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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A FAMOUS OPERA TURNED INTO A ROCKING MUSICAL
Elton John and Tim Rice had their first collaboration in the musical theatre with the adaptation of the famous Disney's cartoon, "The Lion King" in 1997. For their next joint project, they chose a much more demanding subject matter. Following the example of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg, who used Verdi's "Madame Butterfly" and turned into a hugely...
Published on 12 Sept. 2006 by Marijan Bosnar

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3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I bought this CD after listening to and loving Michael Ball's version of Every Story and discovering Heather Headley, so I eagerly awaited the full show. I've only listened to it once but a lot of the tracks seem quite shouty and Every Story is nowhere near as good as Michael's. I will try and listen to it again but am not sure if it will grow on me. I think it's...
Published 20 months ago by Pipsqueak


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A FAMOUS OPERA TURNED INTO A ROCKING MUSICAL, 12 Sept. 2006
This review is from: Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida (Original Broadway Cast Recording) (Audio CD)
Elton John and Tim Rice had their first collaboration in the musical theatre with the adaptation of the famous Disney's cartoon, "The Lion King" in 1997. For their next joint project, they chose a much more demanding subject matter. Following the example of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg, who used Verdi's "Madame Butterfly" and turned into a hugely successful "Miss Saigon" in the late 80-is, Rice and John decided to follow the suite. This time, it was Puccini's legendary opera "Aida" that was used as a basic story. And although "Aida" probably won't be at the very top of the 20th century's best musicals list, it is nevertheless a very good show and this is a wonderful recording.

The story is set in the ancient Egypt. The main character, Aida, is a daughter of the king of Nubia, Egypt's southern neighbour and a long-time enemy. After Radames, the captain of the Egyptian army, conquers Nubia, Aida is taken with the other Nubian women as a slave to Egypt. Her strong attitude instantly captures Radames' attention, so instead of sending her to work at the copper mines, he gives Aida as a present to his bride-to-be, Amneris, who is the daughter of the old and dying pharaoh. Radames' father, the Prime Minister Zoser, who is secretly poisoning the pharaoh, wants his son married with Amneris as soon as possible, so that he could rule Egypt, with Radames and Amneris as his puppets. Amneris soon finds a faithful companion in Aida, who seems to understand the insecurities of a young throne heiress. At the same time, Radames and Aida unintentionally confide their hopes and dreams to one another, and it is evident that a love between the two is about to be born. Aida, however, submits to the pleads of her people to guide them. She implores Radames to help them and so he gives them all his possessions and declares his love for Aida. She falls to his embrace, unable to fight her feelings any longer. Soon after that, Aida's father, the king of Nubia is captured. A plan for his escape is made that will take place during Radames' and Amneris' wedding. In that way, to save her father and her nation, Aida must betray the man she loves. Radames informs Aida that he's calling off the wedding. She knows this would ruin her father's escape and tells him he must go through with it. Radames agrees, on condition that she escapes to freedom on a boat he will provide. The heartbroken lovers part, but Amneris has overheard their entire conversation and faces the fact that her upcoming marriage is a sham. At the same time, Radames rejects his father's warnings about the consequences his relationship with Aida will have for Zoser's political plans, but Radmes no longer shares his father's ambitions. News of Aida's father escape disrupts Amneris' wedding. Radames learns the truth of Aida's identity when he arrives at the docks just as she's about to board his boat with her father. Radames makes possible for Aida's father to escape and then he and Aida are arrested for treason. At the ensuring trial, Pharaoh sentences both Aida and Radames to be buried alive. Amneris rises to her role as future Pharaoh by convincing her father to let the lovers die in the same tomb, an act of mercy for the two people she has come to love. Facing death, Aida looks to Radames for strength. Radames swears he will search for a hundred lifetimes to find her again. At the present time, in the Egyptian wing of a museum, where the story begins, a man and a woman are strangely drawn to one another. They are the reincarnations of Aida and Radames, finding in each other a new beginning. So the story has a happy ending after all.

"Aida" opened at Broadway in the year 2000 and closed in the fall of the last year. Its simple and yet captivating love story found its way to the audiences, just like the score on this cast recording will do the same to the listeners. Overall, it is evident that the score was written by Elton John, since it has the typical rock, r'n'b and gospel sound, which made him famous. The songs range from the powerful and loud numbers to the touching ballads. One has to bear in mind that the recording here has all of the songs minus the small dialogue parts, so what we have on this recording is almost the whole show sung-through. Some of my favourites here are: "Fortune favours the brave", an exceptionally strong number sung by Radames and the male chorus; "Another pyramid", an elaboration of Zoser's political plans, with a strong orchestral lead, "My strongest suit", Amneris' ode to her physical appearance; "Dance of the robe", because of its echoing drums, "Elaborate lives", Radames' re-examination of his life, "The Gods love Nubia", a strong chorus hymn sung by Aida and her people; "Like father, like son", a sharp exchange of arguments between Radames and his father and a strikingly sad duet between the two lovers, called "Written in the stars". The rest is quite plausible as well. One of things that I like about this show is the fact that Tim Rice wrote the lyrics. I think he is one of the best lyricists of the modern musical theatre, as it is proven by his earlier work with Andrew Lloyd Webber, i.e., "Joseph and the amazing Technicolor dreamcoat"; "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "Evita". His way of writing is very witty and he just knows to handle the words well.

