Search - Stephen Sondheim, Jim Walton, Lonny Price :: Merrily We Roll Along (1981 Original Broadway Cast)

Merrily We Roll Along (1981 Original Broadway Cast)
Stephen Sondheim, Jim Walton, Lonny Price
Merrily We Roll Along (1981 Original Broadway Cast)
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
A Classic Stephen Sondheim Musical Available Now at a New Low Price! Features bonus tracks, digitally remastered and new liner notes.


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CD Details

All Artists: Stephen Sondheim, Jim Walton, Lonny Price
Title: Merrily We Roll Along (1981 Original Broadway Cast)
Members Wishing: 7
Total Copies: 0
Label: RCA
Release Date: 3/20/2007
Album Type: Original recording remastered, Cast Recording
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
Styles: Musicals, Traditional Vocal Pop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 828766863727


Album Description
A Classic Stephen Sondheim Musical Available Now at a New Low Price! Features bonus tracks, digitally remastered and new liner notes.

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CD Reviews

Neglected and misunderstood
J. Tushinski | Southern California | 11/28/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I adored this recording when I first heard it on vinyl. OK, I admit, I'm a big Sondheim fan, but even so, I don't understand the criticism this show has received over the years. It's fresh, tuneful, and the story is audicious and, in the end, heartbreaking. I love the fact that the story is told backwards. The show works on CD (and thank goodness It's a Hit is finally included), but it wasn't until I saw a production of the show that I really fell in love with it. On stage, this show REALLY works. The cast in this recording is so good, especially Ann Morrison. Why isn't she a huge Broadway star?"
No Apologies Needed
Mark Andrew Lawrence | Toronto | 10/16/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I remember sitting in the Alvin theatre (now the Neil Simon) one Saturday night on October of 1981 watching a preview of the "new Sondheim-Prince musical" with very mixed emotions. Mixed because even though the show as a whole wasn't working, I thought then (and still think) that this was one terrific score! But others in the audience were clearly less impressed... they kept walking out all through the show. A few years later I interviewed Hal Prince and he kept apologizing for the show, sayiing it was his fault that it failed, that he was never able to get a good idea as to what the show shoudl look like, and that he felt he let Sondheim and Furth down.

Mr Prince can stop apologizing. True, the show as a whole did not work on stage. The sets were ugly, the costumes were tacky, and the cast was more "raw" than Broadway audiences are accustomed to paying top dollar for. (The cast, by the way, includede Jason Alexander, Jim Walton and Lonny Price - all of whom have gone on to bigger and better shows!) But many scenes were very touching and effective, and the score was an enjoyable change from the more operatic Sondheim shows that both preceeded and followed MERRILY. The backwards moving story was hard to follow at times, but the score.. those wonderful songs all cleverly interconnected... ranks among the best Broadway had to offer in the 1980s.

This original cast album was taped by RCA the day AFTER the show's 16th and final Broadway performance. Many RCA execs were "deeply troubled" that so much money was being wasted on a flop show. Today it is still amongst RCA's best-selling cast albums. So There!

One slight caution: RCA issued this originally as an audiophile Lp using 1/2 speed mastering. Every copy I bought had an annoying whistle in teh background all across side one. The whistle is gone on the CD but the sound is not as bright. The CD was one of the first released by RCA back in 1986, so maybe its time to be remastered. Maybe there is even more material recorded but no the dropped songs "Honey" and "The Blob!" But no complaints about what isn't on the disc..what IS here is all sublime.

NOTE: Sony/BMG is re-releasing this CD in a re-mastered edition containing some bonus tracks. If you are considering purchasing this title now, you might want to wait for the remastered version which (hopefully) will have better sound!"
One of Sondheim's most brilliant scores.
Austin Regan | Fargo, North Dakota, USA | 05/04/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Merrily We Roll Along is kind of an enigma. It opened in 1981 to mostly bad reviews, and closed only a few weeks later, despite the fact that the majority of audience members that actually SAW it really enjoyed it. Everyone blamed something -- the backwards plot was too confusing for the general public, the strange costumes didn't make any sense, or the book was weak. Nobody, however, blamed Stephen Sondheim's music. The score is passionate, melodic, jazzy at times, and very accessible. The show has gone through some major revisions, which can be heard on the other two recordings (1993 Leicester and 1994 Off-Broadway), but it is my opinion that the Original Broadway Cast is by far the best. The passion and exuberance of the youthful performers (and a stellar orchestra) gives this show the energy and LIFE it needs (something that is sorely lacking in the 94 recording), especially in songs like "Opening Doors". Also the song "Hills of Tomorrow", which was cut in the revisions, provides a brilliant framing device, one that makes the show complete, and makes this recording the best, narrowly beating out the Leicester."