14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 27 April 2003
I first bought the chicago movie soundtrack in January, and loved it! About 3 week ago, the Original New York Chicago Cast came through the door that I had ordered. I was pleased with it, but, not too pleased. I had recently been to see Chicago The Musical, and wanted the soundtrack. A day visit to London worked out well, as i got this. Ute lemper puts on a terriffic american accent, while Ruthie Henshall is superb! All That Jazz is showtopping, cell block tango is bloodsoaked, razzle dazzle is sparkling and Roxie is oozing with 'her boys'. You may think that 23 tracks is too much, but believe me, it isnt!
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 20 July 2003
I first saw Chicago when it came to my home town on 4th January 2003. I was captivated by the music and the compelling story from start to finish. In the interval I went and bought a copy of the original London cast soundtrack, and it was incredible. It has all the energy and WOOMPH that the show itself has. When you first hear "Go to Hell Kitty" introducing the story, to the infamous last line "No I'm no-one's wife, but oh I love my life and All That Jazz" 23 tracks later.
Each number is incredible, with realistic accents and the music is outstanding. All That Jazz starts with a very sexy tone which is kept throughout the whole disc, including Cell Block Tango which seems to bleed passion from the actresses. Every cast member is fantastic. The essence of the hsow whic his an incredible and unique one, flows as the music plays.
As I said I bought the cd on the 4th of January, it is now the end of July and I still listen to it everyday and I'm not tired of it. Ute Lemper and Ruthie Henshall are brilliant, making you believe everything theyre saying.
If you saw the film and enjoyed which is not hard to do, buy this cd. If you have been to see it in any theatre and enjoyed it, which is even easier to do, buy it. It is a witty, clever merciless piece of culture and should be in every home.
There is something for any taste, from traditional jazz tunes, to upbeat comical songs, my mind is drawn to "We both reached for the gun" and "Mr Cellophane", which just scream talent. Although in truth every track is amazing. Chicago is a unique and very special show and should be enjoyed by all.
A must for any music lover.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I am a veteran of probably a dozen trips down to the Adelphi Theatre between 1997 and 1998 to catch this sumptuous stocking-clad spectacle, yet I had quite forgotten just how much I used to love this original soundtrack until I spent this last weekend almost exclusively in its company.
Well, I spent this last weekend in a sort of 'ménage a trois', I suppose... incorporating this soundtrack, my Best Female Friend and me. But, after all, it was she who used to accompany me to this superlative West End show all those years ago. It was she who used to encourage me to book tickets 'as close to the stage as possible' so I could fully appreciate the outfits of the female members of the cast while simultaneously picking up some invaluable (and, I must grudgingly admit, infinitely more practical) cross-dressing tips from Mary Sunshine. And it was she who used to bring a touch of the Rocky Horrors to proceedings by plonking herself down in the stalls dressed in a Velma Kelly-style short black dress, black tights and black high-heeled combo. I never did find out why she used to do that actually, although at least she had the good sense to hide her wares under an overcoat so as not to distract the orchestra. In fact it was probably only ever me who saw what she had on underneath, now I think about it. And, believe you me, I'd rather have been teleported to the farthest depths of the universe than risk losing my eyesight in that sort of way, thank you very much. Hm... very strange behaviour.
Of course, that was all before I met my ex-wife. And before my Best Female Friend disappeared to go and do missionary work in Portsmouth, or some such far-flung location (only to miraculously return the day my divorce was finalised). And before my days of enjoying 'Chicago' from the front row of the stalls were curtailed forever when my former wife decided (rather undemocratically I thought) that 'Chicago' was degrading to women and glamorised a disgracefully 'loose' way of living. Which, I understand was the view in the end of the lady who wrote the play upon which the musical was based, one Maurine Dallas Watkins. And I'm sure both ladies make some very valid points - but that does not disguise the fact that the characters of Velma and Roxie (who were based on two murderers by the names of Beulah Annan and Belva Gaertner respectively) are extraordinarily attractive... in a murderous, adulterous, completely ridiculous kind of way.
Clearly, that sort of effect on the audience at large can only be sustained by picking two damn fine actors to portray Roxie and Velma and, arguably, the combination of Ute Lemper and Ruthie Henshall is probably the finest that the West End revival run (which closed in September 2012) was blessed with. Dressed in all their skimpy finery in front of a crowd, being sexy was something these ladies did effortlessly. But to reproduce that same intensity on a cast recording, something probably recorded relatively dispassionately in a studio while Ms Lemper and Ms Henshall were dressed in tracksuits and trainers and with their hair in curlers for all I know, is quite a feat of theatrical excellence. And, by God, do they manage to pull it off!
