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Jesus Christ Superstar Original recording remastered, Import
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Top Customer Reviews
Jesus Christ Superstar is considered as a turning point in modern musical-theatre. It presented something entirely different from past musicals: the plot was new and distinct, the lyrics did not sound shallow and the characters were precisely defined. Also, the piece was entirely sung-through so that the music and the plot became one. All the new musicals afterwards will use some of the new characteristics Superstar introduced leading to almost complete abandonment of the styles that the 50-is and the 60-is used in musicals.
Over the years there were quite a few recordings, however, this one can be considered definite. Both Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice overlooked its making acting as producers, Lloyd Webber making the orchestrations. The cast was mainly assembled from the revival production that run in London from 1996 until 1998, but this recording is known as the studio cast, since Alice Cooper was called in for the role of King Herod. The score is certainly one of the best Webber has ever written; the pure rock sound of the orchestra is simply amazing. When compared to the older recordings, this one has a more polished score and the sound, i.e., the use of the guitars, drums etc, sounds more modern and appropriate. Tim Rice's lyrics are suitable and witty, fitting perfectly with the score.Read more ›
So what went wrong? My biggest single criticism is the cast. In the original recordings it sounded as if the singers wanted to be rock stars - now they sound like they want to be in a musical. Mary is particualry poor in this version - she has lost the tenderness and naievety that made the 70s version so likeable. Alice Cooper at least gets the attitude right in his Herod, but I'm just not sure that Herod's Song suits him.
As for the remastered music - well it sounds clunky, and the mix has either faded down or lost some of the wonderful instrumental parts (what happened to the wandering guitar that thread its way through Jesus Must Die?).
I'm off to look for an earlier version. It may not be as digital, but hopefully it will have the soul of the piece.
I defy anyone to listen to Gethsemane and not have absolute shivers go down their spine. It's the most awe inspiring piece of singing of what was already a fabulous song. It absolutely makes this CD. But (other than that amazing guitar solo to open the Overture) Heaven on Their Minds is a close second. How anyone can sing that number the way he does -without- using falsetto is beyond me. Quite astounding.
The chorus is superb and bearing in mind how much they have to do that is not a small factor. Alice Cooper does a fabulous job as Herrod - smirking and sneering his way through a number that is too often camped up just for laughs.
But you have to keep coming back to Judas and Jesus and they power this whole soundtrack. Do yourself a favour and buy it - it's essential listening. I'd pay the money for just two of the songs.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I spent a while looking for this particular version, with Steve Balsamo as Jesus and Zubin Varla as Judas, to replace a much loved but now worn out version on cassette. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Steve Balsamo raised the bar with his performance of "Gethsamane" which hasn't been bettered since.Published 3 months ago by Jonathan
This album is gold. I bought it for my husband and he has not stopped playing it. We have seen the show live and it was amazing but the voices of that cant live with the voices... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Catrina
Lovely original sounds, of a dramatic piece from the 70's. Slightly smudgy in places but brilliant non-the-less.Published 5 months ago by Climbeverymountain
Purchased this item after seeing the show in Bristol, this CD is from the original cast of Jesus Christ Superstar, a great CD to play and sing along to in the car!Published 6 months ago by Kassiejo
The vocals from Jesus and Judas are by far the best, in my opinion. Steve Balsamo is my favourite Jesus ever!!! I so want it to come back to the stage again. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Emma - reading mum