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Carousel [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

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Critics' Reviews

amg review
Rodgers and Hammerstein were relatively uninvolved in the movie version of their second musical, Carousel, which was the least successful of three adaptations of their shows released within an eight-month period from October 1955 to June 1956. Oklahoma!, which preceded it, and The King and I, which followed, were both blockbusters, while Carousel failed to make back its considerable production cost. The dark-edged story had also been less of a success on Broadway, though still a big hit, and the casting of Shirley Jones and Gordon MacRae (the latter a last-minute replacement for Frank Sinatra, who walked out in a contract dispute), the same pair who had just appeared in Oklahoma!, may have dampened audiences' enthusiasm. The soundtrack album, however, was musically more complete containing songs like "You're a Queer One, Julie Jordan" and "Blow High, Blow Low" that had been cut from the film -- and more popular -- reaching the Top Five and selling a million copies -- than the movie. Jones (some of whose singing may have been dubbed by Marni Nixon) and MacRae perform well, as does the rest of the cast, particularly soprano Claramae Turner ("You'll Never Walk Alone"). Some lyrics have been bowdlerized, and a couple of minor songs are missing, but this is still a good version of the score, especially because of the larger orchestra. Subsequent CD reissues have expanded the album's length, and the 2001 edition is padded out with music from two lengthy ballet sections to bring the running time over 70 minutes. 2001 reissue producers Didier C. Deutsch and Charles L. Granata each contribute liner notes, and they overlap; the two essays should have been edited together. And since they make so much of Sinatra's defection, it would have been nice to have dug up the pre-recordings he made for the soundtrack. ~ William Ruhlmann, Rovi
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