Tim Curry is 68 today. To be honest, I’m not that fond of him as an actor in a general sense. There is a sameness to all his roles that I find boring. But as a musical comedy actor, he’s brilliant. And he is quite simply a fabulous singer. That’s where his true greatness lies and I still find it amazing that he hasn’t had a bigger career in that regard.
He got his start in London theater where he was in Hair. There he met Richard O’Brien who was writing The Rocky Horror Show. The rest, as they say, is history. Theater history. It was made into an iconic film in 1975. It is one of the silliest movies ever. And much of it really doesn’t work. But Curry is great in the part of Dr. Frank N. Furter. Here he is doing “Sweet Transvestite”:
In terms of his acting, he is also notable for playing the part of Mozart in the original Broadway production of Amadeus opposite Ian McKellen. Otherwise, he’s mostly stayed with musicals, which is really for the best. I don’t see how a musical starring Curry could miss. He’s also had a very successful movie career, but as I said, not of great artistic merit.
Curry has released three very listenable albums that for some reason are not held in high esteem. Last night I read the reviews on All Music and I was amazed how they did go on. The criticism seemed to be that the albums were not something else—the worst kind of review. I was particularly bothered by the review of Read My Lips. Because it was produced by Bob Ezrin with prominent use of Dick Wagner, the reviewer, Joe Viglione, got it into his head that it was a sequel to Lou Reed’s Berlin, and failed by comparison. This is despite the fact that the All Music review of Berlin is lukewarm.
I think that Read My Lips is a great album. So I’m going to present two songs from it. First, a reggae version of The Beatles’ “I Will”:
And this gorgeous version of Bacharach & David’s “Anyone Who Had a Heart”:
Of course, Read My Lips isn’t available on CD or even MP3 because America doesn’t believe in having the good kind of class.
Happy birthday Tim Curry!