Monday, April 14, 2014

The 104 Best Broadway Songs of All Time

Collage courtesy of Spotify
A few months ago, I finally made a playlist of my favorite Broadway tunes. I really did try to make it concise, with only one or two from each musical I chose to include, but there are some shows that have 7 ridiculously awesome tunes (ahem, Next to Normal). These are in no particular order, and I mean that. It's just in the random order I thought of them. Oh, and you best believe that there are some songs from Broadway flops, like Wildhorn's shows. At a glance, I will just point out that Terrence Mann is in there more than once, and of course all my favorites- Brian d'Arcy James, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Audra McDonald, Norbert Leo Butz, and J. Robert Spencer- are in the list at least once.

I suppose from the list, I'm essentially making a judgment about the best Broadway shows, so that gauntlet has just been thrown. Whew. Here are the shows included in the list:

  1. Miss Saigon (1)
  2. The Scarlet Pimpernel (4)
  3. Jersey Boys (2)
  4. Next to Normal (7)
  5. Wicked (5)
  6. Les Miserables (7)
  7. Catch Me if You Can (2)
  8. Kiss Me Kate (2009 revival) (3)
  9. The Last 5 Years* (1)
  10. How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (2011 revival) (3)
  11. Memphis (2)
  12. The Phantom of the Opera (3)
  13. Beauty and the Beast (1)- I feel like I should explain myself: having grown up with the movie soundtrack, I don't really love the Original Broadway soundtrack, except for this one song. And no, it has nothing to to with the fact that it's Terrence Mann... Ok, maybe it does.
  14. Oliver! (3)
  15. Fiddler on the Roof (1)
  16. Ragtime (original concept and Broadway) (5)- I also need to explain this one: again, the first Ragtime songs I ever heard happened to be from the concept album, so I like those the best. However, I love the song they added for the Broadway premiere, "Sarah Brown Eyes."
  17. Rent (4) (See which one I left out?)
  18. Sound of Music (1)- One of the only songs not included in the original movie
  19. Chicago (2)
  20. Cabaret (Original Broadway/1998 revival) (3)- I love "Mein Herr" which was added for the 1998 revival, starring Natasha Richardson and Alan Cumming his first time around.
  21. Urinetown (1)
  22. Into the Woods (3)
  23. Titanic (1)
  24. Jekyll & Hyde (4)
  25. A Chorus Line (3)
  26. Bonnie and Clyde (1)
  27. Thoroughly Modern Millie (1)- This one feels like a lie, because it's the only one I'm really familiar with from the show, but I really like it!
  28. Guys and Dolls (1992 revival) (5)- The first big musical I ever saw live (a community theatre production), so I have to include lots from it.
  29. Camelot (4)
  30. My Fair Lady (2)
  31. West Side Story (6)- Oh hey! I wrote about that one last week
  32. South Pacific (2008 revival) (6)- Matthew Morrison as Lt. Cable is possibly the best thing to happen to musicals.
  33. Billy Elliot (3)
  34. Pippin (2012 revival) (4)- These are probably the only good songs from the show. Great show, just not great songs overall.
Enjoy the full list through the magic of Spotify! (I've been having trouble getting stuff to stay embedded, so if there's a problem, just click here, and this link should take you there)

So, I realize there are a few glaring snubs. Namely, Hairspray, Music Man (If I have to see another community theatre/high school production of this I might scream. It's so overdone), Oklahoma! (despite the many old Broadway tunes I have on this list, I'm just really not familiar with the show. I know! I'm a disgrace!), not to mention most of Sondheim, which I'm sure my Sondheim-loving sister will be disappointed in. Those are off the top of my head, but what other shows/songs did I leave out? Any on this list that definitely don't belong?

*not Broadway, but Off-Broadway

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