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Gentlemen prefer blondes
1991
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Notes / Track List
The hit of the 1949-1950 Broadway season, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes was based on Anita Loos' best-selling 1925 novel (she also co-authored the musical's libretto with Joseph Fields) about gold-digging flapper Lorelei Lee (a star-making performance by Carol Channing) who proclaims herself just "A Little Girl from Little Rock" and declares that "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend." Those were the really memorable numbers from the score, which also included the romantic duet "Bye Bye Baby," performed by Channing with Jack McCauley. Yvonne Adair, who had appeared with Channing in the '20s-themed revue Lend an Ear!, leading to their casting here, had just as much time on-stage and on record (her showcases were "It's High Time" and "I Love What I'm Doing," as well as the duets "You Say You Care" and "Sunshine" with Eric Brotherson), but it was hard holding attention as the straight half of a comedy duo in which Channing got to be the zany one. It didn't help that the new songwriting team of composer Jule Styne (who had split from his old partner, lyricist Sammy Cahn) and lyricist Leo Robin (best known for his work in Hollywood with the late Ralph Rainger) gave the best material to Channing, or perhaps Styne and Robin were just better at writing comic songs for her than romantic ballads for Adair. Whenever the tone turned serious, the songs seemed to get pedestrian. But that didn't matter when Channing could ring as much humor and fun as she did from her big numbers and even from an ordinary Latin-styled effort like "It's Delightful Down in Chile." Just as audiences did at the Ziegfeld Theater, listeners to the cast album waited until Channing reappeared. For the 1991 reissue of the original Broadway cast recording of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, the album's sequencing, which had differed from the order in which the songs had been performed on-stage, was altered to conform to the stage version. This meant that "Just a Kiss Apart," formerly the fifth track, and "I Love What I'm Doing," formerly the sixth, were flipped; "You Say You Care," formerly the ninth track, and "Sunshine," formerly the 11th track, switched places; "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend," formerly the 12th track, and "Mamie Is Mimi," formerly the 13th track, were flipped; and "Homesick Blues," which used to be the 14th track, coming ahead of a medley of "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" and "Keeping Cool with Coolidge," now was placed in between those two songs, which were split up to make for a total of 16 tracks instead of 15. Meanwhile, "Scherzo," the seventh track, was retitled "The Practice Scherzo." No new music was added, however. (Don't be fooled by the double-jewelbox packaging, which is necessitated only by the CD booklet, padded out to 42 pages by production photographs and translations of the liner notes into German, French, and Italian as if this were an opera recording.) ~ William Ruhlmann
1Gentlemen Prefer Blondes~Overture
2Gentlemen Prefer Blondes~It's High Time
3Gentlemen Prefer Blondes~Bye Bye Baby
4Gentlemen Prefer Blondes~A Little Girl from Little Rock
5Gentlemen Prefer Blondes~I Love What I'm Doing
6Gentlemen Prefer Blondes~Just a Kiss Apart
7Gentlemen Prefer Blondes~The Practice Scherzo
8Gentlemen Prefer Blondes~It's Delightful Down in Chile
9Gentlemen Prefer Blondes~Sunshine
10Gentlemen Prefer Blondes~I'm A'tingle, I'm A'glow
11Gentlemen Prefer Blondes~You Say You Care
12Gentlemen Prefer Blondes~Mamie Is Mimi
13Gentlemen Prefer Blondes~Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend
14Gentlemen Prefer Blondes~Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
15Gentlemen Prefer Blondes~Homesick Blues
16Gentlemen Prefer Blondes~Keeping Cool with Coolidge
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