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A while ago, a friend of mine lent me her CD which contained worktapes for the hit musical- Wicked. Such a treat. In this compilation, there are 8 tracks- but in reality 6 songs. All the songs are played and sung by composer, Stephan Schwartz. Aside from Wicked, he has also produced music for various animated films (Prince of Egypt, Pocahontas, Hunchback of Notre Dame), as well as other stage musicals (Godspell, The Baker’s Wife, & Pippin).

In tracklisting is as follows…
1) Bad Situation
2) Bad Situation (Continued)
3) Making Good
4) Making Good (Earlier Version)
5) Step by Step
6) We Deserve Each Other
7) What Is This Feeling? (Earlier Version)
8) Which Way is the Party?

As you can see, you can see a familiar title among the bunch, and possibly recognize a phrase of one of the final songs. It’s safe to say that most of these songs were cut, but inspired others, or were simply replace.

Track 01 – Bad Situation
Very traditional-showtune from what is presented in this recording. This song is what later brought “What Is This Feeling”.  A big give-away is the chorus part.

I really don’t mind this song, but it’s a bit more showtune-ish than the rest of the musical.

Track 02 – Bad Situation (Continued)
Another version of this song, but none the less- funny!

Track 03 – Making Good
This song was replaced by “The Wizard & I”. This track is also the longest of them all. Rather than Madame Morrible & Elphaba singing in this, it’s strictly an Elphaba solo (by the sound of it), sung to Nessarose- her sister.

It starts with Elphaba talking of humiliation she has faced, then going into that attitude where she’ll prove them wrong and become great. This is only track that is pretty much a “full song”.

Luckily, Stephanie J. Block (who read the role of Elphaba prior to Idina Menzel’s casting), released it on the 5th Anniversary. I’d recommend a listen to any fan.

Track 04 – Making Good (Earlier Version)
This was a bit more funny, but it wasn’t as full or interesting as the newer version.  I do love the piano in this track though (“The train movement song” as someone says in the recording).

Track 05 – Step by Step
I’m assuming this was an Elphaba song, since it seems an opposite of “Popular” with the 25 seconds of music & lyrics we get from it. Unfortunatly, there isn’t much to comment on. But, the lyrics are enough to show it’s a “I’ll show’em!” kind of song. I really would’ve liked to see more of this song.

It also seems like a slight reprise of “Making Good” since it has some lyrical similarities.

Track 06 – We Deserve Each Other
This contains a section of what would be “Dancing Through Life”, and mainly from Glinda’s mouth, with a small line or two from Fiyero. This seems like it would come after the Glinda/Boq. It’s Glinda saying that they “deserve each other” for vain reasons, and Fiyero agrees.

Track 07 – What is This Feeling? (Earlier Version)
This song is all together slower and more of a ballad. Most of the lyrics are here, but note-wise, it is quite different.  I think that the faster tempo, and upbeat feel, made the song work in the end. It gave it more energy that would fit better.

Track 08 – Which Way to the Party?
Possibly my favorite song of the bunch. This song was the basis for the number “Dancing Through Life”. Schwartz describes the reason for the change in a Q&A on musicalschwartz.com. After giving it a few listens, and comparing it to the final track- I am happy “Dancing Through Life” was the winning choice. Not only is it a bit repetitive, but also that that song has recently become a favorite of mine from this musical.

“I began to feel that the song needed to be more clearly a statement of Fiyero’s philosophy of life. “Which Way’s the Party?” seemed to be functioning simply as an “up number”, without really defining the character as much as I hoped it would. So I made the subtext of “Which Way’s the Party” the text of “Dancing Through Life”. I also tried to write a number that would fit better on the actor playing Fiyero, Norbert Leo Butz, both in its musical style and its lyric content.”

Overall: It’s a shame some of these are extremely short. The songs that became “Dancing Through Life” were changed for the better, I think, as well as “What is This Feeling”But, on the flip side, you can hear some funny comments from those in the recording.

[TT] Announcing Tune Time

Hello ladies, and if any, gentlemen! I am proud to announce a new segment of my blog- Tune Time.

As the title suggests, I will be reviewing music in my collection. I will feature not only cds, but also vinyls & cassettes. Sorry, no 8-tracks. I will also not be using any of my electronic collection (MP3s I downloaded, rather than purchased), since I would like to support the original artist in some form or manner. In my collection, you will find mostly cast recordings from stage musicals, soundtracks from (older) movies, Jazz/Swing/Big Band, 80s & 90s Pop, Disney, Spanish music, some disco & dance, and oldies.

Thank being said, here’s the current line-up of what I'd like to do (in no specific order)

-Disney’s The Little Mermaid – Original Broadway Cast Recording (CD) (In the works)
-The Go-gos – Talk Show (Vinyl)
-Disney’s The Little Mermaid – Original Soundtrack (CD)
-Stereo Action goes Broadway (Vinyl)
-100% Dance (CD)
-20th Century Masters – The Best of Diana Ross & The Supremes (CD)