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5.0 out of 5 stars The best "Carousel" recording ever made
Because the second half of my review did not appear (at least the last time I checked), I'm resubmitting it. Here it is, rewritten as closely as I can remember:
Pay no attention to those decrying this release because of the sound of clomping footsteps during the "June Is Bustin' Out All Over" sequence. I'll wager that those same people who complain about...
Published on June 21 2001 by albertatamazon

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3.0 out of 5 stars Gummed up a beautiful soundtrack album
This overblown "completeitis" has got to stop. Some of the stupidist mistakes of this movie, e.g., the prelude in heaven with Billy cleaning stars, are lovingly included here - where, if the actual credits music needed to be used (arguable), it could've been faded into, without MacRae's whistling and spittin' on stars. The original, beautifully played,...
Published on June 9 2003 by David Pabian


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3.0 out of 5 stars Gummed up a beautiful soundtrack album, June 9 2003
By 
David Pabian (Los Angeles, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This overblown "completeitis" has got to stop. Some of the stupidist mistakes of this movie, e.g., the prelude in heaven with Billy cleaning stars, are lovingly included here - where, if the actual credits music needed to be used (arguable), it could've been faded into, without MacRae's whistling and spittin' on stars. The original, beautifully played, soundtrack album Carousel Waltz is now relegated to Appendix status, and terrible sonics accompany dancers' footstomping in the "new" expanded musical sequences, taken directly from the soundtrack. There was a reason soundtrack recordings were studio (and sometimes studio-for-recordings-only) performances. The proportions were right, the timings were correct for an overall BALANCED listening experience. These gawdawful expanded editions, often with dialogue thrown in, completely throw off those balances. An argument might be made for expanded sequences appropriate to CDs longer playing time than the standard L.P. 45min., but possibly only if those sequences were still available in their original studio-recorded, pre release-print mix. In this recording, and the Oklahoma! and King and I new expanded soundtracks, the touted "restored" segments sound like the recordings I made as a kid off of 16mm films by sticking my reel-to-reel jack into the audio output. Yucch! This is, for my money, still the most beautifully sung recording of this work (except for Barbara Ruick's cutesy cutesy 50s schtick), beautifully orchestrated, wonderfully realized. The censors made them drop "The Highest Judge of All," possibly the best song in the score, and actually the definition of who the character of Billy Bigelow is. But then it was also cut in the '94 revival - most likely because of the ineptness of the actor who played Bigelow (his "Sililoquy" is beyond painful, his 'voice' giving out about halfway through). It's a shame if the original soundtrack album of "Carousel" is no longer available. And a quick word on one of the above reviews: This is not the first time the complete Carousel Waltz is heard in stereo. There were two previous CD remasterings of the original soundtrack whereon it was included. And the reprise of "If I loved You" was part of every soundtrack release, mono and stereo.
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4.0 out of 5 stars It's great, except for..., May 22 2002
By A Customer
This remastered and expanded edition of Carousel has never sounded better. Here we have the entire contents of the original soundtrack LP plus a whole slew of other, unreleased tracks. The previously released tracks are taken directly from the soundtrack album masters. The unreleased tracks are lifted from the edited film soundtrack. Because of this we notice a slight difference in fidelity between the released and unreleased cuts. The unreleased tracks are nice, except that on a music only CD we do not need to be bombarded with extra sound effects such as hand clapping and foot stomping (a good example is the "June" dance sequence). Those are appropriate when viewing the picture, but not when listening to it in soundtrack form. Similar sound effects are also had with the remastered OKLAHOMA, MY FAIR LADY, and (to a small extent) THE KING AND I and THE MUSIC MAN. For future releases of this album (and Oklahoma, which suffered the same downfall) more effort should be made to locate the original recording masters, where they exist, and incorporate them into the album.
If you can get past that, CAROUSEL has never sounded better. Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones are in top form, and fresh from their successful pairing in the Academy Award Winning OKLAHOMA (1955). Barbara Ruick and the rest of the support cast are excellent as well. While I dearly love the 1945 Original Broadway Cast album of CAROUSEL, the recording methods of 1945 will forever keep that album sounding like it was recorded in 1945 for 78 RPM records.
