'Glee the 3D Concert Movie': Track-By-Track


Lea Michele does Katy Perry, Darren Criss rocks Paul McCartney, THR gives the lowdown on the tour's greatest hits.

Glee the 3D Concert Movie hits theaters on August 12, but anticipation for the show's 22 shriek-worthy performances is already building as Columbia Records readies the official soundtrack (recorded at the June 16 New Jersey stop of the summer tour). What can you expect of the recorded versions of these Glee hits? THR has your refresher course in this track-by-track. You can listen to the album in its entirety until August 14 on AOL Music.

  1. “Don't Stop Believin'” With a proper introduction of the New Directions and the on cue screams of several thousand devoted Gleeks jumping from their seats, Glee’s theme song brings out all the unbridled teenage excitement and ambition in two lines delivered by the show’s stars: “Just a small town girl, living in a lonely world… Just a city boy,  born and raised in South Detroit.” Hats off to Journey for writing a classic, Cory Monteith and Lea Michele, whose voices blend together perfectly on the opening number, and the rest of the cast who have by now perfected the art of alternating the “dah dah dahs.”
  2. “Dog Days Are Over” Jenna Ushkowitz and Amber Riley take center stage on the Florence and the Machine hit, but its Ushkowitz’s falsetto in the bridge that steals the spotlight. You can’t really go wrong with this monster of a song, a bonus track on the soundtrack to Glee: The 3D Concert Movie, but an assist from the rest of the cast in the rhythm department makes it all the more special.
  3. “Sing” In one of the more challenging songs to Glee-ify, the live version of the My Chemical Romance hit also relies on the combined vocal strength of Finn and Rachel. And while Lea Michele usually gets the buckets of kudos for her performances, on this track, Monteith deserves to be commended for his undeniable lower harmony.
  4. “I'm A Slave 4 U” Heather Morris’ solo turn is a bevy of heavy breathing and pulsating percussion that, like Glee’s Britney Spears-themed fantasy sequence, leaves little to the imagination.
  5. “Fat Bottomed Girls” It’s all about arena-ready guitar riffs on the Queen rocker, which Mark Salling sings from the middle of the venue then makes his way to the stage acoustic in hand. It’s an ode to Puck’s unlikely girlfriend, of course, which naturally prompts an appearance by Ashley Fink during the Glee concert. The recorded version has its own surprises, like the onslaught of pitch-perfect harmonies on the song’s opening verse.
  6. “I Want To Hold Your Hand” The Beatles hit reworked as a string-led ballad begins with the scream of a Kurt diehard, which is only appropriate considering this less flashy, heartfelt moment by Chris Colfer was among the concert’s most memorable performances. That goes for the soundtrack version, too, which gives Colfer’s voice room to stretch and shine.
  7. “Ain't No Way” If there was any doubt whether Amber Riley or her character Mercedez could pull off Aretha, this performance of the Queen of Soul’s 1968 hit puts it to rest in an instant. Riley proves her vocal prowess and range by delivering stupefying runs that will have any listener with hands to the sky in no time.  
  8. “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)” Kevin McHale takes the lead for this Michael Jackson classic and delivers a faithful rendition. During the tour, the wheelchair-bound Artie was joined by fellow Glee club member Mike Chang (Harry Shum Jr.), who added dance moves and brought the energy way up. Then again, it was McHale who got to ride down the disco ramp.
  9. “Born This Way” Glee’s take on the Lady Gaga smash was poignant the first time around, when McKinley’s kids sported T-shirts bearing their flaws – “Can’t Dance” for Finn, “Four Eyes” for Artie, etc. – so much so that the live, in-person version was undoubtedly life changing for many in that audience. All that yelling, however, made it hard to discern the standout voices, a problem remedied with the live recording. Props, once again, go to Riley.
  10. “Firework” When Katy Perry meets Rachel Berry the result is nothing short of spectacular. Although Lea Michele doesn’t stray far from the radio version, that makes her live performance all the more impressive since Perry had days, perhaps weeks and many takes to perfect that chorus.
  11. “Teenage Dream” The Warblers continue the Katy Perry medley with the stripped-down rendition that made an instant star of Darren Criss. He performs the same function on the Glee tour, leading his troupe of ten through sexy dance moves and perfect harmonies proving yet again why Blaine simply rules.
  12. “Silly Love Songs” Darren Criss lends sweetness to this Paul McCartney solo number which he performs with the Dalton Academy Warblers backed by the Glee band.
  13. “Raise Your Glass” The Warblers take the lyrics to Pink’s outcast anthem literally with a “too school for cool” rendition that packs punch into every turn of phrase. And for those who couldn’t hear Blaine’s banter over piercing screams, it’s crystal clear on the live version.
  14. “Happy Days Are Here Again” / “Get Happy” Lea Michele and Chris Colfer trade verses on this Americana classic made famous by Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand. The two Glee stars pay proper respect to the tune -- no manufactured beats or modern accouterments, just a simple string accompaniment that lets their voices shine.
  15. “Lucky” Chord Overstreet and Dianna Agron deliver this duet with an acoustic guitar and sweet harmonies, much like the TV couple they portray. 
  16. “River Deep, Mountain High” In one of the concert’s musical highlights, Amber Riley and Naya Rivera kill this Ike and Tina classic by giving it the grandiosity it deserves. Phil Spector’s “Wall of Sound” (made famous on a slew of 60s recordings) may not be heard here, but fierceness abounds.
  17. “Forget You” Featuring a special appearance by Gwyneth Paltrow, aka substitute teacher Holly Holiday, Cee Lo’s hit song feels like a rehash at this point, but there’s no denying Paltrow’s own vocal skills on this bonus performance.
  18. “Don't Rain On My Parade” What would a Glee concert be like without Lea Michele singing Streisand? We don’t want to know, because the show’s star is truly in her element on this Broadway number, a reprise from Glee’s 2010 summer tour.
  19. “Jessie's Girl” Cory Monteith takes the lead on the Rick Springfield chart-topper, ushering the song into the 21st century, while the sentiment remains timeless.
  20. “Valerie” Amy Winehouse gave new life to this Zutons track when she recorded it, now Naya Rivera pulls off the live version effortlessly. The only thing missing on the album version? Your own swinging couple on stage right.
  21. “Loser Like Me” The Glee original, led by Lea Michele and Cory Monteith, is made for sing-alongs, which is no doubt what tens of thousands of Gleeks will find themselves doing when spinning the live album version.
  22. “Safety Dance” Kevin McHale sticks with the 80s classic’s robotic tone for much of the song, which during the concert, finds Artie leaping from his wheelchair to show off his own dance moves.  
  23. “Somebody To Love” The concert’s grand finale gives each cast member a spotlight of his and her own and the result is nothing short of stupendous. On the recorded version, Riley and Michele vie for Glee MVPs, but in the end, it’s about the group as a whole who’ve never sounded better together.

[Editor's note: A previous version of this post misquoted the lyrics to "Don't Stop Believin'"]

comments powered by Disqus