Follies - 1971 Original Broadway Cast

jv92 wrote on July 3, 2008

DO NOT DELETE THIS RECORDING FROM YOUR DATABASE. The original cast album of Follies does not do the score justice. This complete recording features every note in the score. It is the most complete record of the Original Broadway Cast. DO NOT DELETE IT. Thank you.

frontrowcentre wrote on July 28, 2008

Should soundboard audio tapes be in this database, though. Since, after all, they are not commercially issued and usually sound poor. I know we include demo albums but they are at least produced by the authors and receive a limited distribution. Also with SB recordings it is theoretically possible for every cast change to be "recorded" creating dozens of alternates for every show. What does everyone else think about this?

RCKtrades wrote on July 29, 2008

Actually the audience recordings are far worse in sound quality. Soundboards can be surprisingly good. And often a SB recording is really all there is left to remember a particular production. So I would prefer these not to be deleted from the database. If need be I'd rather draw the line at audience recordings.

frontrowcentre wrote on July 30, 2008

Good point. But how do we verify a listing of a SB recorording vs. an audience tape, short of actually hearing it?

lptodisc wrote on August 2, 2008

I believe the quality is not the issue. Technically, isn't it outside the stated scope of the database? "Any subsequent commercial release will result in the deletion of the non-commercial recording listing." A "legal" cast album exists and, as frontrowcenter implies, there could be 534 different broadway cast performances of Follies in existence. Commercial release beats soundboard; soundboard beats audience.

RCKtrades wrote on August 4, 2008

I agree with your remarks, lptodisc. So, SB recordings are permitted of shows that never produce an official cast recording. However, as jv92 points out, sometimes the commercial recording doesn't do the production justice. For example because of extensive cuts when transferring the score to CD. The Follies OBC is a legendary example. How should we look at those situations?

GlobalMusicals wrote on August 6, 2008

Wonderful points made. The biggest difference for me is that the non-commercial recordings (soundboards or even superior air/audience recordings) preserve the entire show. This includes reprises, transitional music and other elements that rarely, if ever, make it onto a commercial recording. There's also the question of cast changes. Not every replacement is as significant as Liza going into CHICAGO, to use a well-known example. But I'd love to be able to hear Millicent Martin in 42ND STREET and compare her with Tammy Grimes. Also, not everyone has a taste for listening to a recording of up to two hours or more in one sitting, but some do.

There's also the consideration of research value for authors, students and subsequent productions of a given show. (Video becomes a factor here too.)It can be immensely useful for someone producing a more obscure show to have a detailed record of how it was done before to see or hear what they want to keep or change for their production.

The immediate reality is that it is Matt's database and he can do whatever he wants with it. He's not getting paid for this, or likely very little from the new banner ads, so he's free to set the standards. The second reality is that these recordings bring up legal questions, and the reaction of rights holders who learn about these recordings can range from "Thank heavens. Can I have a copy? to "You'll be hearing from my lawyers."

If we suspend those considerations for a moment, I'd love to see (and would happily serve on) some sort of "independent" verification panel. In this way, a non-commercial recording could be submitted to a number of people who could then verify it's existence, content and quality and vouch for it on the database.

The great thing about the Wiki-style development process we have here is that everyone can participate easily. (Just try jumping through he draconian submission hoops at IMDB!) The bad thing is that everyone can participate easily and we have a number of questionable entries. This is compounded by the nature of trading. Someone sends you a file and intentionally or accidentally adds or deletes a song. Now your version does not match the database and you might be compelled to add another release of same. In the case of soundboards and air/audience recordings, they usually start life as one long track per act and then are edited subject to the taste of the creator. Or of many creators, if the original is initially distributed unedited. So there are an infinite number of variables to consider. At least with a commercially released recording you have finite data.

I'd love to see a separate website/database that documented all of the non-commercial recording, but that just is not feasible and also could be a magnet for lawsuits.

So in this website we must contend with imperfect and subjective guidelines imposed inconsistently in a non-democratic fashion.Personally, I'd love to know about every soundboard out there. (Certain restrictions on WICKED-RENT-BLONDE will apply!) That's not going to happen here. I'd also love to seen every Broadway production documented on video, but that's not going to happen either.

Ultimately, despite the occasional frustrations, I'm deeply grateful that this website exists.

RCKtrades wrote on August 7, 2008

Here, here! I fully second that.

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