Entertainment Weekly - 10/12/01, p.36Ranked #42
in EW's "100 Best Movie Soundtracks" - "...The soundtrack is one glorious go-round..."
Music composed by Richard Rodgers. Lyrics written by Oscar Hammerstein II.
Principal cast includes: Gordon MacRae (Billy Bigelow); Shirley Jones (Julie Jordan); Cameron Mitchell (Jigger Craigin); Barbara Ruick (Carrie Pepperidge); Claramae Turner (Cousin Nettie Fowler).
Producers: Benard Freericks, Harry M. Leonard.
Reissue producers: Didier C. Deutsch, Charles L. Granata.
Recorded at 20th Century Fox Studios, Hollywood, California. Originally released on Capitol (694). Includes liner notes by Charles L. Granata & Didier C. Deutsch.
Digital remastering by Darcy M. Proper & Andreas K. Meyer (Sony Music Studios, New York, New York).
Principal cast includes: John Raitt (Billy Bigelow); Jan Clayton (Julie Jordon); Jean Darling (Carrie Piperidge); Eric Mattson (Enoch Snow); Christine Johnson (Nettie Fowler); Jean Casto (Mrs. Mullin); Murvyn Vye (Jigger Craigin).
Reissue Producers: Andy McKaie, Ron O'Brien, Max O. Preeo
Recorded on May 11, 16 and 21, 1945. Originally released on Decca (DA 400). Includes liner notes by Max O. Preeo.
Digitally remastered by Greg Calbi (2000).
Personnel: Gordon MacRae (vocals); Henry Ephron (programming).
Audio Remasterer: Bob Norberg.
Liner Note Authors: David Foil; Charles Granata.
Recording information: Twentieth Century-Fox Studios, Hollywood, CA (11/17/1955).
Editor: John Palladino.
Unknown Contributor Role: Ken Darby.
Decca Records scored a significant commercial success with its album of songs from Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II's first musical, Oklahoma!, performed by members of the original cast. So, the label was interested in releasing a similar recording of the songwriters' next musical, Carousel. The new show was a darker effort than Oklahoma!, based on the tragic play Liliom, even though Hammerstein had the two leads marry and considerably softened the ending. One element he did retain was the story's lustiness, especially evident in one of the score's hit songs, "June Is Bustin' Out All Over." Rodgers' music was characteristically tuneful, and the cast, led by John Raitt in his Broadway debut, was excellent. The score produced standards in the hits "If I Loved You" and "You'll Never Walk Alone," as well as the epic "Soliloquy," a revolutionary recitative in which Raitt, as Billy Bigelow, undergoes a character transformation as he anticipates the birth of his child. Rodgers and Hammerstein's stature, and the show's outstanding music, helped it to a Broadway run of 890 performances after it opened in New York in 1945. The cast recording shared in this success; it topped the recently instituted album charts, and Decca (later succeeded by MCA) kept it in print through a series of reissues over the years. ~ William Ruhlmann