This version of the soundtrack to the hit musical is from the stage production, which ended rather differently than the movie: just about the entire cast (except for the backup singers) winds up as lunch for the hungry pla... more »nt. As a result, this CD lacks the song "Mean Green Mother from Outer Space," which was written for the film. Instead, the recording closes with "Don't Feed the Plants," which is much more in keeping with the spirit of the rest of the musical. Little Shop of Horrors explores a wide variety of musical styles, from the rhumba-inflected "Mushnik and Son" to the I'm-on-Broadway ballads "Somewhere That's Green" and "Suddenly Seymour." The most spirited numbers are those that feature the trio of backup singers, who perform on the title track, "Skid Row," "Da-Doo," "The Meek Shall Inherit," and other numbers with considerable energy. The recording loses something if you haven't actually seen the stage production, but hearing this CD will give you an excellent reason to do so. --Genevieve Williams« less
This version of the soundtrack to the hit musical is from the stage production, which ended rather differently than the movie: just about the entire cast (except for the backup singers) winds up as lunch for the hungry plant. As a result, this CD lacks the song "Mean Green Mother from Outer Space," which was written for the film. Instead, the recording closes with "Don't Feed the Plants," which is much more in keeping with the spirit of the rest of the musical. Little Shop of Horrors explores a wide variety of musical styles, from the rhumba-inflected "Mushnik and Son" to the I'm-on-Broadway ballads "Somewhere That's Green" and "Suddenly Seymour." The most spirited numbers are those that feature the trio of backup singers, who perform on the title track, "Skid Row," "Da-Doo," "The Meek Shall Inherit," and other numbers with considerable energy. The recording loses something if you haven't actually seen the stage production, but hearing this CD will give you an excellent reason to do so. --Genevieve Williams
An exuberant pop musical, differing from the film...
M J Heilbron Jr. | Long Beach, CA United States | 01/13/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I was lucky enough to see this iteration of "Little Shop of Horrors" in it's original incarnation way Off Broadway back in 1982.
I loved it then, and love it now.
This remastered recording of the original show is cleanly done; this is as good as it's ever gonna sound.
Since now I am more familiar with the film version, there were a few interesting differences.
First, this is more literate - more witty. There is more dexterous wordplay here; you'll find yourself chuckling at lines non-existent in the film. Since the stage version couldn't rely on visuals in the way the film did, this stuff "fills in" a lot around the edges of the story.
Second, the ending is fatalistic...I seem to remember the ceiling covered with Audrey tentacles at the end of the show.
Third, the singing in the film is more over-the-top than this version. Compare Steve Martin's dentist to this one. This one is way more subdued, though no less demented! "Suddenly Seymour', and I realize this may be heresy in some parts, is simply better in the film...the tempo change fits the song, and Ellen Greene's vocals soar. The Greek chorus girls are a bit more sassy in song in the film, although they have more to do here.
Fourth, so many things in the film are "shown" to you, while here there are these delightful patter songs...like the one about his TV contracts and exposures.
Fifth, there are songs unique to each show. They've been mentioned in other reviews, but I have to tell you, they're more fun if you discover them on your own.
A hearty enthusiastic recommendation on this excellent remastered version!"
Great music, unnecessary omissions
Travis R. Wilson | 08/08/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I must say that I loved loved LOVED the play when I saw it and just had to run out and buy the soundtrack. I like the original cast CD better than the movie soundtrack because it includes two of my favorite songs, "Mushnik and Son", and "Don't Feed the Plants. I was a little disappointed that Audrey's death song, a reprise of "Somwhere that's Green", was cut out, but I got over it. This is a great CD for anyone who likes a little melody. Much like the play, it keeps your toe tapping and your heart pounding."
Not a Happy Ending.
tvtv3 | Sorento, IL United States | 02/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The original cast recording of LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS does not have a happy ending. Like the cult Roger Corman film that the musical is based upon, the musical ends with the plants taking over the world and eating just about everything in sight. Nevertheless, we do get to hear some good music along the way making this modernized take on a Faustian tale a little easier to swallow. The songs and lyrics in the show were written by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman and is just as good, if not better than anything they ever wrote for Disney (maybe Little Shop depressed them too much and that's why they started working for the Mouse). My favorite songs on the album are:
"Skid Row (Downtown"--a tune which embodies the longing of
achievement that every small town nerd or inner-city nobody
has ever felt.
"Somewhere That's Green"--a lovely song that Audrey sings expressing what she really wants out of life.
"Feed Me (Git It)"--the song where Audrey II begins to reveal her true nature.
"Suddenly, Seymour"--the song that every nice guy wishes the girl he loves would sing about him.
Since this is the original Broadway cast album, there are numbers missing from here that are in the movie and in the revival show. But, this was the first (well, Roger Corman's movie was first) and for that, it's a classic gem."
A Modern Classic
Travis R. Wilson | Corona, CA United States | 12/20/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"To hell with all those shows from the so-called golden era of musical theatre (I.E. High Society, South Pacific, Singin' In The Rain). I like my musical theatre to be dark, dismal, and depressing (I.E. Sweeney Todd, Into The Woods, Little Shop of Horrors, Rocky Horror Show). This is Little Shop in all it's horrific splendor, all of it's terrifying glory. That is, before Hollywood got hold of it and turned it into a damn muppet movie. All of the great tunes that didn't make the final cut to the film are here, the "Ya Never Know," the "Mushnik and Son," the "Closed for Renovation," and of course the glorious ending song "Don't Feed The Plants." If you want a definitive cast album, this is it. Trouble is, though, you can't get this version of the play anymore, so it really isn't a good reference disk for people who are in performing the show. Unfortunately you'll have to look to the revival cast recording for that. Some of the songs are a little bit different, and in a different order. For example; Mushnik and Son doesn't have all those crazy names in it on the new cast recording, which could be a blessing in disguise for any actor who has trouble memorizing all that stuff. As much as I prefer the original version to the new version, when I played Mushnik this past December, I was somewhat relieved that we had in our script the new version of that song. There are other subtle improvements on the new recording, but you can look to my other review for that.
A Wonderful Musical!
Travis R. Wilson | 07/06/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Of all the incarnations of this story, from Roger Corman's peculiar, delightful B&W quickie, to Disney's lavish adaptation of this musical version, the unadulterated La Mama stage production is the finest. There is an edge to this, a much darker shading, that the cutesified Disney version lacks (even compare Ellen Greene's versions of "Suddenly, Seymour" -- in the movie shy and restrained, here -- she knocks your socks off). And in changing the story to make Seymour more likable, and to give the film a happier ending, they miss the major point: this is, in essence, a retelling of the Faust legend. Seymour sells his soul, and Audrey II is, in fact, Mephistopheles. This ending, complete with Crystal, Chiffon & Ronette's "Subsequent to the Events" Greek chorus and the warning "Don't Feed the Plants" is much more plausible and dramatically satisfying than that in the film; the singing and interpretive performances are uniformly excellent, better than in the film; and the one song they add to the film is no consolation for the ones they drop from the stage production (such as the delightful "Mushnick & Son") -- in short, this is a great recording, and one can only wish they'd filmed the play at the LaMama in the East Village."