Original Cast Recording/Soundtrack that Stands Alone

Which Original Cast Recording or soundtrack from a movie musical do you think can stand alone as a work of art even if you’ve not seen the original work?

I think the OCR from Hedwig and the Angry Inch works as a purely audio experience even if you never seen the play or movie. Sounds like Random Number Generation, Th Origin of Love, Sugar Daddy and Wicked Little Town (Reprise), while enhanced by the story, don’t need the context to be good.

The soundtrack from the movie is excellent also; but there’s a rawness to the OCR that makes it feel more heartfelt and honest.

So what your favorites?

Porgy and Bess. :slight_smile:

Joking aside, most great Broadwas cast albums stand alone. Things like Kiss Me Kate, The Pajama Game, The King and I, Annie Get Your Gun, The Music Man, A Chorus Line, Man of La Mancha, just to name a few, are great music that stands on its own.

They didn;t have original cast recordings in 1937 so Rodgers and Hart’s Babes In Arms which featured children singing songs like Babes In Arms, *I Wish I Were In Love Again *, Johnny One Note, The Lady Is A Tramp,
*My Funny Valentine *, *Where Or When * and You Are So Fair is not available. If only.

Rocky Horror Picture Show

The first time I heard “Time Warp” was not at the movie…it was on the cassette one of my friends listened to constantly in high school.

I loved our record of Cats when I was a kid, though I didn’t see a stage production until I was quite a bit older. Same with Fiddler on the Roof. I agree about Hedwig, too.

Jesus Christ Superstar–Most people know the story.

Phantom of the Opera–Ditto

I knew Rent forwards and backwards from the OBC Recording long before I first saw it on stage, and the story was perfectly coherent and even enjoyable.

It would not be a Broadway thread without somebody bringing up Chess, which I have never seen staged (sigh), but the London Concept Cast Recording is undoubtedly a work of art that stands on its own. Heck, Murray Head’s One Night In Bangkok actually received mainstream radio play.

And though I have a general mild distaste for Andrew Lloyd Webber, I will say that for its time and place, Jesus Christ Superstar is a great Rock concept album. Or modern opera.

Aww, you took mine.

The catholic in me from my upbringing (but I’m much better now thank you) is still affected by Easter and this whole lenten season. Every Ash Wednesday, while some people are running to get smeared by the priest, I pull out the two disks, and put them in the car, where they stay on steady rotation until easter.

Head’s “Superstar” also got some airplay.

West Side Story is another one–great music.

I don’t quite understand the criteria from the OP. Is the request for a sountrack which is good to listen to by itself, having great songs, or a soundrack which makes sense in context without having seen the play/movie?

For instance, I know Kiss Me Kate, so I like the sountrack in context. I’ve never seen Annie Get Your Gun, so, while the songs are great, the soundtrack CD is not as compelling.

I’d agree with Cats as a good answer in the second case. Since the musical is based on pretty much unconnected poems, the plot, such as it is, is irrelevant and the songs stand by themselves.

Fiddler on the Roof is a good example of both types–The songs stand on their own and also tell the story.

Another vote for Jesus Christ Superstar, though the original album preceded any stage or film version. If it is still a valid choice given that fact, I also cast a vote for Tommy .

As far as actual OCR’s or soundtracks, I have to agree with The Music Man. I would also add Stephen Sondheim’s Company, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma , Pippin and Godspell by Stephen Schwartz, and Sweeney Todd .

Yes! Sweeney Todd!!!

Also Bugsy Malone ST, Chicago OBC 1996, Cabaret OCR 1998, How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying OCR (but can’t decide which I like better, Morse or Broderick) & Victor Victoria ST

And for me, even more so, the soundtrack for the sequel Shock Treatment. I was an avid fan of that soundtrack for a good decade before seeing the movie.

Also second Hedwig although I’ve not heard the OCR (but I have seen the show live in a local production). Add to my list:

Cabaret (OCR or soundtrack)
La Cage Aux Folles
Mamma Mia!
Moulin Rouge I & II
(although perhaps it’s just me; I’m somewhat obsessed with it)
Zero Patience (a somewhat obscure Canadian movie musical about AIDS)

And perhaps the most obscure of the bunch, Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall, the recording from a 1962 TV special featuring Julie Andrews and Carol Burnett.

A bunch more that are slipping my mind.

I vote for “Hair.”

Great in its own right, and spawned a number of covers which also hit the Top 40.

(my favorite was “Looking for Donna.” Wonder why no group tried to cover that one? :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: )

Robert and Elizabeth, definitely. It’s the story of Robert Browning falling in love with Elizabeth (Moulton-) Barrett and rescuing her from a dysfunctional family. The Moon In My Pocket, Escape Me Never, Hate Me Please, and all the rest. The whole thing is a treasure. I get goosebumps and start breathing hard just thinking about it.

I just now remembered McVicar! It’s listed as Roger Daltrey, but all the Who are on board. The only thing that sets it apart from a Who album is that none of the songs were written by the band. I DVRd the movie the other day, but I haven’t seen it yet. I’ve had the album for years. It’s the story of an angry, bitter, crazy convict and his rehabilitation. The soundtrack is really powerful.

Two songs in particular from the soundtrack for The Crow are stand alone. Burn by The Cure, and It Can’t Rain All The Time by Jane Siberry. Should I mention Disney’s Fantasia, or is that cheating?

The Crow wasn’t a musical. Non-musical soundtracks are usually just a collection of unconnected songs.

Part of me wants to nominate the soundtrack to Once More with Feeling; but really without being a Buffy fan only Rest in Peace can stand alone.

Ok then, West Side Story, and An American in Paris. :wink: