The Lion King: Original Broadway Cast Recording
I got this for my birthday. I actually was angling for the movie soundtrack, but this works too. For most of the songs, the quality is just as good. The voices and arrangements are sometimes a bit different, but that doesn't necessarily bug me. I think the stampede song may be original to broad way and I like it. I have to remember to check out the choral group that Disney hired for Lion King. I do love choral stuff so they probably have some other CDs I'd like.
Only real down note is that, as I've heard before, they ruined Scar. The singer is alright, although he's not quite hammy in the way that Jeremy Irons was. But I'd already bought the movie soundtrack version on i-Tunes, so no biggie. I'll also fairly automatically skip "The Madness of King Scar" which is where the Broadway show makes Scar into a crazy villain desperate to be loved. Give me movie Scar any day of the week.
Jethro Tull: Thick as a Brick
I had first heard this song on the radio and later bought a cover by a female vocalist on i-Tunes. I've been searching for it for some time, but hadn't checked Borders (or online). My mistake was that I kept looking for it on various compilations and albums. kamalloy actually saw it first on the shelf where the Album is clearly labeled "Thick as a Brick." The track list is as follows: "Thick as Brick (22:45), Thick as a Brick (21:05) Thick As a Brick (live) (11:48), Interview." Obviously they cut it down some for the radio.
I do rather like the full version. It's playful, full of variety, and ramble-y. According to the interview, it was actually meant to be a parody of a concept album. The band was inspired after their prior album (Aqualung) was described, incorrectly in their view, as a concept album. They'd just meant it to be a collection of songs. Anyways, I'm a little sad that my absolute favorite bits, the ones in the radio cut, aren't actually later replicated. But on the other hand there's a lot of fun flute, drum, and guitar work throughout the song so it stays true to the spirit of the cut. Similarly, my favorite lyrics are in the radio cut version, but the full version is also neat and doesn't really repeat itself.
I'd love if I could get a Guitar Hero track of this, short version or long. I don't see it happening, but an endurance mode for crazy long albums could be a lot of fun. Although I'd probably be lynched if I ever tried to play it at a party.
[Addendum: Also, when my boss saw the CD case on my desk, he commented that it was a great album. I do love my co-workers.]