Stage Door Records – Musical Soundtracks from the last 50 years

Stage Door Records – Musical Soundtracks from the last 50 years

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Stage Door Records are a record label that specialise in preserving cast recordings of West End musicals from the past 50 years. I was contacted recently by Stage Door’s Tim Hutton with a view to digitising records and tapes as they become available from the appropriate record companies, prior to their CD release on the company’s label. The featured image shows a recent release, Jeff Wayne’s “Two Cities” as well as a project currently in progress, Tony Tanner’s “Something’s Coming”.

Jeff Wayne’s “Two Cities” had always been on a ‘wish list’ of projects Tim wanted to reissue. Wayne’s musical theatre adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “A Tale Of Two Cities” opened at London’s Palace Theatre on February 27th 1969 to mixed reviews and ran for just 44 performances. The production was nominated for ‘Best Musical’ at the 1969 Evening Standard Theatre Awards, and the show’s star Edward Woodward won ‘Best Male Performance in a Musical’. Despite the limited run, a cast recording was produced and subsequently issued by EMI. The musical was first conceived in the mid 1960s by Jeff’s father Jerry Wayne (a former actor himself and by this time a theatre producer) who commissioned his son to compose the score for the project.

Stage Door first approached Jeff Wayne Music with a proposal to license the original cast recording in 2014 for a limited CD release. Due to Jeff’s commitments with “The War Of The Worlds” the project was put on hold but was given the green-light in March 2016 for a release date in mid June. During this time, Tim was informed that Jeff had located in his archive, two reel-to-reel tapes containing the show’s original demo recordings which could feature as ‘Bonus Tracks’ on the forthcoming CD release.

The tapes hadn’t been played in nearly 50 years but were found to be in good condition, and discovering their contents was a revelation! The tracks were recorded in 1966 when the show was in development and featured several songs that were ultimately cut from the final production. Also interesting to note is that on the demo recordings, the role of Sydney Carton (played on stage by Edward Woodward) was sung by Jeff’s father Jerry Wayne.

All 10 of the demo recordings were transferred from tape using one of our Revox B77 decks, and feature as bonus tracks on Stage Door’s CD release of “Two Cities” Original London Cast Recording issued on June 24th, 2016.


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