Saturday, June 7, 2008

Broadway Recording Producers: Stop the Insanity!

I typically wait at least several months before buying pop/rock albums because I don’t want to get burned by any more “special tracks” available exclusively at one store. It is frustrating to buy a CD at one store, only to realize that you are missing out on a track or six available elsewhere

Let’s be honest, it would be very easy to steal music for free online, but as obsessive Broadway collectors, we enjoy supporting the artists and doing what is honest and right—paying for our music. When I buy a Broadway CD, I do look at it as, “I’m supporting Jason Robert Brown” or “I’m making a statement that there is a market for shows like Bernarda Alba.”

But there is a two-way street. Let’s ask those who produce and sell Broadway recordings to be fair in return.

We’d already gotten to the point where the revival cast recording of A Chorus Line had an additional track available from one of the online music sellers, and now the annoyance with the revival of South Pacific, in which Barnes and Noble is selling a special edition with additional tracks, after many fans flocked to Amazon to pre-order the CD at a special price.

Nate on All That Chat on Talkin’ Broadway listed the following details about the Barnes and Noble edition:

I just bought the CD tonight...the Bonus Tracks are:

27. Bali Ha'i (Billis)...this is Billis's reprise after the song proper

28. Cable Hears Bali Ha'i...this is Cable's reprise that follows Billis's

29. Company Street...this is incidental music that plays during the transition after all "Bali Ha'i" Reprises and the book scene leading into "My Girl Back Home" (the book scene is not on the CD...just the incidental/transition music)

30. A 30 second track labeled simply, "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair." This is the small section that Emile sings in the last scene of Act I when he is teasing's odd that they didn't include it in the normal place, because they have all the other reprises in the Act I Finale scene on the regular CD.

31. Wonderful Guy (Orchestral)...It is simply the orchestral track sans Kelli O'Hara, but the chorus sings at their proper times.

32. Some Enchanted Evening (Orchestral)...The orchestral track sans voices...NOT the Exit Music, which is what I initially thought it would be.

Personally, the orchestral tracks are not particularly of interest, but I would really want the vocal reprises. When someone buys your product, you want them to be thrilled with what they’ve purchased, not frustrated or angry that they are saddled with the lesser version for which they’ve paid top dollar. You also want strong opening week sales for bragging rights on the charts. Doing something that causes people to wait before buying the CD isn’t an effective way of achieving that.

the Broadway Mouth
June 7, 2008

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