Cataloging the collection

According to my iTunes, I have 825 songs (3.08 GB, 0r 1.8 days worth) in my “Explicit Broadway” playlist.* (My “Clean Broadway” playlist is the same set, minus part of Rent and a lot of Hair and the odd song from other shows. As my kids have gotten older this is less and less an issue, so that I never play it anymore.)

I have …

30 complete soundtracks. That will be 31 as soon as my CD of the Original Cast Recording of Follies shows up from (It will also be my second version of Follies: I also have Follies in Concert. I wasn’t quite happy with the FiC version of my two favorite songs, “Would I Leave You?” and “I’m Still Here,” so I ordered the original.)

Songs from 104 other shows. This is mainly thanks to the five disc soundtrack to the documentary miniseries, Broadway: The American Musical. A friend gave it to me last year, and it was the best Christmas present I had gotten since The Big Book of Baseball when I was twelve.

A lot of Sondheim: 6 1/2 complete soundtracks (West Side Story counts a half since he wrote the lyrics); and one or two songs from 7 1/2 other shows (Gypsy counts a half since he wrote the lyrics).

There are no other composers that have anywhere near the same level of representation; the closest would be Kander and Ebb (2 complete soundtracks — would be three but I have been procrastinating on buying Cabaret) and Lerner and Lowe (2 complete soundtracks). I have two Stephen Schwarz soundtracks, but quite frankly Wicked was a mistake.

Andrew Lloyd Weber? 4 songs. And 3 those came on the compilation album.** In fact, of the Cameron MacIntosh produced megaproductions, the only one that I have a complete soundtrack for is Les Miserables.

Chronologically, the songs run from “When the Moon Shines on Moonshine” from Zeigfield Follies of 1919 (1919) to “Show Off” from The Drowsy Chaperone (2006). Eighty seven years of music, although I mainly listen to the last forty of those.

The interesting thing is, I know how inadequate all of this is. I have next to no Rodgers & Hammerstein, or Rodgers & Hart, and only Anything Goes by Cole Porter. And that in revival. I’m not really keen on Jerry Herman, so I think I’m fine with Mame and a couple of the tracks from La Cage Aux Folles.

I guess the tip-off for me that things were getting a little out of hand came when my youngest son (a.k.a., the red-headed Don Quixote) and I had the following conversation a month or so ago:

Me: “Will you guys pipe down? I’m trying to watch the Emmys! They only come on once a year!”
Boy, bitterly: “Well, the Tonys only come on once a year, and you didn’t watch them.”
Me: “And you’re annoyed about this?”
Boy: “I sure am!”

I’ve created a monster.

*Okay, so I’m not a purist. I include a few movie soundtracks in here as well, for movies that had stage incarnations: Chicago, Hair (I have the full Broadway and half the movie soundtrack), and yes, The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

** The compilation album also had “Memory” from Cats, which I deleted from my computer. Just don’t get me started on Cats.

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