Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Follies (Highlights from the 1987 London Revival Cast)
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
A Brilliant Cast Recording - with some minor exceptions
Mr. David A. Nielsen | Sydney, NSW, Australia | 08/07/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This was the first cast recording of "Follies" I ever heard and I have to say I still find it definitive in many ways - even though I have since heard and seen superior-on-paper versions.
Diana Rigg is definitive as Phyllis, giving renditions of "Country House" (in its musical debut) and "Could I Leave You" that are simply unstoppable and which easily decimate the competition. In fact whenever Rigg appears on this cast recording her unique vocal qualities can't help but make her stand out from the rest of the cast. This is unquestionably her finest stage performance and her power and passion are perfectly preserved on this recording.
Julia McKenzie is a gentle, passionate ball of fire as Sally, giving an enthusiastic, emotional performance. Her rendition of "Don't Look at Me" will never be outdone to my mind - though admitedly her rendition of "Losing My Mind" has been improved upon by other artists.
"Too Many Mornings" is excellent - thanks to the extraordinairy vocal power of McKenzie and her co-star Daniel Massey (Ben). Massey has a unique tenor that I will always associate with the role of Ben. He simply owns the song "Waiting For the Girls Upstairs" - a song which has never been done better than it has on this cast recording.
Buddy is unfortunately quite forgettable on this recording, simply by virtue of the fact that he does not possess a defineable unique quality as with the other principle cast members. That said, he does not give a bad performance - he's just outdone by his co-stars.
Maria Charles defines the role of Solange La Fitte with an "Ah! Paree" that defies belief! Simply hilarious and oh so very very "French"!!! Margaret Courtenay gives a passable rendition of "Broadway Baby" and the same must be said of Dolores Gray's rendition of "I'm Still Here". But then both are dealing with songs that have been defined by other actresses of no small importance.
"I'm Still Here" will always belong to Yvonne DeCarlo and "Broadway Baby" will always belong to Elizabeth Shutta and Elaine Stritch. It's only a shame that (Gray's eventual replacement) Eartha Kitt's rendition of "I'm Still Here" was not recorded here instead.
Small complaint: "Rain on the Roof", "Ah! Paree" and "Broadway Baby" are all on the same track, making it hard to navigate through the songs, especially if you just want to hear one of them.
Much has been made of the fact that "Follies" has three versions. The Original Broadway version has now been dubbed the best with the passage of time, with the two more upbeat re-writes, the 1987 London cast and the 2001 Broadway revival, being dubbed inferior by comparison.
I disagree whole-heartedly. This cast recording is infectious good fun and features some of the most enthusiastic performances ever captured on CD. Though it is certainly not lacking in faults, it more than makes up for it with the astounding performances of the four principle cast members. More over while it is only a "Highlights" cast recording, it does feature the principle songs and is far more complete than the tragically abridged Original Broadway cast recording.
The alterations made for the London incarnation of "Follies" do change the dynamic of the show, but they do not damage it's integrity. A must for any fan of "Follies", Stephen Sondheim - whose work is done supreme justice here, Diana Rigg or Julia McKenzie."