I was having a conversation with someone about how much I love musicals and they told me that they’d never seen one or could even recall any song from a musical but agreed if I could do an hour long playlist of songs that I liked from musicals that would be good for someone with limited musical to knowledge that they’d give it a listen.
I’ve had a little break from blogging to give more of a platform for those voices who need to be heard more than mine right now but I thought sharing my song choices would be a great reintroduction to posting again because I’m just eager to write something now!
Without further ado here is the songs that I compiled. Would love to know what other songs / shows you think I should’ve included in the comments –
Alexander Hamilton – Hamilton
I’ve never seen Hamilton and truthfully bar a couple of songs I’m not a huge fan of the cast recording on the whole – though I am beyond excited to watch it when it lands on Disney+ next week. However, a few years ago Lin-Manuel Miranda challenged Broadway shows to sing a song from Hamilton for charity to help fundraise and Dear Evan Hansen did a song from the show. It was at this point that I realised that I should give Hamilton more of a chance and this song to this day is my favourite from the Hamilton.
I had to include Hamilton on my list as the songs from the show are just so different to what people associate with stereotypical musical theatre songs.
Defying Gravity – Wicked
Wicked will forever be one of my favourite musicals so I couldn’t put together a list of songs without including Wicked . It was the one that truly introduced me into the world of West End theatre and I think it’s such a magical show that will capture most peoples attention. I love the storyline, the sets and outfits are some of the best I’ve ever seen in a stage production and all the songs are so great.
Defying Gravity was the song from the musical I chose to include due to the fact that when you think Wicked you think Defying Gravity. It’s one of those iconic songs that even if you don’t know where the song comes from you’ve probably heard of it. For me, Defying Gravity has basically set the standard that all other musical songs have to compete with – it just never gets old and the song just gets even better if possible when you see it performed on stage.
Falling Slowly – Once The Musical
I completely forgot this musical existed until I went to David Hunter’s online concert at the start of lockdown and he did a cover of this song as he was in the musical. I’m so happy to have rediscovered this musical as this song in particular is so good and it really is one of my favourite songs from a musical which is why I chose it because I just love it.
I’ve never seen the musical, it’s one of those that I just never got around to seeing when it was in the West End so I can’t comment on the show itself (or even too much about what it’s about) but the music from it is wonderful. I believe that sung by the right popular singer, this song could be in the charts as it doesn’t overly sound like a musical song – in fact its the type of song that could even be in the John Lewis Christmas advert. I tried to pick some songs that weren’t stereotypically what you think of when you think musicals and Falling Slowly from Once absolutely fits in the bill.
Found / Tonight – Ben Platt / Lin-Manuel Miranda
I wasn’t entirely sure this would class as being from a musical as its a mash up of You Will Be Found from Dear Evan Hansen and The Story Of Tonight from Hamilton. Two songs which listened to separately you wouldn’t think would work together but somehow it does.
Ben Platt and Lin-Manuel Miranda are two of the most popular performers and the fact they’ve done this song together for charity is fantastic. I love this song so much it’s one of my top played songs ever so I had to include this.
Freeze Your Brain – Heathers The Musical
Heathers is a beyond underrated musical and I saw this show with multiple people who aren’t the biggest musical fans and they all came out loving this show. I’m not sure if its one of those shows where you’ll enjoy the songs more once you’ve seen the show but I couldn’t chose songs without including one from Heathers. It was such a tough decision I love pretty much all the songs from this musical but whenever I get a song from the show stuck in my head 9 out of 10 times its Freeze Your Brain. This is also the entire reason why I had far too many Slurpees from a 7/11 on my last trip to America.
I chose the UK cast version as I saw this version of the show so I have the bias towards Jamie Muscato’s performance of this song as I felt his portrayal of JD was arguably the best performance on the West End in 2018.
Michael In The Bathroom – Be More Chill
I was so insanely torn about which song from Be More Chill to chose. It was narrowed down between Loser Geek Whatever (especially as Will Roland who sings this song was the entire reason I even started liking this show) and Michael In The Bathroom but ultimately I chose Michael In The Bathroom as its the first song from the show that I become obsessed with.
