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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 16 December 2002
Two words.... LEA SALONGA! The origional London and Broadway Kim is the star of this fantastic album! Miss Saigon is set during the fall of Saigon and the evacuation of American Troups. When Chris (Simon Bowman) see's young bar girl (Lea Salonga) it is love at first sight that takes tragic twists and turns until a heartbreaking climax! Salonga is one of the most talented singer/actresses in the world and Saigon was the role that made the public notice her. She sings with such heartwrenching passion and talent it is impossable not to fall in love with her! Simon Bowman is unbelievable in the role of Chris, the misguided G.I, and Jonathan pryce is well Jonathon Pryce, superb as always. Also this is the album with the origional finale "The Sacred Bird" that was changed a few months into the run, get this album as it is truely brilliant certainly one for ANY one who has ever liked a musical! Great tracks are "Why God Why" "Sun and Moon" "You Will Not Touch Him" "Please" "I'd Give my life for you" and basically the whole album"!
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have seen "Miss Saigon" twice and have come to the definite conclusion that I like the "original" story contained on this two-disc set a lot more than I like the revised version I have seen on stage. The genesis for this Alain Boubil and Claude-Michel Schonberg musical was two-fold, the well known Puccini opera "Madame Butterfly" (the main theme of which sounds briefly in the Finale and a haunting photograph of a Vietnamese woman seeing her daughter for the last time before the child goes to America to live with her ex-GI father (the photo is included in the libretto). In performance the return has been to the Puccini story line, where the woman kills herself BECAUSE her American lover has taken her child away. However, I maintain that what you have in this version is much more powerful: Kim kills herself to FORCE Chris and his wife to take Tam to the United States. In this latter context Kim's song "I'd Give My Life For You" makes sense and is more powerful. The change also resulted in an awkward and almost complete revision of Ellen's big solo number "Her or Me," which also loses a great deal of power. Fortunately, that song survives on this disc.
Vocally the women stand out much stronger than the men, from Lea Salonga's exquisite performance throughout ("I'd Give My Life for You", "The Revelation"), to Clare Moore's impassioned duet and solo work ("I Still Believe" and "Her or Me"), to the chorus of bar girls ("The Movie in My Mind"). The male singers are surely adequate, but not especially memorable, except of course for Jonathan Pryce's star turn as the Engineer ("The American Dream"). My favorite pieces in the show tend to be the duets: Kim and Chris in "The Last Night of the World," Kim and Ellen in "I Still Believe," Kim and John in "Please." Emotionally the show contains more punch than the more celebrated "Les Miserable" by Boubill and Schonberg, made all the more effective because of the way a key chunk of the story (how Kim and Chris got seprated during "The Fall of Saigon") is not revealed until Act 2 when it comes in between the soaring optimism of Kim finding out Chris is in Bangkok ("Please") and the shattering revelation of his marriage to Ellen ("Room 317"). Even without seeing the famous helicopter scene on stage, this is an emotionally draining sequence of songs. "Miss Saigon" is closing on Broadway soon, but even if you never get to see it on stage, just listening to it will still give you chills and drive you to tears.
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on 25 June 2005
You dont have to see this show to apreciate its music. Each song is as unique as the next with some heart renching ballads, to some immensley powerful numbers that will literally send chills down your spine. ok so its not the kind of show that will be to everyones taste as it is 'thru-sung' (no speaking), but those who are fans of the great genre of 'musical', this is a must for your collection. Its hard to imagine that the same people who wrote this stunning score were also behind the daddy of musicals; Les Miserables, (if you loved that, you'll love miss saigon).
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on 12 March 2004
Miss saigon is the most amazing and powerful musical ever written. Boublil and schonberg are great! It deffenatly beats les mis (and that is saying something). I could listen to this version of the show all day. Lea salonga is great as kim. Her voice is to die for! So if your in doubt about the show, my advice to you is go and see it because you will be blown away. And give yourself a day and then you will be wanting this album.
Take care
Ryan Limb
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on 18 January 2001
This recording of Miss Saigon has captured the work of the all round performers and there excellence. It's story line is saddening yet gripping, classical boy meets girl re-make. My only tip for listening is to sit back, close your eyes and this wonderful cast take you on a journey.
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on 1 March 2001
From the story of boy meets girl set in the Vietnam war, a fantastic musical is born. The music, the harmonies, the intensity coupled with the strength of the words and the voices of the artists, make this recording something you can listen to time and time again. The emotion in each word and each note grips one's heart and makes one feel what each character must be feeling. The intelligence in which the entire musical is writen is also amazing. There's a logic in the melodies which makes everything fit together into an incredible work of art.
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on 2 August 2016
I saw the original cast perform this incredible musical at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in June 1990. I'd already purchased the original vinyl 2LP which contained "It's her or me" which was the forerunner of "Now that I've seen her". The night before the show, I went for a drink at a cafe near to the theatre, and whilst seated outside engaged in conversation with a lady who told me that her daughter was in the show. It was only when I got up to leave that she mentioned that her daughter was Lea Salonga, who played Kim in the show, and who is featured on this original cast recording. She offered to introduce me to Lea after the show on the following night, and, true to her word, she was waiting at the stage door for me and I went backstage to meet her, pose for photographs, and get my programme signed. Accordingly, this musical has always held a special place in my heart, but believe me, irrespective of that wonderful memory, this recording still sits at the top table of all-time great musicals. "My Fair Lady", "Blood Brothers" and "Les Miserables" are my favourites, and Miss Saigon sits alongside those masterpieces. There is no filler, no duff tracks, and in "The Last Night of the World", "I'd Give My Life For You", "I Still Believe", "Please" and "It's Her or Me" quite simply some of the finest songs ever to feature in a musical. There have been other recordings of Miss Saigon, but this is the definitive version. Outstanding and emotionally draining!
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on 18 October 2003
A brilliant buy! This soundtrack brings back all the images and action that you saw performed on the stage. A collection of extremely powerful and emotional music. This is a must have for all musical lovers.
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on 22 October 2000
This incredible follow-up to Les Miserables by Boublil and Schonberg is definately worth a listen. This CD contains wonderful music from the production that has now sadly closed in London. Lea Salonga plays Kim, an innocent girl who learns about the world the hard way, with fantastic emotion. And Jonathan Pryce plays the greasy Eurasian pimp brilliantly.
This recording has the ability to move you to tears TWO TIMES, but it does lose some emotion in the transition from stage to CD. The ending seems rather abrupt without the rapturous applause that the show recieved when I saw it in London.
But still, the music and the singing is enough to make this CD a must have for all musical fans.
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on 2 April 2009
i think i was 14 years old when my parents took to see the show in london and i can remember not wanting to go, but from the moment the overture began i was absolutely mesmerised. it's so powerful and moving. the music haunted me so much that i had to buy the recording. I wasn't put off by the fact that it was the orginal london cast, i'd previously seen Jonathan Pryce as Fagin in Oliver and he was superb. I can't fault a single track. The four favourites are 'The Last Night Of The World' 'Why God Why' 'I Still Believe' and the powerful 'Fall Of Saigon'. I've ordered the CD as i've worn my cassette copy out :D
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