The Rocky Horror Show (new Broadway Cast)

Soundtrack

RCA Records, 2001

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 07/17/2001

Admission: In some circles, I'm still a virgin.

No, obviously not in that regard - not with one kid here, and twins on the way. To the diehard legion of Rocky Horror fans, I'm more virginal than any of the members of Hanson, just because I've never seen the film, never gone to the theater with toast to throw at the screen, and never yelled at the movie. (Actually, the last one's not true; I once got thrown out of the theater during a showing of Before Sunrise, but that's because I was screaming, "This film sucks! I want my money back!" But I digress.)

However, my innocence in regards to the music surrounding the now-legendary cult show and movie might have worked to my benefit when it came time to listen to the new Broadway cast recording of my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 The Rocky Horror Show. There were no preconceived notions of where Meat Loaf should be singing, no expectations of how the music should be, with the exception of "Time Warp". And this virgin's experience with the music proved to be, well, not bad at all.

To the outsider, most of the music from this show sounds like they were indeed leftovers from a writing session for a Meat Loaf album; more than once, I had Bat Out Of Hell flashbacks. But the throwback to early, raw rock and roll works to the advantage of the soundtrack, creating a musical mood that almost anyone can appreciate from the outset.

I'll grant that anyone who grew up with the movie (or has seen it more times than they've seen their family and friends) will probably bristle at the notion of a new group of people singing the songs they know. Egads, there's even a new song that wasn't in the movie, "Once In A While"! (To be fair, the song is actually from the original stage production, which was cut from the film.)

To all the diehards, all I can say is: Relax. Open up your minds. Tom Hewitt (who has Tim Curry's accent down almost perfectly) and crew do a very nice job with the music on The Rocky Horror Show, staying respectful to the originals while putting their own unique voice to the tracks. You'll still enjoy songs like "Damn It, Janet," "Science Fiction Double Feature" and "Sweet Transvestite" while throwing various props at your stereo. (Be careful of the speakers, though.) Hey, for me to say I enjoyed a soundtrack with Dick Cavett - Dick freakin' Cavett! - is pretty good.

I won't say that The Rocky Horror Show made me want to go see the film, or dress up in lingerie like Dr. Frank N. Furter. But I admit I went into this soundtrack expecting to be underwhelmed, and the quality of the songs and the performances won me over. If you treat the film version of Rocky Horror as Gospel truth, chances are this soundtrack will open your eyes to new interpretations.

Rating: B+

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© 2001 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of RCA Records, and is used for informational purposes only.