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4.7 out of 5 stars
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 14 November 2009
The Lion King has always been one of those musicals that I've always known about but not really thought of seeing. However, after seeing the show, I was completely blown away. One of the best, if not THE best musicals I have ever seen. Whenever people come out of The Lion King they tell everyone how amazing it was and I always wondered what it was that made it so good. Well now I know. And, unfortunately, it cannot be put into words and I simply can't explain it to you. However, what I can tell you is that you will not regret buying this soundtrack. The music truly captures the soul of the Musical and although I've heard some people say it's like the film but not as good, I have to completely disagree. There's an atmosphere to the stage version that wasn't captured in the movie, and some of my favourite songs from the Musical aren't even in the film as they've added loads of great new songs just for the stage adaption.

Seriuosly, words cannot express how amazing this show and this score is, but now I understand why this show's been in London for 10 years and is still bringing in a full house on a regular basis.

In short: BUY IT. NOW. DON'T HESITATE. IT'S WORTH IT. AMAZING.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on 6 May 2006
Having recently been to see the London production, I felt that I should edit this accordingly. This CD is amazing! The magic of The Lion King has obviouly been brought to the stage in a way that none can comprehend. The music is just as brilliant, if not better, than the soundtrack from the film, and also includes many songs that were not in the film. The most striking of these, I find, is "He Lives In You." This is such an amazing song, in my opinion the best of the whole CD. It is one that I found myself listening to over and over again, never getting tired of it! It is truely the heart of the CD! However, this doesn't mean that the other tracks are terrible. From the hugely brilliant "Circle Of Life" to the beautiful "Can You Feel The Love Tonight," nothing here fails to please! Every single track gets a 10/10, and you will never regret buying this!

The musical itself is mesmorising. From the very first note of Rafiki's chant in "Circle Of Life", I was captivated. The music is one thing, but the whole atmosphere and electricity of watching the show play out, to music you already love, is a truely unforgettable experience. Will I see it again? Absolutely! This is, and should only be, an introduction to the musical, or something to remember the show by. But I guarantee you, if you go to see this musical, you will most definitely want to go again. If you've been to the musical, buy this so you that you'll never forget it, if you haven't, then you will certainly want to after you've heard this. This is Disney at its best, and it's a truly magical best that you will not want to miss!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 7 January 2007
when I first listened to this CD, I didn't enjoy it, compared to the original sound track from the movie and the west end production of it. However, after listening to few of the songs I found it was really interesting. I feel there are some really beautiful songs, and really enjoyed listening to it. It is not the west end production (as clearly stated) but the London Theatre Orchestra and Cast have done a brilliant recreation of the films sound track, I would deffinately recommend buying it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 28 November 2008
I am a huge fan of Lion King since I was young, but only recently had the chance to catch the Lion King: Musical at Lyceum London. I already heard the good reviews from friends and colleagues, but nothing can prepare you for this experience! I have never really been a huge fan of musicals, but if there's one musical you ever catch, make sure it's this. Breathtaking sets and costumes, fantastic acting, powerful music and vocals, awe-inspiring coordination, choreography and directing are just some amazing elements of this musical. This leads me to the life of any musical...the songs. The original Lion King's songs are already classics in any standards (winning the Oscars, Golden Globes and what not)...but here, reinvented and given a breath of fresh air...it's a different kind of perfection. I thought the extra infusion of African sounds, and more kinetic rhythms perfectly suited a live musical adaptation of the animated version. The songs really capture the emotional moments, the highs and lows of the characters...which I believe was what made The Lion King so successful. At the end of the show, looking around...I saw both children and adults wide-eyed, clapping thunderously and continuously until even after the curtains closed. Just a note, this show has been performed to sold-out crowds in West End since being introduced here in 1999, and I found difficulty even getting tickets for this screening! You've not watched a musical until you've watched The Lion King: Musical.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 16 July 2006
i have been to see the stage show three times and every time it becomes more and more magical. there is nothing that can top it, or the original film. the music has much more of an african influence on this cd but that just makes it better. listening to the circle of life still sends shivers up my spine even after the 100th listening. you must buy this cd if you have seen the show, and even if you havent then it will make you want to see it. proof that even perfection can be improved!!!
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43 of 50 people found the following review helpful
This is NOT the original cast or anything close to sounding like it. This is a singing group called "London Theatre Orchestra and Singers". You'll note it from the first track, when the singer of Rafiki sounds like a child.
Don't buy it, and save your money.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 August 2000
The magic of the most spectacular musical of all time is captured on this CD. Although I haven't seen the Broadway production, it still brings back terrific memories of the London production. There is more emotion in the songs than those in the film and the addition of such beautiful songs as He Lives In You and Endless Night (which doesn't seem as first like a special song but then grows on you) helps this become the best theatrical score. This CD contains some of the most atmospheric and well-written music (helped by the terrific orchestration) from Disney or musical theatre. If you have the opportunity to see the show, go! if not, buy this CD, it is rarely out of my CD player.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 December 2012
Saw TLK at the Lyceum Theatre earlier in the year, and it was brilliant. After debating a little between this and the movie soundtracks, I bought this one, and I'm glad I did. Some of the songs are new additions to the story ("The Lioness Hunt"; "Chow Down") and "They Live/He Lives In You" is brought over from TLK 2/Rhythm of the Pride Lands. Some of the other songs ("Grasslands Chant") contain music and lyrics from background songs from the original film.

I would have loved this even more if it was the UK original cast singing, but I guess there wasn't much point in releasing two English-language versions of the same songs.
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After the success Disney had turning Beauty and the Beast into a Broadway musical, they turned their sights on The Lion King. I bought the soundtrack not too long after I saw it, but then I let it sit for years until just this month. As a result, some of the visuals that go with the songs are foggy memories at best, which is unfortunate since you need most of those to truly appreciate this soundtrack.

