Soundtrack / Compilation

Celebrate Broadway: Volume 8: Duets

Music and Lyrics By: Various Artists

Distributed by: Masterworks Broadway

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            In 1995, Sony Music Entertainment released a compilation album featuring some of the best known duets ever performed on Broadway.  On December 14, 2010, Masterworks Broadway, a subdivision of Sony Music Entertainment, made that very same album, Celebrate Broadway: Volume 8: Duets, available for MP3 download for the first time.  I recently had the opportunity to check out this celebrated album.

            Celebrate Broadway: Volume 8: Duets features fourteen songs from some of the most popular Broadway musicals of our time including  Chess, Annie Get Your Gun, Oklahoma!, Fiddler on the Roof, Guys and Dolls, and more.  The songs found on this album range from love songs to rivalries, from ballads to dance numbers to humorous and fun numbers.  The album features some very big performers, including Patti LuPone, Ethel Merman, Bruce Yarnell, Greg Germann, Anthony Newley, Zero Mostel, Mary Martin and more.  Some of the best Broadway musical songwriters are represented here, including Rodgers and Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim, Frank Loesser and more.

            The album is filled with songs we all love from Broadway and they all flow nicely into one another, despite how diverse each track seems.  The funny and often competitive-seeming song Youíre the Top from Anything Goes is perfectly followed by People Will Say Weíre In Love, a ballad from Oklahoma! I Remember It Well and Love Has Come of Age are perfectly ensconced beside each other as tracks 5 and 6.  The first is a cute ballad sung by an aging couple and the second speaks of young love coming of age.  Where Would You Be Without Me makes for an interesting change as one man sings his own praises as the otherís benefactor while the recipient of this lyrical barrage bemoans his having ever met the man.  I love the blending of voices in You and I from Chess, a song about a doomed romance that contains such vocal beauty you almost miss the songís meaning.

            The song that seemed the most fun for me and the most often redone is Anything You Can Do from Annie Get Your Gun.  This version, sung by Ethel Merman and Bruce Yarnell, is digitally re-mastered and sounds as crisp and clear as the first day it was performed in 1966.

            This album is a great deal of fun for any fan of Broadway, myself included.  Knowing most of the songs on the album, I couldnít help singing along, laughing at the funny parts and sighing at the romanticism of the ballads.  Celebrate Broadway: Volume 8: Duets will make a terrific addition to any Broadway fanís music collection.


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