West Side Story Soundtrack



Lots of vibrant music amidst a heavy storyline.

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable

Violence and murders are vividly portrayed in the tense, frantic music. "Finale" includes the sound of the gunshot that kills Tony. The tragic final scene's dialogue may disturb young listeners.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that famed composer Leonard Bernstein's score employs jazzy, complex rhythms, tight harmonies, and vibrant, inventive arrangements. The CD tracks the Academy Award-winning movie, which illustrates the disastrous results of racism and lack of parental guidance combined with violence and a gang mentality.

Parents say

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What's the story?

This modern-day retelling of Shakespeare's \"Romeo and Juliet\" was groundbreaking when it hit Broadway in 1957 and exploded on the silver screen in 1961. WEST SIDE STORY is a masterful musical that enjoys continued appeal for its gripping score -- and, unfortunately, for its continued social relevance. This music captures the innocence, passion, tenacity, and excitement of youth with an underscored mood of tension and ultimate tragedy. For the first time, the songs are placed in the order they appear in the movie, developing from vibrant dance numbers and hopeful ballads to the anxious pieces following the rumble.

Is it any good?


From the pride and camaraderie of "Jet Song" to the sassy "America," the beautiful love duets "Tonight" and "Somewhere," and the complex "Quintet" and "A Boy Like That," this show boasts musical gem after gem. The music is beautiful and touching, bawdy and exciting, tense and tragic. If your family loved the movie, you and your kids will want to experience it again and again with this soundtrack.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how racism is learned and how to help abolish it. You could also discuss how economic and social factors can contribute to a divided society, and ask your children how they can create better outlets for their energy and emotions.

Music details

Artist:Various Artists
Release date:November 24, 1992
Label:Sony Music
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byKeds43@aol.com April 9, 2008
Kid, 12 years old July 10, 2010
What other families should know
Too much violence


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