The story for the play follows the movie very closely, so it's not surprise that these songs sound pretty much the same. Okay, so you do have to get used to a new cast singing them. The biggest change there is Rafiki. They give that character "Circle of Life" and make her a woman. I've got nothing against Tsidii Le Loka's voice here, but it takes a few listens since the other is so iconic. On the other hand, John Vickery's deep voice as Scar sounds so similar to Jeremy Irons' original that I had to double check and make sure he wasn't reprising the role on Broadway. That makes "Be Prepared" very good. Scar should be deep and threatening. They've also changed the final couple of lines in "Can You Feel the Love Tonight," giving them to Simba and Nala and making it much more of a love song. Frankly, as funny as the original ending is, I think this one works better.

But if we just had the 5 original songs, this wouldn't be much of a musical, now would it? And it's these new tracks where the disc runs into a bit of a problem. Many of them are good, but I'm not a fan of all of the.

The original song writing team of Tim Rice and Elton John came back for three of the songs, and I really enjoy two of them. Up first is "Morning Report." This expands on the scene where Zazu the bird is giving Mufasa the news of his kingdom while Mufasa is teaching young Simba to pounce. What I love about this one is the fact that it is filled with puns. I'm laughing the entire way through it. Equally fun is "Chow Down." This song is given to the hyenas as they think they are going to get to eat young Simba and Nala. Again, it's pretty funny. But it also stands out because, unlike the rest of the soundtrack, this is a rock anthem complete with electric guitar. The hyenas voices are a bit on the cartoony side, but that's a minor complaint.

Which brings us to "The Madness of King Scar." The final addition from Tim Rice and Elton John takes place in the second act and shows us just how Scar is reacting to the pressures of being king and the guilt over what he's done to his brother and nephew. It's a decent idea, but it goes on much too long with too many changes and breaks. Plus it ends with him threatening to make Nala his queen, which I don't like at all.

One issue I have with the soundtrack are the tracks that are African chants. I have a feeling they would mean more to me if I saw them on stage. Here, they are just chanting, and I quickly grow tired of hearing them. That means tracks like "Grasslands Chant," "The Lioness Hunt," and "One by One" are simply filler for me. And "Rafiki Mourns" is actually one I skip since the wailing noise is just so hard to listen to. However, when they work the chanting into other songs like the incredible "They Live in You," which is a reminder to Simba that he has the strength of his forefathers in him, it adds so much flavor and power to the song. I love it there. I also enjoy it in the dramatic fight songs "The Stampede" and "Simba Confronts Scar."

In the second act, Nala and Simba each get their own solos that are just amazing. Nala's is "Shadowland," in which she sings about leaving her home. But even more powerful is "Endless Night." This song finds Simba crying out to the dead Mufasa, "You promised you'd be there/Whenever I needed you/Whenever I call your name/You're not anywhere." After listening to this for a week, there are several songs that get stuck in my head, but I love it when it is this one. The chorus behind him and the orchestra are so powerful together that it brought tears to my eyes the first few times I heard it.

While I few of the songs did work for me, the classics from the movie and most of the new tracks do. Anyone who loves The Lion King should add the Original Broadway Cast Recording to their library to get more to the story.
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VINE VOICEon 17 February 2015
I am pleased to have a copy of this Lion King cast album in my collection of musical cast albums. It is a worthy complement to the film soundtrack album, specifically the recent Legacy Collection issue with the complete score. In both its stage and screen incarnations I find that the narrative presented by the music is still compelling and as such more than the sum of its constituent parts. It is a powerful coming-of-age story with echoes of Hamlet, Moses and even the story of Joseph son of Jacob.

There are a few strong points about this Lion King score that make me like it more than other screen-to-stage transfers. It ranks up there with the stage musical version of Beauty and the Beast, which allowed Menken to really enhance his score and make it potent and emotionally resonant. The stage version was done shortly after the release of the original film. The original creative team is able to maintain the feel of the original film score in their new songs. In addition the score incorporates music from the original Hans Zimmer underscore and converts some passages into songs. Shadowlands and Endless Night were both born in this way. The new Elton John songs help build character and enhance the narrative. For instance, it is telling to hear the hyenas sing Chow Down as a response to I Just Can't Wait to be King. This underscores the danger that Simba has got himself into. Mufasa's new song He Lives in You is a strong, stirring anthem that is reprised towards the climax of the story. As such the new songs feel of a piece with the existing music from the original film.

The performances on this Broadway cast recording are top-notch all the way through. For the most part the original songs from the film are well-served on this recording. Tsidii Le Loka makes a thrilling Rafiki with her opening African chant and her rendition of Circle of Life. If anything, it is comparatively more arresting than Carmen Twillie's version on the film soundtrack. I just can't wait to be King is vivacious and expressive. It leaps off the screen and sounds less cartoon-like, thanks to Scott Irby-Ranniar's portrayal of Young Simba. Only in Hakuna Matata does the Broadway score betray its cartoon roots. Which leaves me to say a few words about Can you feel the love tonight. It sounds more anthemic and resonant in this cast recording as Simba and Nala fall in love. The only qualm I have is about Be Prepared. It could do with a bit more menace, even though there is much to enjoy in John Vickers's portrayal of Scar.

This is a wonderful cast recording that tells the story so well. There is no need to choose between the film soundtrack and this. So my recommendation is: buy both because there is much to enjoy in the two contrasting musical treatments of this story. The tapestry of the combined elements is just as compelling in whatever medium.
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