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Andrew Lloyd Webber - Jesus Christ Superstar

 (50th Anniversary Half-Speed Remastered Edition)


Label:

Verve

Genre:

Soundtrack

Product No.:
AVER 5393331
UPC: 600753933312
Availability:
In Stock
Category:

180 Gram Vinyl Record


No. of Discs: 2

180 Gram LP
$35.98

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180-gram double LP

50th Anniversary half-speed remastered edition!

Half-speed remastered on 180-gram double LP by Miles Showell and Nick Davis at Abbey Road. Replica card gatefold sleeve with 12-page booklet.

The album that launched a phenomenon, 1970's Jesus Christ Superstar was a rock opera, with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, that opened on Broadway Oct. 12, 1971, to protests, an irate composer, and sold-out shows. It was the spring of 1970, and Yvonne Elliman, an 18-year-old singer and guitarist from Hawaii, had just finished performing at a London nightclub when a breathless young man rushed the stage.

"You're my Mary Magdalene!" a wide-eyed, 22-year-old Andrew Lloyd Webber announced.

"I thought he meant the mother of God," Elliman, now 69, said in a recent phone conversation, explaining that she had been unfamiliar with the biblical story. "He was like, ‘No, no, no, no, it's not the mother, it's the whore.'"

They had a laugh, and she went on to sing the part in Jesus Christ Superstar, the seminal rock opera by Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, for the concept album, the first arena tour, the original Broadway production and the feature film.

The musical, which opened 50 years ago on Oct. 12, 1971, turned the story of one of history's most notorious executions into a splashy spectacle. In doing so, it married rock and musical theater, ushering in Broadway's British invasion of the 1970s and 1980s and paving the way for shows like "Les Misérables" and "The Phantom of the Opera."

But the nearly 90-minute concept album came first in 1970, because, as Lloyd Webber recalled recently to The Telegraph, no producer wanted to put "the worst idea in history" onstage.

"It wasn't a collection of rock tracks or something put together," Lloyd Webber, 73, said. "It had to be read to you and you could understand - the dramatic context of the whole thing had to be the recording."

Though the album fizzled in England, the rock opera with a full orchestra and gospel choir took off in America, climbing to No. 1 on the Billboard charts by February 1971. A year after its release, the initial album had sold 2.5 million copies in the United States.

"We were staggered by the success," Rice, 76, the show's lyricist, said in a video call from his home in Buckinghamshire, England. "MCA let us make a single — two unknown guys — with a huge orchestra and a rock section. And with rather a controversial title. And it worked."

One song from the 1971 show, "I Don't Know How to Love Him," was so popular, two versions of it landed on the charts at the same time — Yvonne Elliman's version as well as a track sung by pop artist Helen Reddy.

 



Side A
1. Overture
2. Heaven On Their Minds
3. What's The Buzz / Strange Thing Mystifying
4. Everything's Alright
5. This Jesus Must Die

Side B
1. Hosanna
2. Simon Zealotes / Poor Jerusalem
3. Pilate's Dream
4. The Temple
5. Everything's Alright
6. I Don't Know How To Love Him
7. Damned For All Time / Blood Money

Side C
1. The Last Supper
2. Gethsemane (I Only Want To Say)
3. The Arrest
4. Peter's Denial
5. Pilate And Christ
6. King Herod's Song (Try It And See)

Side D
1. Judas' Death
2. Trial Before Pilate (Including The 39 Lashes)
3. Superstar
4. Crucifixion
5. John Nineteen: Forty One

Customer Reviews (4.00 Stars) 3 person(s) rated this product.

Sound Wonderful

posted on 09/25/2021
5 Stars
I wore out my original back in the 70's. This remaster is flat, quiet and dynamic and sounds great to me. It brought me back to my youth! I give it 5 stars so "Very Nice Reissue" can have his 4.5 stars. Highly recommended!


Very Nice Reissue

posted on 09/22/2021
4 Stars
Reviewer: Brian VanPelt
If you are like me, you always found the earlier pressings to be, well, depressing. The vocals were lifeless and murky. The instruments sounded fine, but nothing really great. I stuck with the CD version, and that means I rarely listened to the album. Recently, a remastered version surfaced, so I knew a good sounding version was possible. This particular reissue fixed all of the problems from the earlier versions/pressings.

The vocals are sharply defined and clear. All of the instruments sound very real, and you can hear the full decay on cymbals and other tones. You won't believe that this recording is some 50 years old. The pressing is fairly quiet - light clicks and other small distortions, but most of it was hidden under the music. The vinyl itself looked perfect.

Overall, the dynamics are pretty strong, and outside of the surface noises, this is almost perfect. I really want to give this release 4.5 stars, but you can't give half stars.


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