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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 24 September 2006
This is a fabulous recording of one the greatest musicals ever written. I have other recordings of Guys and Dolls (including the recent Broadway revival) but this National Theatre version knocks them all for six. Julia Mackenzie, in particular, is wondrous in all her numbers, and I defy anyone to listen to this recording of 'Sit Down You're Rockin' The Boat' without feeling total joy. I saw the original at the National Theatre in the early 80s and it remains the most exhilerating experience I've ever had in a theatre - though I've been to many great shows since. Ignore some of the other reviews here - this is a brilliant CD.
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on 27 August 2005
To start there is no brilliant album of this show (and most definitely not a film) but this album is the best you will get. Strong performances from all; the only down side is that the recording is not as rich as it would have been if it had been recorded today - it needs a richer orchestra - but don't let it put you off. Adalaide's Lament is excellent and my favourite "Sit Down" is very good. All songs are done with gusto and the enthusiasim is infectious. A brilliant all round performance: Julia Mackenzie is in fine voice, as is David Healy, Julie Covington and the wonderful Ian Charleston, and the ensemble is very good. This is the best recording you will get to date (August 2005) so get it because who knows when perfection will arrive!
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on 16 July 2010
The National Theatre are renowned for taking old musical theatre classics and reinventing them with a new fresh feel. This production of Guys and Dolls is no exception. The Cast Recording is one of the best I have heard for this show. Julie Covington makes such songs a s "I've Never Been in Love Before" sound effortless and Julia McKenzie is the best Adelaide ever. If you love Guys and Dolls or if you are just being introduced to it and need to hear the sound track in full, then I recommend this version
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on 14 October 2014
A lovely souvenir of the marvellous production of Guys & Dolls by the Natiomnal Theatre. Having seen a recent production of the show I wanted to hear the songs again and againThis is the definitive and superlative cersion
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on 23 August 2014
Listening to this cd makes the decision to excise 'I've never been in love before' , from the film version , seem even stranger - because the section of the cd that has Julie Covington singing 'if I were a bell' and then Ian Charleson singing 'my time of day', and then seguys to ian charleson and Julie Covington singing I've never been in love before' - is just fantastic really - Julie Covingtons singing is damn sexy really - the critic that described her voice 'like celery' - I think I get what he meant. Bob Hoskins brings to his songs the spirit that you feel Nathan Detroit was meant to have - and that the Sinatra film version took away trying to turn the part into a rival romantic lead almost. ridiculous. love this cd. love Julie Covington. a great version of 'sit down you're rocking the boat too'.
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on 18 April 2016
I was fortunate enough to see this legendary 1982 National Theatre production of 'Guys and Dolls', both in previews and on opening night. It was bold and brassy, and damned near perfect. The 'Don't Rock the Boat' number was so full of energy and perfect ensemble performances that it stopped the show - the audience were on their feet and didn't stop clapping and screaming 'encore' for several minutes. So the performers were forced to give us that encore performance. Ian Charleson was suave and loosely sexy, but it was Bob Hoskins' explosive, sweet performance that was a revelation, along with the spectacular Julia McKenzie (currently starring as Miss Marple on the BBC!) who blew the top off her musical numbers. This recording really captures the energy and fun of the production. I had lost the CD years ago, and after seeing the current revival of 'Guys and Dolls' in London at the Savoy (I hated it), I really wanted to revisit my favorite version. I just ripped the CD and it's now forever in my iTunes account, and it's every bit the wonderful experience that I remembered from that years-ago night in the theatre.
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on 21 March 2015
I have never actually seen Guys and Dolls before and I completely missed this production at the National Theatre. I brought this particular CD for a couple of reasons, my mother loved this performance when she saw it and I already knew that I adored both Julia McKenzie's and Ian Charleson's voices. This CD was under £3 second hand and though the case was a little bit scuffed the CD itself was in perfect condition. I don't think that the quality of the recording is quite as good as if it had been recorded now, but it is still perfectly good.

I absolutely love this album. I honestly think that it is one of the best purchases I have ever made. This CD has lived in my player since I brought it and I have already learnt most of the words. The songs are all full of energy and are so so beautifully sung. I'd never heard Julie Covington sing before, she is incredibly gifted. My favourite tracks are "I'll know," "I've never been in love before," "Adelaide's lament," "Luck, be a lady," and "Sit down your rocking the boat". I would whole heartedly recommend this album to anybody; I couldn't imagine not falling instantly in love with it.
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on 13 December 2014
Like many reviewers, I saw the 1982 National Theatre production from which this CD is taken. It remains one of the best musicals that I have seen and it is really thrilling to be reminded of that production by this exceptional CD. Julia McKenzie, Julie Covington, Ian Charleson and David Healy were some of the best singer actors of their generation and are at their best here. Bob Hoskins was no singer but he is still a joy to hear. A CD that I will always treasure.
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on 14 November 2013
a lot of fun, songs well rendered, Bob Hoskins quite amusing and non-Good Friday form, what more d'ya want, Guys and Gals?
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on 9 December 2002
Unfortunately, this National Theatre cast does not live up to expectations. On the whole, the interpretation of such great musical numbers as 'Fugue for Tinhorns', 'I'll Know', and 'Sit Down, You're Rocking the Boat' leave a lot to be desired. The performers sound bored much of the time and the sound engineering on this recording is thin and lacking in dynamics. A very cheap highlights CD I bought from a newsagent in Australia leaves this very lacklustre recording for dead.
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