Actually, I have assumed here that, if you are reading this review and contemplating this purchase, you must have already seen this production. But, if you haven't, don't think for one moment this soundtrack has nothing to offer you. Virtually all of the story is contained within the songs themselves, so prior knowledge of the plot is not essential at all. Although, having said that, that plot can be summed up thus - if you look sexy in a dress and can get yourself a fancy lawyer, you can literally get away with murder. All you need is a touch of the old courtroom 'Razzle Dazzle'.
This disc was on my Best Female Friend's car stereo for virtually three solid days over this past weekend; well, whenever we were actually in the car and roaming around the New Forest together that is. There was nothing romantic about our movements I can assure you, it was just two friends getting away from the pressures of modern existence (aka my ex-wife) and trying to find peace and tranquillity in a beautiful setting, that's all. Which was obviously never going to happen, not once I'd become reacquainted with this phenomenal CD!
It's perfect for a sing-a-long at tremendously loud volume, that I can definitely vouch for. I wasn't driving, so I was able to really go for it with my moob-jiggling. Not that being in control of a vehicle would have stopped me in that respect... but we'd have all been in a ditch before the end of the first airing of 'All That Jazz', that's all.
I was somewhat stymied in my attempts to pull off a decent Ruthie Henshall impersonation by the fact that I hadn't packed myself any of the lingerie that I know would have helped me get rather significantly more into character as a convincingly sassy Roxie. I wasn't quite in a tracksuit, trainers and curlers but I was in depressingly dull casual menswear mufti; the costume of 'Mr Cellophane' himself really, played in typically morose manner here by Nigel Planer, of 'Neil from The Young Ones' fame. My ex-wife looks rather a lot like that character actually ... only Neil was a lot more cheerful than her as I recall.
A word to the wise here about the character of Mary Sunshine and her rather ear-splitting appearance on Track 7 of this disc in the number 'A Little Bit Of Good': if, in the interests of fairness, I had to identify a duff track anywhere at all this CD, I would happily ring Crimestoppers myself and report that one there to be it. On stage, it works well; in a confined space, it just sounds like Bianca Castafiore caught in a bear-trap. We didn't dare play it with all the car windows closed, just in case it shattered all the glass. I shudder to think what pain we may have therefore inadvertently inflicted upon the New Forest pony population on our travels. Mind you, sharing the fabulously energetic 'Entr'acte' with them would no doubt have more than made up for it.
This is one sexy soundtrack, there's no question about that. The atmosphere inside my Best Female Friend's car was one of pure electricity for our whole weekend together and I put that solely down to this amazing collection of tunes. Well, perhaps not 'solely'... I mean, it did tap into a whole host of shared collective memories I suppose. And my friend even thought to wear a series of outfits that were not at all dissimilar to those of Ute Lemper all those years ago. As I say though, I could not really compliment her performance the way I would most definitely have liked to because, with the best will in the world, Nature obviously never intended me to look or sound anything whatsoever like Ruthie Henshall. Or even Henry Goodman, although that did not for one moment prevent me from periodically trying to match him in lung capacity during 'We Both Reached For The Gun'. I failed, of course I did - he holds that note right at the end there with almost superhuman ability.
Well, I now have my own copy of this wonderful recording. Alright, it's my Best Female Friend's copy actually, bestowed upon me with barely a smile when we got back from our mini-break yesterday evening. To be truthful, I found it rather hard to comprehend how she could bear to part with it but, given how much I desperately wanted this product for myself, I didn't make too big a deal about it. I played it cool, that's a good way of describing it. Besides, she didn't seem in too much of a mood to argue with me. In my experience, a woman who isn't actually arguing with you is infinitely more dangerous than one who actually is, so my priority was to simply make a grab for this disc, give my friend a quick peck on the cheek and then make a hopefully-not-too-obvious run for it.
For her part, she did say I would be able to get much more out of this recording than she had managed over the previous three days away with me. And she's definitely right on that score; now I am back with my lingerie and associated accoutrements I can give Ruthie Henshall a decidedly XXL-sized run for her money!