There are lots of wonderful new musicals about, but there are a few classic soundtracks which we think theatre fans should really add to their playlists. We’ve compiled a list of our top five must listen to soundtracks, which will have your ears enthralled by rapturous rhythms and sumptuous singing, while helping you to prepare for your latest theatrical escapades.
1. Five Guys Named Moe – Original London Cast Recording
With the announcement that a new production of Clarke Peters’ foot tapping tale is set to return to London in a new pop up venue at Marble Arch later this year, we think you should get your listening gear around the original London Cast recording. Featuring the music of Louis Jordon (and others) this jazzy and fun musical ran in the West End for four years in the early nineties. Those who prefer their ballads need not fear as the soundtrack also contains some truly glorious heart stoppers including “Azure Te”, “Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying” and “Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby”.
2. Carousel – 1993 London Cast Recording
With both Carousel and Joanna Riding back in the West End, this album from the early nineties is a must. The overture is the stuff of musical theatre dreams and Joanna Riding’s “What’s The Use Of Wond’rin” is simply stunning. In our opinion this was the best ever production of the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical masterpiece.
3. Crazy For You – Original London Cast Recording
This musical shares a lot of songs with An American in Paris (currently wowing audiences at the Dominion Theatre) and with Ruthie Henshall’s wonderful vocals massaging Gershwin’s score it’s filled with joyful earworms that will put a smile on your face. We also like the original Broadway Cast recording ( with Jodi Benson as Polly) but recommend a listen of the London cast recording from 1993.
4. Sunset Boulevard – Original London Cast Recording
After the huge success of the ENO production at the London Coliseum last year, Sunset is again riding high. This is among Lord Lloyd Webber’s finest work and with the show touring the UK later this year, it’s worth getting more familiar with some of the gorgeous stanzas. This is the original London cast recording which saw Patti Lupone take on the role of the infamous Norma Desmond.
5. Spamalot – Original Broadway Cast Recording
Funny, irreverent and unlike any other show you’re likely to watch, Spamalot is off on a UK tour again later this year. This soundtrack from 2005 has a great mix of styles, with Tim Curry leading the cast, although not necessarily the singing (he does a bit of a Rex Harrison impression, by speaking along to some of the songs!). The Lady of the Lake ( Sara Ramirez) however gets some proper standards, which are great for belting along to.
Let us know if you agree, or if you have some of your own to add to the list.