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Jesus Christ Superstar: 1996 London Cast Recording [Soundtrack]

Joanna Ampil, David Burt, Steve Balsamo, Zubin Varla, Andrew Lloyd Webber, et al. Audio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
Price: 8.56
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Jesus Christ Superstar: 1996 London Cast Recording + Jesus Christ Superstar [DVD]
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Product details

  • Audio CD (25 Nov 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Polydor
  • ASIN: B000025UEI
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 66,161 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Overture - Pete Adams/Keith Fairbairn/Fridrik Karlsson/Paul Keogh/Andy Lynwood/Steve Pearce/Ralph Salmins...
2. Heaven On Their Minds - Zubin Varla
3. What's The Buzz/Strange Thing Mystifying - Jesus Christ Superstar
4. Everything's Alright - Steve Balsamo/Zubin Varla/Joanna Ampil/David Burt/Alice Cooper/Jonathan Hart/Glen Carter/Peter...
5. The Jesus Must Die - Peter Gallagher/Martin Callaghan
6. Hosanna - Peter Gallagher/Steve Balsamo
7. Simon Zealotes/Poor Jerusalem - Glen Carter/Steve Balsamo
8. Pilate's Dream - David Burt
9. The Temple - Steve Balsamo
10. Everything's Alright - Joanna Ampil/Steve Balsamo
See all 12 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. The Last Supper - Steve Balsamo/Zubin Varla
2. Gethsemane - Steve Balsamo
3. The Arrest - Zubin Varla/Steve Balsamo/Johnathan Hart/Martin Callaghan
4. Peter's Denial - Jonathan Hart/Joanna Ampil
5. Plate And Christ - David Burt/Steve Balsamo
6. King Herod's Song - Alice Cooper
7. Could We Start Again Please? - Joanna Ampil/David Burt
8. Judas' Death - Zubin Varla/Marin Callaghan/Peter Gallagher
9. Trial Before Pilate (Including The 39 Lashes) - David Burt/Peter Gallagher/Steve Balsamo
10. Superstar - Zubin Varla
See all 12 tracks on this disc

Product Description

I will ship by EMS or SAL items in stock in Japan. It is approximately 7-14days on delivery date. You wholeheartedly support customers as satisfactory. Thank you for you seeing it.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 19 Jan 2003
Format:Audio CD
This double CD is, in my opinion, the best interpretation of Jesus Christ Superstar - the vocalists are amazing, Steve Balsalmo is the best Jesus (the Gethsemane on this CD is amazing,) Zubin Varla provides an incredibly powerful voice as Judas, Joanna Ampil has a strong Mary Magdelene, David Burt provides a brilliant Pontious Pilate (the song Pilate & Christ on this CD sounds amazing) and Alice Cooper portrays a pretty good Herod. (I also thought Annas was particularly good, though not as original as the interpretation provided in the 2000 version.) The instrumentation on this interpretation is very good - I particularly like the drum line which seems more imaginative than in other versions. The only slight snag is that I don't like the ending of Everything's Allright, I prefer the fade-out as with the 2000 version because it creates such a better fade in to This Jesus Must Die. Overall, very good: particularly Judas & Pilate.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Misses the targets all around... 26 Jan 2007
Format:Audio CD
What really annoys about this recording is the failure to match up to the material. The work is great - the performance and production is poor to say the least.

So what went wrong? My biggest single criticism is the cast. In the original recordings it sounded as if the singers wanted to be rock stars - now they sound like they want to be in a musical. Mary is particualry poor in this version - she has lost the tenderness and naievety that made the 70s version so likeable. Alice Cooper at least gets the attitude right in his Herod, but I'm just not sure that Herod's Song suits him.

As for the remastered music - well it sounds clunky, and the mix has either faded down or lost some of the wonderful instrumental parts (what happened to the wandering guitar that thread its way through Jesus Must Die?).

I'm off to look for an earlier version. It may not be as digital, but hopefully it will have the soul of the piece.
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Jesus Christ Superstar was Andrew Lloyd Webber's first big success and the second musical he did with, in my opinion, his best lyricist, Tim Rice. The show evoked much controversy when it first appeared in 1970, since the story of the Christ's final days is mainly told from the Judas' point of view and not always according to the Gospels. Hence Mary Magdalene mentions that she is in love with Jesus and after the last supper the Apostles are a bit drunk.

Jesus Christ Superstar is considered as a turning point in modern musical-theatre. It presented something entirely different from past musicals: the plot was new and distinct, the lyrics did not sound shallow and the characters were precisely defined. Also, the piece was entirely sung-through so that the music and the plot became one. All the new musicals afterwards will use some of the new characteristics Superstar introduced leading to almost complete abandonment of the styles that the 50-is and the 60-is used in musicals.

