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Cats (Original London Cast Recording) [Original recording remastered, Soundtrack]

Sarah Brightman, Jeff Shankley, Trevor Nunn, Bonnie Langford, Myra Sands, et al. Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
Price: 24.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Cats (Original London Cast Recording) + Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats + Cats - Ultimate Edition [DVD] [1998]
Price For All Three: 37.23

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Product details

  • Audio CD (5 Oct 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Soundtrack
  • Label: Polydor
  • ASIN: B000006XI0
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,848 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Product Description


Since its debut in 1981, London's and the world's longest-running musical still secures bums on seats in a dozen theatres worldwide. Uncountable recastings and re-orchestrations later, Lloyd Webber's adaption of T. S. Eliot's Old Possums Book of Cats strives to please the ears of ever new generations. This is the original cast recording, and it retains a freshness from the still recent opening, its novelty untarnished by decades of success. Also the abundance of "names"--both singers and musicians--makes this one of the high class musical recordings of all times. Elaine Paige rose to stardom as Grizabella with the hit "Memories"; at the time, though, bigger names were Wayne Sleep, Paul Nicholas and Brian Blessed. Sarah Brightman and Bonnie Langford are also on the cast list. Lloyd Webber himself plays keyboards and the impressive roster of session musicians includes Barbara Thompson and David Locke. Lloyd Webber, well versed in the practise of "auto-quotation", can always look back to this work for cat-chy material: the "Overture", "Old Gumbie Cat", "Rum Tum Tugger" and "Mr.Mistoffelees", the list of good tunes and themes goes on and on. This remains a fun listening experience, even for those few who still haven't caught the show. --Yngvil V.G.

Product Description


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelled to give this 5 stars 7 Jan 2007
By M. C. Cresswell VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
Not because it's the best album in the world (let alone the best show in the world) but because, arriving as it did in 1981 and being the daddy of all Cats recordings, this is the only version with a single shred of originality. Obvious perhaps, seeing as it came first, but it's actually quite unique.

This is why:

It's the only album with sufficiently powerful orchestrations - listen to the Overture or the Jellicle Ball to see what I mean. At the same time there is shade and subtlety not found on other recordings.

It's the only album to feature the original, full length versions of Bustopher Jones, Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer, Old Deuteronomy, The Ballad of Billy McCaw and - most significantly - Memory, which was subsequently torn to bits for Broadway and other productions (sadly even London).

It's the only version to pull together such a mass of new and established talent - Bonnie Langford, Sarah Brightman, Jeff Shankley, Brian Blessed, Paul Nicholas, Wayne Sleep, Elaine Page.

Finally, it's the only version of the show which has an individual, un-sausage-moulded sound, be it orchestrations, musicianship, production, or vocal interpretations. Almost all other albums which followed are identical to each other, but this one stands out. The possible exception is the Broadway cast album, in which Betty Buckley tears Memory to shreds. Dreadful perhaps, but at least it's memorable!

