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My Fair Lady
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My Fair Lady

28 May 2002 | Format: MP3

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 28 May 2002
  • Release Date: 28 May 2002
  • Label: Masterworks Broadway
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 1:02:25
  • Genres:
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,395 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

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Amazon.com: 81 reviews
44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
the original cast; still definitive! 12 Sept. 2004
By Byron Kolln - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The original Broadway cast album of MY FAIR LADY is a mandatory disc in every self-respecting musical fan's collection. It captures the cast at the top of their game, and Julie Andrews at the peak of her Broadway career. Her voice is sparkling and effervescent, with Rex Harrison as a thrilling Higgins and Stanley Holloway a delight as Eliza's erstwhile father Alfred P. Doolittle. The monaural sound is warm and lush in Columbia's best style. This newest remaster of the album sounds better than ever. By the time the London cast album was recorded 4 years later (to take advantage of the new stereo format), a tired feeling had crept into Julie Andrews' singing (or perhaps boredom), so the Broadway edition is the format of choice, despite the technical limitations of the mono mix.
31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
By Dewey Mee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Earlier, I had written a review of the 1959 London Cast Stereo recording of "MY FAIR LADY." Many amazon.com customers seem to prefer the original Broadway Cast recording to the later London Stereo LP. I'm such a "Fair Lady" fan, I have both discs. The disc I'm reviewing here is a Gold Disc with an extra Bonus Track. Columbia Records president Goddard Lieberson conducts post-recording interviews with Rex Harrison, Julie Andrews, lyricists Alan Lerner and conducter Franz Allers. Liberson states that "FAIR LADY" is "possibly the most successful musical of this (20th) Century." He got that right! Here, you hear Rex Harrison give a full out performance, when he was still excited by the material and everything was fresh and new. Boredom set in afterwards. Harrison growls and grunts his way through Higgins' songs on the London Cast Album, and in the 1964 film version (for which he received an Academy Award), Harrison couldn't be more listless, static, and boring; giving a one-note "phoned in" performance. Much better than Harrison, in any case, is Julie Andrews; then on the brink of her brilliant career. She is best at full fire and music, exploding with fury and rage in "Just You Wait! " and "Show Me." Simply put, Julie Andrews is the best Eliza Doolittle of all time. Added to all this is a delightful dash of Stanley Holloway. For pure freshness and vitality, you can't beat this original recording of MY FAIR LADY. And the Post-Recording interviews make this an irresistable treat, not that everything else wasn't enough!
29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Having now listened to the Broadway album.... 2 Aug. 2000
By Tommy Peter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I have to agree with Mr. McCatain and others in saying that the ORIGINAL Broadway cast album of "My Fair Lady" is much better than the London cast album, and that it must be one of the best original cast albums ever made. The sound is so clear you can't tell for a minute that it's in mono. (What mono?) But the main difference is that, because the orchestrations are much faster, the performers have to be much more "structured" than they were in the stereo London recording. As a result, their performances are much better. Rex Harrison talks his lyrics more here than in London, and his performance is that much sharper as a result. As wonderful as she always sounds, Julie Andrews never has sounded quite like this again; her voice is so much brighter, fresher, and all-around better than in London. Stanley Holloway is, quite simply, wonderful. John Michael King, while obviously American and not British, is a much better singer than the London Freddy, Leonard Weir. Because the performers were so much more laid-back in London, (Perhaps they were a little too used to their roles by that time) the wonderful Loewe score really took center stage on that recording, which certainly isn't a bad thing. But the performers (and Lerner's great lyrics) are the show here, and they really do have, in the words of another reviewer, a "zip and zing of discovery" that you just won't find in London or probably any other recording of this show. Must certainly be one of the, if not THE, must-have in any music, musical, or theatre lover's collection.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
It's nice to have the goosebumps again 31 Dec. 2004
By Gene DeSantis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
We are fortunate to have this solid-platinum masterpiece back. We are doubly fortunate given the great Goddard Lieberson's rare lack of foresight to record it right away in stereo. Perhaps he did consider it and figured it was too much trouble, but it would have been eminently worth it. Then again, among this album's manifold virtues is excellent mono sound.