The cast in question here is very powerful. Heather Headley gives a strong lead. Her Aida is fierce during the whole recording, yet at a precise moment appropriately melancholic and somewhat indecisive. I like her range and admire the amount of emotions she gave to her character. Adam Pascal, known to most for his big performance in Jonathan Larson's "Rent", gives an equally good performance here. His rocky voice suits his big numbers, but at the same time can become very warm in the ballads. Adam was a wonderful discovery for me and I've been getting his other recordings since. His voice and rendition are more than welcome to the musical theatre, proved by the fact that he was called for the closing performance of Aida, in the fall of 2004. Amneris is a tricky character to portray, since at the beginning of the show she is happily in love, but towards the end she realizes she's been living an illusion and ends up at the throne, but alone. Sherie Rene Scott was a good choice, because her voice is strong, but it also has that much needed gentle touch that for the most part is in the contrast with Headley's powerful vocal. The supporting cast was also well picked and the chorus parts are amazing.

The CD comes with the booklet containing lyrics and the production photos. The sound is excellent. This cast recording should be found in the collections of all the serious modern musical theatre fans.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good emotional listen, 12 Nov. 2007
By 
S. Parker "miss-sunny-dale" (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida (Original Broadway Cast Recording) (Audio CD)
I'm not much of a reviewer (If you want a good review read the previous). But This needed to be commented on.
It's a beautiful album. The songs are strong and emotional. There isn't a weak track.
Adam Pascal shines out, his voice is great and one of the reasons I got this CD. But the other vocalists are just as good.
I think my favourites may be "not me" and a "Step too far". It's a great cd, I'd recommend it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 3 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida (Original Broadway Cast Recording) (Audio CD)
I bought this CD after listening to and loving Michael Ball's version of Every Story and discovering Heather Headley, so I eagerly awaited the full show. I've only listened to it once but a lot of the tracks seem quite shouty and Every Story is nowhere near as good as Michael's. I will try and listen to it again but am not sure if it will grow on me. I think it's different when you see a show on the stage, you already know some of the music.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a beautiful musical/cd, 21 Mar. 2001
By A Customer
From the very beginning I liked this cd. the songs are made by Elton John and Tim Rice. The mix of them both is really fantastic! Radames, sung by Adam Pascal is not always as great as it should be. He sings the same like he did in the rockmusical Rent. He even sings the same whith slow, sensitive songs. Heather Headley and Sherie René Scott are great. They sing beautiful. The best songs are My strongest suit, a step to far, elaborate lives, not me and every story is a love story/fortune favors the brave. There are many styles in the musical. One number is Rock and roll, another one is rock, another one is a soft sensitive number. You can see much from Elton Johns work in Aida. And this musical is nothing like the classical Aida.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great CD, 2 Jun. 2011
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This review is from: Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida (Original Broadway Cast Recording) (Audio CD)
Having watched this live in Chicago in the previews prior to the show going to Broadway I had to get the CD. Not all of the songs are to my taste but overall the singing is excellent and the songs do justice to the story. I loved a step too far where all three leads sing together but different lyrics. My favourite song is the beautifully sung "I know the truth".
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5.0 out of 5 stars Aida, 25 Jun. 2012
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This review is from: Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida (Original Broadway Cast Recording) (Audio CD)
I bought this as a replacement copy after someone "borrowed" the previous one! I absolutely love it! I was prompted to buy it again after seeing an excellent production of Aida: The Musical at the Altrincham Garrick Theatre!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Super!, 5 April 2013
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If you love Elton John you will love this musical written by him and Tim Rice. Powerful and emotive - you can't help but sing-along.
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5.0 out of 5 stars AIDA, 3 May 2012
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This review is from: Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida (Original Broadway Cast Recording) (Audio CD)
I love the music of AIDA and Sr Elton and Tim have always made a fab duo. I only wish they woudl bring the musical bakc to the UK
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5.0 out of 5 stars the music is a joy to listen to, 14 July 2014
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The five stars says it all.the music is a joy to listen to.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 8 Nov. 2014
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Excellent cd
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