Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Music Monday #1 (on Tuesday) Second Review

I was just too tired last night to review my second album.  I am up early, so here goes.

This CD was  something I originally got from the library many years ago.  I was (and still am) a huge fan of the Phantom of the Opera and Andrew Lloyd Webber.  This CD introduced me to other works by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

The first track is The Phantom of the Opera.  This is sung by Sarah Brightman (whom I love) and Steve Harley (whom I can't stand).  This was the original way that the title song from the musical was supposed to go.  I have seen the video for it, and it is horrid.  I am so glad that they chose to rewrite this and go with a better Phantom.

Next up is Take That Look of Your Face.  This is from a work not so well-known--Tell Me On a Sunday.  Not a bad little rock song.  It's kind of fun.  Worth a listen.

One of Lloyd Webber's truly beautiful songs from Phantom--All  I Ask  of You.  This is one of my favorites.  Again, we have the lovely Sarah Brightman.  Cliff Richard is okay, but he was not the original Raoul.  The song underwent some transformation before making it to the stage. Overall, pretty good.

Then we hear Julie Covington's take on Don't Cry For Me, Argentina.  Originally, this was the first time I hear this song from Evita.  I think this song and musical are fantastically constructed, and if you ever get a chance to see it or hear the score, make it a point.  A poignant musical, indeed.,

Originally, this album was my introduction to Cats.  This song Magical Mr. Mistoffeles, was always one of my favorites to this musical.  I had the entire score memorized for this musical before I ever saw it live.  It is not everyone's cup of tea, but I think it is a fun, unique musical.  And this song is always fun.

Then Andrew Lloyd Webber's brother, Julian, rocks the cello on Variations.  I absolutely love this!  You just don't hear such great stuff normally for the cello, so this shows you what a cello can do!

I am not too keen on Jesus Christ Superstar, and this title song just doesn't really interest me.  There are a couple gems from that musical, but it is just not my style.

Elaine Paige is the quintessential Grizabella on Memory  from Cats.  While I like other renditions of this song,  I still think she is the best.  This song is one I would highly recommend!

Tell Me On a Sunday, the title song from that musical, is well-sung.  It is an unusual song, and I think the message comes across.  This is not my all-time favorite rendition of the song, but it is good.

My favorite Phantom, Michael Crawford, sings an early rendition of Music of the Night.  While this is not the final version, and he was better in later versions, it is neat to hear the evolution of the musical and his role.

Another Suitcase in Another Hall is another gem from Evita.  Unlike the movie, this song is sung by the right character, and it is a haunting song.  Lloyd Webber does tend to write haunting melodies, and he always finds fantastic lyricists.

The most popular song from Jesus Christ Superstar is this offering--I Don't Know How to Love Him.  It is a fine song, but I have never really liked the song.  It is pretty enough, but there are better renditions of it out there.

And finally, a work not so well-known by Lloyd Webber is Requiem.  The entire work is worth a listen, but this is the best-known--Pie Jesu.  Sarah Brightman and the young soloist do an awesome duet.

So, in short, this is a pretty good CD.  It is an introduction to some of the greatest early works of Andrew Lloyd Webber.  I would suggest checking it out if you are interested in hearing more music by the composer of Phantom of the Opera.  Or just if you like musicals in general.

By the way, you can post here or on yesterday's review if you are participating in the challenge.  Thanks!


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