“Please sir, I want some more!”
Once you’re a fan of musicals, it can be difficult to keep your appetite for cast recordings satiated. Back in the day, it used to be easy to browse through the musical and soundtrack section of Borders, but how is someone supposed to figure out what to listen to next in this day and age?
Spotify has an impressive number of cast recordings and new musical theatre compilations as part of their database. You can poke around and discover things yourself, but if you have a favorite show or artist, you can use Spotify’s “radio” feature to create a station for you based on that. That station will often introduce you to other music that you might like, and then you can take note of it and buy those songs or albums elsewhere.
Pandora doesn’t seem to have as extensive a contemporary musical theatre selection as Spotify does, but it’s another site where you can create a radio station based on your tastes. Pandora allows you to be a little more specific when it comes to tailoring your station, which is nice.
If you dig musicals, there’s a chance that you’re already visiting playbill.com on a regular basis for Broadway scoop. They’ll often announce releases of new cast recordings or CDs, and they’ll usually share details about concerts or special performances. It’s a great source to gather some names of shows and composers that you might want to check out on your own.
The “frequently bought together” and “customers who bought this item also bought” features are your friends. Start by looking up a recording that you like, and then go from there. Amazon is especially handy because in most cases you can either purchase a physical CD or a download. Technology!
Depending on where you are, the size of your library’s musical theatre recording collection might vary, but it’s always a great place to scope out musicals. More often than not, the collection might focus on Broadway musicals, particularly more popular ones, but it’s important to learn the classics and this is a great place to do so.
Ask your friends, family members, teachers, etc. what their favorite musicals are! I learned about some of my favorite musicals by getting rides home from a friend whose family had an insane collection of original cast recordings. Post something on your Facebook or Twitter asking for suggestions, or if a composer you admire is taking questions via social media, see if you can find out what they’re listening to. There’s no better recommendation to check out an album than the enthusiastic endorsement of someone whose taste you trust!