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I'm a 19 years old student from Paris, and I have a big passion for musical theater. The first "broadway musical" recording that I bought was this recording of Joseph and the Amazing technicolor dreamcoat (wow, it's long to write that name!), and I can say that it was one of the best good I had ever bought. I really prefer this version to the recordings of the 90's which sound too much "boys band" for me. This recording evocates the first years of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber's brilliant carreer, and his project to bring a renewal to the musical theater. This CD has an historical interest, but I'm sure that it will bring you a lot of emotions too. The song 'Thoses Cannans Days" is just wonderful for exemple.
The lyrics of Tim Rice are also really nice.
PS : Sorry if my english is not perfect :-)
To my mind, this is easily the most satisfying recording of the show. The songs are performed well, and much more simply - the "hamming up" of so much of the show, almost inescapable in modern recordings, is all but absent here. Examples of this may be found in songs like "One More Angel in Heaven", "Those Canaan Days", and the "Benjamin Calypso". All three were recorded here for the first time, and are performed without being so overblown as they are today.
The role of the Narrator, which was written to be sung by a tenor, is sung with great ease by Peter Reeves. (The modern convention of casting a pop-mezzo in the role requires several songs to be transposed down, and the singers still struggle for the high notes, if they try for them at all.) Gary Bond is a capable Joseph, and Gordon Waller is a fabulous Pharoah, mixing the required Elvis inpersonation with the pompous command of being absolute ruler of all that see sees.
That's not to say that there are no drawbacks.Read more ›
This recording is the only surviving recording with a male narrator... I'm not saying he's better than the female ones (although admittedly he is better than most of them, but Maria Friedman is unbeatable). However, it is encouraging to listen to this recording. Er, presumably because it shows than men can be narrators too, or something.
But my job here isn't to compare narrators, it's to review the product. So here we go.
This recording of Joseph is... how can I put this?... faster than the others. It doesn't sound quite as 'polished' as the more recent Donny Osmond version, but it definitely doesn't sound incomplete. It's faster, upbeat, 'poppy' (if you would call a musical that) and light and bouncy. Even the sad, lonely 'Close Every Door' has a quick energy to it...
Credit where credit's due, though, the singing is quality, and they keep up with the music, the instrument playing is decent, there is a good Joseph, a well-put-together chorus, an excellent supporting cast and...
A MALE NARRATOR!
Hooray for equal opportunities!!