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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 11 January 2013
I'm a long-time fan of Les Misérables and I was eagerly awaiting the release of another interpretation of the classic musical. I won't discuss the film here, but will concentrate on this album.

There are 20 songs on the disk, less than half of the 49 in the film. This is clearly listed as a highlights album so I don't believe it is at all misleading, but I thought it important to stress that fact here in the review. Some of the omissions are a surprise to me; notably "Come to Me", "Do You Hear the People Sing?" and "A Little Fall of Rain" - all iconic songs for the musical in my personal opinion (plus I'd have liked to have "Little People" included as it's one I enjoy a lot). However, included is "Suddenly", a new song for the film, and the songs that are included are very strong.

Of the songs on the disk some stand out and I would like to comment on them...

Anne Hathaway's rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream", a portion of which was used in the trailer and has gone far and wide across the internet, is the run-away piece of this compilation for me. From it's jarring and quiet start it rides a roller-coaster of emotion and is truly amazing.

"A Heart Full of Love" shows the vocal talents of the singing actors exceptionally well as they sing together. You can feel the passion in the piece, and things like this show exactly why the cast singing live together was a great choice.

"On My own" has been my favourite song from the musical, from the very first time listening to it, and Samantha Barks doesn't disappoint as she delivers it exceptionally.

One final nod goes to the unlikely pairing of Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter for "Master of the House". Although I have read a couple of articles expressing that maybe they weren't ideal choices for the film (and my wife was very unsure about "Borat doing Les Mis") they perform a brilliant and funny double act. Great stuff. Nobody else will truly be Thénardier for me after this!

The quality of the recordings is very good, though the large ensemble numbers (such as "Master of the House") can sometimes get a little hard to follow some of the lyrics with a large number of background singers - the only thing that is a negative to the idea of the actors singing live.

All-in-all this is a great version of an amazing musical. I'm very positive about this (as I am sure you have detected through my subtle review...) and I have no hesitation in giving it a five-star review as it is fantastic soundtrack collection. My one caveat (and may seem contrary to the five-star review, but I don't believe so) is that if you want the whole soundtrack, this isn't it and don't buy it (I chose to buy it in the hope that sales will drive an earlier release of the full soundtrack). What is here, however, is more than worth the £4.99 it cost me.
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on 19 January 2013
I came back from the cinema buzzing after seeing this film and couldn't wait to get the soundtrack.

'Ok' I said to my boyfriend (who is a huge Les Mis fan) '.. which one is the song?'

'Which song?'

'You know... THE song... do you hear the people sing, singing the songs of angry men, it is the music of a people...?'

'Oh, it's just called "Do you hear the people sing?"'

... and then we both looked for it, and it wasn't there. I couldn't believe it! We played every song on here just in case it was called something different, but nope.

As other people have said, I know it's only meant to be the highlights, but the biggest song from the film, which has been in my head for days, isn't on here. I have no idea why! The whole story is about the french revolution and this is THE song which gets to the heart of that. So 2 stars I'm afraid!
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on 24 January 2013
In my opinion the best Les Mis vocal recording is the 10th anniversary Gala Performance recorded at the Royal Albert Hall. The film is wonderful, but that is mainly down to the acting, the sets etc. The singing (recorded live whilst filming) is less than perfect although completely appropriate in the film. This recording is also Highlights only and a lot of memorable songs are not included
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on 15 January 2013
My understanding of "highlights" is the best bits, or important parts? Not random bits of soudtrack? I sort of wish I hadn't bothered, as some of my favourite songs are missing.

Since seeing the film I have had Do You Hear the People Sing in my head and couldn't wait to have the recording - it gets 2 reprises in the film, features at pretty major points, and really reflects the spirit of revolution, so I don't see how it can not have been considered a highlight? Also, A Little Fall of Rain is one of the most moving songs in the film, and Who Am I is quite big, so I was disappointed neither of these are "highlights" either (although I accept these two could perhaps be more down to personal taste).

Instead, less memorable, more bland songs are on here. And some are pretty short, so I find it hard to believe there wouldn't have been room for one or two big anthems.

If my mom didn't particularly want this, I would probably have ordered another version that included the best songs. I feel a bit cheated, I can only assume its some sort of cynical decision for one reason or another, they can't genuinely believe some of the most memorable songs aren't the most popular?
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on 18 January 2013
This soundtrack is excellent and as you listen, it reminds you of the various parts of the film. Thoroughly enjoyable and at a great price this week...half the price of itunes!!Les Misérables: Highlights From The Motion Picture Soundtrack
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on 24 January 2013
Need I say more ....How can they release an album without -Do you hear the people sing.....short changed and Very disappointed
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on 21 January 2013
Saw the film and loved it. In fact I think it was probably the best film I have ever seen. I then had to buy the soundtrack and love this too because I can visualise each track as I heard it at the cinema. However, good though the soundtrack is, I'm not sure it would mean much to anyone who had not first seen the film. If you are not intending to see the film, it might be best to buy the music from the stage show. This is because these artists are probably, on the whole, better singers. But the emotion of the soundtrack and the fact that it seems to be a straight-lift from the film itself, makes it for me, a much more memorable experience.

Either way the music is great. I guarantee you will keep humming one or two of the songs throughout the day. They really do stick in the brain.
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on 16 January 2013
This highlights the, for me, the vastly emotive lyrics of this superb film. I first saw Les Mis in 1989 and have loved the show ever since.Now the film has opened up a whole new broad canvass of emotions with the songs being given feelings by the superb cast, particularly Hugh Jackman, Anne hathaway, Samantha Barks and Eddie Redmayne.
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on 24 January 2013
The lack of some of the best songs is unfogivable. No doubt this was a bunch of hollywood excets who thought if they gave us the whole set we'd have no reason to see the film... they missed the point.
Songs are not only missing from the album but lyrics are randomly cut from some songs. Annoying to say the least.
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on 15 January 2013
This is a great recording of a great show - the orchestrations are subtle yet cinematic, and the singing is perfect for the medium. What I love is that it isn't "stagey" - Hugh Jackman's interpretation of Valjean is fantastic and feels very real. Russell Crowe's Javert isn't anywhere near as bad as the critics make out. Personally I was glad to see much of the Thenardier's stuff cut from the film, because I think both Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter were poorly cast and played the roles in very two dimensional ways. This recording is not the definitive Les Mis, but it's certainly worth the money.
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