Friday, October 30, 2015

The Rocky Horror Show - The Original Roxy Cast

For my second to last Halloween review this year, I'm probably doing it next year, I decided to pick an album that I knew I liked and when it would be relatively fast so I can spend some time on the finale. With only 1 days left for the month I better get my butt moving if I want to make that last one good. This is the 1974 Roxy Location cast album. It was the second show to feature Curry, the first was the London Cast which actually originally featured one if my favorite female singer, Julie Covington. Sadly she was never recorded for the album. I still, maybe next Halloween, plan on doing the original 1973 London Cast, but for this Halloween I'm doing the best version (in my opinion).
  1. Science Fiction/Double Feature: This track is sung by Jamie Donnelly, who I really wish I could find more shit with her voice. This led me to look it up, also considering I vaguely remembered her voice from somewhere. Then I saw she sings vocals, most likely backing vocals, on We Go Together and Summer Nights. So I obviously have heard her voice, though I could be imagining that I picked it out of the crowd. Whatever, that's not really the point so I should get to it. I love the hell out of this, and it's so much better I think, sung by a woman. Everything really is better if its done by women, with limited some exceptions. Some songs like....... I'm drawing some blanks. Regardless, if you want to do a song like this (lyrically) this is how to do it. Not Rocket *cough cough* Def Leppard. This also feels more like an intro and the lullaby this song really is. Also I think this has a very real feeling to it. It's not just listing things, it's kinda like this is my tribute to my loves. It's tastefully written in my opinion.
  2. Damnit Janet: Sung Abigale Haness and B. Miller, who play the Sarandon and Bostwick parts. I don't really see the point in saying I like this over any other version, I might as well say it for every single track. It'll get too redundant. But this is a really great, catchy track that is also memorable and should be. That's such a fun refrain to say, and the song is great at painting the picture of these two "squares". This is a very upbeat fast number, and I'd love to play along with it. The backing vocals here really make it fun too. And the pianist's freakin fire fingers. Listen to those licks. Imagine that on Guitar, that'd be awesome. The vocals don't always do it for me, espically the review listen through, but that piano.
  3. Over at the Frankenstein Place: This is another track with the same two people as last time. This is a very nice song, I can't quite pin down where I feel it's from..... maybe like Grease but still.  I do like the bass and this intro gets your attention. The vocals from Abbey are pretty great. B. does a pretty great part in his verse, and the backing vocals are nice too. Like the backing vocals remind me more Grease but the lead in the chorus.... I'm waiting for it to sing the first tracks last verse. That section that goes into like a refrain is kinda neat, and I like the grit to B.'s voice. I also dig those xylophone -esque chimes. I don't think this is as strong a song as the last two, but I still think it's better than a lot of songs, in general. I mean this is a song that took multiple listens to gather what the hell was going on, in terms of what I'm picking up on. That ending also reminds me of Summer Nights.
  4. Sweet Transvestite: There shouldn't even be a comparison. The horns on this, and the emotion from Curry's vox... Damnit Janet! I mean the original [London Cast] version's superior in my opinion to that of the movie, but this might give that one a run for its money. But I love the arrangement, and though I know its supposed to be cheesy and not professional sounding, but this doesn't take away and I think only makes them stronger. The addition of the horns help to punctuate, I believe that's the right word, the guitars punch. The bite of the guitar here needs to be grit by way of In My Time Of Dying all-ah Zeppelin. And those horns help it get its grit. While there is a vocal performance I'd swap this with, or maybe it's a bass. This is the closest to perfect I've heard this song. 
  5. Time Warp: I remember I never cared for this song, and year upon years upon years of hearing this on Halloween mixtapes and what not only dig that grave of never want to revisit it again.Hell this was originally written to make the play longer. But to be honest, I kinda dig this version. I really like that who xylophone, or percussion thing, that happens on the second time they say the "Lets do the Time Warp" in the choruses. I also dig the doo-wop piano stuff in the song. This is a fun diddy, and maybe it's the fresh take on the track.... Well to my ears, but I like this best. Also they don't fuck the song up in the whole section where Brad and Janet interject. Also who ever sings this intro, congrats. That's really sick sounding. Another thing worth mentioning, the music changes with each persons verse. There is a bit of a variation. While it still isn't my favorite, ti's much better. The only part that's ear worm candy to my heart and soul is the Quarter to Three sound alike with those saxophones.... Shit! Even that stupid tap dance part doesn't get on my nerves. Which is almost by definition unnecessary.