Those that still have their copies of the previous (1993) CD release of CAROUSEL will want to hang onto them, as that album is how a music only CD of Carousel should sound.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best "Carousel" recording ever made, June 21 2001
By 
albertatamazon (Atlanta, Georgia, USA) - See all my reviews
Because the second half of my review did not appear (at least the last time I checked), I'm resubmitting it. Here it is, rewritten as closely as I can remember:
Pay no attention to those decrying this release because of the sound of clomping footsteps during the "June Is Bustin' Out All Over" sequence. I'll wager that those same people who complain about the sound of footsteps during this dance don't raise a single complaint over the sound of prolongued applause or coughing during a rock or classical concert, or a live recording of a Broadway show (there ARE some of those around). What is commendable is Angel Records's conscientiousness in trying to keep out the extraneous sound effects as much as possible. The additional material has been obtained, not from the original music and vocal tracks, but from the final, printed version of the soundtrack, and Angel no doubt realized that too many extraneous noises would probably annoy the listener. This is probably why the actual "carousel sequence" (in which crowd murmurs, as well as Gordon MacRae's voice shouting "Hurry, hurry, hurry! Ride on the carousel",etc., can clearly be heard) was omitted, and why "Louise's Ballet", finally captured here in breathtaking stereo sound, begins after the lapping of the ocean can no longer be heard.
In fact, this album is the answer to any R&H fan's prayers, and as far as I'm concerned, the finest recording of "Carousel" ever made. Gordon MacRae, in his best screen role as Billy Bigelow, easily eclipses all other Billys ever recorded, and that includes John Raitt, as well as Michael Hayden of the recent smash London and Broadway revival. He brings to the role, in addition to his beautiful voice, a sincerity which clearly establishes him as the finest if most underrated male singer in musical films, surpassing even Howard Keel, who was a less convincing actor.
The rest of the cast is nearly as good as MacRae; even the usually non-singing Cameron Mitchell does surprisingly well. The album also includes the two numbers cut before the film's release (these were on the previous release as well) , but with the previously unreleased dance music, gloriously played by the 20th Century-Fox orchestra, we now have as close as possible a version of what the film might have been like had it been released without the deletions back in 1956, and all in immeasurably improved re-mastered sound.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The finest recording of "Carousel" ever made, June 17 2001
By 
albertatamazon (Atlanta, Georgia, USA) - See all my reviews
Pay absolutely no attention to the reviews decrying this recording because of the sound of clomping footsteps during the "June Is Bustin' Out All Over" dance. I would wager anything that these same reviewers who complain about the sound of feet during this dance don't raise a single voice over the inclusion of prolonged applause or coughing during a recording of either a live classical concert, a rock concert, or even a Broadway show (there ARE some of those around).
What is remarkable is Angel Records conscientiousness in keeping out as many of the extraneous sound efects as possible. Angel obtained some of the additional tracks from the final printed soundtrack rather than just the original music tracks, and they realized that too much dialogue and extraneous noises would annoy listeners.So, it is quite likely that this is the reason that the actual "carousel" sequence, filmed with all sorts of crowd noises as well as Gordon MacRae calling out "Hurry,hurry,hurry!...
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2.0 out of 5 stars Classic soundtrack has a disappointing remaster!, May 6 2001
I would love to recommend Angel's new "expanded remaster" of the CAROUSEL soundtack. Unfortunatly this new release disappoints big time. Don't be fooled by the fancy new packaging which claims the material comes from the film session recordings. All the added material is simply lifted from the final mixed film soundtrack complete with extraneous sound effects and meaningless dialog exerpts which have no place on a music only release. To make matters worst the CD producers edited bits and pieces from the long standing Capitol Records tracks to accomidate the added material. This causes an annoying and disjointed listening experience which insults the original release. The Ballet has annoying foot shuffling sounds throughout. The JUNE ballet has foot stomping and clapping sound effects which interfer with the music. Surprisingly this release was authorized by the Rodgers & Hammerstien organization. On the plus side, the Capitol tracks never sounded better. But its a big price to pay for this sloppy release. If I wanted the same listening expierance I could play a copy of the VHS or DVD and skip to each musical sequence. Or better yet I can create my own cassette tape right off the DVD. Its basically what producer Dieter Deutsch & Co. have done. A soundtrack as important as this deserves to be treated with dignity and the original should be improved not compromised. There must be a ton of original material relating to CAROUSEL in the Fox vaults, maybe enough for a 2 disc set. I suppose we have to wait another 10 years for this soundtrack to recieve justice on CD. Even Rhino/Turner gave lesser musical films exceptional remasters years ago. Things should be getting better not worse and this "new" CAROUSEL is not an improvement over the original LP release. Casual listeners may not mind the intrusions, but true fans will want to hold on to their orginal CD copies as this release does not improve on the original which has stood the test of time for 45 years. Now don't get me started on Angel's new "expanded" OKLAHOMA! soundtrack release....
