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What We're Listening To!

Author ScarletScarlet, May 31st, 2023

Find out what we're listening to at Theatreland HQ!

You can't go wrong with a good cast recording. Whether you've been able to catch the performance on stage or not, a cast recording will transport you directly to the action. They also give you the perfect opportunity to open up your vocal chords and gift your neighbors with a Broadway ready performance (disclaimer: we are not responsible for any angry knocks on the wall). Cast recordings capture every essence of the musical and allow your imagination to run free; do you become the lead and picture yourself center stage? Or do you become on with the ensemble and master the harmonies? For me, when it comes to listening to a musical cast album, I become every character possible - can I perform as everyone in the cast of Phantom of the Opera? Yes. Do I do it well? Absolutely not. But that's the fun!

Here's our selection of cast albums which turn a shower into a stage.

THE LION KING

Prepare for instant chills from the very first beat of this soundtrack. Released in 1997, The Lion King: Original Broadway Cast Recording features music by Elton John, lyrics by Tim Rice and was composed by African composer Lebo M. The musical focuses primarily on African influences and captures the film's original music. Most songs are sung either entirely or partially in various African languages.

THE TRACKS WE HAVE ON REPEAT?

Circle of Life
They Live in You
Be Prepared
Can You Feel the Love Tonight

OUR FAVORITE LYRICS?

They live in you (Hela hey mamela, hela)
They live in me (Hela hey mamela, hela)
They are watching over (Hela hey mamela, hela)
Everything we see (Hela hey mamela, hela)
In every creature (Hela hey mamela, hela)
In every star (Hela hey mamela, hela)
In your reflection
They live in you

PHANTOM OF THE OPERA

Andrew Lloyd Webber struck gold with the Phantom of the Opera. The original cast recording was released in 1986 and went on to become 4x Platinum in the US and sold nearly 5 million copies as of 2017. Now the question is - do you listen to the motion picture soundtrack with Gerard Butler, or the original cast recording? I personally prefer the motion picture soundtrack (sorry), but only because of the instrumentals. We crank it up to volume 11 when listening to "The Phantom Of the Opera".

THE TRACKS WE HAVE ON REPEAT?

Angel of Music
The Phantom of the Opera
The Music of the Night
Masquerade

OUR FAVORITE LYRICS?

Those who have seen your face
Draw back in fear
I am the mask you wear
It's me they hear
Your spirit and your voice
In one combined
The phantom of the, opera is there
Inside your mind

COME FROM AWAY

Welcome to the rock. Come From Away gives us a soundtrack which makes you feel like you're sat in the midst of the musical. Released in 2017, the album peaked at number 92 on the Top Current Album charts and hit number two on the Cast Album charts. It was also nominated for a Grammy Award in 2018 for Best Musical Theater Album. Have tissues ready for this one.

THE TRACKS WE HAVE ON REPEAT?

I Am Here
Prayer
In The Bar / Heave Away

OUR FAVORITE LYRICS?

Welcome to the land where the winters try to kill us and we say,
"We will not be killed."
Welcome to the land where the waters try to drown us and we said,
"We will not be drowned."
Welcome to the land where we lost our loved ones and we said,
"We will still go on"
Welcome to the land where winds try to blow, and we said "No!"

MOULIN ROUGE

Because you can, can, can! Moulin Rouge! The Musical cast album is the ultimate party, and gives you everything you could want from a cast album - plus more. It has jukebox hits, tracks from the original motion picture and a montage of medleys. The cast recording dropped digitally in August, 2019 with a CD and Vinyl version released later that year. As a huge fan of the motion picture, I found myself wondering how the Broadway cast recording could compete - especially when it's home to the masterpiece El Tango De Roxanne' with Ewan McGregor, but this cast recording consumes you whole, and spits you back out into the streets of Paris. All I'm saying is, Aaron Tveit.

THE TRACKS WE HAVE ON REPEAT?

All of them
Shut Up And Raise Your Glass
Backstage Romance
Come What May
El Tango De Roxanne

OUR FAVORITE LYRICS

Why does my heart cry?
Feelings I can't fight
You're free to leave me but
Just don't deceive me
And, please, believe me when I say
I love you

CHICAGO

Did we save the best until last? In our opinion - yes. You can't not have Chicago in your list of favorite cast recordings. I think we've all done our own performance of All That Jazz, and the confidence you feel when channeling Mama Morton in When You're Good To Mama. You could close your eyes on this album, drag your finger up and down and point at your next karaoke track. There have been several cast recordings released, but our go-to one is the 1975 original Broadway cast.

THE TRACKS WE HAVE ON REPEAT?

All That Jazz
Cell Block Tango
When You're Good To Mama
I Can't Do It Alone

OUR FAVORITE LYRICS

The folks atop the ladder
Are the ones the world adores
So boost me up my ladder, kid
And I'll boost you up yours

We'd love to list every cast album, but you'd be here all day. There's Oliver!, The Sound of Music, Hamilton, Hairspray! It's really never ending. But one thing that all cast albums do is they make you feel something, in some cases - everything! May cast albums continue to reign and plant themselves firmly amongst our playlists for many years to come.


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