  6. The Sword of Damoclese: This track is sung by Kim Milford. Also isn't Damoclese a Greek God? But is that a theremin (probably not, it doesn't really sound much like one). Kim does a solid vocal, but this sounds very much like Little Richard. At this point the whole rock n roll music is starting to loose it's steam. I mean it's basically the same style over and over and over and over. Damn it,  you would add in that doo-wop section. It's like pure ear heroin to me. Though, the music with the saxophone reminds me a bit of the Bruce Springsteen cover of Quarter to Three. Just a tad. There is also a bit of a boogie to it. I maybe wrong, but I want to boogie to it.
  7. Charles Atlas Song: This like an underwritten version of Changes and Let it Be. There is lots of things in those song I find here. The only real saving grace is Curry and the organ, which sounds like Billy Preston is playing. And the piano also. It's very quick, maybe too quick.
  8. Whatever Happened to Saturday Night: This intro is so All Shook Up. I love that this is sung by Meat Loaf, the reason is because this is before his solo debut (3 years) and this is totally a title I could see Jim Steinmann writing for Bat Out of Hell or maybe the follow up and sequels. Like whatever happened to drive thru.... Though if it were the 70's I think I'd be more like (what happened to the memories of my youth, or they don't make them like they used to). Like a grown up Bat Out of Hell. This is a pretty solid rock and roll number. I feel like this would fit on a juke box. But again, it's starting to wear a bit thin for a front to back listen. 
  9. Charles Atlas Song (Reprise): For a reprise it's only 30 seconds shorter than the original. I mean I do love that organ and Tim Curry is always fun. But I can't say this is anything to write home about. I could listen to any other soul tracks before this and get much more soul entertainment. And re-listen-to-ability.... though Curry is great. The next track makes up for the last few missteps though, not wholly, but enough for me to get back into the mood for the rest of the album.
  10. Toucha, Toucha, Touch Me: This version of the song is one of the best, or at least one of my favorite, arrangements of a song I think I've heard. The music from the movie isn't half bad, but Susan.... As much as I love you, and love the idea of you singing this to me, but as far as it sounding good.......... I really like the waltzy rhythm here, and her voice I think is the best of the 70's Cast Recordings (Yes I've heard them all). I like the grit to it, and it doesn't sound out of place, the other two sounded like they were either missing the mark, or..... Well...... Damnit, I hate to put down Susan for not really well singing..... It's like killing a small part of myself on the inside. 
  11. Once in a While: While a nice change of pace, I can't get with this. It reminds me too much of Margaritaville. B. Miller takes the lead and Abbey is here too. But I mean, this song is just kind of boring and uneventful. I mean it might work in terms of the play and story, but it's just like a lame soft rock tune. Not that there aren't good ones, I'm talking about with the 80's neutered soft rock even more. Then it goes into a more RH/soft rock feel, but still.
  12. Eddie's Teddy: Isn't Eddie Meatloaf....... So I imagine he is going to wear a tiny teddy on his wedding night, you know, while making poppop. Again we get another soulful track that I ain't buying into. And the worst part is it does back to the rock and roll feeling. At this point It's almost getting insufferable to listen to this. I think I'll only be able to listen to certain tracks, probably never again front to back.
  13. Planet Shmanet Janet: I love the very 1950's feeling of this title. Like I feel like this would be an insult used back them (Shmanet) and Planet Janet could be like they are traveling space and they stumble upon a universe where they worship a goddess who looks like Janet (If it was SS I wouldn't put it past them) or they all look like Janet. Whatever it may be, this is a play that is a sort of tribute to those types of B-Movies. So it kinda relates. Also the rhythm here is different and I dig this. I can't quite pick what that guitar sounds like. But I love it. I love the whole like not song part about this. It's almost like like it's not a song. This is also a very solid track. I also do like the singing part too.
