Released to massive acclaim and a Pulitzer Prize in 1949, this has remained one of Rodgers and Hammerstein's all-time revered musicals (closely following--chronologically and favourably--both Oklahoma!
). It took nearly a decade to reach the silver screen, but audiences seemed to appreciate it and this album all the more. There have been several releases of the material before, but this is the Oscar-nominated film soundtrack, carefully overseen for CD-quality playback. It's sometimes amazing to be reminded just how many popular ditties can belong to one production. Now, with no fear of crackle or hiss, you can sing along to the immortal greats: "Some Enchanted Evening", "There is Nothin' Like a Dame", "Bali Ha'i", "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair" and "Happy Talk". They are all backed by some tremendous underscore conducted by Golden-Age wonder Alfred Newman. The Overture makes for a high-spirited introduction to the idyllic world of Nelly, Emile, Lt Cable, and Liat. --Paul Tonks