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Cats: Complete Original Broadway Cast Recording
Andrew Lloyd Webber, Stanley Lebowsky, Cats Pit Orchestra
Cats: Complete Original Broadway Cast Recording
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (9) - Disc #2

Cats: Original Broadway Cast Recording


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CD Details

All Artists: Andrew Lloyd Webber, Stanley Lebowsky, Cats Pit Orchestra, Anna McNeely, Betty Buckley, Bonnie Simmons, Christine Langner, Cynthia Onrubia, Harry Groener, Ken Page, Robert Hoshour, Cats (Related Recordings)
Title: Cats: Complete Original Broadway Cast Recording
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Decca Broadway
Original Release Date: 1/1/1993
Re-Release Date: 5/23/2006
Album Type: Original recording remastered
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
Style: Musicals
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPC: 602498746219


Album Description
Cats: Original Broadway Cast Recording

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CD Reviews

Splendid remastering with minor libretto editorial quibbles
Yi-Peng | Singapore | 01/01/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"As a devoted fan of CATS and this recording of this wonderful musical, I am very thrilled that Lord Lloyd-Webber has released this wonderfully remastered version of the recording. Although I will touch a little on the performances, I'd use this review to praise the remastering. The original Geffen and Polydor CDs didn't sound too good, with rather boxy sound, but this new remastering spreads out the sound much more and allows the voices to come across more vibrantly.

In my other reviews of CATS on Amazon I've mentioned that I like this Broadway cast recording much more than the West End cast recording. I do not say this to be Yankcentric, but I say this because I can sense the irrepressible energy that pours out of my speakers when listening to this version, without destroying the original British spirit of the musical. Buckley's Grizabella rivals Elaine Paige, but yet with her husky voice that makes the character more real and worn-out. Ken Page lends his solid portrayal of Old Deuteronomy, and Terrence Mann shines as the contrary Rum Tum Tugger. Harry Groener lends us an inviting portrayal of Munkustrap with his warm yet melancholic voice, and Stephen Hanan rounds out the supporting cast as Gus and Growltiger. Besides the better performances I tend to like this version of the show, as it includes the revised versions of Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer and Growltiger's Last Stand. The only quibble is that Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer do not sing their number. Yet even with the blemishes of this recording (including the cuts in the dance breaks) I tend to like this much more than the West End cast album.

The packaging is a vast improvement over previous issues, as the CD booklet is lavishly illustrated with photos of the original Broadway cast. It's like a souvenir programme in itself. However, the companion libretto booklet suffers from shoddy editorial quality. There are some mistakes scattered throughout the libretto that have been there since the original Geffen release, especially some erroneous lines in the printed lyrics of Bustopher Jones and Old Deuteronomy. Also, some lyrics do not fully utilise the entire space of the booklet pages.

These quibbles aside, the music still matters and it's a treat to hear such a wonderful recording of CATS in superb, improved sound quality. Now if only 2007 will bring a remastered version of the highlights album..."
Marijan Bosnar | Croatia | 05/04/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"In many ways Cats was a turning point for Andrew Lloyd Webber. At the beginning of the 80-is he was already a hugely successful musical theatre composer, thanks to his work with the lyricist Tim Rice on "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "Evita". In the early 1980-is he decided to part ways with Rice and many people predicted him a quick downfall, even more so when he decided to use T. S. Eliot's book of children's poetry called "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats" as a basis for his next musical. He used then a relatively unknown musical director Trevor Nunn and Gillian Lynne as a choreographer. Cats was imagined as a mixture of pop songs and ballet; by that time an unseen combination for a musical, so it is no wonder that Webber and his producer Cameron Mackintosh had trouble finding financial backup. The show opened in London and became a phenomenon in its own right. It closed in London after exactly 21 years of running in May 2001. The same thing happened when the show came to Broadway in 1982; it closed after 18 years of running, in 2000.

So you may wonder what it's all about. It's quite simple really. Many people say that Cats hasn't got a story. It's certainly true that the plot is very simple and that's part of the appeal for the audiences. We are presented with a group of special cats, known as Jellicle cats. They meet once a year to decide who among them is worthy to get a chance to be reborn and start a new life. Since we meet them at that precise night, each of them tells us about their lives and habits through the musical numbers. There is one character among them, Grizabella the Glamour Cat, once of great beauty, but now an ugly and dilapidated thing, because at some point in her life, she decided to leave the others in her tribe and get to know the outside world; a move which eventually led her to prostitution. Because of that she is repeatedly rejected by other cats when she tries to make an entrance and compete as a candidate for a new life, determined to change her life style and pursue a happy life style she once knew. So besides the fact that we meet all kinds of different characters that often have characteristics very similar to human ones, Cats at the same time is a wonderful story of redemption and forgiveness. Besides the story the audiences loved the excellent choreography and dancing together with beautiful and distinctive feline makeup each character of Cats had. It is a show that is suited for the young and the old.

