First up, this is the identical disc to the previous 1998 Broadway Masterworks pressing, but in new, cardboard "eco-pack" sleeve packaging. Affectionately nicknamed "The Red Album", the 1977 original Broadway cast recording of ANNIE has never been out of the catalogue, enjoying steady sales for the past thirty years.
Andrea McArdle is still the definitive Annie for most fans, belting out her signature "Tomorrow" with all the confidence of a seasoned Broadway veteran; though in fact this was her Broadway debut and she had only won the role after the little girl originally cast as Annie was deemed "unsatisfactory" during early tryouts. It's a hard knock life!
Dorothy Loudon is a hoot and a half playing the addled orphanage owner Miss Hannigan, Reid Shelton (whose credits date back to the chorus of the original 1956 "My Fair Lady") is a consummate Warbucks; and the late, great Laurie Beechman belts it like nobody's business as the Star to Be in the "N.Y.C." sequence.
Listening to the album today, you can still pick up on the sense of triumph and excitememt within the performances, and the spicy orchestrations of Philip J. Lang positively SCREAM Old-School Broadway (if you don't get chills during the Overture, you are definitely missing something). ANNIE was one of the last great "all-American" Broadway musicals before the British invasion took Broadway into a totally new direction in the early Eighties. It still holds a warm, nostalgic spell for audiences all over. Recommended.