Page updated Sunday, April 8th, 2007
|The Rocky Horror Show Vocal Selections
Music and lyrics Updated with review from Rob Bagnall
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There is now a new version of this book available complete with a CD and repackaged as a Sing-Along book.
The CD supplied has backing music for all the songs. The recording is uncredited as such except for a © Omnibus Media 2006. The style is very much in keeping with the book's original release just after the 1990 production. The book as such is not updated (even to the level of listing Christopher Malcolm as the contact for Rocky Horror Company) despite it's 2006 release date.
Great fun having the stage versions of the backing tracks on a CD, you can't help but sing along, even though as most people will testify, I can't actually sing in tune.
We wouldn't recommend you using the backing tracks to release your own version of the show on your web site, the disc and more importantly original music is still very much copyright material.
One thing I did notice on the lyrics was the last line of the second verse to Planet Schmanet had somehow not been printed. You know the one, "A mental mind-fk can be nice". They've removed it completely, at least I resorted to stars.
Costs about £11 from Amazon.com (rrp£16.95) If you don't have a copy of the book buy this one, if you do get another just for the CD!
THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW Vocal Selections - 2006 reprint with backing tracks CD. Review by Rob Bagnall
At first glance, this book looks like a basic reprint of the 1991 edition of The Rocky Horror Show's sheet music (on slightly flimsier paper), but closer inspection reveals otherwise. I don't actually read music, but there do seem to be differences in the music as printed; subsequent verses to the songs are now printed out as text only on the relevent pages, and the original scripted cue lines of dialogue (present in previous editions of the published music) have now been omitted.
However, the one thing that makes this book an absolutely essential purchase above all previously available versions of the score (and I have several) are the thrilling words “Includes CD” in the bottom right corner of the front cover, and “Sing-Along” (not Sing-a-long-a, don't worry) at the top right, accompanied by the text “All the songs from Richard O'Brien's monstrous musical masterpiece! With ‘soundalike' backing tracks on CD.
This volume's publication in September 2006 seemed to come and go with no announcement or fanfare at all. I was actually unaware of its existence until I saw it reviewed on the TimeWarp website; although at first I was not totally convinced that it wasn't one of Dave's infamous cheeky little April Fool's jokes, so I looked it up on Amazon and Play.com just to make sure. I have wanted a legitimate release of a CD like this for so long that I felt sure this would turn out to be a wind-up. Once I found out that it was indeed for real, I ordered it right away.
Despite the lack of buzz in the Rocky fan world, the CD included in this book makes it one of the most exciting and important pieces of Rocky Horror merchandise for a long time. The lead vocal free Sing-It edition of the movie soundtrack has been around since 1995, and there are also many unofficial backing track CDs around too which also use the film's arrangements as their basis; but whenever there is an upcoming Rocky Horror anniversary, and UK fans are asked what commemorative memorabilia they would like to see, a backing track disc of the stage version's arrangements comes up a lot.
The disc included here (slipped inside a special plastic pocket inside the back cover) is long overdue, and, despite not being a cast recording as such, it is now definitely on my list of favourite Rocky Horror albums.
So much better than a typical karaoke CD, this has no guide voices or backing vocals at all; and there is nothing unnecessarily fancy or updated about the musical arrangements, which sound very much like the 1990 London production, with definite hints of the original Theatre Upstairs version, making it pure, simple, classic, vintage Rocky Horror.
After playing the disc through several times and feeling compelled to sing (as I did), try resisting the urge just once and really listen to the music instead. The undisputed genius of Richards O'Brien and Hartley is right there in the beautifully simple yet brilliant compositions, which range from classic rock ‘n' roll to beautiful melodies and heartbreaking ballads.
If the publishers were really shrewd, they could quite easily get me to cough up even more cash by releasing the exact same CD on its own with a proper cover. This is a must-have item for all true Rocky Horror fans.
Rob Bagnall (April 2007).
Shown to the right is the version of the book released to coincide with the 1990 cast recording of the show in the UK. This is the music and words to the songs of The Rocky Horror Show arranged for piano (or other keyboard), voice and guitar.
This 83/4" x 12", seventy two page book features all the songs from the show including Once In A While.
Also included in the book are ten black and white photographs from the 1990 stage production with Anthony Head as Frank 'N' Furter, Zalie Burrow as Janet and Kate O'Sullivan as Magenta.
The book is well laid out, with well thought out page changes while playing, also included is each cue for the song concerned and nice clear guitar chords. Rock and Roll may only have three chords, Rocky sometimes gets a few more, I still can't remember how to play the F#m7(b5) in Super Heroes without looking it up in my copy of chord chemistry.
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