Wednesday, October 16, 2013

MT Soundtracker: Day 16

Damn Yankees (1955)

Broadway Revival Cast Recording (1994)

Music: Richard Adler
Lyrics: Jerry Ross

Synopsis: Based on the German legend of Doctor Faustus, Joe Boyd is an estate agent who wants the baseball team he supports to win for once. Mr Applegate, who appears to be a salesman but is actually the Devil, offers Joe a deal: if Joe gives up his soul and leaves his wife, he can become a young, brilliant baseball player and join the baseball team to help them win. 

The 1994 Broadway revival of Damn Yankees had a revised story line and, understandably, orchestrations of songs were updated.  The interesting thing about this particular soundtrack is that it contains not only the songs but also small snippets of dialogue which give a more comprehensive account of the show. They have been slotted in between the songs as separate tracks so suppose someone only wanted to listen to the songs, the spoken sections would be easy to skip. 
This is one of the most energetic recordings I have come across during my project so far. It was the first one during which I actually thought 'this is musical theatre cheese'. 
Whatever Lola Wants (Lola Gets) is one of the track I had heard before. It is a seductive character song with a dance break. It starts of with a tango feel and moves towards a more rhythmic Spanish sound. The other track which knew possibly from dance class was Who's Got the Pain? which is quite catchy. In fact, not only do many of the tracks on the recording lend themselves to dance but they vary a fair amount in style promoting the inclusion of many different styles of dance. 

Damn Yankees did very well when it first opened on Broadway (featuring choreography by Bob Fosse). A short West End run took place the year after and a musical film was made in 1958. The musical has been since revived in both London and in New York.

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