Of a remarkable and indeed, singular, career that crowned him as an EGOT – winner of Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Awards – and one of only two EGOTs with a Pulitzer Prize (the other is Richard Rodgers), Marvin Hamlisch’s most lasting musical accomplishment might well be his score to A Chorus Line. Working with lyricist Ed Kleban, director/choreographer Michael Bennett, co-choreographer Bob Avian, and writers James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante, composer Hamlisch struck a universal chord with the revolutionary musical that once held the record as the longest-running Broadway production of all time (6,137 performances between 1975 and 1980). Now, in recognition of its 40th anniversary, Masterworks Broadway is celebrating A Chorus Line with a deluxe reissue of its landmark Original Broadway Cast Recording, the album that coaxed legendary Columbia President and producer Goddard Lieberson out of retirement and back into the studio.
The upcoming A Chorus Line – 40th Anniversary Celebration, due on October 23, expands the classic cast album with eight previously unreleased bonus tracks illuminating the collaboration between Hamlisch and Kleban, including the first-ever release of songs written for, but not included in, the musical. This new reissue will be available on CD as well as via downloads in enhanced audio formats and streaming audio providers.
The audio source of this release is the remaster created for the 2003 non-hybrid SACD release and previously available only in that format. This master includes the additional material in “Hello Twelve, Hello Thirteen, Hello Love” which premiered on the 1998 reissue of the recording, and like that edition (but unlike the 1975 LP) has “The Music in the Mirror” in its proper sequence.
The eight bonuses on this reissue were discovered under the title “A Chorus Line work reel” in the holdings of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Recorded by Hamlisch on piano and vocals and Kleban on vocals during the first workshop of the show in 1974, the never-before-heard songs include an early attempt at an opening number entitled “It’s All in Here,” as well as “Joanne” and “Shoes.” Also featured are early versions of “I Can Do That,” “At the Ballet,” “Sing!,” “One” and (identified on the tape only as “Finale Ballad”) “What I Did for Love.”
Rounding out this deluxe package are new liner notes penned by Oskar Eustis (Artistic Director of The Public Theater in New York, the venue which originated A Chorus Line), Marvin’s widow Terre Blair Hamlisch, Linda Kline (co-bookwriter of the acclaimed Ed Kleban bio-musical A Class Act) and Playbill.com’s Managing Editor Robert Viagas.
In conjunction with the 40th Anniversary Celebration, an audiophile vinyl LP edition of the original cast album will also be released in conjunction with Razor and Tie’s Analog Spark imprint. Cut from high-resolution files by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio and manufactured on 180-gram vinyl at Memphis Record Pressing, the set includes a digital download card redeemable for the entire 40th Anniversary Celebration set. (It hasn’t been specified whether this pressing will reflect the album as heard in 1975 or the subsequent, expanded and resequenced version.)
The time has never been better to celebrate this singular sensation. A Chorus Line – 40th Anniversary Edition arrives from Masterworks Broadway and Columbia Records on October 23 and can be pre-ordered at the links below!
A Chorus Line – 40th Anniversary Celebration (Columbia PS 33581, 1975 – reissued Columbia/Masterworks Broadway, 2015)
- Opening: I Hope I Get It – Company
- I Can Do That – Wayne Cilento
- At The Ballet – Carole Bishop, Nancy Lane, Kay Cole
- Sing! – Renee Baughman, Don Percassi
- Montage, Part 1: Hello Twelve, Hello Thirteen, Hello Love – Cameron Mason, Baayork Lee
- Montage, Part 2: Mother – Ron Kuhlman, Patricia Garland
- Montage, Part 3: Gimme the Ball – Michel Stuart, Ronald Dennis
- Nothing – Priscilla Lopez
- Dance: Ten; Looks: Three – Pamela Blair
- The Music and the Mirror – Donna McKechnie
- One – Company
- What I Did For Love – Priscilla Lopez, Company
- One (Reprise)/Finale – Company
- It’s All In Here
- I Can Do That
- At The Ballet
- Finale Ballad (What I Did For Love)
Track 5 includes additional material first released on Columbia SK 65282, 1998
Tracks 14-21 are previously unreleased bonus tracks