Remembering Marvin Hamlisch: A Playlist of 10 Songs from the Tony-Winning Composer
1. "One" (from A Chorus Line)
Anyone who hears only the first few notes of this tune can begin humming the entirety of Hamlisch's now iconic melody that's a tribute to the big Broadway musicals of the Golden Age that puts a grande dame center stage, paying tribute to her.
2. "The Way We Were" (from The Way We Were)
Hamlisch picked up one of his Academy Awards for this song that so beautifully illustrates his ability to marry sumptuous melody with melancholy emotion and, of course, became one of the signature songs for the incomparable Barbra Streisand.
3. "Nobody Does It Better" (from The Spy Who Loved Me)
This song garnered an Oscar nomination for Hamlisch, and even 35 years after its debut, the pop melody - and Carly Simon's silky rendition of it - remains a stunner.
4. "Falling" (from They're Playing Our Song)
Hamlisch manages to communicate both humorous glibness and touching vulnerability in this opening number from the 1979 Broadway show that starred Robert Klein and Lucie Arnaz.
5. "What I Did for Love" (from A Chorus Line)
Yet one more standard to come out of the multi-award-winning musical. It's been recorded by everyone from Bing Crosby to the cast of Glee. Even rocker Grace Jones has put her own stamp on the tune.
6. "I Cannot Hear the City" (from Sweet Smell of Success)
Hamlisch channeled the sounds of film noir and the Big Band era for this musical and on this track one hears his work not only as composer, but as pianist as he accompanies one of the show's stars, Jack Noseworthy.
7. "The Entertainer" (from The Sting)
Hamlisch didn't write this one, Scott Joplin did, but Hamlisch's performance of this and many other songs by the "King of Ragtime" for the movie The Sting revitalized the sounds of the early 20th century for a new generation. Hamlisch's work on the song also scored him one of his three Grammy Awards in 1974.
9. "Disneyland" (from Smile)
Not much was recorded from this musical about beauty pageants that only lasted a mere 48 performances, but Kerry Butler included this haunting, country-infused tribute to the Magical Kingdom on her solo disc, Faith, Trust, and Pixie Dust.
10. "How Can I Win?" (from The Goodbye Girl)
This lush, plaintive melody for the 1993 Broadway musical based on the movie of the same name gets a gorgeously moving performance by Bernadette Peters on the original cast recording.