I keep on thinking the concept album is shorter than it actually is. I’m listening it for the first time in forever (and I haven’t listened to it many times anyway admittedly because some of it is just a bit more 80s than I care for) and I keep being like, “Oh, what? US vs USSR was on this album? Embassy Lament was on this album?”
I also totally forgot that Freddie (or, well, The American) did originally have a solo in Endgame (“though it gives me no joy adding to your satisfaction, you can safely assume your late unlamented employee knows if he wins then the only thing won is the chess” which was then given to Walter in the London production and is now back to Freddie with different lyrics (“how straightforward the game when one is free from distraction, when your only concern is laid out so clearly before you, 64 squares, they’re the reason you know you exist”) in the 2008 RAH concert/2010 UK tour).
Also, has Argument (with Anatoly— sorry, The Russian and Florence) ever been used in a production? I realize it got replaced with One More Opponent, and I know it got new lyrics and was recycled into How Many Women (which I’m not fond of) on Broadway and the equivalent of Florence Quits (which I like) in Sweden. I see Wikipedia says it’s never been used anywhere but that seems very un-Chess-like.
NO ONE CARES ARQ
But really, I’m not sure it’s possible to not feel like a total noob all the time with this show unless you’ve been following it since the 80s… If you are a fan of one particular version of Chess (e.g. lately the 2008 RAH Menzel/Pascal/Groban/Ellis concert considering its accessibility) and never listened through any others… you really should just for kicks (above the waistline, sunshine) and to get a sense of the amount of variation here. This is a strange, strange, fascinating musical.