Clearly I'm in the minority here, but I really like this recording. Mike Holoway and Louise Gold don't equal the brilliant and authoritative performances of Newley and Quayle, but they do very, very well.
I'm puzzled by the hostility that the performances of Holoway and Gold have provoked from most of the other reviewers. And I would think that some of the Newley lovers would be pleased that that the people at JAY think highly enough of this score to have produced a complete recording of it, even if they didn't love the result. Instead, they seem affronted by the idea that anyone would dare produce a recording with someone other than Newley as Littlechap.
Holoway has a more pleasing voice than Newley, and his acting of the songs satisfied me completely. Obviously, Newley had an authority in these songs that no one else will ever have. But Holoway is excellent.
And I think that Gold is often as funny as Quayle. There are definitely places where Quayle is absolutely matchless, brilliant and beyond comparison. But Gold is very good.
This recording is well-conducted, the orchestra plays terrifically, the orchestrations sound fabulous, and the supporting cast is fine. And it contains the entire score.
I've heard almost all of the releases in the JAY Masterworks series, and I think this is one of the best. Some of the other reviewers seemed to have been upset that neither of the recordings featuring Newley and Quayle were available while this one was. Well, it seems strange to blame this recording for that. The people at JAY weren't keeping the other ones from being released.
In any case, the Broadway recording with Newley and Quayle is again available. I'm glad to have both.