I was very fortunate to drive the length of the country on Feb 28th and 29th 2020 to the Manchester Opera House to see the two previews of Back to the Future – The Musical. Unfortunately, we all know what happened in March 2020. Setting my time circuits to September 2021, I saw the West End musical (now revised and re-written) in all its glory at the Adelphi Theatre in London. I thoroughly enjoyed its new take on the story – and understood that it needed to be different from the film. However, I feel that many fans of film musicals go to see adapted stage versions to watch the film onstage rather than enjoying the 16 or so character / plot songs in favour of the rarely included famous pop songs from the film soundtrack. Luckily, with Alan Silvestri, Glen Ballard and Bob Gale in control, we still enjoyed Huey Lewis’ The Power of Love and Back in Time, 1955 songs Earth Angel and Johnny B. Goode, and good chunks of the original soundtrack, if somewhat cleverly re-arranged for the small pit band and click-tracks.
It’s a small world: One of my musical friends typeset the score and parts and another was the vocal coach! I’m very jealous that they had backstage knowledge of the show before me! Many of the songs, incorporate motifs and themes from the score e.g. It’s Only A Matter of Time with two phrases from the BTTF heroic theme, whilst Got No Future and Future Boy subtly use the Lydian progression of C major to D major (and other transpositions) from the main theme. The 1950 satirical song Cake pays homage to Mr. Sandman and Jennifer’s song Wherever We’re Going is in the Reggae/Ska style of Heaven is One Step Away from the original film soundtrack.
Now, a December 2023 update on Back to the Future LP and CD releases with a few treats along the way.
The MONDO releases of the 2LP Orchestral Scores are available in splatter vinyl and standard heavy black vinyl (I have Parts II and III but Part I is very rare in black). Here are the coloured splatter vinyl for Parts I, II and III.
The Special Anniversary re-issues of the original soundtrack feature limited edition and alternate artwork by Drew Struzan, who painted the trilogy posters but many other ideas, which are brilliant but not as iconic as the trilogy I, II and III figures theme turned out to be. Delorean Silver, Flame Orange and Marty’s “Puffer Jacket and Jeans” colours entertain:
Above is the 7″ picture disc of Johnny B. Good and the Silvestri Overture, featuring Doc and Marty in the Delorean and the main poster image. Below are the new releases of the Back to the Future the Musical double LP and the two editions of the CD, the recent 2CD Deluxe Edition contains a number of demos including Good at Being Bad original sung in Manchester by Biff but erased from existance!
Bonus images: Here is the piano/vocal score, the huge Creating The Musical hardback by official BTTF Historian MIchael Klastorin (whose Revised and Expanded 2nd edition of the the Ultimate Visual History) contains a good few pages on the musical, plus the theatre programmes for the original casts at Manchester and the West End.
Finally, to accompany my trilogy of Japanese Laserdiscs, the UK and US editions of the first film.