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Broadway to Main StreetHow Show Tunes Enchanted America$
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Laurence Maslon

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199832538

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199832538.001.0001

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“You Never Seen a Show Like This Before!”

“You Never Seen a Show Like This Before!”

Compact Discs and the Digitization of Broadway

(p.193) Chapter 13 “You Never Seen a Show Like This Before!”
Broadway to Main Street

Laurence Maslon

Oxford University Press

The advent of the compact disc provided another major sea change in the world of Broadway cast albums. Commercially accepted by the mid-1980s, the CD allowed for the recording of a full score of 70 minutes or more. At the same, cast albums became increasingly prohibitive to record and market; many shows opened on Broadway without a recording deal already signed and sealed—something unthinkable in the previous three decades. Still, the compact disc allowed for the reissue of many out-of-print scores, as well as minor pieces by major artists that flew underneath the radar. It also allowed for experimentation of larger, fuller scores, such as EMI’s three-disc archival version of Show Boat, conducted by John McGlinn. The archival opportunities offered by the compact disc were manifold, but the increased duration of the recordings often flew in the face of tradition, taste, and common sense.

Keywords:   Compact disc, Cassette tapes, The Phantom of the Opera, David Geffen, John McGlinn, Cameron Mackintosh, Pop-opera

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