No one will ever be able to provide a definitive list of the best cast albums, however we can try!
Featuring some stellar Australian cast albums and our favourites from abroad, take a look, give them a listen and let us know what you think!
- Hamilton (2015 Original Broadway Cast)
This production about American founding father Alexander Hamilton is making waves around the world and the cast album is no different. Winning a Grammy award in 2016 with over 2.1 million streams and certified triple platinum, this musical has set the standard for cast recordings.
- Rent (1996 Original Broadway Cast)
Rent was another musical to revolutionise theatre, a rock musical about life in the lower East Village of Manhattan. Rent took home the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony for Best Musical with the cast album nominated for a Grammy. Its debut had the biggest first week sales of any Broadway cast album.
- Chicago (1996 Broadway Revival Cast)
The revival of Chicago is the longest running American Broadway musical and its soundtrack has stood the test of time. The cast album won the Grammy for Best Musical Theatre Album and includes classics such as ‘All That Jazz’ and ‘Cell Block Tango’.
- Lion King (1997 Original Broadway Cast)
One of the best staged musicals of all time, the soundtrack highlights the show’s African influences with African composer Lebo M. composing most of the tracks. In 2007 the original South African cast recorded the show live for a special 10th Anniversary Edition.
- Les Miserables (1985 Original London Cast)
One of the most popular theatre shows around the world and with over 47 cast recordings, the best version is not agreed upon. The London production’s cast album in 1985 is regarded as the closest to the original French album and the 1987 original Broadway cast album won the Grammy in 1988 against steep competition (Phantom of the Opera, My Fair Lady and South Pacific).
- Priscilla Queen of the Desert (2007 Original Australian Cast)
One of the most loved Australian musical deserves recognition for its wonderful soundtrack. The only Australian cast album on the iTunes Soundtrack charts at No.155 and No.16 for cast albums. With its classic tunes such as ‘Shake Your Groove Thing’ and ‘I Will Survive’ it will bring back memories of the show and get you ready for its Australian return.
- West Side Story (1957 Original Broadway Cast Album)
In this classic story of star crossed lovers the music brings the show alive and the cast album captivates the essence of the show. The cast album won a Grammy in 1986 and the motion picture soundtrack is still charting on iTunes, however you cannot go past the original Broadway cast recording as it is the original music that brought Sondheim to Broadway.
- Sound of Music (1999 Australian Cast)
Whilst it is very difficult to rank Rodger and Hammerstein’s work, the Sound of Music stands out due to its timeless beauty, captivating audiences for over 50 years. The 1959 original Broadway cast album won a Grammy and with the production picking up five Tony Awards. The Australian cast album features Lisa McCune, John Waters and Bert Newton and is well worth the listen.
- Wicked (2003 Original Broadway Cast)
The original Broadway cast is iconic and you cannot go past Idina Menzel’s Defying Gravity. The Grammy winning cast album was certified double platinum just seven years after its release and includes all your favourite songs from the show. Also take a listen to the bonus tracks on the 5th anniversary edition with songs that never made it to the show and ‘For Good’ featuring Delta Goodrem.
- Grease (2013 Australian Cast)
Everyone loves the music from Grease, with the movie soundtrack featuring Olivia Newton John and John Travolta sitting at number 11 on the iTunes Soundtrack charts, the songs are etched in history. Australians should listen to the 2013 Australian cast recording featuring a stellar cast with Rob Mills as Danny, Gretel Scarlett as Sandy joined by Anthony Callea, Lucy Maunder and Bert Newton.
- Phantom of the Opera (1996 Original London Cast)
Certified 4x Multi-Platinum, the Original London cast album and highlights album is the second and third highest selling musical theatre albums. The music from the longest running show on Broadway is just as iconic as the man who created it, Andrew Lloyd Webber, reminding us why we love the show and why we keep going back for more.
- Book of Mormon (2011 Original Broadway Cast)
The 2017 Helpmann Award winning musical’s cast album retains the humour and wit from the original production which leaves you singing all day long. The 2012 Grammy award winning album debuted at No. 31 on the Billboard 200 and No. 1 on the Top Cast Albums Chart and is worth the listen if you want to experience some of the laughs from the show.
- Jersey Boys (2005 Original Broadway Cast)
A show loved by Australian audiences and a soundtrack to match, this cast album highlights everything we love about the Four Seasons and Jersey Boys. This cast album sets the standard for jukebox musicals and is a joy to listen to. Check it out before Jersey Boys returns to Australia in 2018.
- The Producers (2001 Original Broadway Cast)
Winning a record 12 Tony Awards this musical is very loved by the theatre community. With two powerhouses, Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane this album reminds us why everyone loved The Producers.
- Beauty and the Beast (1995 Original Australian Cast)
Winning an ARIA in 1996, the Australian cast album is beautiful and highlights the charm of Alan Menken and Howard Ashman’s work. Featuring Rachael Beck as Belle and Hugh Jackman as Gaston in his first major role, what’s not to love!
- Cabaret (1966 Original Broadway Cast)
With a wonderful original run and countless revivals, the music of Cabaret will always be a part of the musical theatre scene. The 1998 revival celebrates the anniversary of the original production and is a little darker, featuring Alan Cumming at the Emcee. However, you can’t go past to the original Broadway cast album highlighting the wonderful work of Kander and Ebb.