I chose the Broadway cast recording version of this song as even though both are sung by George Salazar I feel that the Broadway version is just that little bit more amazing. I think so many people can relate to this song and the biggest regret I have is not flying to America sooner so I could’ve seen this song performed on stage as it had closed by the time I arrived in New York.
One Day More – Les Miserables
Les Miserables is one of those iconic musicals so you just have to include a song from it. Les Miserables is 99.99% sung so I can appreciate that many people who aren’t overly keen on musicals will probably not enjoy it. One Day More is one of the more catchy songs from the show so I feel like its a good start for anyone whose not seen the show and you’ll absolutely have this song in your head for the foreseeable future after listening.
The Phantom Of The Opera – The Phantom Of The Opera
As with the above, can you really do a list of musical recommendations with including Phantom Of The Opera? Phantom Of The Opera was a show that had never been at the top of my list to see – what a mistake that was! The show is incredible and when you see the show the scene where The Phantom Of The Opera its mesmerizing.
She Used To Be Mine – Waitress
Waitress is a musical that I’d been saying for the longest time that I wanted to see but whenever I came to booking a show I always had something that I wanted to see more. Then fate played out and I got the show in my Broadway Roulette spin when I went to New York.
Jordin Sparks was the actress who I saw playing Jenna. She is simply sensational and honestly her singing this song was one my the best things I’ve ever seen on stage. It was a real wow moment. Her performance of this song was unreal and I feel Waitress is underrated so naturally I had to include this song.
Six – Six
Six is another show that I’ve not seen yet and Coronavirus had other plans about the two times that I had booked to see it this year. Six is the story of Henry VIII’s six wives sung by them from their perspective of the events. It’s such a genius idea for a musical and all I’ve repeatedly heard for years is great things about this show. Like Waitress, its a musical that I’ve been wanting to see but something else has always been out that I wanted to see more, but this show is absolutely straight at the top of the list to rebook when theatres reopen.
I was torn between Six an Ex-Wives but ultimately I chose the song Six because I think it captures what the musical is about well and I only had an hour worth of songs so it made sense to chose the shorter song too. I think Six a catchy song and it naturally seems the perfect choice to start when introducing someone to Six the musical.
Stick It To The Man – School Of Rock
School Of Rock is one of my favourite musicals of all time. I’ve wrote countless times on this blog how Alex Brightman playing Dewey in this musical cemented his as one of my favourite male performers. I feel the incredible performance by Alex Brightman even comes across on the cast recording.
School Of Rock is based on the film of the same name and the songs in the musical are not what you expect from an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical. I think this show will appeal to a wider audience because of the film and this song is one of my favourites from the show.
Waving Through A Window – Dear Evan Hansen
I feel like I talk about Dear Evan Hansen and wear enough merchandise from the show for people to just roll their eyes when they see this song on the list.
I am beyond obsessed with this show and I relate to it more than any show that I’ve ever seen before. The cast recording has the likes of Ben Platt, Will Roland, Laura Dreyfuss, Michael Park etc, and every single song is amazing. It’s one of the few shows where every song is my favourite and where the cast recording truly captures just how emotional the show is.
My favourite song from the show rotates on a near daily basis but Waving Through A Window was the song that initially sparked my interest of the show and I feel its a good introduction to the show as a whole. For someone who hasn’t seen the show I think Waving Through A Window is a fantastic introduction to the musical which is why this song is on the list.
The Whole “Being Dead” Thing – Beetlejuice The Musical
When I went to New York last year I have to admit that the only reason I wanted to see this musical was because Alex Brightman was playing the title character. I’d not even seen the Beetlejuice movie which this musical is based on so I went into the show absolutely blind as to what it was about.
The Whole “Being Dead” Thing is one of the first songs sung in the musical and I think it captures the sheer amount of bonkers (in a good way!) that is this show. I think someone who has seen the movie would probably appreciate listening to a song sung by Beetlejuice more too which again influenced by decision to chose this particular song as the entire cast recording is fantastic so it was a tough choice!
Sadly Beetlejuice is no longer open on Broadway but I really hope this show comes back because it’s definitely one of my favourite shows.