Over the years there were quite a few recordings, however, this one can be considered definite. Both Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice overlooked its making acting as producers, Lloyd Webber making the orchestrations. The cast was mainly assembled from the revival production that run in London from 1996 until 1998, but this recording is known as the studio cast, since Alice Cooper was called in for the role of King Herod. The score is certainly one of the best Webber has ever written; the pure rock sound of the orchestra is simply amazing. When compared to the older recordings, this one has a more polished score and the sound, i.e., the use of the guitars, drums etc, sounds more modern and appropriate. Tim Rice's lyrics are suitable and witty, fitting perfectly with the score.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best version 13 April 2004
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This is the best recording of JCS yet! Balsamo has the most amazing voice and you can actually feel the suffering during "Gethsemane." Both of the characters playing Mary Magdalene and Judas truly shine. Particularly enjoyable was the Alice Cooper cameo as "Herod." I saw this version in London in '96 and it was more powerful than the early hippie versions. The production was performed in more period type costumes and had a very dark tone. When they brought it to B'Way a few years ago they modernized it and made it look horrible.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT 20 Aug 2008
Format:Audio CD
The main reason for this recording to my mind was for the sensational performance from Steve Balsamo. Not really sure why they didn't record the complete revival cast as they sang better than most of the stunt casting here. David Burt (as in everything he has ever done) was brilliant on stage. Joanna Ampil looked good on stage but was too lightweight vocally for me. The stars were Varla and Balsamo and for them alone this is more than worth the purchase price. I doubt as complete performance Balsamo could be bettered!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Massive disappointment for me 26 Sep 2012
Format:Audio CD
I had high hopes for this after reading the other reviews but I'm sorry it just doesn't do it for me. My first introduction to JCS was the film, with Ted Neeley and Carl Anderson. I heard the original cast with Ian Gillan and Murray Head at a later date. I can't decide which is the best between the original cast and the film - both have their pros and cons, but both are ultimately fantastic.
Now we come to this shoddy 1996 performance. I really can't warm to it. The singers are good, but they just don't do the roles justice. Maybe in other musicals they suit the parts but not here. To be fair Judas is reasonable at times, but both Judas and Jesus sound plummy, and too refined. There is an absence of emotion throughout as they strive for enunciation. You can't do this when you are trying to portray emotion whether it be anger, sadness etc. Nobody enunciates to perfection when angry - words should be spat out.
As other reviewers have said the music leaves a lot to be desired. It sounds like a kids pantomime. I don't like musicals, full stop, but the music in JCS is fantastic so how have they managed to get it so wrong? I think at times the music has been sped up slightly, which gives it a rushed quality, but its also quite spartan at times - sounds like a bontempi organ playing on repeat at times. Maybe its because JCS wasn't originally a musical that it just sounds wrong.
I'll stick to Gillan/Head, or Neeley/Anderson in the future...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A1***
Published 1 month ago by s taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly as it said
I bought a second hand copy of Superstar to play as background music at my society's auditions for Jesus Christ Superstar and it was great. Read more
Published 2 months ago by JR
3.0 out of 5 stars Good
...but somehow I expected better. Generally, patchy, with some very good singers, but not one to play again and again.
Published 3 months ago by gavin rowe
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a great re-mix
I'm all for experimenting and all that, but this re-mix is anything but. There are good voices here, but putting this relentless beat underneath it all is truly awful, including... Read more
Published 11 months ago by J. Flaton
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good.
Although now a dated musical that is so 70's this is the best version I've heard, due to the wonderful Steve Balsamo.
Published 14 months ago by Genevieve
3.0 out of 5 stars Superstar
I had the original on long play record. This version not as good but very listenable to, not quite the impact of the original
Published 16 months ago by vivs
4.0 out of 5 stars Great production
There are lots of versions of this musical this is to my mind the best and most authentic for those of us who first saw it on film.
Published 17 months ago by duncan johnston
5.0 out of 5 stars the good old days!!
First saw musical in 1974, after a burglary my vinyl soundtrack was taken, it was lovely to hear the music again. One of my best purchases
Published 18 months ago by K. M. Wakefield
5.0 out of 5 stars very pleased with purchase
loved the cd, arrived quickly in perfect condition. I can't wait to now compare this with the newest version as soon as it becomes available
Published 18 months ago by agent man
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!!!
This is an amazing musical, I am quite new to it, but I wanted to get it after watching Jesus Christ Superstar in Liverpool. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Dawn Jenkins
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