Cats is supposed to be, and be about, magic, and this album has it.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I love CATS. I love the musical, but like many people, I saw the video before buying the soundtrack, which I knew even at the time would let me down when hearing the original soundtrack. I was expecting the differences. But the difference was too much to be able to forgive to give this 5 stars. There was no 'Battle of the Pekes and the Pollicles', one of my favourite songs, and 'Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer' was very different. The newer version they came up with was much better. The original Munkustrap did not act through his voice like Michael Gruber did. This soundtrack was slightly unsatisfying after watching the video. I only have myself to blame. The booklet was a bit of a disappointment, yes it has the lyrics but the presentation looks cheap and has no design whatsoever, it doesnt even tell you which character is singing which part, you are left to guess that much. 'The Rum Tum Tugger' has no John Partridge in it, but its nice and entertaining all the same (I like the meows at the beginning but they werent in the original). Elaine Paige is there singing the famous Memory with conviction, accompanied by Sarah Brightman who plays Jemima with the most beautiful voice (an up on this version). I had never heard of Growl tiger before and I can't say I really like it. I think that I must of seen it to appreciate it. Despite all its drawbacks, this soundtrack is 'CATS' and there is no denying that, which makes it great. I give it four stars, because although very different to the video version, it still has the beautiful music by Webber and wonderful and humourous lyrics based on T. S. Eliots text. Ive also given it four because I know that I am biased towards the video version. Maybe if I listened to the soundtrack first then watched the video, I would complain about the videos version! The London version in my opinion is better than the Broadway version, so get this one and enjoy!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars not at all the cat-astrophe i imagined 1 July 2004
Format:Audio CD
The first time i saw and heard Cats was on the DVD and so when I bought the original soundtrack I expected it to be different from the movie because obviously it would have changed over the past 20 years or so. Anyway I loved this album. I loved the old style version of Mungojerrie and Rumpleteaser and I could really feel the engery of the cast in Jellicle songs for jellicle cats. Brian Blessed puts in a great performance as Bustopher Jones and Old Deuteronomy and, in my opinion Paul Nicholas beats John Partridge hands down. Stephen Tate and Susan Jane Tanner had me in tears in The Ballad of Billy McCaw it was so beautiful. I didn't really like Jeff Shankley as Munkustrap, he didn't seem to have much to sing as alot of the narratve was sung by Wayne Sleep as a charming Mistoffelees. I do think that the invitation to the jellicle ball could have been a bit longer at the end but all in all an absolute fantastic song. Elaine Paige really took my breath away though as Grizabella. I can't imagine her in any other role as this one seems to have been put together especially for her and I could really feel the despair in her voice.I think she was truly brilliant. This CD is the absolute best ever of Cats and it surpasses the original australian cast who were also truly spectacular.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CATS � NOW AND FOREVER 21 Nov 2004
Format:Audio CD
In many ways Cats was a turning point for Andrew Lloyd Webber. At the beginning of the 80-is he was already a hugely successful musical theatre composer, thanks to his work with the lyricist Tim Rice on "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "Evita". In the early 1980-is he decided to part ways with Rice and many people predicted him a quick downfall, even more so when he decided to use T. S. Eliot's book of children's poetry called "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats" as a basis for his next musical. He used then a relatively unknown musical director Trevor Nunn and Gillian Lynne as a choreographer. Cats was imagined as a mixture of pop songs and ballet; by that time an unseen combination for a musical, so it is no wonder that Webber and his producer Cameron Mackintosh had trouble finding financial backup. The show opened in London and became a phenomenon in its own right. It closed in London after exactly 21 years of running in May 2001. The same thing happened when the show came to Broadway in 1982; it closed after 18 years of running, in 2000. Cats thus became the longest running musical in the history of both West End and Broadway.
So you may wonder what it's all about. It's quite simple really. Many people say that Cats hasn't got a story. It's certainly true that the plot is very simple and that's part of the appeal for the audiences. We are presented with a group of special cats, known as Jellicle cats. They meet once a year to decide who among them is worthy to get a chance to be reborn and start a new life. Since we meet them at that precise night, each of them tells us about their lives and habits through the musical numbers.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great!
I was really pleased with my cd, we'd booked to see the show and needed a little reminder if some of the songs.
Published 17 hours ago by Maddie53
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great music and lyrics.
Published 1 month ago by Evelyn
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely nostalgia
Unlike many I did love the 80s. I was young and cool then! Wasn't this the biggest West End sensation at the time? Lovely to sit back and remember. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Giles Christian
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful.
I saw this when it first opened in London. I had the original LP and cassette. The CD is fantastic and brought back memories of seeing the show.
Published 3 months ago by Janet Owen
5.0 out of 5 stars must get
just as i remember it the best c/d cast recording close your eyes and your back in the theater chillies
Published 4 months ago by CARL STCLARKE
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Great tunes to sing and dance too. Love this musical definitely recommend that people buy this CD and listen sing and dance to it over and over again. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Alex
5.0 out of 5 stars A great cd for a CATS fan
We have the dvd and we've seen the musical but my son really fancied a copy of this to listen to in his room. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Lindsay
5.0 out of 5 stars HUSBANDS
Published 8 months ago by eli
1.0 out of 5 stars Meow!
I purchased this CD, listened to this CD, then lost the will to live, became bipolar, a chain smoker, an alcaholic, lost my wife, my family, my dog... Read more
Published 9 months ago by P. Aj Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Cats (The Original London Cast Recording)
This is great to be able to have this on my Kindle, a very good price for some very popular music. Maybe old fashioned.
Published 10 months ago by Tone:
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