"Arriving in the spring of 1975, "The Wiz" ( a "soulful" take on "The Wizard Of Oz") was not an immediate hit. After an strong marketing campaign and a Tony for Best Musical, "The Wiz" enjoyed a long stay on Broadway.
Stephanie Mills (who lated scored a pop hit w/ "Never Knew Love Like This Before") shines as Dorothy. Hinton Battle and Ted Ross are also terrific as the Scarecrow and Lion, respectively.
Best Tracks include:
Tornado (a disco-flavored instrumental) I Was Born On The Day Before Yesterday Ease On Down The Road (the show's primary hit) I'm A Mean Ole Lion Home
The Wiz: A reflection of African-American music
Penny Woods | Chapel Hill, North Carolina United States | 05/07/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After looking at several reviews at amazon.com and the IMDB about people despising the movie version of "The Wiz" for not remaining true to its source material, I decided to get the original script and soundtrack for the musical on Broadway. This soundtrack does not disapoint; in fact I feel it is superior to the movie's two-disc soundtrack with its original songs and it's extended versions of certain songs such as "Everybody Rejoice." While the music may be dated somewhat (for example, the disco-sounding "Tornado," one of the CD's best songs), it should be noted that virtually every musical based on "The Wizard of Oz" in someway reflects the culture that it was released around (for example, the slow 1930's ballads and the omitted "Jitterbug" of the 1939 MGM version and the Broadway sound of "Wicked"). "The Wiz" clearly reflects the music of African-Americans, especially during the 1970s. Songs like "He's the Wizard" are nods to early jazz; others like "Don't Nobody Bring Me No Bad News" reflect gospel; and several songs such as "The Feeling We Once Had," "What Would I Do If I Could Feel" and "Home" are based upon R&B ballads of the 1960s and 70s. The one disappointing fact about this soundtrack is that several songs such as "Lion's Dream," "Emerald City Ballet" and "Funky Monkey" have been omitted from this soundtrack, and it would be nice to see this album remastered to include those songs, but I strongly doubt Atlantic will remaster this album in the near future."
Still LOVE IT after 24 years!
Penny Woods | 12/09/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My favorite album when I was a kid. I never got tired of listening to this. Stephanie Mills does a much better job of a modern Dorothy than Diana Ross could dream of. Although I never saw the stage production, the songs put the story together so very well that I felt almost like I was listening to the smoothest audio-book ever recorded. I am buying it this X-mas to share with my nine year old daughter who is a big fan of the OZ book series. I know that she we'll be sharing this for years to come (if she can pry it away from me!)."
andrewjack | Ohio | 12/31/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is absolutely wonderful. The songs are a mix of gospel, disco, wonderful piano anthems, and so much more. The cast is superb, led by a delightful Stephanie Mills as Dorothy who shows so much musical maturity in her performances.
Compared to the motion picture soundtrack, this is a collection of mostly mellow, laidback tunes with a lot of heart and even more soul. It does however, have its fun moments. The tornado is one such example, providing glimpses back into the prospering 70s disco scene. Any song by Andre de Shields, as the Wiz, is guaranteed to make you shake your groove thing, and the character roles (Scarecrow, Tinman, Lion) are filled with fine performances from Hinton Battle, Tiger Haynes, and Ted Ross, respectively.
Standouts include: all of Stephanie Mills's features; she puts so much feeling into her songs, Mabel King's anthem to No Bad News, Dorothy and the Lion's duet, Be a Lion, the funky Ease on Down the Road, and the unforgettable finale. At only 12 or 13, Stephanie Mills accomplished so much with her performance in The Wiz.
This is an excellent CD, and while missing a few songs, stays true to the original Broadway play. If rumors are to be believed, then a revival may be on its way. I only hope it can live up to this musical masterpiece."
andrewjack | 02/09/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had the pleasure of seeing "The Wiz" performed by Stephanie Mills on stage. She was excellent. Soon after that, I bought the sound track. The script was excellent, the actors and actresses were excellent, and the music was great."