Pop Goes The Movies: THE HAIR SOUNDTRACK - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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When the lights dimmed in theaters in 1979 and the first chords of "Aquarius" filled the air, audiences knew they were in for something wholly unique. This was the birth of Milos Forman's adaptation of the musical "Hair," a film that redefined what a musical could be, with a soundtrack that captured the spirit of a generation. The film was a reimagining of the 1968 Broadway musical, with its rock-infused score not only chronicling the counterculture of the 1960s but also transcending it, much like the film itself.

The album's opening track, "Aquarius," performed by Ren Woods, is an anthemic invocation of a new age, underpinned by a lush, choral arrangement. It represents the harmonic convergence of two disparate eras: the musical integrity of Broadway and the transformative power of rock 'n roll. The song charted at number 6 in the UK and number 32 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the US.

"Let the Sunshine In", one of the musical's most iconic numbers, blends the gospel and soul, embodying the joyful defiance of the hippie generation. The track, a stirring ensemble number, served as the film's climax and left a lasting impression on audiences.

However, the soundtrack isn't solely dominated by uplifting anthems. Songs like "Easy to Be Hard," performed by Cheryl Barnes, showcase a more vulnerable side of the counter-culture movement. This beautiful ballad of disillusionment and longing reached number 10 on the UK Singles Chart and number 61 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.

"I Got Life" takes the listener on an exhilarating journey from self-acceptance to unabashed celebration. Performed by Treat Williams, who played the central character of Berger, the song is a testament to the free-spirited ethos of the era.

The title track "Hair," is an irreverent celebration of freedom and identity. The vocal performances by Williams and John Savage, who played Claude, capture the exuberant spirit of rebellion that the movie epitomized.

The soundtrack for "Hair" showcases an array of genres, with elements of pop, rock, gospel, and soul music woven together. This diverse musical tapestry is a testament to the genius of the original composers, Gerome Ragni, James Rado, and Galt MacDermot.

The "Hair" soundtrack reached number 2 on the UK Albums Chart and number 13 on the US Billboard 200 chart, reflecting its significant impact on popular culture. The album's success lies in its ability to encapsulate the zeitgeist of the era it represents while also pushing the boundaries of musical theater.

In the realm of film soundtracks, the 1970s was a particularly vibrant period, with movies like "Jesus Christ Superstar," "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," and "Saturday Night Fever" producing memorable musical moments. What sets "Hair" apart is its synthesis of traditional Broadway elements with the rock music that defined the era. This innovative blending made it a unique artifact of its time and a fascinating contrast to other soundtracks of the era.

In the years since its release, the "Hair" soundtrack has been hailed as a classic, with songs like "Aquarius" and "Let the Sunshine In" finding their way into the pop culture lexicon. The album's exploration of themes like freedom, identity, and rebellion continues to resonate with audiences, ensuring its lasting legacy.

In conclusion, the soundtrack to "Hair" stands as a unique and vital testament to the cultural shifts of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Its blend of rock, pop, and traditional musical theater elements, coupled with its powerful thematic resonance, makes it an album worthy of revisitation and reverence. Its influence on subsequent movie musicals is palpable, marking it as an enduring classic in the pantheon of film soundtracks.

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