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Centre Stage


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Amazon's Michael Ball Store

Music

Image of album by Michael Ball

Photos

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Biography

MICHAEL BALL is Britain's leading musical theatre star, a double Olivier Award winner, multi-platinum recording artist and a hugely popular radio and TV presenter. For more than 25 years Michael has been at the top of his game starring in musical theatre productions in the West End and on Broadway winning critical acclaim, a devoted following and awards for his stage work and recording ... Read more in Amazon's Michael Ball Store

Visit Amazon's Michael Ball Store
for 42 albums, 12 photos, videos, discussions, and more.

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Centre Stage + The Musicals + The Movies
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Product details

  • Audio CD (15 April 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Universal Music TV
  • ASIN: B00005O14B
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 107,314 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Every StoryMichael Ball 2:49£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Can You Feel The Love TonightMichael Ball 4:05£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. The Boy From NowhereMichael Ball 4:24£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Lift The WingsMichael Ball 3:42£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Not While I'm AroundMichael Ball 4:00£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. The Phantom Of The OperaLesley Garrett 4:23£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Music Of The NightMichael Ball 5:22£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. The Winner Takes It AllMichael Ball 4:59£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Seasons Of LoveMichael Ball 4:05£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Bring Him HomeMichael Ball 3:15£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Tell Me On A SundayMichael Ball 3:36£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. ImmortalityMichael Ball 4:11£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Send In The ClownsMichael Ball 4:19£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Tell Me It's Not TrueMichael Ball 3:52£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

CD

Amazon.co.uk

"Can you feel the lo-o-o-o-ve tonight?" Michael Ball asks in the song of the same name. One thing's for sure: we can definitely feel the full impact of his vibrato. And maybe that's what makes him one of Britain's most popular musical-theatre singers. Packed with ballads, Centre Stage features songs pulled mostly from contemporary blockbusters such as Aida, Les Miserables, Blood Brothers and Riverdance. Ball isn’t the best Sondheim interpreter (eg: "Not While I'm Around"), but his relatively low-key take on ABBA's "The Winner Takes It All" is surprisingly effective.

Like Linda Eder and Sarah Brightman, he's a crossover artist, equally at ease in the West End, on Broadway and in Las Vegas. "Seasons of Love" is the best example of this strategy. The synth-heavy arrangements get close to the cheese zone at times, but Ball's power-pipes mostly manage to overcome them. The album's centerpiece is the delirious title song from Phantom of the Opera, a duet with Lesley Garrett; it comes across like old-school Queen trying its damnedest to write a Broadway hit. It's so over the top, so flamboyantly bombastic, that only a terminal snob wouldn't love it. Or at least crack a smile. --Elisabeth Vincentelli

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By lisastewart3511 on 11 Oct. 2001
Format: Audio CD
As a second musicals CD, you wonder if the songs may be a bit thin, but there is such a varied content with songs from so many different shows. My favourites are from Blood Brothers, Mama Mia and Rent. He has such a nack of mixing both old and new songs, and has such a strong voice. I could listen for hours!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 Oct. 2001
Format: Audio CD
Over the years Michael Ball has released a number of albums and they have all been terriffic -- if it's possible, I think this one may be even better than his previous. Every track is a delight; he has chosen his material carefully and finally recorded some Broadway classics that fans have long waited to hear him sing (Music of the Night and Bring Him Home). Michael also chose to record a few lesser-known songs (The Boy From Nowhere and Lift the Wings) which will now become standards I'm sure. Whether familiar with Michael's work or one of those who have yet to experience his music you will LOVE this album!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 25 Sept. 2001
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Michael has come out with another superb album of songs from the musical theatre. The choice of songs is eclectic, from the signature songs of the mega-musicals ( Les Mis, Phantom of the Opera, Sondheim classics) and newer songs from contemporary musicals, which Mr. Ball interprets in his inimitable, wonderful musical style. There are even surprise numbers, like A Boy from Nowhere and Lift the Wings, which are particularly delightful. I highly recommend this album -- Michael's stunning voice and wonderful songs from the musical theatre make an excellent combination!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on 13 Feb. 2004
Format: Audio CD
Michael Ball created the role of Alex Dillingham in Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Aspects of Love," which meant he was the first to record "Love Changes Everything." As a singer-actor Ball appeared in West End productions of "Les Miserables" and "Phantom of the Opera," but has predominantly become a recording artist and concert performing. After his 1998 album "Musicals" and came out with "Centre Stage" in 2001, which offers another exploration of the songs of Broadway. This album is the better of the two and that might owe as much to the song selection as it does to the additional three years of experience singing such songs.
There is a trio of Lloyd Webber songs, with a duet of "Phantom of the Opera" with Lesley Garrett setting up "The Music of the Night," just as it does in the show, and a surprisingly sedate version of "Tell Me on a Sunday." Stephen Sondheim pops up twice with "Not While I'm Around" and "Send in the Clowns." Actually there is quite a bit of pop on the album which opens with a pair of tracks from Elton John-Tim Rice shows and has songs by ABBA and the Bee Gees that made it to Broadway efforts based on their work. But the songs that really stand out on this album tend to be from the next generation of Broadway song writers, "The Boy From Nowhere" from "Matador," "Seasons of Love" from "Rent," and "Tell Me It's Not True" from "Blood Brothers." If you get the feeling that Ball sings more as himself and not as the characters and that his singing reflects a more British sensibility than you are accustomed to hearing in American musical theater, I would not disagree. But taken on those terms this is a solid collection of show tunes.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 26 Sept. 2001
Format: Audio CD
I have to say that I am a bit of a Michael fan and had some preconceptions about this album. However I have to say that this is what he does the best. Ballads, and popular songs from the shows- fantastic ! The songs on the album are perfect for a Sunday morning/afternoon, at top volume, whilst you're preparing the family roast. Even better with a glass of chilled Chardonnay.
My favourite track is probably Music of the Night, from Phantom of the Opera. One I wasn't familiar with, but nevertheless enjoyed The Boy from Nowhere 'Matador'.
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Format: Audio CD
I do get tired of Michael Ball's albums. He basically spews out about three a year with the same songs over and over. Especially from musicals, as he is a West End star and acts as such in the recording studio, never making any real concept albums.

To discuss Ball's vocals is a bit of a moot point. He's a baritone. He belts. He's powerful. He's emotive. He's over the top. You can pilot a plane through his vibrato, and so on. He is very pleasent to listen to, has a beautiful tone and thus the material he records verges on tragic as it's such a waste of a huge talent. But there you are. This is what we get from Michael Ball, and we have to make the most of it.

Among the mess that is his discography, it's a good idea to find a definitive album and stick to it. For me, this musical album is my pick among them all. The only factor that makes Ball's albums different from one another is which songs he covers, and this album has a good selection. It has its standard Andrew Lloyd Webber numbers but it has some unexpected musicals in the mix. The inclusion of 'Blood Brothers', 'Sweeny Todd', and 'Riverdance' are a nice touch but the icing on the cake is the stunning 'Bring Him Home' from 'Les Miserables', a song that Ball would have heard every night but would never got to perform. I haven't heard a better rendition of the song. Lesley Garrett also makes an appearence to give this album a little bit of extra class.

As is always the case with these kind of albums, every song has been covered so many times that they lose value and meaning, but Ball seems to invest a bit of himself in most of the songs which will always give Ball a step up over his contemporaries. As long as you skip over some of the more eye rolling tracks ('Music of the Night', 'Can You Feel the Love Tonight') this album has every chance of being quite a refreshing listen.
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