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Original Broadway cast albums are often the best way to experience, or re-experience, great works of musical theater in their definitive forms. Some shows are recorded for television or adapted into musical movies, but most are not. The Broadway productions change casts, and eventually close; even winning Tony Awards doesn’t guarantee a long run. And while clips of the best Tony Awards performances can offer quick tastes of history, nothing beats a full cast album, with its clean studio sound and, if you opt for a physical CD, helpful booklets of liner notes and lyrics. Here we’ve ranked our 25 favorite original Broadway cast albums—don’t call them “soundtracks,” which are for movies!—of the millennium. Our criteria for inclusion: We limited the list to Broadway productions since 2000, so there are no Off Broadway recordings here, even if the shows moved to Broadway (sorry, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson); and we’ve ruled out revivals, great though some have been (such as 2009’s revival of Hair and the 2008 Patti LuPone Gypsy). We’ve also focused on how well the cast albums hold up by themselves, which means the scores are the thing: Some shows that played like gangbusters onstage don’t sounds as impressive at home. Read on, and let us know if these albums are music to your ears.