, but I'd rather listen to a "Canterbury Tales" than to a "Les Miserables", which is pretty good For What It Is, but musically predictable and HEAVY. Neither of the above scores measures up to Galt MacDermott's music for "Hair" nor to Pete Townshend's "Tommy".
So, from a crass showbiz perspective, "Canterbury Tales" gets another generous three stars - the glass partly filled.