City Of Angels / O.B.C. (Mod)


aec.sny46067.2 2/9/90 New

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    City Of Angels / O.B.C. (Mod) CBS Records / Columbia

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Review Text The 1989 Broadway musical City of Angels, with a book by veteran comedy writer Larry Gelbart and songs by another veteran, composer Cy Coleman, and first-time lyricist David Zippel, is a send-up of hard-boiled detective fiction and the Hollywood movies that were made from it in the 1940s, the main characters being Stone (James Naughton), the detective in a Sam Spade/Philip Marlowe mold, and Stine (Gregg Edelman), the novelist in a Dashiell Hammett/Raymond Chandler mold, both of them (and everyone else) wisecracking a mile a minute. A few examples of that snappy dialogue sneak onto the cast album, which is otherwise devoted to the Coleman/Zippel songs, a score very much in keeping with the script. Coleman, who started his career as a jazz pianist in the 1950s, is at home composing music in a post-World War II jazz-pop vein, with elements of swing, bebop, and vocalese. For the last, there is a vocal quartet that sounds an awful lot like the Manhattan Transfer. Of course, Coleman also brings in the style of the soundtracks to the film noirs of the period; in fact, one of his themes is so close to the one for Laura that composer David Raksin is probably owed some royalties. Meanwhile, as a lyricist, Zippel is a Stephen Sondheim wannabe who isn't above borrowing an idea or two from his idol, but also comes up with plenty of his own witticisms, along with some hilariously terrible puns. He has to to keep up with Gelbart's script. The cast, also including Rene Auberjonois (as a studio head), Kay McClelland, Randy Graff, and Dee Hoty, plays broadly, which is what is called for. City of Angels is a lot of fun, and at least some of that fun is transferred to the cast recording. ~ William Ruhlmann

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Prologue - Theme from City of Angels - 4:06
  2. 2. Double Talk - 2:54
  3. 3. What You Don't Know About Women - 2:15
  4. 4. You Gotta Look Out for Yourself - 2:16
  5. 5. The Buddy System - 4:37
  6. 6. With Every Breath I Take - 4:57
  7. 7. The Tennis Song - 3:37
  8. 8. Ev'rybody's Gotta Be Somewhere - 4:50
  9. 9. Lost and Found - 3:56
  10. 10. All You Have to Do Is Wait - 3:04
  11. 11. You're Nothing Without Me - 3:23
  12. 12. Stay with Me - 2:04
  13. 13. You Can Always Count on Me - 5:31
  14. 14. Alaura's Theme - 1:04
  15. 15. It Needs Work - 4:32
  16. 16. L.A. Blues - 2:03
  17. 17. With Every Breath I Take [Duet] - 2:28
  18. 18. Funny - 2:10
  19. 19. I'm Nothing Without You - 2:15
  20. 20. Epilogue - Theme from City of Angels - 2:34
  21. 21. Double Talk Walk - 3:21

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