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Fame the Musical (1999 Original American Cast Recording)
Steve Margoshes, Jacques Levy
Fame the Musical (1999 Original American Cast Recording)
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
  •  Track Listings (18) - Disc #1

First things first: You won't find "Out Here on My Own" or "Hot Lunch Jam" in Fame: The Musical. Unlike the Broadway version of its early-'80s counterpart, Footloose, this not-yet-ready-for-Broadway production doesn't migr...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Steve Margoshes, Jacques Levy
Title: Fame the Musical (1999 Original American Cast Recording)
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 1
Label: Drg
Original Release Date: 3/23/1999
Release Date: 3/23/1999
Album Type: Cast Recording
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
Style: Musicals
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 021471901023

First things first: You won't find "Out Here on My Own" or "Hot Lunch Jam" in Fame: The Musical. Unlike the Broadway version of its early-'80s counterpart, Footloose, this not-yet-ready-for-Broadway production doesn't migrate the movie (or its music) to the stage but merely uses the same subject matter as did the film and subsequent TV series--the dance, drama, and music students at New York City's High School of Performing Arts. In fact, the story is set in 1980-1984, right after the film's release, and one of the teachers laments, "We're the Fame school now. Ever since that movie came out." To help establish that distinction, Fame: The Musical has an almost entirely new set of songs by Steve Margoshes and Jacques Levy, though rest assured that you will at least get the title tune--twice, with a Latin groove. Reflecting the various backgrounds of its ensemble cast, the score offers samples of rap ("Tyrone's Rap"), soft-rock balladry ("Let's Play a Love Scene"), and gospel ("Mabel's Prayer")--all pleasant and serviceable, but unlikely to grab you the way Michael Gore and Dean Pitchford's movie soundtrack did (The story also only hints at the seedy underside of inner-city New York explored in the film.) As graduation nears, one character talks excitedly of the feeling of electricity coursing through her, but no, she doesn't break into "I Sing the Body Electric." That would be a little too much to hope for. --David Horiuchi

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CD Reviews

Pretty decent CD! Some good singers, and some not so good
Robert Lopez | California | 07/08/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This Cd is pretty good, but I do need to compare it to the Original London Cast Recording (which is hard to find.) The new Cd certainly has its high points but it also has many weak spots, namely the vocals of the character Carmen (Natasha Rennalls)and Tyrone (Dwayne Chattman). Just for the record, I saw Natasha Rennalls (now Natasha Neary) play the part of Carmen in Los Angeles. She was PHENOMENAL. But this recording does not do her justice. The vocal director has her sing it too bubble gum pop. When I saw her live she didn't sing like that. Also, her dancing was AMAZING, and her stage presence was very commanding. But I do have to complain about the song "In LA" when she takes the key higher to sing, "oh, they know how to do it in L awww." Not LA. L AWWW. What were they thinking? I was so disapointed. If you wanna hear the definitive version of "In LA" get the London Cast sung by unknown DIVA Loraine Velez who belts the song like there's NO tomorrow!

On the plus side there are a lot of great singers on this CD. Miss Sherman (Regina Le Vert) and Miss Bell (Kim Cea) belt their way through "The Teacher's Argument" like it's some kind of singing contest. It's amazing and sung better here than the London Cast. Also Le Vert belting her soulful rendition of "These Are My Children" is wonderful too.

Serena and Nick are great too played by Jennifer Gambatese (Tarzan & All Shook Up) and Gavin Creel (Millie, Mary Poppins). "I Wanna Make Magic" definitely sounds better sung by Creel. His voice is strong and smooth. Gambatese does well with the bulk of the songs "Let's Play A Love Scene" & (reprise), "Think Of Meryl Streep". Although I am partial to the London Cast sung by Gemma Wardle.

One of the roles in this show that always gets the audiences attention is the lovable Mabel, the girl who can't stop eating! Dioni Michelle Collins (Little Shop of Horrors) does well with her one hilarious song "Mabel's Prayer". But if you wanna hear it belted out of this universe, definitely get the London Cast. It's sung by now Sonia Swaby (Gigi MISS SAIGON COMPLETE RECORDING, Nancy "As Long As He Needs ME" from OLIVER in HEY MR PRODUCER! VIDEO) She really knocks it out of the park.

As a whole the Cast works well together to produce a fun filled album but it's too bubble gum, and not dark enough for my liking. Lots and lotsa of energy but maybe too much. Once again, since the London Cast was the first to perform the show, that's the way it was originally intended to be. It's sounds darker.

But on the other hand, a notable plus is that this album features the song when Carmen and Schlomo are rehearsing "Bring On Tomorrow" which is NOT on the London Cast.

I'd give this CD 3 1/2 stars if I could. So there are good and bad, now it's time for you to decide. Now, there is also FAME on 42nd Street. I say get them all to compare, and to enjoy!"
Im loving it!
Cant keep it down | washington | 12/14/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I saw the play and listened to the music a lot. i find that the music puts me in a good mood and i just love broadway music especially fame and les miserables. if you enjoy broadway music you'll love this. I know i do. the cast brings a fresh new way to sing these songs. All of the singers are fun and i love the way "carmen" sings fame. It was an amazing play. Humerous songs( just like reproduction from Grease II. I enjoyed the play/music and highly reccomend this CD for all who enjoy Broadway music. or any other type of music."
Don't judge the production by this recording!
Cant keep it down | 07/10/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I saw the American touring company in Boston last night ("press night") and was blown away. I have seen every musical that is currently up and running on Broadway and have yet to see a show that surpasses Fame in terms of energy, enthusiasm, or even sheer, all-around talent. (And you thought Rent had energy??). The only weakness of the show is that it doesn't follow through on or develop many of the story lines (but that would, of course, take a few more hours and considering the time they had, I think they did a pretty decent job). This recording, however, doesn't do justice to the the outstanding production. The energy and talent simply doesn't transfer well to CD. But please, I almost made the mistake of passing up an opportunity to see Fame because I was upset with the quality of the recording...don't make the same mistake! I'll admit, the music sounds pretty corny in your stereo, but when you see it Go see Fame."