It was possible -- RCA and British Decca recorded commercially in stereo from 1954; but Columbia seems not to have started in stereo at all until November, 1956, and then haltingly, in binaural, on Lieberson's "Li'l Abner" cast album (and only on two orchestral tracks, until recently unreleased). In December he produced Leonard Bernstein's "Candide" in separate mono and two-track stereo takes,* followed by "Bells Are Ringing" in two-track. In 1959 he did record "My Fair Lady" in stereo -- an "identical" London cast album. Happily both recordings coexisted peacefully on record-store racks until the end of the dual-format era in the late sixties, when CBS decided London was better. Sony showed its love for the Broadway cast album by issuing a slapdash hard-to-find CD sometime around 1988, followed by one of those absurdly expensive gold-plated Mastersound discs which the company used to avoid fixing its back catalog, and whose cost it justified by adding the first of the two current bonus tracks. A preposterous internecine fight over control of the company's cast albums further delayed a good reasonably-priced reissue.

Finally, in 2002, it arrived -- a beautiful, sensitive remastering. Probably most of us last heard this album as I did, in a kitchen on a portable tube-type manual phono. To behold this on a good stereo wipes away whatever idea you had that you'd heard it too often. No, this remains as utterly right as a musical ever got. These folk being human, we do get small flaws -- like the very fastidious Henry Higgins (and the not so fastidious Alan Jay Lerner) insisting Eliza Doolittle be "hung," and several Lieberson edits that jar after the film version and its soundtrack album have lodged in your head. (Indeed even the most addicted cast-album nuts must concede the Alexander Courage-Andre Previn reworking of the Overture -- yes, that Alexander Courage -- is far better; but then Bill Paley and Goddard Lieberson didn't have the Warner Bros. Orchestra either.) Only now can we truly realize just how extraordinary everything is, how note-perfect the casting, and the performance -- and here digital recording excels, because it clearly wouldn't not be quite the same magnificent album without the superb work of its session engineers, Fred Plaut and Edward T. "Bud" Graham, cleaned and polished to a bright warm glow by the reissue's co-producer and remasterer Darcy Proper. (Given past Sony practice I would not be surprised to learn this is the Mastersound remaster, reissued; we'll take it.) No mistake: this is one of the greatest recordings of any kind ever.

Often bonus tracks are irrelevant, but not so on Sony's recent cast album reissues, and definitely not here. The previously-issued first is an attempt by Lieberson (patrician accent and all -- but with what he did for the record biz we'll forgive it) at an interview at session's end that promptly got out of his control, but it gives us an inkling these folks were every bit as exciting to know offstage as on. The second is off a promotional disc for "Camelot" (so I gather; the liner booklet doesn't specify, and Masterworks issued many such discs) starring Lieberson and the songwriters, and despite its brevity we get an idea of the guesswork involved in writing musicals -- no more so than here. It helps, though, when your names are Frederick Loewe and Alan Jay Lerner, and all your guesses are right.

P. S. Tim, or Tom, or Joe Scanlon's silly booklet notes repeat an error that appears in "Dazzler," Steven Bach's biography of Moss Hart: that "My Fair Lady" earned back "2,000 percent" of its production costs. But Bach himself states that the show earned an estimated $800 million to $1 billion -- a return at minimum of 200,000 percent. (He may have meant 2,000 TIMES, which is correct.) Do you suppose the LEGENDARY Clive Davis and the equally LEGENDARY Walter Yetnikoff ever did anything so profitable?

*To be sure stereo was still somewhat experimental, and the stereo "Candide"'s sound is not that good; on the other hand, the "Li'l Abner" binaural tracks are.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
still the most stunning recording of My Fair Lady 28 Dec. 2000
By Alex - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Always been a fan of musicals, I find the orchestration, arrangement and most of all, the performances of Harrison - Andrews stellar and wonderful. Here is a CD where we can hear the silkful coloratura soprano voice of Julie Andrews as she shows the singers of today what it means to sing, flit and touch high notes without shrieking or shouting their vocal chords off ! I have also listened to Kiri Te Kanawa's lyrical soprano performances of the same songs and Julie can stand side by side with this opera singer. Julie is effervescent in this material. Rex Harrison is also the best Dr. Higgins there is. His recitative performance of the role is memorable and will withstand the test of time.
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