One of the cast albums I’ve most been looking forward to has finally been released – sort of. Last week, the cast album for “9 To 5” got released digitally, next week it gets released on CD. It seems a little unprecedented to stagger the releases for a Broadway show, but it seems to allow the label to double dip where the gotta-have-it-now crowd can get their instant gratification and those that prefer to have the physical product can wait a couple weeks longer or get both.
In the case of “9 To 5” I fall into the crowd that will double dip. I saw the stage production last September when it premiered in Los Angeles for it’s Pre-Broadway trial run. The show written by Patricia Resnick, the original screenwriter of the classic film, along with songs written by one of the original film’s stars, Dolly Parton, have come together to bring the classic to life in a new form. One of the disadvantages of seeing the show early is that the cast album wasn’t readily available to purchase following seeing the show, so I’ve had to wait from September until now. So the early digital release version, was a no brainer for me, and because I will want the physical edition, I’ll be getting that too.
The stage show of “9 To 5” not only captured the spirit of the original film, but also had some really fantastic songs. Not only Dolly’s original hit song, “9 To 5” but additionally songs that Dolly wrote in the spirit of each character. Only the “Backwoods Barbie” song written for the character of Doralee Rhoades (Dolly’s original character), was one Dolly has released for herself as well, using it as the title track to her most recent album.
As most shows tend to have a single “showstopper” song to be the signature song of the show, “9 To 5” has one for each of the three main characters. Doralee’s showstopper, “Backwoods Barbie,” is a heartfelt plea from Doralee to not be judged on the basis of her looks. Violet Newstead gets her moment to shine as “One Of The Boys” capable of being as great a manager as any man, and Judy Burnly stands up for herself against her ex-husband by demanding he “Get Out And Stay Out” when he comes trying to crawl back after having dumped her for a younger woman who in turn dumped him.
Probably one of the best highlights of the cast album is when the girls describe their visions of how they would get rid of Mr. Hart from Judy’s film-noir esque shooting of him, Doralee’s rodeo roundup, and Violet’s fairy-tale-eque poisoning of his coffee. The cast album as a whole has been a lot of fun to enjoy but doesn’t quite feel like a complete version. Granted the version of the show I saw was not in its final state at the time I saw it, so it’s quite possible a scenes have been cut completely. It’s just I seem to recall there being at least a song or two between Judy’s “Get Out And Stay Out” and the end of the show, and here on the cast album “Get Out And Stay Out” appears as the last song just before the reprise of “9 To 5” to close out the show.
In any case, I’m happy to finally be able to enjoy Dolly Parton’s new songs as performed by Allison Janney (Violet), Stephanie J. Block (Judy), Megan Hilty (Doralee), and Marc Kudisch (Mr. Hart), and have been gladly doing so on my iPod since it’s release on the 14th. I’m looking forward to getting the cast album so I can look through the booklet. I happen to like the “whole package” of music purchase so I just can’t have just the songs. It doesn’t feel like a full purchase without the physical CD and booklet.
I purchased my digital copy of the album from Amazon.com instead of iTunes for a couple reasons, the first of which is because the files at Amazon are in MP3 format (which is more universal than Apple’s format) and it was also cheaper at Amazon. It was $8.99 at the time I bought it. iTunes wanted $11.99 at the time. I also intend to get the physical CD from Amazon where it’ll be $9.99. So for about $19, I’ll have gotten both digital and physical from Amazon. Click here to get either version from Amazon. Click here if you want to purchase the digital version from iTunes.