The cast album for the critically acclaimed Broadway production of David Byrne’s American Utopia includes songs from his 2018 album, American Utopia, along with music from Talking Heads and Byrne’s solo career. Byrne shares the spotlight with a diverse ensemble of eleven musical artists from around the globe for an event that delivers "an experience unlike anything else," says Billboard. "Dazzling, rapturous and jubilant," exclaims the New York Times. "Astonishing," raves Hollywood Reporter. "A knockout celebration of music, dance and song. Pure bliss." Rolling Stone calls it "a tonic for our tumultuous times." Nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album.
Nonesuch releases the cast album for the current critically acclaimed Broadway production of David Byrne’s American Utopia, with music and lyrics by David Byrne; it is available digitally now. The two-CD version was released on November 15; the vinyl edition is due December 27.
"Dazzling, rapturous and jubilant," exclaims the New York Times of the show. "Byrne puts the central tenet of making contact with a world outside your mind into dynamic, sensory practice onstage."
"Astonishing," raves Hollywood Reporter. "A knockout celebration of music, dance and song. Pure bliss."
"A heady swirl of hope for our anxious times," says Rolling Stone. "The concert-theater-dance spectacle finds solace in human connections … a tonic for our tumultuous times..."
American Utopia began as an album, also released by Nonesuch, which received a Grammy nomination and was the first by Byrne to reach #1 on the Album Chart; it was also his first to reach the Top Five on the Billboard 200 chart. The concert tour in support of American Utopia, which inspired the Broadway show, included songs from the new album along with music from Talking Heads and Byrne’s solo career. Byrne and the ensemble performed more than 150 dates in twenty-seven countries over nine months. The British publication NME said it “may just be the best live show of all time,” and it was named Best International Contemporary Concert at Australia’s 2019 Helpmann Awards.
David Byrne’s American Utopia features David Byrne with Jacquelene Acevedo, Gustavo Di Dalva, Daniel Freedman, Chris Giarmo, Tim Keiper, Tendayi Kuumba, Karl Mansfield, Mauro Refosco, Stéphane San Juan, Angie Swan, and Bobby Wooten III; Davi Viera also performs on the album. The show’s design team includes Rob Sinclair (lighting) and Pete Keppler (sound). Karl Mansfield and Mauro Refosco are Musical Directors. Choreography and Musical Staging is by Annie-B Parson. Alex Timbers serves as Production Consultant.
Fresh off an acclaimed pre-Broadway engagement at Boston’s Emerson Colonial Theatre, David Byrne’s American Utopia began performances on October 4 at the intimate Hudson Theatre on Broadway and celebrated opening night on Sunday, October 20.
David Byrne’s American Utopia is the once-in-a-lifetime Broadway event that delivers “an experience unlike anything else” (Billboard) and marks a major cultural milestone in the worlds of music and theater. David Byrne shares the spotlight with a diverse ensemble of eleven musical artists from around the globe to deliver “a marvel of staging and motion” (Chicago Tribune) that’s a “thought-provoking example of the power of live music” (Forbes).
In addition to American Utopia on Broadway, the label has released eight other David Byrne records since 2003, including 2018’s American Utopia studio album and two versions of his musical Here Lies Love.
Produced by David Byrne
Recorded and mixed by Pete Keppler
Additional engineering by Jamie Nelson and John Chadwick
Mastered by Greg Calbi, Sterling Sound
Cover Photo by Bryan Derballa
Inner Photo by Catalina Kulczar
Booklet Photos by Matthew Murphy
Layout by Christine Im based on key art by SpotCo
Track 1 written by David Byrne and Daniel Lopatin; 2, 10, 20 by David Byrne; 3 by David Byrne, Darren Rock, and Ashley Beedle; 4, 6, 9, 16, 17 by David Byrne, Tina Weymouth, Chris Frantz, and Jerry Harrison; 5, 8, 13–15, 19 by David Byrne and Brian Eno; 7 by David Byrne and Anne Clark; 11 by David Byrne and Norman Cook; 12, 21 by David Byrne, Tina Weymouth, Chris Frantz, Jerry Harrison, and Brian Eno; 18 by Janelle Monae, Roman GianArthur, George 2.0, St. Beauty, and Deep Cotton
David Byrne, vocal (1–21), guitar (5, 12, 16, 17, 20), drums (18)
Tendayi Kuumba, vocal (1–21), drums (18)
Chris Giarmo, vocal (1–21), drums (18), melodica (20)
Angie Swan, guitar (1–10, 12–17, 20, 21), vocal (3, 6, 8–13, 15, 17–21), drums (18)
Mauro Refosco, drums (1, 3–18, 19–21), vocal (19)
Gustavo Di Dalva, drums (1, 5–18, 20, 21)
Davi Vieira, drums (1, 3, 5–9, 11–18, 20, 21)
Bobby Wooten III, bass (2–18, 20, 21), vocal (3, 6, 8–10, 12, 15, 17–21), drums (18)
Karl Mansfield, keyboards (2–17, 20, 21), drums (18), vocal (18, 19)
Tim Keiper, drums (2¬–18, 20, 21), vocal (19)
Stéphane San Juan, drums (3–18, 20, 21), vocal (19)
Daniel Freedman, drums (3–18, 20, 21), vocal (19)
Jacquele Acevedo, drums (10), vocal (19)