Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Burt Bacharach, Hal David, Jerry Orbach|
Promises, Promises (1968 Original Broadway Cast)
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
In the late '90s, Burt Bacharach--thanks to a boxed set, new collaborations, and numerous reissues--just keeps popping up. And for good reason: his music is nostalgic, filled with great melodies, and instantly recognizable... more »
In the late '90s, Burt Bacharach--thanks to a boxed set, new collaborations, and numerous reissues--just keeps popping up. And for good reason: his music is nostalgic, filled with great melodies, and instantly recognizable. For many, he's the essence of pop. Promises, Promises, the composer's 1968 Broadway collaboration with lyricist Hal David, is based on the 1960 Billy Wilder film, The Apartment, written by Neil Simon. Jerry Orbach's performance as Chuck Baxter is powerful (it also won him a Tony Award), and though some of the music in Promises, Promises is dated, it's simply infectious. As Fran Kubelik, Jill O'Hara (Hair) performs reflective numbers such as "Whoever You Are" and "I'll Never Fall in Love Again." Bacharach's title theme (a hit for Dionne Warwick) sounds better than ever here--both performed instrumentally and sung by Orbach. At 45 minutes, it's a short listen, but for fans of Bacharach or Broadway, it's highly recommended. --Jason Verlinde
No Wonder Jerry Got A Tony Award
Dumb Ox | Manassas, VA United States | 05/25/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This light musical rendition of the successful play "The Apartment" is delightful, chock full of tunes crafted by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Though written in the sixties, the songs still have a fresh flavor and enjoyable feel that remain timeless. The story itself may seem a bit quaint by today's standards: a young and rising executive-wannabe named Chuck Baxter tries to curry favor with his higher-ups by letting them borrow his apartment for their romantic trysts. His conscience finally gets to him and he realizes what kind of creep he's becoming; is a promotion really worth losing part of his soul? In the end, he stands up to the men using him and tells them where to get off.
The movie version starred Jack Lemmon, who was great for the part. In the musical, the role went to Jerry Orbach, who was then in his prime as a Broadway musical star. The other cast members in this production are all fine, but he's the one who really shines. His voice isn't potent and powerful, as it was in "Carnival", but instead takes on a lighter tone perfect for the fresher style of music in "Promises, Promises". His part is demanding: nine out of seventeen songs are sung wholly or in part by Chuck. The rest of the cast keeps pace with the lead, especially Edward Winter(J.D. Sheldrake), Marian Mercer(Marge MacDougall) and a young Donna McKechnie(Vivien Della Hoya). The female lead is performed by Jill O'Hara, whose strangely squeaky voice charmed at times, but seemed to fail her in a few spots. However, none of the songs was disappointing and her shakiness was rare enough to not be too grating.
Our favorite song was the signature tune "What Do You Get When You Fall In Love?", sung by Orbach and O'Hara. Most people are familiar with Dionne Warwick's version, which is nice, but this one is way better. Jerry and Jill play off each other well, but his vocal inflection and harmonizing are unreal. It's no wonder he received a Tony award for his part in "Promises, Promises". There have been rumors that a better rendition of this CD is in the works. We really hope so, and that it's back in print for more people to discover and enjoy. This is a fine example of American musical theater, and a treasure for fans of Jerry Orbach."
Head and shoulders above the rest...
Dumb Ox | 12/28/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What can you say about Burt Bacharach and Hal David other than they have been responsible for some of the most loved, most covered songs of the last forty years. In 1968 at the height of their powers they turned to the theater and wrote what has long been considered one of the best Broadway scores of the period.Why it took so long for the Cast Recording to be released on CD is a mystery but it's been worth the wait because the sound quality really is a marked improvement over the LP. The score is first-rate from beginning to end. With songs like the title number, "I'll Never Fall In Love Again", and "Whoever You Are", you can't fail to be persuaded by Bacharach & David's great gifts. The show buzzes from overture to finale (and THAT overture, by the way, is one of the most exciting recorded). There's no hiding the period of the show, it's quintessentially a work of the sixties, tremendously orchestrated by Jonathan Tunick, and sung powerfully by the cast, in particular Jerry Orbach. But when all's said and done, it is the melodic quality, the rhythmic vitality, and the lyrical savvy of this work that makes it so irresistible. I warmly endorse the album. It's full of heart and hope - and not a little heartache too. Burt Bacharach surely is among the very best melodists America has produced, and with the passage of time this show's score seems more and more comfortable in the company of other masterpieces of the Broadway stage."
Great '60s sound!
Billcat | NJ United States | 09/23/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's really great to have this cast recording available again! And so appropriate, given the passing of Jerry Orbach, that one of his best performances can again be purchased.
When I think of the sounds of the 1960s, the Beatles and the Beach Boys come immediately to mind. BUT - the music of Bert Bacharach (often with the wonderfully honest and unsentimental lyrics of Hal David) is almost the "official" soundtrack for the period of the second half of that decade. Promises, Promises is a snapshot of that time, when corporate life was almost exclusively dominated by men, sexual liberation was coming on fast, and New York was (or thought it was) the cultural center of America. With this outstanding Broadway cast recording, you can't go wrong! Great to be able to stop playing my sadly worn vinyl LP!"