- The Rocky Horror Show (1974 Australian Cast)
The Australian cast recording of The Rocky Horror Show features Reg Livermore as Dr. Frank-N-Furter. With classics such as ‘Sweet Transvestite’ and ‘Time Warp’ this gutsy and raunchy cast album shows us what Rocky Horror in the 70s would feel like.
- Mary Poppins (2010 Original Australian Cast)
This Australian production was recorded live over five nights at Her Majesty’s Theatre in Melbourne and is a reminder of why we love Mary Poppins. Featuring Marina Prior, Matt Lee and Verity Hunt-Ballard as Mary Poppins it highlights the amazing chorus and wonderful sound created at live theatre.
- Hairspray (2002 Original Broadway Cast)
With its catchy beat and uplifting message this album has the 60s feel that we love from the show. Featuring Matthew Morrison, Laura Bell Bundy and Harvey Fierstein this Grammy winning album has a stellar supporting cast and is such a joy to sing along to.
- My Fair Lady (1956 Original London Cast)
Julie Andrews is magnificent in this role and whilst we cannot watch her perform live anymore this album captures her timeless voice in a role that was made for her. With an outstanding cast this album will have you singing along well after you finish listening.
- Spring Awakening (2006 Original Broadway Cast)
- Avenue Q (2003 Original Broadway Cast)
- Dear Evan Hansen (2017 Original Broadway Cast)
The 2017 Tony winner for Best Musical makes audiences laugh and cry and the cast album is no different. 13th on the iTunes soundtrack chart, its debut on the Billboard 200 marks the first time in 50 years that two music theatre albums were in the Top 20. With music by Pasek and Paul of La La Land fame, this soundtrack captures the emotion of the show and may move you to tears.
- Hair (1992 Australian Cast)
- Evita (1979 Original Broadway Cast)
- The Boy from Oz (1998 Original Australian Cast)
The iconic Australian show produced a stellar Australian cast album winning an ARIA Award in 1988. The original cast includes Todd McKenney in the title role and highlights the best of Australian theatre. Also take a listen to the 2003 Broadway cast album as it features another well-known actor in the leading role, Hugh Jackman.
- Oliver (1960 Original London Cast)
- Billy Elliot (2005 Original London Cast)
- Kinky Boots (2013 Original Broadway Cast)
Hitting Australian shores last year, the music written by Cyndi Lauper is captivating and energetic with a beautiful message at its core. The original Broadway cast album peaked at number 51 on the Billboard 200 and Australia’s Lola Callum Francis features on the West End cast album. This album will definitely get you dancing and don’t forget to check out the Australian cast singing Land of Lola.
- Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2006 Original Australian Cast)
- The Color Purple (2015)
The 2015 Revival cast album stands out due to the powerful performances of Cynthia Erivo and Jennifer Hudson. Winning a Grammy in 2017 and Erivo taking out the Tony award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role it is worth checking out.
- Annie (2012 Australian Cast Live)
Recorded on opening night at the Sydney Lyric Theatre this live album captures an amazing Australian cast including Anthony Warlow, Todd McKenney, Chloe Dallimore, Julie Goodwin and Alan Jones. This album is awesome because it illustrates the ‘live’ element of musical theatre and the amazing work of Australian theatre performers.
- Pirates of Penzance (1994 Australia Cast)
- ARIA Music Award for Best Original Soundtrack / Cast / Show Album 1995
- Jesus Christ Superstar (1992 Australian Cast)
- Fiddler on the Roof (1964 Original Broadway Cast)
- Mamma Mia (1999 Original London Cast)
- Anything Goes (1989 Australian Cast)
- ARIA Music Award for Best Original Soundtrack / Cast / Show Album 1990
- Shane Warne: The Musical (2013 Concert Cast)
- Nine (1987 Australian Cast)
- ARIA Music Award for Best Original Soundtrack / Cast / Show Album 1988
- Dirty Dancing (2004 Original Australian Cast)
- Dream Lover: The Bobby Darin Musical (2016 Original Australian Cast)
- Sweeney Todd (1979 Original Broadway Cast)
- Shout! (2001 Melbourne Cast)
- Love Never dies (2011 Australian Cast)
- Hot Shoe Shuffle (1993 Australian Cast)
- ARIA Music Award for Best Original Soundtrack / Cast / Show Album 1994
- Doctor Zhivago (2010 Australian Cast)
- Guys and Dolls (1950 Original Broadway Cast)
- Into the Woods (1987 Original Broadway Cast)
- Godspell (1971 Australian Cast)
- Man of La Mancha (2015 Australian Cast)
Cast Recordings to look forward to:
- King Kong
With music by Australian Eddie Perfect we are looking forward to a possible cast album after the show’s Broadway premiere.
- Strictly Ballroom
After a great run in Australia, England and Canada we are hoping an American production will bring a cast album celebrating the wonderful Australian movie.
- Muriel’s Wedding
With music by Kate Miller-Heidke we are looking forward to the premiere of the musical version of the iconic Australian movie and a possible cast album to follow.
With the Broadway premiere set and the out of town tryouts underway, the musical of the now iconic Disney film is filled with new music and the classic songs we love so a cast album would be awesome while we wait for the show to make its way down under.
Is there something we’ve left off the list? Feel free to post your selections in the comments below!