"I would love to recommend this "expanded" reissue of the OKLAHOMA! soundtrack. However, I am disappointed to report that the added material is simply "lifted" from the final "mixed" movie soundtrack. This means you get extraneous sound effects along with meaningless dialog which have no place on a music only recording. The new selections ARE NOT from the original music masters. To make matters worse the CD producers edited bits and pieces from the long standing Capitol records tracks to accommidate the new material which insults rather than enhances the original recordings. KANSAS CITY and the FARMER & COWHAND BALLET come complete with hand clapping, foot stomping, train and "horse" sound effects which drown the music. Both the FINALE and LET PEOPLE SAY WE ARE IN LOVE reprise include too much dialog and sound effects. OUT OF MY DREAMS is completely different from the original album which utilized a longer alternate version without chrous. The DREAM BALLET also has sound effects: foot shuffling through out, storm and wind sounds, and occasional screams. There are other annoying chacteristics to numerous to mention. Also the producers included the theatrical Overture and Intermission music but omitted the WALKOUT music. What remains of the original Capitol tracks is at odds with the added material which causes a disjointed and annoying listening expierence. If I wanted to hear OKLAHOMA! as presented on this CD, I could run A VHS or DVD edition of the movie and skip to the musical sections and get the same result. On the plus side the Capitol recordings never sounded better. Average listeners may not mind the intrusions, but true fans will want to hold on to their copies of the original CD release. The producers should look at some of the splendid work Rhino/Turner have done with the various MGM soundtracks in recent years to learn how a true remastered and expanded release should be accomlished from the ORIGINAL MUSIC MASTERS, not simply lifting them off the final film soundtracks as is done here. I suppose we must wait another 10 years before OKLAHOMA! is done true justice on CD."
Don't ditch your old CD version just yet......
Pope | Wisconsin, United States | 05/22/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This new expanded version of Oklahoma is long awaited for conisseurs of the marvelous 1955 film. It includes not only all music (which has been remastered) from the previous release, but many previously unreleased tracks as well.
On this album we have Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones in the lead roles that would put them over the top. This is the film for which they probably are both most famous. They were paired up again for Carousel the following year. Jones went on to appear in the 1962 film The Music Man. Gloria Grahame is nice as Ado Annie, but she pales in comparison to Celeste Holm from the OBC album. The cast here is in top vocal form and excellent performances are had throughout.
My only gripe is the presence of extra sound effects in the previously unreleased material. Hand clapping, foot stomping, extra dialog, and shouts and cheers have no place in a soundtrack album. As another reviewer stated, if we wanted the effect this CD gives, we can grab a copy of the movie and fast forward it to those parts. Many of the best soundtrack albums on the Angel and Sony labels have been plagued with this lately. Extraneous sound effects are had on the remastered and expanded editions of Oklahoma, Carousel, My Fair Lady, West Side Story, and others. While I can see the reissue producers' desire to include the music as it would be heard in the film, more effort should have been made to locate the original recording session masters where they exist.
On the plus side, though, all of the selections on this CD sound better than ever. We have the Overture and Main Title as heard in the film itself and they have never sounded better, although I do like the original Capitol Records version of the overture better (it appears as a bonus track at the end of this album). The Entr'acte is featured as well, but the Exit Music has not been included.
I absolutely recommend this album. It is a worthy addition to any Broadway fan's collection. But those who still have their copy of the previous (1993) CD release Oklahoma!: From The Soundtrack Of The Motion Picture (1955 Film) - hang onto it, you will not regret it! That is how a soundtrack album of Oklahoma, presented with all its integrity, should sound."
OKLAHOMA REMASTER A SLOPPY MESS!
