Over the past three years, Bryan Adams has worked with his long-time songwriting partner Jim Vallance to write the songs for Pretty Woman: The Musical — which paid off with the show’s Broadway opening in August at the Nederlander Theater. On Sept. 21, the original cast recording will be released on Atlantic Records, with a physical album coming Oct. 26. Billboard is exclusively premiering the song “Welcome to Hollywood” today (Sept. 20).
Based on the enormously popular 1990 film starring Julia Robarts and Richard Gere, the show (directed and choreographed by Broadway vet Jerry Mitchell) follows the street corner-to-penthouse story of feisty prostitute Vivian (Samantha Barks, best known for playing Eponine in the 2012 film of Les Misérables) and wealthy businessman Edward (Andy Karl, most recently a Tony-nominee for Groundhog Day).
“That’s a lot of songs to record in two weeks. It’s basically a song a day,” Adams says of the cast recording process. “The singers and band were well-rehearsed, so it wasn’t really that difficult. It’s just about catching a performance. The biggest challenge was working with the singers and getting all that sorted because they were working every night and we didn’t want to burn them out.”
Much of the show’s score has that familiar Adams sound: the Latin-flavored tango “On A Night Like Tonight” brings to mind his “Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman”; “Freedom” and “You and I” are classic power ballads; and “You’re Beautiful” and “I Can’t Go Back” have an anthemic rock vibe. But Adams and Vallance also venture beyond the familiar, with the jazzy “Don’t Forget To Dance” and even a rap in “Never Give Up.”
“I think that’s probably why [Mitchell] hired us,” Vallance says. “He wanted a non-typical Broadway score. He wanted something more from the pop world.”
Listen to the Pretty Woman: The Musical original cast recording below.