Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Rock of Ages Original Broadway Cast Recording Review

New Line Records just hammered the in-store release of the Original Broadway Cast Recording of five-time Tony Award nominated "ROCK OF AGES." For those of you not in the know, Rock of Ages is the new Broadway musical starring American Idol finalist Constantine Maroulis. Set in 1987 in a legendary Sunset Strip rock club, a small-town girl meets a big-city dreamer and they fall in love to the greatest metal songs of the 80's. The musical is an arena-rock love story told through the mind-blowing, face-melting hits of Journey, Bon Jovi, Styx, Reo Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Foreigner, Twisted Sister, Poison, Asia, Whitesnake and more.

Back in the day I was a huge fan of the 80's hair bands. My closet door and walls were papered with pictures torn from music magazines of my favorite bands. So I was really excited to find out many of them had songs included in the Broadway show Rock of Ages and that I'd get a chance to hear it and review the newly released cast recording.

You'll find many popular and familiar hits on Rock of Ages, so you can jump in and belt out the songs along with the cast right away. Many of these I can sing from memory, and they remain as catchy as they were in their heyday! My daughter and I like to sing Don't Stop Believin', loudly, while driving around town. I guess once an anthem song, always one!

Rock of Ages Tracklist:
Just Like Paradise / Nothin' But A Good Time
Sister Christian
We Built This City / Too Much Time On My Hands
I Wanna Rock
We're Not Gonna Take It
Heaven/More Than Words / To Be With You
Waiting For A Girl Like You
Wanted Dead Or Alive
I Want To Know What Love Is
Cum On Feel The Noize / We're Not Gonna Take It (Reprise)
Harden My Heart /Shadows Of The Night
Here I Go Again
The Final Countdown
Any Way You Want It / I Wanna Rock (Reprise)
High Enough
I Hate Myself For Loving You / Heat Of The Moment
Hit Me With Your Best Shot
Can't Fight This Feeling
Every Rose Has Its Thorn
Oh Sherrie
The Search Is Over
Don't Stop Believin'

Listen to samples of the tracks by visiting Amazon, and clicking on the link under the cover picture and find out a little bit more from the cast on this making of the soundtrack video:

I'll admit it took a few listenings for Rock of Ages to grow on me. While I found this an enjoyable trip down memory lane, I think you need to have also seen the show to be truly interested in this recording. While it's a very fun take this genre, I'd rather listen to the original versions by the bands themselves. It did spark my interest in seeing the show, I am super curious to see what the sets looked like and get the whole experience. Had I seen it first I think I'd really love the CD.Since it incorporates dialog from the show I think it's probably a great way to relive seeing it.

What I do like, is that while the songs still have the wailing guitars and thumbing beats of the hard rock songs I remember, since they're in a musical format, translation somewhat watered down versions, my daughter can listen to it with me. While at the time these songs were originally released they might have been considered heavy metal, but in retrospect they are pretty tame.

The Bottom Line: Where Rock of Ages shines are the big stadium hits like Wanted Dead of Alive and delivers rockin' hits reminiscent of the original versions, after all it's called ROCK of Ages. We want to rock. I realize I Wanna Know What Love Is and I've Been Waiting for a Girl Like You fit in with the story but sheesh Foreigner? Did anyone EVER think those songs ROCKED? The male vocalists strong vocals carry the best tracks. It's a clever and unique way to combine classic hits from the 80s into a storyline and an enjoyable way to revisit them. I assume from listening to the recording several times, it's a good recreation of seeing the musical.

Disclaimer: I am reviewing Rock of Ages for One2One Network. This post relates my personal views and experience and was not influenced by outside sources.

1 Friends Said:

Michelle @Flying Giggles said...

Great review, I was also a fan of the 80's big hair bands!

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