I had grown up with my mums records 45's of the Everly Brothers, Roy Orbison, Cliff & the Shadows, Hermans Hermits, Sandie Shaw & Petula Clark stick out in my memory quite vividly. My dad was much more into the jazz of Miles Davis, John Coltrane, etc., and though I grew to love that music much later in life, as a young child in the 1960's pop music was much more immediate to my ears.
West Side Story touched both worlds as well as contemporary classical music. The cinematography of the film to this day is very striking and the music still sounds amazing.
The album is not without it's controversy with Marni Nixon being a voice double for Natalie Wood. It transpires that almost all that we hear on the record is Marni's voice.
The film offered a brilliantly poignant social statement of the times, that is sadly just as relevant today as it was then. Musically much more adventurous than most contemporary musicals of the time with brilliant Latin pop, classical motifs, jazz and an edgy tough posture.
As I ventured into the world of rock music in my teenage years I was struck by the Yes cover of "Something's Coming" which only served to remind me of how brilliant these songs are.