This cast recording captures the somewhat changed show that transferred from London to Broadway. Some lyrics have been cut in the process and overall the score has more of a pop touch rather than the classical one on the London recording. Some numbers have been re-orchestrated completely, like `Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer'. Despite the fact the new orchestration suits the song better, the whole number works better when sung by its two protagonists and not Mr. Mistoffelees. Some other changes worth noting is the fact that `Growtiger's Last Stand' has much slower tempo and the wonderful `Ballad of Billy McCaw' has been omitted completely (an utter shame) and replaced with an opera pastiche.

There are many great songs a listener will enjoy. Some of them are: "Old Gumbie Cat", about a nice and warm house cat; "Rum Tum Tugger", a naughty and never satisfied cat, "Bustopher Jones", an aristocrat among cats, "Skimbleshanks: The railway cat" and many more. Of course, by far the best known of all the songs and melodies from Cats is "Memory", which, I dare to say, is among the top five songs Andrew Lloyd Webber has ever written and one of the best known and most beautiful songs ever to be found in musical theatre. It is preformed by Grizabella character here played by Betty Buckley who won a Tony Award for this performance. Buckley plays the character tough and strong and so is her rendition of this song. It makes a nice contrast to Elaine Paige on the London recording, though Paige's take on the song remains my personal favourite, due to dreamy and almost desperate sound of her wonderful vocals. One of the drawbacks a careful listener will notice on this recording is a rather unnecessary trumpet addition during `Memory' solo melody in the song.

The cast performance here is mixed. There are some really good improvements over the London recording. Ken Page's warm voice shines like sunshine as he plays his benevolent Old Duetoronomy. Harry Groener as Munkustrap and Terrence Mann as Rum Tum Tugger are also much better than their London counterparts. On the other hand, there are some disappointments. In particular, Donna King as Bombalurina and Wendy Edmead as Demeter fail to deliver the charming `MaCavity: The Mystery Cat'.

This recording here is almost complete, with only a short narrative song missing. It is remastered, so the sound quality is excellent. It comes with a libretto, a booklet with the basic info and few pictures, plus it is neatly packed in a slip case.

Overall, I would still recommend the London recording over this one, due to the extra lyrics, overall better orchestrations, `The Ballad of Billy McCaw' and Elaine Paige's Grizabella. This Broadway recording makes a nice addition to see how the show evolved during the transfer.

It should also be mentioned that in 1997 `Cats' has been filmed for a DVD in London's Adelphi Theatre. This unique edition features the score played by the 80-piece orchestra and has Elaine Paige and Ken Page reprising their original roles. With time, Ms. Paige's vocal abilities have matured and her best rendition of "Memory" can be heard in that DVD. So to enjoy CATS in all its glory, that DVD, also available here at Amazon, is a must-have.

Cats: Complete Original Broadway Cast Recording (1982 Origin
Carlo Castronovo | MA | 05/16/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Definately a must have for any Cats fan. I perfer this over the UK version my self. I got the UK version whne I actualy saw CATS in Jan 2008.

They sold the UK origional version at the shopping stands there. I loved that version instantly seeing how it was the only copy I had. I then got my hands on Cats: Complete Original Broadway Cast Recording (1982 Original Broadway Cast)version and found that I love it much more and better. There a few resons for this.

In case you havnt heard either I will try to explain them to you. The UK sings out the whole song including verses that are not sung during the actual play. No complaint there Where this 1 follows the play exactly. During Grizabellas first apearnce you get remark the cat song but it ends there. In this version you Get Remark and alos when they explain shes an outcast in the first song. The uk has this just before she sings her first part of Memory. In this version she does part of her remark song and then all musical for a few moments. If you saw the play and remember she was trying to dance to be welcomed. Then she starts he small part of memory.

During Gumby Cat Song. The UK version missing the quick little trumpet horn intro to the song. Where this version it is included. To me missing this dosnt sound right. Not hearing the trumpet dosnt fit to me. To me its part of the song. This version you do not hear the mid verse to the song. In the play I went to it wasnt sung there either.

A moment of Happines is sung alot slower on this version. Old Duteronemy takes his time and sings it well. During Jemimia part on this verion Her lines Moon light, Turn your self into the moon light, Let your memory lead you, Open your self and turn in, If you find the meaning of what happines is then an new life will begine line is sung just ounce.

On Mungo Gerry and Rumple teaser, Mr Mistofolesse sings it instead of the two actual dancers. To me it was a little disapeointing to me but it grew on me. I love how he adlibs the song out. He does an amazing job.

Mr Mistofolesse song Mr Mistofolesse actualy sings the second part where inthe uk version its Rum Tum Tugger sings the whole song. Sounds great and defiantely is interesting.

In memory this version you actualy hear Munkustrap give his line bout the heaviside lair. It is cut in the Uk version

Journey to the Heaviside lair.

This version is complete to me. Reason I say this Uk version sings the main line twice and thats it. On this version it goes on and follows the play better to me. It includes Up Up Up cross the Jellicle moon lines and then the devinity lines after words. Thats what I saw int he play so it to me is a ton better then the UK version.

Fo me it puts me back into my see that night seeing the play over again. Makes me have memories of where cats were on stage. What they were doing and when. To me it is the better version of both."