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5.0 out of 5 stars New expanded soundtrack version proves exceptional treat, April 19 2001
By 
A. Andersen (Bellows Falls, VT USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
With the new milennium, Angel has decided to include more musical information from the films of the R&H shows they hold soundtrack release rights to (through the Capitol label)- OKLAHOMA!, CAROUSEL and THE KING AND I. This newly expanded soundtrack is a real treat for fans of the film.
A bit of history- the original 1956 LP release was unusual in that it had no "bands" (the usual practice is to separate recorded material into bands by clear vinyl in order to locate particular numbers). Both sides contained only one band stretching from rim to label. This allowed it to contain more musical information. Compare its 50:53 minutes to OKLAHOMA!'s 41:37, the latter banded. Also it was the first year of the LP not having to also provide 78/45 rpm packages as well, so that the times for a selection were expanded beyond those brief sides' restrictions.
Four years later, these tracks were re-mixed for a stereo LP release which did contain bands, resulting in the first half of the CAROUSEL WALTZ being deleted and WHEN THE CHILDREN ARE ASLEEP being moved from its correct order in the film to the spot it occupied in the original show (both disconcerting).
When it finally made it onto CD, we had the correct order again and the entire CAROUSEL WALTZ in stereo for the first time.
Note: Different takes between the mono and the stereo LP in the following instances: a. IF I LOVED YOU - "And I always say two heads are better than one to figger it out." ; b. JUNE "Fresh and alive and gay and young, June is a love song sweetly sung." ; SOLILOQUY "Say, why am I takin on like this?"
Astute ears will also note that the JUNE interchange - "Love has found my brother, Junior - And my sister's even loonier - And my ma is gettin kittenish with Pap" is sung by entirely different voices in the film proper than on the commercially released "soundtrack material" on Capitol/Angel.
Now down to the additions. There are four new pieces of musical information and an augmentation to one number. The "Introduction" contains the spangly heaven music under the dialogue between Billy and the Heavenly Friend, seguing into the Main Title -this lifted directly from a print of the film. The dance music to JUNE is spliced into the commercially released recording, cutting the recording studio ending after the drum roll that was added on to the piece (both OKLAHOMA! and CAROUSEL numbers were tailored for the LP by adding orchestral introductions and endings to "tie them up" rather than lifting the pieces as heard in the film for the then popular "easy listening" approach.) YOU'LL NEVER WALK ALONE is lifted from the film once more rather than using the commerical recording, adding in Nettie's opening dialogue and Julie's tearful attempt to sing the song before Nettie takes over. The greatest gem in the package is the complete LOUISE'S BALLET - one of Alfred Newman's supreme achievements in orchestrating and arranging. The small piece of dialogue at the beginning "My father bought me my new dress......Your father was a thief" has been edited out but the concluding dialogue "Shame on you....I hate all of you" has been left in. Newman's gorgeous rendition of the complete CAROUSEL WALTZ - the best ever recorded - as it appeared on the LP concludes the set.
The sound is sumptuously improved and the stereo separation is superb. This is the finest package this material has ever seen. An extensive booklet is enclosed as well.
Interesting to hear that both Jane Powell and Jean Simmons were considered for the part (the latter dubbed would have been a sensational dramatic choice) but they neglect to mention Judy Garland who was almost signed to sing with Sinatra.
A photo of the cut BLOW HIGH BLOW LOW scene shows a very obvious motor boat in the background. Wonder if this anachronism helped decide to jettison the scene. In the dialogue between Billy and Jigger planning the robbery, there is also extensive soundbleed from large outboard motors in the film proper.
All those who love this film - RUN to buy this expanded CD version.
