The first-ever musical episode of the CBC’s Murdoch Mysteries was a hit with just about everybody. The fans loved it. Bill Brioux of called actor Thomas Craig’s big number, “Bloody Hell,” “bloody marvelous.” And on March 25, the night before the episode aired, JUNO Awards host Nelly Furtado even gave this melodic milestone, a special shout-out from the stage of Halifax’s Scotiabank Centre. The episode subsequently premiered on Alibi in the U.K. on April 4 and on Ovation in the U.S. on April 6. It will also air on Acorn in the U.S. soon.

Now everyone who was positively enchanted by “Why Is Everybody Singing?” can relive its meticulously orchestrated delights over and over again. The episode’s entire musical soundtrack—and then some—has been collected on a commemorative digital album distributed by The Orchard. The track list makes for a compulsively listenable, audio-only encore run through the episode’s clever plot, in which turn-of-the-century Detective William Murdoch (Yannick Bisson) gets shot in the head by a mysterious assailant and has to solve the crime while languishing in a coma. All he has to go on is the overheard musings of his worried colleagues—observations he’s now hearing entirely as show tunes.

The actors on the program all sang their own songs, which were written especially for the episode by scripter Paul Aitken. The digital album includes all 14 of those original numbers, plus a host of extras. There are eight tracks from composer/musical director Robert Carli’s original score, overlaid with character dialogue; a re-orchestrated version of the Murdoch Mysteries opening-credits theme song; a reprise of “Bloody Hell”; and some bonus behind-the-scenes interviews with the actors-turned-vocalists. It’s 40 minutes of pure listening joy that hits with the same impish charm poured into it by Jono Grant, who produced and arranged the songs, and Ron Proulx, producer of the soundtrack itself. Christina Jennings is executive producer.

Bringing “Why Is Everybody Singing?” to the air was the culmination of a process, and nobody had tried the approach on Canadian TV until Murdoch Mysteries used it as the premise of the 22nd episode of its 17th season. While a gutsy move on paper, having the Murdoch characters repeatedly break out into song was a logical enough step in its own way for the show, which has built up a fervent worldwide audience with its inherently quirky approach to the mystery genre.

Its concept and execution have made the program a favorite of viewers not just in its native Canada, but across the U.S., Australia the UK and Europe. Everywhere it’s shown, fans sit for multiple viewings of each adventure, even when they already know how it comes out.

And if you think watching it is a good time, just wait until you find yourself re-creating its musical highlights in the shower. Why is everybody singing? Bloody hell, how could we not?

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