  14. Planet Hot Dog: I don't have anything to say about this track. This is kind of a fucking stupid track. Like really fucking stupid. Not like WTF, more like No. I just.... I don't want to acknowledge it.
  15. Rose Tint My World: This title baffles me a bit. It makes me try and imagine what that would be. Like is the Colour that Chicago is singing about a Rose Tint. Or is a Rose Tint something that isn't as innocent as the title suggests (I wouldn't put it past that). I liked this better as Haper Valley P.T.A. Yes the song shifts, but I think that at this point, front to back, I can't process what is going on. This album beat it out of me. I do hear what I like, but I don't know. This song probably changes up the most of any of the other songs. After going back I can process it, the song starts with a twang. It's still in tone with the other songs, just more of a country twang and the singer (Boni) has this very country feeling to the way she sings. It then goes into Kim singing and he does a great job here. I like him better here than on the Damoclese song. The song then goes into a bit of a, the only way I could describe it is the "Kiss Me, Come on and tease me like you do" section of The Who's 1975 classic Squeeze Box, but done in the Rocky Horror fashion. Then Abigail takes the mic and I love that backing piano to her part. And then the song slows down to a littler "cabaret" feeling number or "ballad" sung by Curry. It isn't that distant from the Atlas Song, but this works much better here in my opinion. And the high and his energy pays off much more, for me, here. And that almost angelic section, where I think it's B. Miller (I like to think it's Da Loaf). Then Curry's freaking rock and roll boogie by way of Great Balls of Fire. And then the backing vocals come in and it is complete. The guitar comes to complete this little diddy. And ends with a final little coda. This song keeps changing, I have to give it to them. Th
  16. I'm Going Home: The three versions, actually all versions I've heard, of this are actually pretty. They aren't gorgeous, but they are very satisfying ending and just as satisfying a penultimate track. This also reminds me of like a song not on this soundtrack. The soul here feels more genuine.This is a pretty great penultimate song.
  17. Super Heroes: While the film version is good, this version is more triumphant. Like a more joyous ending. The vocalist has much more power, and there is much more power in the song. And the lows are lower, and the highs are actually highs. I'm very glad this closes the set and not a reprise of SF/DF.  Though that choir type thing reminds me of a lesser effective version of the one used in Snow in San Alsemo.
Overall I have to give this a 7.5/10. I can't stand musicals, I'm serious. I don't like any of the Disney movie songs (except Bed Knobs, Poppins and Zippadee Do Da), I don't like any movie that is a musical, for the most part, unless it's Tommy, Let My People Come or Grease and really that's the only musicals have seen or heard I liked, with the exception of a few select songs here and there. This is a more professional version of the "low budget" version of the original. It's also faster and got some better [and some fucking awesome] arrangements too. While I love cheapness and low budget, maybe that's why the original also has a place in my heart, I gotta pick this. Now with that's said, I cant really say I like Rocky Horror. In fact I only want to watch the film to see Susan, dis you know she was supposed ti be nude during Touch Me but she or someone changed their mind (who cares who's fault, it is stll a disappointment). I think the worst part is that lots of the songs could be the same song give or take the singer and lyrics. Also there was a sequel from 1981 titled Shock Treatment. I'm not sure if I should review that or not. I do like some songs from that, not all, but who knows. Only time will tell and I will do Grease. I also plan my next musical review to be either Mary Poppins or Let My People Come....... Or the aforementioned (that's the right word?) Grease.

I think you should search Rocky Horror on Spotify. They have the Roxy Cast, London Cast, Sweedish Cast, Film Soundtrack and other versions too. But the only Cast recording I'vent heard anything off from the 70s is, I believe, the Mexican or Brazilian. Mainly because they are not on Spotify and I can't find a place to dowload the LP copies. But check them out and let me know what you think is your favorite upon reevaluation :)

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