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5.0 out of 5 stars RICHARD RODGERS'S FAVORITE AMONG HIS SHOWS, March 21 2001
By 
ALAIN ROBERT (ST-HUBERT,QUÉBEC) - See all my reviews
2002 is going to be quite a year for all musical comedy fans and it's greatest figure who will be celebrating his centenary anniversary.But you fan can start right away by buying this wonderful record which remains the best version of the show available.Everyone who saw the show knows that in the film YOU'RE A QUEER ONE JULIE JORDAN;the first half of WHEN THE CHILDREN ARE ASLEEP(a big mistake),GERANIUMS IN WINTER and BLOW HIGH, BLOW LOW were not edited because they thought the film would have been too long.This was not DICK and OSCAR's decision of course.In his latest years(RICHARD RODGERS died in 1979)nothing please more the composer than seeing his favorite show live in theaters.The cast in the film was simply perfect from JULIE to JIGGER and GORDON McCRAE was much more than a subsitute for FRANK SINATRA ;he gave to his character his own approach and he was a very good singer.I can understand SHIRLEY JONES when she says in the liner notes that she would like the show to be filmed again.For 1956, it was an excellent movie.More than 40 years after their last show,RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN remain unmatched and the reprise of their 5 masterpieces throughout the world is always an event.
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1.0 out of 5 stars CAROUSEL SOUNDTRACK THE GREATEST PERFORMANCE EVER!, March 15 2001
By 
"hcampo" (Culver City, Ca.) - See all my reviews
CAROUSEL represents Rodgers and Hammerstein's finest hour musically, the closest thing to Grand Opera the duo ever wrote. The 1956 film version showcases the finest performance, before or since, that this magnificent score has ever received.
Nevertheless it is very difficult to recommend this latest expanded edition from EMI-Angel, which contains about 20 additional minutes of music not on the original album or previous CD editions. For while it is great to have Louise's Ballet, in a simply glorious arrangement by the great Alfred Newman and additional ballet music as well, the additional music is NOT from the original multi channel vocal and music separation soundtrack master recordings stored in the 20th Century Fox vaults but instead recorded directly from a final mix print soundtrack complete with foot stomping and extraneous sound effects, which besides having no place on a music only recording, actually detract from the listening experience rather than enhance it. If this were 42ND STREET, the foot stomping would make sense, since it is an integral part of the musical presentation, but without the visuals these random sounds don't make any sense in CAROUSEL, where the magnificent arrangements of Alfred Newman should be allowed to speak for themselves without intrusions from foley effects. If this were a live recording, such sounds would be an artifact of the original and impossible to remove and therefore have to be acceptable if one wanted to hear the score in its entirety. But in the case of CAROUSEL (and for that fact, OKLAHOMA, THE KING AND I and SOUTH PACIFIC) a wealth of unmixed original musical material exists in the studio vaults which could have been made available for this remastering, allowing the inclusion of even MORE MUSIC on this album. For instance, LOUISE'S BALLET could have been presented in its ENTIRETY without any worry about the ocean sound effects intruding at the beginning and the delicate and quite beautiful OPENING MUSIC lead up to the CAROUSEL WALTZ Main Title could have been presented minus the dialogue at the beginning of the album. That is the saddest part concerning this release. The original material could have been made available if anyone at EMI-Angel had cared enough to present CAROUSEL with the integrity that this classic recording deserves and should have gotten.
If you can get past these aberrations imposed on us by producer Didier C. Deutsch, whose name on any soundtrack usually means a DESTRUCTION rather than reconstruction of the material (there are some amateur sloppy fade-ins and fade-outs cross cutting the old and new material) the sound on this CD is at least as good as the previous CD version and offers a performance of the seven minute Soliloquy by Gordon Mac Rae which is one of the greatest vocal performances of the 20th. Century. In fact, the entire cast performs this music superbly and add to that the excellent orchestration and choral work by Alfred Newman and Ken Darby. No other recording even comes close to this level of brilliance. But even so, try to find the previous CD version of this album, which may not have the additional music but does include the entire vocal score without all the intrusive sound effects and sloppy edits making for a far more enjoyable listening experience.
By the way, the same criticisms listed above apply to the other two Rodgers and Hammerstein musical re-issues from EMI-Angel (Oklahoma, The King and I) as well with the exception being that on the other two the useless dialogue and sound effect intrusions are even worse.
