Friday, July 9, 2010

JDIZZY's 365 # 61: Growltiger's Last Stand

Growltiger's Last Stand - The Cast of Cats (1981/1982)

It's compare and contrast day here at the 365. On the one hand, we have the original London cast version of this strange, wonderful piece, which features a lovely center section entitled "The Ballad of Billy M'Caw". On the other hand, we have the original Broadway cast recording, which came out a year later. Webber revised the song for New York, placing an Aria parody in the middle section, thinking it fit better. He has since retracted that statement, but it really doesn't matter now, because most versions of Cats produced today in America cut the song anyway (The Brits keep it in, bless their souls!). It is a shame, because it is the most original number in the entire over-the-top, schmaltzy spectacular that we know as the 2nd longest running Broadway show of all time. Listen to both versions with a discerning ear, and discuss!

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