So you're looking for an album featuring Madonna's new No. 1 single, "This Used to Be My Playground." Would the logical place to find it be the soundtrack for "A League of Our Own" or the Olympic Games compilation called "Barcelona Gold"? Here are reviews by Deseret News staff writers of the two collections that offer an answer to that question:VARIOUS ARTISTS; "Barcelona Gold"; compiled by Jordan Rost, Jeff Gold and Gregg Geller (Warner Bros.).
* * * Maybe you've seen, heard and enjoyed the new music videos created for NBC's Olympic broadcasts. Maybe you're just nuts about the Olympics. If so, "Barcelona Gold" is aimed at you.That is, if you like all kinds of music. This album's multigenre menu requires a broad taste in music.
Bracketing the 17-track collection are "Barcelona," a decidedly odd, pop-operatic tribute-duet featuring the late Freddie Mercury, of Queen fame, and soprano Montserrat Caballe', and a dramatic concluding duet by Jose Carreras and Sarah Brightman, "Friends for Life (Amigos Para Siempre)," by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black - the official song of the Barcelona Olympics, we're told.
In between is a mix of rap, R&B, rock, country and generally peppy songs exhorting personal-bests and presenting pleas for interracial unity and friendship by the likes of Randy Travis ("The Heart to Climb the Mountain"), Keith Sweat (the '91 hit "Keep It Comin' "), Tevin Campbell ("One Song") and Rod Stewart ("Go Out Dancing").
Among the highlights are Anita Baker's silken "How Fast How Far," Natalie Cole's take on the Gershwins' "Love Is Here to Stay" and - surprise, surprise - Madonna's new No. 1, "This Used to Be My Playground."
- Ray Boren VARIOUS ARTISTS; "A League of Their Own" soundtrack (Columbia). * * * 1/2
To back up "A League of Their Own," the light comedy based on the real-life All American Girls Professional Baseball League, the filmmakers commissioned a bevy of modern vocalists to lend their talents to appropriate oldies - Billy Joel crooning Duke Ellington's "In a Sentimental Mood"; Art Garfunkel doing Hoagy Carmichael's "Two Sleepy People"; James Taylor singing two '40s standards, "I Didn't Know What Time It Was" and "It's Only a Paper Moon"; and the Manhattan Transfer with "Choo Choo Ch'Boogie" and "On the Sunny Side of the Street."
It's a terrific idea and the vocalists' personal styles meld perfectly with these great old songs.
In addition, you'll find a very nice original song by Carole King, "Now and Forever," instrumentals by Hans Zimmer and the cast singing the league theme song.
What you will not find, however, is Madonna's lovely change-of-pace number "This Used to Be My Playground," which she co-wrote and performs under the film's closing credits. Madonna's contract with Warner Bros. Records would not allow her to appear on the Sony soundtrack. (The song does appear, however, on Warner's all-star "Barcelona Gold" album and has been released as a single.)
- Chris Hicks