Add three more classic soundtrack albums destroyed and mangled by the likes of Didier C. Deutsch and company. EMI-Angel would have done well to listen to the so-called EXPANDED versions of West Side Story, My Fair Lady and especially A Star Is Born before green lighting these projects.
Let's hope that someday EMI-Angel will give all three of the Rodgers and Hammerstein soundtracks their due and re-release them with added material from the untainted studio vault separations. That would really be SOMETHING SPECIAL.
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1.0 out of 5 stars CAROUSEL FILM SOUNDTRACK THE GREATEST PERFORMANCE EVER!, March 15 2001
By 
"hcampo" (Culver City, Ca.) - See all my reviews
CAROUSEL represents Rodgers and Hammerstein's finest hour musically, the closest thing to Grand Opera the duo ever wrote. The 1956 film version showcases the finest performance, before or since, that this magnificent score has ever received.
Nevertheless it is very difficult to recommend this latest expanded edition from EMI-Angel, which contains about 20 additional minutes of music not on the original album or previous CD editions. For while it is great to have Louise's Ballet, in a simply glorious arrangement by the great Alfred Newman and additional ballet music as well, the additional music is NOT from the original multi channel vocal and music separation soundtrack master recordings stored in the 20th Century Fox vaults but instead recorded directly from a final mix print soundtrack complete with foot stomping and extraneous sound effects, which besides having no place on a music only recording, actually detract from the listening experience rather than enhance it. If this were 42nd. Street, the foot stomping would make sense, since it is an integral part of the musical presentation, but without the visuals these random sounds don't make any sense in CAROUSEL, where the magnificent arrangements of Alfred Newman should be allowed to speak for themselves without intrusions from foley effects. If this were a live recording, such sounds would be an artifact of the original and impossible to remove and therefore have to be acceptable if one wanted to hear the score in its entirety. But in the case of CAROUSEL (and for that fact, OKLAHOMA, THE KING AND I and SOUTH PACIFIC a wealth of unmixed original musical material exists in the studio vaults which could have been made available for this remastering and even more music could have been included on this album. For instance, LOUISE'S BALLET could have been presented in its ENTIRETY without any worry about the ocean sound effects intruding at the beginning and the OPENING MUSIC lead up to the CAROUSEL WALTZ Main Title could have been presented minus the dialogue at the beginning of the album. That is the saddest part concerning this release. The original material could have been made available if anyone at EMI-Angel had cared enough to present CAROUSEL with the integrity that this classic recording deserves and should have gotten.
If you can get past these aberrations imposed on us by producer Didier C. Deutsch, (in addition to some amateur sloppy fade-ins and fade-outs cross cutting the old and new material) the sound on this CD is at least as good as the previous CD version and offers a performance of the seven minute Soliloquy by Gordon Mac Rae which is one of the greatest vocal performances of the 20th. Century. In fact, the entire cast performs this music superbly and add to that the excellent orchestration and choral work by Alfred Newman and Ken Darby. No other recording even comes close to this level of brilliance. But even so, try to find the previous CD version of this album, which may not have the additional music but does include the entire vocal score without all the intrusive sound effects and sloppy edits making for a far more enjoyable listening experience.
Let's hope that someday EMI-Angel will give all three of the Rodgers and Hammerstein soundtracks their due and re-release them with added material from the untainted studio vault separations. That would really be SOMETHING SPECIAL.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Its best incarnation to date, Aug. 20 2001
By 
Anthony Clarke (Woodend, Victoria Australia) - See all my reviews
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I've so far owned two LPs and three CDs of this Rodgers and Hammerstein movie soundtrack -- the same goes for their other great musical, Oklahoma. And the new 2001 remastering of both Carousel and Oklahoma not only brings us so much more music than ever before, but brings us the music with an unsurpassed warmth and clarity. I have never heard these great musicals to better effect. The result is breath-takingly beautiful; just how these musical masterpieces should be presented. Now we only need to have the films themselves, in equally fine versions on DVD! Carousel was shot in large-format Todd-AO and Oklahoma in Cinemascope 55; anamorphic processes giving an unprecedented sharpness and clarity. But for tthe existing DVD transfers, Fox has ignored this, and has made a mediocre non-anamorphic widescreen transfer not worthy of the efforts of the original film-makers. The sound side has been well looked after -- now get the image right as well!
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