Nine of the selections on Angel's new version of the movie's soundtrack weren't on the original long-player, which was issued by Capitol during the Eisenhower administration, but they should have been. Pieces such as "Out of My Dreams Ballet" and the reprise of "People Will Say We're in Love" aren't toss-ins, but rather key compositions that contribute breadth and sweep to the proceedings. Moreover, they provide welcome context, allowing a listener to appreciate even the most familiar airs on hand -- for instance, "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'," "The Surrey With the Fringe on Top" and the indelible title ditty -- both as great tunes and as important parts of a larger tale. And while Oklahoma natives may cringe at the exaggerated drawls used to deliver the likes of "I Cain't Say No" and "Kansas City," in which the word "idea" is rendered as "ideeeeee," the rest of us will likely find them a relief. Unlike modern thespians, who often knock themselves out to authentically duplicate accents, thereby putting the audience in the position of listening for every elocutionary slip, the Oklahoma! cast, featuring the likes of Gordon MacRae and Gloria Grahame, reject realistic portrayals in favor of full-on yokelism, and more power to them.
Thanks to clear but unfussy sound and a liner booklet filled with inviting essays and swell photos, Oklahoma! lives on. Plato should sound so good.