Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Various Artists - The Songs of West Side Story (1996)


"WEST SIDE STORY" WEEK (NOVEMBER 10-16, 2013) 

From a ★★ review over at Allmusic:
In 1992, AIDS Project Los Angeles staged an all-star benefit concert in which contemporary artists performed songs from West Side Story. It was a cute one-shot idea and well-received (especially with such inspired choices as having Elton John sing "I Feel Pretty"). That should have been the end of it, but several years later, producer David Pack organized this recorded version, and the cute idea has become a multi-artist embarrassment.
A multi-artist embarrassment. That's harsh. But true (e.g., Phil Collins singing Somewhere).  Good for occasional amusement, though, as long as you don't take it too seriously. It includes Selena's final recording, made just a few weeks before her murder.  I feel kinda bad for Pack; I really enjoy his soft rock stuff from his work with Ambrosia.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #65

Tracks: 

It's not all bad.  The better tracks are:
  • Prologue/Jet Song - Brian Setzer
  • Cool - Patti Austin, Mervyn Warren & Bruce Hornsby
And, if you like your music over-produced and cheesy:
  • America - Natalie Cole, Patti LaBelle & Sheila E. (I just can't resist the gospel coda)
  • I Feel Pretty - Little Richard
Skip the rest unless you want to laugh at the take on Officer Krupke.  Bernstein would have loved it.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD:  For some reason, I'm reminded of a wedding I performed at in the summer of '96.  One of the few times I've heard this disc must have been on the rides to and from that gig.


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