on 31 July 2001
I have seen the London show a few times now and this CD has taken the most popular and strongest songs to form a good solid preview of what the show is about. A few notable absenses let it down slightly, such as Florence and The Court of the miracles, but anything short of the full english show soundtrack would let the avid fans down. All in all it is a great way to be introduced to the show and a nice reminder of a live performance, I just wish they would bring out the whole thing.
on 13 December 2002
This CD contains highlights from the London production of the French musical and features four members of the original French cast - Daniel Lavoie, Garou, Bruno Pelletier and Luck Mervil. In the role of Esmeralda is Aussie songbird Tina Arena who turns in a fairly decent performance that is let down by her insistance on singing notes so low that ("Bohemienne") even husky-voiced Garou would have trouble reaching. Steve Balsamo, famous for his role in Jesus Christ Superstar, is good but seems out of place when singing "Belle" with Garou and Lavoie. Luck Mervil as Clopin is good. Natasha St-Pierre's Fleur-de-Lys only gets one song ("My Heart If You Will Swear") and it is the sexiest song on the album. Lavoie as Frollo is brilliant. Pelletier's Gringoire is as equally brilliant and pours his heart and soul into "Moon". Garou as deformed bell-ringer Quasimodo is the stand-out performance. Although his voice is quite gruff, his power and emotion make "God You Made The World All Wrong" and "Dance My Esmeralda" unforgettable songs. Cocciantes music is fablous. Some of Jenning's (famous for "My Heart Will Go On") lyrics are a bit odd but are, unlike some other musicals, almost a direct translation of the original French lyrics. Fans of the show will adore this album but if you are a fan of traditional West-End musicals then this CD is probably not for you.
on 11 February 2001
I've seen the show twice in London, where I bought the CD. I listened to it every night during my one-month stay in London, and I now know every song by heart. When is the show coming to the states??? The songs are moving and the performers are amazing. If you haven't yet heard the songs or seen the performances, I highly recommend it! Out of the six shows I saw in London and all the CD's I own, this is my new favorite, and I believe it will stay that way for a long time. Now, I just wish I could find an English-speaking DVD recording of a performance..