Original Broadway Cast Recording
Original Broadway Cast of Merrily We Roll Along
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CLASSIC GOES MP3
I remember when this CLASSIC definitive version came out on half speed master vinyl from RCA. The quality of the recording was superlative. Great frequency response, clarity and fullness. Then I believe the original CD came out in 1986. That was the dawn of a new era in recorded music. No more scratches or surface noise. But what we also got was copressed, mechanical, stiff, lifeless sound, with very low volume. I was excited that the now SONY BMG would be remastering this CD. I couldn't wait for the CD so I downloaded the new remastered version from i-tunes. Big Mistake. Sondheim is not to be heard at 128 kbps. It sounds terrible--I can't listen to it anymore. I have to get it out of my ipod. I'll wait for the CD. Then I will send it over using Apple lossless.
The Definitive Merrily Is Here
This is the one to have, hands down. The remastered CD sounds marginally better than the original CD issue, but for this recording I'd pay to hear it on wax cylinders. The original show was a flop, but it produced one of the best cast albums ever, with many songs that are now standards (Old Friends, Not A Day Goes By, Good Thing Going...)
It's getting harder and harder to be a cynic...
Sondheim has got to quit impressing me. I'm becoming too optimistic about broadway's possibilities. This is definitely a great piece of Sondheim history. It's a perfect blend of his upbringing (epic choirs and waltzy Hammerstein-esque songs) and his own odd genius (that Sondheim way of sing-speaking with the music). Amazing. Truly Amazing. I suggest buying the whole album; there's enough genius on here to be worth double what itunes is charging.