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  • Annie
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Judge me as you will, but I really do enjoy the musical Annie. So somewhere along the way, I bought the original Broadway cast recording to supplement the 1999 TV movie version I usually listen to. I don’t drag it out that often, but when I do I enjoy it.

The soundtrack includes all the classic songs we associate with the musical. It opens with “Maybe,” in which Annie sings her dream of her parents. There’s her other solo, the famous song “Tomorrow.” And all the orphans join her to sing about their life in “It’s a Hard-Knock Life.” Moving over to the villains, we’ve got Miss Hannigan’s lament “Little Girls” and the song she sings with her brother and his girlfriend, “Easy Street.”

Of course, as we’re going through the familiar songs, there are some differences. The other orphans actually join Annie in the final two lines of “Maybe,” something that caught me off guard the first time I heard it. The version of “Easy Street” here leaves out much of the talking that takes place during the song when performed on stage, and I miss it.

But the biggest change comes in “I Don’t Need Anything but You.” This duet between Daddy Warbucks and Annie includes two extra verses I’ve heard no where else. And since I love the song, I enjoy hearing those verses. Those kind of changes happen as a show goes through its first initial production (I’ve noticed it on other soundtracks I have), but I wish they hadn’t chopped them.

Both movies versions have cut out some songs that really help anchor the piece in the 30’s, and those songs are here. Early in the musical, we get “We’d Like to Thank you Herbert Hoover,” a song as known as “Hooverville,” at least in the two productions I’ve seen recently. This song is the rantings of the poor who are just struggling to get by during the Great Depression. Also falling into this category is “A New Deal for Christmas.” Frankly, while I get the attempts to tie things into history (FDR is a character after all), I don’t feel this song works with the rest of the play.

There is only one reprise on this disc, and that’s the reprise of “Tomorrow” as sung by Annie, FDR, and members of his cabinet in the second act. Frankly, I find this version of the song hilarious, and I’m thrilled to have it here.

The music is dated. Part of that is on purpose as the composer was trying to capture the popular music of the 30’s for the songs. That part actually works well and creates some of the most memorable numbers here from the jazzy “Easy Street” to the toe tapping “You’re Never Fully Dressed without a Smile” or the Charleston inspired “I Don’t Need Anything but You.”

However, another part of it doesn’t work. The arrangements, including the vocals, feel like old Broadway soundtracks. Even though this is from the 70’s, there’s a certainly feel to it that gives it away. I find that puts me off a bit when I’m listening to it. And the horn section is very front and center on this disc, too.

When I got this disc, it came with some bonus tracks. There’s the first public performance of “Tomorrow,” but the real gems are the songs that were originally written and then cut from the musical. We even get a description of the original opening. And who would have guessed the Miss Hannigan’s original name was Miss Asthma? Anyway, it is easy to see why these songs were cut. You can see how the ideas behind some of them, like “Apples,” turned into other songs (in this came “We’d Like to Thank you Herbert Hoover.”) Others, like the song written for the fake "Parents" to sing as they try to claim Annie, just would have slowed things down. Of these, the most interesting one is “Just You Wait.” Written for Miss Asthma, the tune was saved, but the lyrics were changed to “Little Girls.” Again, the musical is better for it.

Of course, one danger from this soundtrack is getting the songs stuck in your head for days. And it’s always something like “Hard Knock Life” or “Little Girls” and never “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile.”

No, the original Broadway cast version of Annie is not my first choice when it comes to this musical’s soundtrack. But when I want to hear those songs I am missing, I do enjoy hearing the entire show here.
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on 6 June 2001
This CD is wonderful. The songs are realy nice and the performers are perfect! Sarah French has a powerful voice and sings a very touchable version of "Tomorrow". Kim Criswell is a strikt Miss Hannigan and her "Little Girls" is very funny. Ruthie Henshall is perfect as Grace Farrell. Altough this is a rather small part, Ruthie gives this charakter something wonderful. Last but not least Ron Raines sings the part of Daddy Warbucks very beautiful. Summing up one can say, that this is a CD where realy every performer is casted perfectly!
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on 17 July 2013
I loved this CD it took me back to childhood again in was very good value for my money and my granddaughter loved it too .jbuckler
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on 28 April 2016
My granddaughter played this for hours, loved it
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on 30 March 2015
loved it arrived very quickly
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on 4 June 2015
Great DVD, good service.
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on 12 November 2000
This is NOT the Motion Picture/disney version but the Theatre Version. The singers are good but for me it seems a bit slow, maybe how the show was intended But not how it has progressed into one of the most beloved musicals of all time that has kept kids quiet infront of their television sreen for about 20 years! Sarah French is "Annie" and her voice is strong for that of a 14 year old. For the big fans of Annie this cd would be a good souveniour but for someone who is looking for better versions then this is not the CD for you. My favourite version is the Disney one although the Toe Tapping Columbia Pictures version is a very close second.
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on 26 December 2014
I have loved listening to the old classics. I should mention that this cd does not come with a plastic case which is a shame. It has a paper case, so it feels like one of those magazine giveaway items. Having said that, the cd is just as good and I especially loved the bonus recording at the end.
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on 19 June 2016
Excellent!
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on 9 November 2014
Fantastic
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