Sunday, February 3, 2013

I Want That Soundtrack! I Mean Cast Recording...


The amount I've been corrected when I say "soundtrack" in regards to a CD produced for a musical is greater than I can count. But it was successful, because now I correctly refer to these recordings as "cast recordings" and get duly annoyed when people mix them up.

Now, I also am someone who still enjoys a physical CD. I know, it's the 21st century, but for some reason, buying a physical CD makes it seem more real. This is especially so with cast recordings, because they typically feature production photos and exclusive content from cast members or members of the creative team.

Now, in the theatre industry, recording a CD is a difficult task, because typically, unless the show is a huge hit (a la Wicked or Phantom of the Opera), it is difficult for a cast recording to sell enough copies to make financial sense. So why do we still get so many cast recordings?

Well, first, to document some of the best performances from the stage. This is especially true for revival cast recordings, where the score is already preserved and well-known. Secondly, especially for newer shows, without a CD as a base, it is less likely for shows to be licensed for performances in regional and amateur theatres around the country.

Lastly, it could be for the reason I love cast recordings. As a college student of limited means who doesn't live in New York City, a cast recording is a phenomenal way for me to here a recording of a show or performance I couldn't see, or something I loved so much and would love to experience again, but can't afford another ticket.

So with that, here are some of my favorites (and of course links for if you want to sample or buy it yourself).

Favorite Classic Cast Album: Into the Woods (Original Broadway Cast Recording)
Favorite Revival Cast Album: Follies (2012 Broadway Cast Recording)
Favorite Modern Cast Album: Next to Normal (Original Broadway Cast Recording)
Favorite Off-Broadway Cast Album: [title of show] (Original Cast Recording)


  1. I really liked this post. I don't think I have purchased a CD in years, and I definitely don't listen to any soundtracks, but it was nice to hear your view on it. Also, your favorites were very enjoyable to listen to. Thanks for your insight on the topic.

  2. I still buy CDs. I do download some stuff, but mostly I buy CDs. I like having a physical copy. Same goes for digital download books. I don't buy them often. I'd rather have a physical book.