Friday, February 27, 2015

Why I Have Highlighted & Complete Recordings of the Same Cast Albums

A few years ago, one of my friends who happened to be flipping through my CD collection at the time asked me why I bought highlight albums of shows that I had complete cast recordings of. Such as Highlights from the Original London Cast Recording of The Phantom of the Opera in addition to the 2CD set of the same recording. The reason isn't as much the fact that I have a completeness syndrome as it is to the fact that I listen to highlights recordings differently than I do complete cast albums. I know it sounds weird but there are two reasons.

1: Many times the highlighted cast recordings feature "single" or alternate versions of songs. This is true for most of the cast recordings of Andrew Lloyd Webber, no doubt due to his consistent attempts to score a radio single or even additional album sales. If you listen to the Original Broadway Cast Recording of CATS and then the selections from The Original Broadway Cast Recording of CATS, you'll notice that The Jellicle Ball and Memory are not the same renditions featured on the complete cast recording. The same goes with The Music of the Night on the highlights from the Original London Cast Recording of The Phantom of the Opera.

2: I basically only listen to complete cast recordings at home when I can sit back and follow the story a bit more. When I'm on the go, I am usually listening to the CD's I load into my iPod and it's usually shuffling on random. Listening to a highlights album makes more sense to me in terms of individual songs rather than listening to Katy Perry sing Roar followed by Javert's Arrival on the Complete Cast Recording of Les Miserables. There is just no flow when a "scene" happens between unrelated songs.

So why don't I just pick and choose what goes onto my iPod from the complete recordings? Before the digital music age, or at least digital in terms of mp3 and iPods, we had CD's and tapes and it was much easier to carry around 1 disc or cassettes rather than multiples. This mentality carries over to how I think of digital music also. Highlight albums, if I choose to listen all the way through without running them on shuffle would still flow even without the other footage featured on the complete recording.

So that's my might sound weird but it's just my preference.

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