Saturday, March 5, 2016

American Chess gets Checkmated

An earlier post I discussed the concept album for Chess.  On a recent trip to Asheville NC I found the American version of the show on Vinyl on sale so I picked it up.  After a quick listen I won't say I'm not happy I got the American Version but it pales in comparison to the original concept album.

I saw this version when they toured it in 89, even then I was not fully happy with it.  First of,f the songs are in the wrong order, left out or new ones added.  The performances lack the passion and bite that the concept album had.  On One Night in Bangkok don't get me started on the neutering that this song got in the American version.  The redeeming of the American version of the Musical is the production value.  The technology on this stage show was great.  At times action of the other side of the stage is seen on TVs on the other side.  The feel was really in tune with that the spectacle of this event was.  The problem is none of this comes out on the Album.

If you are looking to listen to this great musical just totally miss the stage of the development.  I say listen to the original or the PBS version with Idina Menzel and Josh Groban.

Til next time listen to the best your ears deserve it.  

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