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Best Recording 
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Post Best Recording
After seeing Godspell over a year and a half ago, I didn't get around to buying a recording, even though I enjoyed the show very much. Before auditioning for the Broadway Junior version with the same company, I started getting into the show again. Now I've been cast, I'm going through somewhat of an obsession. What would be the best recording to buy?

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Sat Feb 06, 2010 4:45 pm
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I love the 2001 Tour recording, but the orchestrations are alot different

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Sat Feb 06, 2010 5:12 pm
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Jekkienumber24601 wrote:
I love the 2001 Tour recording, but the orchestrations are alot different


Oy, those orchestrations make me shudder. The 2001 recording really does have great vocals though.

There are ups and downs for all the recordings. It really depends on what you like the most. And if you want it to be similar to the show you're currently doing. I recommend going to amazon.com and listening to samples of various recordings.

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Sat Feb 06, 2010 9:37 pm
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lovesinging wrote:
Jekkienumber24601 wrote:
I love the 2001 Tour recording, but the orchestrations are alot different


Oy, those orchestrations make me shudder. The 2001 recording really does have great vocals though.

There are ups and downs for all the recordings. It really depends on what you like the most. And if you want it to be similar to the show you're currently doing. I recommend going to amazon.com and listening to samples of various recordings.


I just want what is considered to be the definitive Godspell. I'm doing the Broadway Junior cut of the show, so I don't want it to be similar to that by any means. I have the Junior tracks anyway with being in the show. Suffice to say, it doesn't satisfy me and is pretty mediocre, obviously. It's kids doing it and the purpose of the Broadway Junior CDs is just for kids doing the show to learn the music.

Any more suggestions, guys? I'll definitely go to Amazon and sample some albums. Thanks for that idea.

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Sat Feb 06, 2010 10:12 pm
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I prefer the original cast recording myself, and I have the Tower of Babble number from the london cast recording just so I can have the song...

Try the 2000 off-broadway recording... It's insane!
Shoshana Bean's Bless The Lord??? AMEN!

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Sun Feb 07, 2010 1:01 am
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The 2000 Off-Broadway Cast (known as the "Blue Cast"), is the definitive version, IMO. Almost every one of the songs are the original orchestrations (with the exception of "Light of the World" and the 2nd verse of "Learn Your Lessons Well"), but amplified and have brilliant vocals. It's the best over all recording out there of the show, bar none.

Personally, for me, I have a hybrid of mostly the Blue Cast and the Yellow Cast (2001 Touring Cast), along with the Jr. version of "Beautiful City" (which I believe is the best arrangement of the song). Some of the new arrangements on the Yellow album (especially "We Beseech Thee") are INCREDIBLE, but some are absolute flops ("Turn Back, O Man", and "Bless the Lord"

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Mon Feb 08, 2010 5:49 pm
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I've got a bastard mashup between the OoBC and the Film version, because when I got into the show, I downloaded individual tracks off Limewire somewhat carelessly. I've just gotten used to it and it's got nostaglia factor for the productions I did. I have listened to the "blue" recording a few times, and heard tidbits of the "yellow."

So I don't have a preferred single recording. I'd have to get all the published ones and single out individual favorite tracks.

Here are some thoughts on the recordings with which I'm familiar

OoBC: Good for capturing the spirit of the show in its original context - very low budget, folk/pop/rock songs. However, the exclusion of Prologue and Babel for me is unfortunate, though I understand the pop crossover concerns. Stephen Nathan's vocals are a little too weak and lack enthusiasm for "Save the People" and "Alas for You," and I don't care for the character voice in "All for the Best." Lamar Alford's operatic tenor is a sore thumb considering the less-than-pristine vocals from the rest of the cast.

Film: Better quality recording. I dig Victor Garber's Jesus and Merrill's "All Good Gifts." Joanne Jonas' "Turn Back O Man" is more fun than Sonia Manzano's IMO. David Haskell is great as JtB/Judas on both. I like that "Learn your Lessons Well" is excluded because I've always found it extraneous. And the vocal rhythms and guitar solo for "On the Willows" are my favorites on record. However, some of the orchestrations are iffy. The string additions on "Save the People" are nice, but ultimately annoying because they're not practical for anything else except "Beautiful City." The synth horns and absent third verse/refrain of "Alas for You" are similarly frustrating. "Light of the World" is slower and lacking energy. The guitar playing on the "Finale" is frankly better on the OoBC.

"Blue" Album: Refreshing in its general faithfulness to the original score, and its good to have Prologue and Babel as well as some of the inclusive dialogue in the song intros. The new "Light of the World" is kinda cool. And yeah, the sound quality is great, but I attribute that mostly to being recorded in 2000 and not in the 70s. But I don't like Barrett Foa; he sings everything fine, but it just doesn't work for me. Same goes for the "Lamar" role. Others, such as Shoshana Bean, sound too much like they're trying to be original. All the riffing ultimately becomes tiresome for me and I feel it sets an unfortunate precedent for new generations of Godspellers. Oh, and I don't like the substitution of different philosophers; some of the lyrics don't fit as well (replacing Nietzsche with Hubbard, and Fuller with Williamson? eeehh). Again, seems to be trying too hard to "update" - though, it's much much milder than the Yellow album, which strays way too much from the original's spirit for me.


Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:34 am
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jarrod001 wrote:
I prefer the original cast recording myself, and I have the Tower of Babble number from the london cast recording just so I can have the song...

Try the 2000 off-broadway recording... It's insane!
Shoshana Bean's Bless The Lord??? AMEN!


wait ...you own the london cast with jeremy irons??!

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Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:41 am
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I'd assume he means the much-more-common London Studio Recording with Stephen Schwartz at piano, which is the most "faithful" and accurate rendition of the MTI-licensed "Red" score.

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Tue Mar 09, 2010 7:21 am
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Faithful, yes, but most pleasing to listen to? Hmmm... :P

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Wed Mar 10, 2010 11:51 pm
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Post Re: Best Recording
I really like the film version, especially By My Side which is beautiful. But there are other versions around which have a lot going for them. Don't miss Su Pollard singing Turn Back O Man though, which was on the original compilation Hey Mr Producer (not the recording of the live show). She's magnificent.

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