Thursday, January 24, 2019

Increased Effort Imagining

I liked The Greatest Showman very much.

Y’know why? 
Because the music was awesome and it made me feel good. 
Sometimes, that’s all you need from entertainment.

Having a soft spot for the "No business like show business" circus attitude doesn't hurt either.

It seems to have had the same effect on others, particularly the awesome music.

Its soundtrack has spawned a “Reimagined” version performed by various pop artists, that my daughter, who likes the film and songs even more than I do, got for Christmas.

The problem is there was an astonishing lack of imagining in the reimagining.  Just about every track sounds like a slightly poppier, Disney movie end credits version of the original song.  They’re all basically the same number performed by someone more well known for music, with less emotional investment in the song.

Sara Bareilles is the only one who comes close to performing “Tightrope” with a truly different interpretation from the original.   (She’s got one of those voices that makes me stop and listen no matter what she sings, which is why I took a moment to be nice to her.)

With that exception and the bit of banjo in “The Other Side” it’s much more of a “Commercial Rehashing” than a “Reimagining.”

As an owner of Big Daddy’s Do Wop versions of Broadway Hits, Pat Boone’s Heavy Metal album, and Alternative bands singing Saturday Morning’s Greatest Hits, I expected something more.

Something perhaps like:

The Greatest Showman REALLY ReImagined

"The Greatest Show"
Andrea Bocelli backed by a full choir and orchestra,
Add a pipe organ too.
Female lead by Aida Farifullina,
Zac Efron part at the end by Matteo Bocelli

"A Million Dreams"
Fast Polka
Weird Al, high speed frenetic 
with much Spike Jones influence

"A Million Dreams (Reprise)"
Slow Polka
Can Al’s daughter sing?
Jazzy tuba baseline behind this one

"Come Alive"
Full on fun mode
with horns a plenty

"The Other Side"
Country/ Pop
Shania Twain and Taylor Swift
A rock edged country Girl Power duel,
Charlie Daniels guests on fiddle
and Steve Martin on banjo

"Never Enough"
Hard Rock / Early Metal
One of their patented
riff heavy,
pulse pounding rockers

"This Is Me"
Rat Pack Swing
Tony Bennett
(James Darren if we can’t get Tony)
Lots of Lounge singer moments:
“Hey there!” 
“You’re a beautiful crowd”
(Maybe just let Bill Murray do it?)

"Rewrite the Stars"
Salsa/ Samba Mix
Pitbull and Shakira 
Party mix to raise the roof
with a breakdown about "thinking it's easy"

“Never Enough (Reprise)”
Power Ballad
Eighties metal
slow and strong
 warehouse video sound

Cedella Marley
If Ziggy or any other members 
of the Melody Makers 
want to come back- cool!
Still a sad song but
a hint of 
Everything Gonna Be Alright.

"From Now On"
Surf Rock
Starting with a slower
“Good Vibrations” vibe
and working up to
“Surfin’ USA” tempo for the climax

Bonus Tracks

"The Greatest Show"
A Capella
The Bobs reunite!
(For any reason at all…please!)
Richard and Angie take leads,
Dan beat boxes throughout,
Matthew harmonizes and provides Circus animal noises

"This is Me"
Dead Milkmen
Rambling "Bitchen Camaro" like intro
about independence 
before thrashing through the song

The Temple City Kazoo Orchestra

Sure this was weird, but you readers only had to skim in. To qualify, I had to be able to hear the whole thing in my head.

There may be issues with some of these groups having members who don't perform anymore or are no longer living.  Honestly, though, being dead would make someone only marginally less likely to be on this album than anyone else listed.

Maybe I should just be thankful for Sara Bareilles.


Jesse Schell said...

This is a great project for somebody!
It's better than my idea for "The Greatest Snowman"...

Jeff McGinley said...

Thanx for reading, tat's hysterical.

I can see it now, instead of Queen Elsa running off to a mountain, she runs away and joins the circus!