hcampo | Culver City, California United States | 08/17/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"My disappointment with this expanded soundtrack reissue of OKLAHOMA is based on my belief, which is shared by many other people who grew up with and have grown to love these magnificent performances for their musical excellence, not as a mere souvenir of a movie for casual listening. If I want to experience the movie, I watch the movie on DVD or tape. If I want to enjoy the music on a recording, I want the music to be allowed to speak for itself without sound effects mixed in meant exclusively for the visual presentation. The film versions of the three Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals from which these Angel CD reissues are derived, showcase the finest performances, before or since, that these magnificent scores have ever received. The additional music on the expanded editions of these albums is NOT from the original multi channel vocal and music separation soundtrack master recordings stored in the 20th Century Fox vaults but instead recorded directly from a final mix print soundtrack complete with foot stomping and extraneous sound effects, which besides having no place on a music only recording, actually detract from the listening experience rather than enhance it. If this were 42nd. Street, the foot stomping would make sense, since it is an integral part of the musical presentation, but without the visuals these random sounds don't make any sense in OKLAHOMA, where the superb arrangements of Robert Russell Bennett should be allowed to speak for themselves without intrusions from foley effects. If this were a live recording, such sounds would be an artifact of the original and impossible to remove and therefore have to be acceptable if one wanted to hear the score in its entirety. But in the case of OKLAHOMA (and for that fact, CAROUSEL, THE KING AND I and SOUTH PACIFIC) a wealth of unmixed original musical material exists in the studio vaults which could have been made available for this remastering and even more music could have been included on this album (probably enough to fill 2 CD's). For instance, THE OUT OF MY DREAMS BALLET could have been presented in its ENTIRETY, with the extra verse of the song which was on the original album but on this CD replaced by a much shorter version used in the film, without any worry about the sound effects intruding at the beginning and especially at the end. THE KANSAS CITY, FARMER AND THE COWHAND DANCE MUSIC AND THE FINALE could have been presented minus the foley intrusions that almost drown out the music entirely. That is the saddest part concerning this release. The original studio vault material could have been made available if anyone at EMI-Angel had cared enough to present OKLAHOMA with the integrity that this classic recording deserves and should have gotten. If you can get past these aberrations (in addition to some amateur sloppy fade-ins and fade-outs cross cutting the old and new material) the sound on this CD is very good and offers an energetic and beautifully orchestrated performance of the score by Gordon Mac Rae, Shirley Jones and the entire supporting cast. In fact, this performance is superior to the Broadway original in every respect. But even so, try to find the previous CD version of this album, which may not have the additional music but does include the entire vocal score (including the longer version of the song OUT OF MY DREAMS) without all the intrusive sound effects and sloppy edits making for a far more enjoyable listening experience. Let's hope that someday EMI-Angel will give all three of the Rodgers and Hammerstein soundtracks their due and re-release them with added material from the untainted studio vault separations. That would really be SOMETHING SPECIAL."
Indisputably the best!
Anthony Clarke | Woodend, Victoria Australia | 08/21/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've so far owned two LPs and three CDs of this Rodgers and Hammerstein movie soundtrack -- the same goes for their other great musical, Carousel. And the new 2001 remastering of both Oklahoma and Carousel not only brings us so much more music than ever before, but brings us the music with an unsurpassed warmth and clarity. I have never heard these great musicals to better effect. The result is breath-takingly beautiful; just how these musical masterpieces should be presented. The spine-tingling effect of having the original overture bridge into 'Oh What a Beautiful Morning' so perfectly is worth the price of the disc by itself. With about half-an-hour's extra music including the lovely reprise 'Let People Say We're in Love', this 'Oklahoma' is right out of our dreams.Now we only need to have the films themselves, in equally fine versions on DVD! Carousel was shot in large-format Todd-AO and Oklahoma in Cinemascope 55; anamorphic processes giving an unprecedented sharpness and clarity. But for tthe existing DVD transfers, Fox has ignored this, and has made a mediocre non-anamorphic widescreen transfer not worthy of the efforts of the original film-makers. The sound side has been well looked after -- now get the image right as well!"
Mixed Reactions To New Expanded Version
Jay Policow | Vernon, CT United States | 06/15/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Having loved the original LP version of Oklahoma! since being a kid I eagerly awaited this new expanded version. After having received it, my reaction is so mixed that I have also purchased a used copy of the previous CD edition. Yes, some of the extra music is glorious and a welcome addition. However, much of it is not that great without the video accompaniment, and makes me want to skip through it. Also, the original version of "Out of My Dreams" has been replaced with the film soundtrack version which is not as satisfying (to me) as the original.And then there's the issue of sound quality. Seldom have I heard a re-issue with less attention paid to annoying hiss and sudden jumps and drops in hiss level as sound track elements are panned in and out. Even listening in my car, I felt that, with today's technology, some of this hiss could have been better managed so as not to be so intrusive. Of all the great musicals I have on cd, this one has the poorest sound quality I have experienced, and I'm frankly surprised that others have praised the sound so highly.I will probably listen to the original cd version more often, while occasionally scanning the new for those few added moments that truly add to the experience."