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Noel Coward at Las Vegas


Artist: Noel Coward
Masterworks Broadway
RRP: £9.99
8 864431 25674
Available 20 September 2011

Noel Coward at Las Vegas (1955) represents Coward’s first time on that famous strip, performing for an American audience; god only knows what they made of this quintessentially English gentleman, although I’ve suddenly realised who Stewie from Family Guy is based on.

The live album captures the gig very well. Coward was accompanied by Peter Matz, who would go on to work with him on his subsequent shows in New York. The recording is taken from the 1955 shows, where Coward took up a one month residency at Wilbur Clark's Desert Inn, to which the rich and the famous flocked to hear the master sing.

Coward's vocal dexterity is at its best here, with nary a beat missed, Coward romps through songs, which often lampoon both his people, as in 'Mad Dogs and Englishmen' and the upper classes in 'Uncle Harry'. Apart for three of the songs - 'Loch Lomond', 'Let's do it, Let's Fall in Love' and 'Nina' - the songs were solely composed by Coward.

The full track listing is:

'Noel Coward Medley' (5:19), 'Uncle Harry' (3:45), 'Loch Lomond' (2:28), 'A Bar on the Piccola Marina' (4:48), 'World Weary' (3:11), 'Nina' (4:22), 'Mad Dogs and Englishmen' (3:14), 'Matelot' (4:35), 'Alice is at it Again' (3:33), 'A Room with a View' (3:04), 'Let's Do It, Let's Fall in Love' (4:30) and 'The Party's Over Now' (1:44).

Obviously, this will delight any Coward fan, The audio is clear, although the acoustics betray the fact that they were recorded live, but to listen to the wit and wisdom of Noel Coward this is a very minor price to pay.


Charles Packer

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