We catalogue music enthusiasts just can’t get enough. Near-universal acclaim greeted Kritzerland on its re-release of the original cast album of Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s Promises, Promises, including from your humble correspondent. Yet many of those cheers were quickly followed in the fan community by: “Now, when are you going to release the London Cast Recording?” The long-lost United Artists LP was recorded in 1969 with the stars of the production at the Prince of Wales Theatre: Tony (then Anthony) Roberts (Annie Hall, How Now Dow Jones, Xanadu) as Chuck Baxter, Betty Buckley (known to television viewers from her role on Eight is Enough and to the theatre world as the star of Cats, Sunset Boulevard and the infamous Carrie) as Fran Kubelik, James Congdon as J.D. Sheldrake, Donna McKechnie (repeating her role as Vivien Della Hoya from the Broadway production) and Jack Kruschen, reprising his Oscar-nominated turn as harried Dr. Dreyfuss from Billy Wilder’s original film The Apartment. Roberts and Congdon would later assume their roles on Broadway, while New York understudy Kelly Britt recreated her showstopping Marge MacDougall (“A Fact Can Be a Beautiful Thing”) for the London production and LP. Broadway stalwart Ronn Carroll and a host of British performers rounded out the cast. The album has a very different feel and sound than its American counterpart. Rights issues have long kept the LP from seeing its CD debut, but just last week, Kritzerland miraculously solved those problems, and this morning the label announced a 1,000-copy limited edition of Promises, Promises: The Original London Cast Recording.
Hit the jump for more information including the complete track listing and how to order your copy, plus a link for sound samples!
The original LP, with its bold blue jacket, has long been difficult-to-find and commands high prices, having largely disappeared from the record racks after the production concluded its 560-performance run in London. Bacharach collectors and Buckley’s large fan base have demanded this release for years; fans of Bacharach and David’s electric score will delight at the opportunity to hear Promises‘ classic songs (“Promises, Promises,” “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again”) in a new light, with Buckley’s charged “Knowing When to Leave” a true revelation. While Jonathan Tunick’s orchestrations remained mostly unchanged in London, the flavor is decidedly different. For Buckley devotees, the Broadway diva never again sang with so much youth and innocence in her voice as she does here, sounding very little like the assured, dramatic singer of today. Kritzerland’s 2-CD release of the Broadway cast recording quickly sold out, and the repressing of its second disc is well on its way to doing the same. This limited edition will no doubt follow suit.
Kritzerland’s CD is from the original two-track album master and preserves the original LP mix. This new Promises is due around the first week of September, but pre-orders from Kritzerland are likely to arrive as early as 2-3 weeks from now. Click here for sound samples and to order your copy!
Promises, Promises: The Original London Cast Recording (United Artists 29075, 1969, reissued – Kritzerland, 2010)
- Half as Big as Life
- Grapes of Roth
- You’ll Think of Someone
- Our Little Secret
- She Likes Basketball
- Knowing When to Leave
- Where Can You Take a Girl?
- Wanting Things
- Turkey Lurkey Time
- A Fact Can Be a Beautiful Thing
- Whoever You Are (I Love You)
- Christmas Day
- A Young Pretty Girl Like You
- I’ll Never Fall in Love Again
- Promises, Promises