Tarzan: The Broadway Musical
Cast Album from Disney Records
Music and Lyrics by Phil Collins

Reviewed by Jon Minners

For a long stretch, without the help of Pixar, Walt Disney created some of the greatest animated tales children have ever seen, from Little Mermaid to Beauty and the Beast and from Lion King and Aladdin to Tarzan.  Not since Tarzan was first created more than 90 years ago, introduced by Edgar Rice Burroughs in the October 1912 issue of All Story Magazine, had anyone really understood the concept of the character.  So many tried and so many flops later, no version of Tarzan has stood the test of time as much as the 1999 animated film.  Taking a cue from the hit Beauty and the Beast and Lion King Broadway Musicals that Disney launched, Tarzan has hit the stage and along with it a CD featuring a cast album created by Oscar and six-time Grammy award winning artist Phil Collins

Collins is no stranger to Tarzan.  He composed five songs for the film, including You’ll Be in My Heart, which won the 2000 Academy Award for Song of the Year and spent 10 weeks as #1 on the Billboard adult contemporary charts and was #1 in 14 countries across the globe.  With his help, the soundtrack for the film went double platinum, while the film grossed $447 million worldwide.  The DVD sold 13 million units.  Collins’ name became pseudonymous with Tarzan.  He had to be selected for the play’s music.  Great move. 

I do not save many Broadway Soundtracks.  I do own Mama Mia and Wicked.  That was an exception two-CD set.  I didn’t expect to enjoy many others.  Maybe Movin’ Out.  But if I was going to listen to a Broadway soundtrack, it was going to be a Disney soundtrack.  Not too many Valentine’s Day memories ago, I went with my ex to see Beauty and the Beast with Toni Braxton.  It was probably one of the greatest plays I have ever seen.  No other play I have ever seen matched how much fun I had watching the great choreography, story and, most importantly, the music that accompanied the characters as they performed for a jubilant audience. 

I could never get to see Lion King.  Even after all this time, that play seems to be always sold out.  And it seems like Tarzan is going the same route.  But listening to the soundtrack, I have to say, I definitely want to go to the Richard Rodgers Theatre on 226 W. 46th Street in New York City, where the play is currently being staged and put the whole package together. 

You will recognize some tracks on this CD, such as Strangers Like Me and You’ll Be In My Heart, but there are nine new tracks penned by Collins, including Everything That I Am, which we can hear from the cast and also Collins, himself, as part of a bonus track included at the end of the CD.  Awesome song.  I also enjoyed the emotional No Other Way and my personal favorite, Sure as Sun Turns to Moon.  That is a great song.  The way the characters play off one another in song…it almost bothers me to just be listening to it. 

That said, I must say that I was upset after listening to the soundtrack.  I didn’t get to see the play yet and now I feel half fulfilled.  So, if you think you would feel the same way, try as hard as you can to see the play first, but if you can’t get in, the soundtrack is the next best thing.  If you saw the play already, then you already know… Tarzan belongs in your collection.   Finally, something about Tarzan that doesn’t disappoint.

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