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West Side Story is the soundtrack to the 1961 film West Side Story. Released in 1961, the soundtrack spent 54 weeks at #1 on Billboard's album charts, giving it the longest run at #1 of any album in history, although some lists instead credit Michael Jackson's Thriller, on the grounds that West Side Story was listed on a chart for stereo albums only at a time when many albums were recorded in mono. In 1961, it won a Grammy award for "Best Sound Track Album – Original Cast". In the United Statesmarker, it was the best-selling album of the 1960s, certifying three times platinum by the RIAA on November 21 1986.

Though the album was released just a few years after the release of the original broadway cast recording, it is according to Broadway Babies preferred by some to the earlier version both sentimentally, as the film succeeded in establishing the musical as a "popular masterpiece", and musically, as it contains "beefier orchestration".

Dubbing

In her autobiography, I Could Have Sung All Night, Marni Nixon spoke of singing the role of Maria and of her observations of some of the other singers whose voices were dubbed into the film. According to Nixon, very little of the singing on the soundtrack was contributed by the on-screen top-billing stars of the film; while George Chakiris provided vocals for the character of Bernardo, Nixon claims, even Russ Tamblyn's voice was dubbed over by Tucker Smith because Tamblyn had contractual obligations with MGM Records. (While the film was released by MGM Studios, the soundtrack was produced by CBS Records as part of rights it acquired in purchasing the Broadway soundtrack.) Final determination of which voices would be used and how much for the film's songs was left to producer Saul Chaplin, who at various times told Nixon that her voice would be used to supplement or extend that of actress Natalie Wood or to replace it altogether. After filming was complete, Nixon recorded several songs while watching film loops so that she could synchronize her voice to Wood's action. Nixon also dubbed several lines for Wood and contributed co-dubber Betty Wand's part to the song now called "Tonight". Although it was not industry standard at the time, Nixon arranged to received a small percentage of the royalties for sales of the soundtrack, which, as she did not receive credit for her performance on the album, she indicates helped "salve any wounds".

Track listing

All tracks by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim.Vocal performers listed parenthetically after song title.

  1. "Overture" – 4:39
  2. "Prologue" – 6:37
  3. "Jet Song" (Tucker Smith, Jets) – 2:06
  4. "Something's Coming" (Jim Bryant) – 2:32
  5. "Dance at the Gym" (Blues, Promenade, Mambo, Pas de Deux, film dialogue, and Jump) – 9:24
  6. "Maria" (Bryant) – 2:34
  7. "America" (Rita Moreno, George Chakiris, Sharks & Girls) – 4:59
  8. "Tonight" (Jim Bryant, Marni Nixon) – 5:43
  9. "Gee, Officer Krupke" (Russ Tamblyn, Jets) – 4:14
  10. "Intermission" – 1:30
  11. "I Feel Pretty" (Nixon, Yvonne Othon, Suzie Kaye) – 3:35
  12. "One Hand, One Heart" (Bryant, Nixon) – 3:02
  13. "Quintet" (Bryant, Nixon, Moreno, Jets, Sharks) – 3:22
  14. "The Rumble" – 2:39
  15. "Somewhere" (Bryant, Nixon)
  16. "Cool" (Tucker Smith, Jets) – 4:21
  17. "A Boy Like That/I Have a Love" (Betty Wand, Nixon (as both Anita and Maria)) – 4:28
  18. "Finale" (Nixon, Bryant) – 4:20
  19. "End Credits" – 5:05


Chart positions

Year Label & number Chart Position
1962 Columbia OL 5670 (Mono) / OS 2070 (Stereo) Billboard Pop Albums (Billboard 200) (mono and stereo) 1
1963


Personnel

Performance



Production

  • Mark Cetts – engineer
  • Saul Chaplin – musical director, assistant producer
  • Didier C. Deutsch – producer
  • John Green – conductor, musical director
  • Roy Hemming – liner notes
  • Bill Ivie – engineer
  • Irwin Kostal – musical director
  • Ernest Lehman – screenplay
  • Boris Leven – production design
  • Sid Ramin – musical director
  • Jerome Robbinsdirector, choreographer
  • Robert Wise – director


References

  1. .
  2. Nixon, 135-136.
  3. Nixon, 136.
  4. Nixon, 137.
  5. This song was released in a shorter three-part version on original lp pressings, omitting the "Mambo" and "Pas de Deux"; the complete five-part version was added for cd releases.
  6. This song was not present on original lp pressings, but was added for the 2004 cd re-release.
  7. This song was not present on original lp pressings, but was added for cd releases.



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