Following its vinyl and SACD presentations of the original soundtrack of 1965's The Sound of Music and its 40th anniversary vinyl pressing of 1975's original Broadway cast recording of A Chorus Line, Razor and Tie's audiophile division Analog Spark has turned its attention to three more classic cast albums. My Fair Lady (1956), West Side Story (1958) and Fiddler on the Roof (1964) are all now available from Analog Spark in newly-remastered, 180-gram deluxe audiophile vinyl editions. These are the first titles released in association with Masterworks Broadway; the Sony imprint last year sought votes on which LPs should get the vinyl reissue treatment.
The 1956 Original Broadway Cast Recording of Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe's record-breaking My Fair Lady, starring Julie Andrews, Rex Harrison, and Stanley Holloway kicks off the series. The album was produced by legendary Columbia President Goddard Lieberson who crucially committed financing to the show. Columbia's gamble paid off; by 1965, the album featuring "Wouldn't It Be Loverly," "On the Street Where You Live," "I Could Have Danced All Night" and "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face" had sold over five million copies and remained on the charts for 428 weeks. Columbia re-recorded Fair Lady with its three principals in stereo in 1958 for its London debut, but Analog Spark has reissued the original mono album cut from the original tapes by Ryan Smith at Sterling Sound. The 180-gram vinyl release has been pressed and plated at RTI, and is housed in a Stoughton "tip-on" jacket.
Columbia added another jewel to its cast album crown in 1957 with the first recording of Arthur Laurents, Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim's West Side Story. Like My Fair Lady, West Side Story was recorded by Goddard Lieberson at Columbia's 30th Street Studio. It captured the electric performances of Larry Kert, Carol Lawrence and Chita Rivera as Tony, Maria and Anita, and preserved the introduction of now-standards like "Somewhere," "Maria," "Tonight," "America" and "Something's Coming." It wasn't long before West Side Story "covers" were recorded by pop singers like Andy Williams and Johnny Mathis. The record-breaking soundtrack to the 1961 film version (54 weeks at No. 1!) solidified the musical's place in the pantheon. Much later, the score's influence would be felt in the rock world, as well, with The Nice, Yes, and Alice Cooper all taking their turns. Analog Spark's edition of the Original Broadway Cast Recording should prove to be its best-sounding appearance on vinyl as it's been cut to 2 LPs from the original 3-track master tapes by Ryan Smith. The Stoughton tip-on jacket includes photographs from the original recording sessions, and it, too, has been pressed and plated at RTI.
Analog Spark's third offering celebrates a Broadway musical currently enjoying a successful revival today: 1964's Fiddler on the Roof. The Joseph Stein/Jerry Bock/Sheldon Harnick musical, directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins and produced by Harold Prince (both veterans of West Side Story), starred the force-of-nature Zero Mostel opposite Maria Karnilova, Bea Arthur, Bert Convy, Austin Pendleton and Julia Migenes. Bock and Harnick's score, including "Sunrise, Sunset," "Matchmaker, Matchmaker" and "If I Were a Rich Man," remains one of the most cherished of all musicals. Analog's 180-gram edition of the original RCA Victor album produced by George R. Marek and Andy Wiswell, has many of the same features as the label's other two titles: it's been cut by Ryan Smith from the original stereo tapes, has been pressed and plated at RTI, and is housed in the tip-on jacket.
All three albums - with painstakingly recreated replica Columbia and RCA labels and packaging - are available now directly from Analog Spark and for pre-order at Amazon.com with a February 26 release date. U.K. and Canada links are not yet active. See the links below to order!
Original Broadway Cast Recording, My Fair Lady (Columbia Masterworks OL 5090, 1956 - reissued Analog Spark, 2016) (Amazon U.S.)
- Overture/Why Can't the English?
- Wouldn't It Be Loverly?
- With a Little Bit of Luck
- I'm an Ordinary Man
- Just You Wait
- The Rain in Spain
- I Could Have Danced All Night
- Ascot Gavotte
- On the Street Where You Live
- You Did It
- Show Me
- Get Me to the Church on Time
- A Hymn to Him
- Without You
- I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face
Original Broadway Cast Recording, West Side Story (Columbia Masterworks OS 2001, 1957 - reissued Analog Spark, 2016) (Amazon U.S.)
- Prologue and Jet Song
- Something's Coming
- Dance at the Gym
- One Hand, One Heart
- Tonight (Quintet)
- The Rumble
- I Feel Pretty
- Somewhere (Ballet)
- Gee Officer Krupke!
- A Boy Like That/I Have a Love
Original Broadway Cast Recording, Fiddler on the Roof (RCA Victor LSO-1093, 1964 - reissued Analog Spark, 2016) (Amazon U.S.)
- Matchmaker, Matchmaker
- If I Were a Rich Man
- Sabbath Prayer
- To Life
- Miracle of Miracles
- Tevye's Dream
- Sunrise, Sunset
- Now I Have Everything
- Do You Love Me?
- Far From the Home I Love
Bill Freedman says
I pre-ordered the West Side Story Analog Spark two-disc set just before New Year's and received it a couple of weeks ago. It is the best sounding vinyl I have ever heard- honest. Hopefully, R&T can license and reissue similar quality vinyl of some rock boomer classics from the majors. The possibility of a vinyl reissue of, say, Saturate Before Using or Tunnel of Love, is something to contemplate.
Well done, Razor and Tie!
$32 each. You can get a super mint original for $1 at a garage sale almost every week.
And just why do they have to charge so much for new vinyl releases? That is the one big turn off for me.
Ain't that the truth? Paying for quality is such a drag.
High price does not necessarily mean high quality. A few of the records I have purchased on various Record Store Day sales have been marginal quality at best. Certainly not worth the price I paid.
Entirely different animal. I once got indigestion after eating late one night at a bargain chili parlor in Cincinnati. By your logic, I should never dine out again. Sometimes, you do get what you pay for. These are an example of that. Sorry you got burned at RSD. Don't want any of these? Don't buy them. Problem solved.
My opinion. Don't like them Bill, don't read them.
Can't resist. Guess I'm a sucker for logical arguments, well presented.
To me you are just plain snarky and sarcastic. I think you are the only one on the Second Disc site that feels the need to be that way, so congrats to you sir.
They are still priced too high. I'm a very serious vinyl collector. But it was those very rare and superb records that might fetch above $20-25, not some commonplace manufactured "collectable" reproductions of records that were originally pressed if not in the millions, at least in the hundreds of thousands
Back when CDs started, a CD of a title often cost as much as three times the price of the same LP. Now things have turned around and these new LPs often cost as much as three time the price as the same thing on CD (which are often discounted). It never was about actual quality, only a perception of what is desirable. The only thing to do is try to stick with used LPs and CDs, which now often can be obtained for $1 each (or less) if you are patient. For the price of these three LPs, I can buy the same titles used (in mint condition) along with 100 more titles, and really enjoy a lot more music
My folks have the original vinyl versions of My Fair Lady and Fiddler. I can smell the vinyl/cardboard sleeve just looking at the pictures on this post.