Jersey Boys [Original Broadway Cast Recording]

Jersey Boys [Original Broadway Cast Recording]

by Jersey BoysJersey Boys


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The success of the musical revue Smokey Joe's Café, which ran on Broadway between 1995 and 2000, and the book musical Mamma Mia!, which opened on Broadway in 2001 and was still running in the fall of 2005, led to a string of so-called jukebox musicals in which pop music catalogs of various performers were recycled in a theatrical context. Many of these shows failed, but others, notably Movin' Out, which featured Billy Joel's music choreographed by Twyla Tharp, succeeded. Jersey Boys, a stage biography of the Four Seasons, looked like one of those few hits after it opened on November 6, 2005. The New Jersey-based vocal group bested only by the Beatles, the Supremes, and the Rolling Stones on the pop singles charts of the 1960s (as noted by annotator Charles Alexander) turned out to have a compelling career story containing not a little of the crime and mobster connections the Garden State was famous for, and critics who had disparaged musicals based on the songs of the Beach Boys and Elvis Presley looked more fondly on it, as did audiences. Usually, an original Broadway cast album is recorded on a day-off a week or two after a successful opening, but this one actually preceded the show itself, turning up in record stores five days before the official start of Jersey Boys' run. Also, more time was spent on it than the usual one-day session that Broadway union rules generally require. Producer Bob Gaudio, who was also an original member of the Four Seasons and the songwriter of many of their hits, seems to have been determined to get the sound right. Of course, the other original members of the group were not involved; instead, a talented young cast re-creates the familiar recordings. There, of course, is the problem. If critics in the theater often squirm at the ways librettists shoehorn well-known songs into the story lines of the jukebox musicals, record critics can have even less patience with the souvenir albums. The reason is easy to see. It's one thing to suspend disbelief in a theater as a group of actor/singers make like the Four Seasons. But a recording is immediately in competition with the still-available original recordings, and that's a battle that simply can't be won. Unquestionably, John Lloyd Young, playing lead singer Frankie Valli, has a good voice (if not quite the preternatural range Valli displayed in his prime), the rest of the singers are good, and Gaudio has achieved reasonable approximations of the original recordings. But who needs it? The album is not simply a Four Seasons tribute record, however. Snatches of Marshall Brickman's and Rick Elice's dialogue are included here and there to give some sense of the plot, but they usually sound overacted and clichéd. ("You wanna get a hit song, it's like the Stations of the Cross. You gotta get past the record company, the program directors, the DJs, and if you're lucky, you get to the people.") The album has been released by Rhino Records, a reissue label not generally known for its interest in Broadway. Why? Connections. As Alexander makes a point of saying in the liner notes, "You can buy the original recordings on the Rhino label."

Product Details

Release Date: 11/01/2005
Label: Rhino
UPC: 0081227327125
catalogNumber: 73271
Rank: 5966

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jersey Boys   Primary Artist
Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons   Vocals
Randy Andos   Trombone
Stephanie Cummins   Cello
Bob Milikan   Trumpet
Larry Saltzman   Guitar
Dave Spier   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Cenovia Cummins   Violin
Debra Shufelt   Viola
Paul Woodiel   Concert Master
Maxine Roach   Viola
Belinda Whitney   Violin
Matt Hong   Reeds
Donnie Kehr   Vocals
Joe Payne   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,12-string Guitar
Steve Snyder   Synthesizer
J. Robert Spencer   Vocals,Actor
Deborah Hurwitz   Synthesizer,Conductor
Anik Oulianine   Cello
Shinwon Kim   Violin
Robin Zeh   Violin
Christian Hoff   Vocals
Steve Orich   Keyboards
Mark Lotito   Actor
Ben Kono   Reeds
Sarah Schmidt   Vocals
Ron Melrose   Synthesizer,Piano
Tituss Burgess   Vocals
Louise Owen   Violin
Daniel Reichard   Vocals
John Lloyd Young   Vocals,Actor
Ken Dow   Electric Bass,Bass Guitar
Steve "Hoops" Snyder   Synthesizer
Sarah Schwartz   Violin
Jersey Boys Cast Ensemble   Choir, Chorus
Erica Piccininni   Vocals
Joe Payne   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,12-string Guitar
Eric de Gioia   Violin
Jennifer Naimo   Vocals
Sara Schmidt   Vocals
Ronald Melrose   Synthesizer,Piano
Randall Andos   Trombone
Stephen Orich   Keyboards
Louise Owen   Violin
Kevin Dow   Drums,Latin Percussion
Benjamin Kono   Reeds
Bill Hayes   Percussion
Kevin Dow   Drums

Technical Credits

Louis Prima   Composer
Maurice Williams   Composer
James Moody   Composer
Jimmy McHugh   Composer
Bob Crewe   Composer,Lyricist
Kenny Nolan   Composer
Otis Blackwell   Composer
Dorothy Fields   Composer
Guy Fletcher   Composer
Bob Gaudio   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Sandy Linzer   Composer
Judy Parker   Composer
Denny Randell   Composer
Billy Dalton   Composer
Doug Flett   Composer
Gaynel Hodge   Composer
Chris Callis   Cover Photo
Pete Karam   Engineering
Thomas Austin   Composer
L. Wolfe Gilbert   Composer
Stan Rhodes   Composer
Edmond Bacri   Composer
Abel Baer   Composer
Barbara Belle   Composer
Raymond Bloodworth   Composer
Robert Feldman   Composer
Gerald Goldstein   Composer
Martin Yee   Drum Technician
Ron Melrose   Orchestra Leader
L. Russell Brown   Composer
Rick Elice   Book
Peggy Farina   Composer
Bill Crandell   Composer
Bill Dalton   Composer
Marshall Brickman   Book
Jessie Belvin   Composer
Ronald Melrose   Orchestra Leader
Curtis Williams   Composer
Richard Gottebrer   Composer
Anita Nye   Composer
Yannick Zolo   Composer
Charles Alexander   Liner Notes
Frank C. Slay   Composer

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