Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (1973 London Studio Cast)
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
In 1973, the phenomenal success of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Jesus Christ Superstar created great interest in an earlier show by the same team--Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, based on the Old Te... more »
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In 1973, the phenomenal success of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's Jesus Christ Superstar created great interest in an earlier show by the same team--Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, based on the Old Testament story of Joseph and his coat of many colors. That demand resulted in this studio recording (not connected to any stage performance), only the first in a long line of recordings and undoubtedly the weakest. What's interesting, though, is how little the show has changed since this early draft, the only notable omission here being the prologue. The major difference is a male narrator (Peter Reeves), and listeners will be hard-pressed to miss a few JCS riffs tossed in to draw a parallel between Joseph's visit to Pharaoh and Jesus' to Pilate. All in all, underpowered performances by the leads (Gary Bond in the title role, Gordon Waller as Pharaoh), sloppy choral work, and a general lack of zip make this recording a historical novelty at best. --David Horiuchi
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The best version of Joseph, if not the best recording
Dafydd Mac an Leigh | Waltham, MA USA | 01/23/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A full description of the history of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" would be about as long as this record. It started out as 15-minute pop cantata for boys' choir, and grew over the next decades into the huge-spectacle, two-hour star vehicle we know today. This recording is by no means the first (I have two LP's of previous incarnations), but of all the recordings, it comes closest to catching the show in its best form. It is represented here as an hour-long pop-opera with all the core songs, but without the long dances, techno-remixes, repetitions, and extraneous material added on later. It is not associated with any particular production, but is a studio album recorded so that people could hear the full show (now twice as long as it had been the last time a recording was made). To my mind, this is easily the most satisfying recording of the show. The songs are performed well, and much more simply - the "hamming up" of so much of the show, almost inescapable in modern recordings, is all but absent here. Examples of this may be found in songs like "One More Angel in Heaven", "Those Canaan Days", and the "Benjamin Calypso". All three were recorded here for the first time, and are performed without being so overblown as they are today.
The role of the Narrator, which was written to be sung by a tenor, is sung with great ease by Peter Reeves. (The modern convention of casting a pop-mezzo in the role requires several songs to be transposed down, and the singers still struggle for the high notes, if they try for them at all.) Gary Bond is a capable Joseph, and Gordon Waller is a fabulous Pharoah, mixing the required Elvis inpersonation with the pompous command of being absolute ruler of all that see sees. That's not to say that there are no drawbacks. Most of the vocal harmonies for the Brothers had not been introduced yet, and the inventive orchestrations of the earliest recordings have begun to disappear. Pharoah aside, there is very little acting in the performances, and much of the livliness and energy associated with the show is subdued. In spite of this, It is my favorite of the myriad "Joseph" recodrings, and represents the best version of the show put to record."
C. Bond | UK | 07/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My uncle, Gary Bond died back in 1995 and I have finally been able to replace the orignially vinyl with a CD and for me that is priceless..... I was five years old when I first went to see him in this musical on the WestEnd stage. It was a shock to suddenly hear my uncles voice beaming out of my PC but what memories...... You cannot beat the originally soundtrack no matter what!"
Say what you like, but it is the original...
Jeff | NY | 02/22/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I happen to be a huge fan of studio recordings of shows like this (Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Chess) because shows like this are better suited to that kind of setting. Joseph in particular is a show that is often poorly done on stage because a lot of productions try to modernize the piece and the score when it really is a lot more simple and slightly dated. This recording makes the show sound more like the other rock operas of Webber and Rice (with even some of the exact same riffs as JCS, but that's beside the point) and for its simplicity I would recommend this piece sooner than any of the revival albums. The 1982 Original Broadway version probably is the best recording of the piece as a stage musical, but this one has a rawness and simplicity that is a lot of fun to listen to. The leads are not the most impressve performers, but given the style of the whole album, it doesn't matter. Peter Reeves as the Narrator (the narrator as a guy actually sounds cool) and Gary Bond as Joseph are not the most impressive singers, but are perfectly fine. Gordon Waller as Pharaoh does a nice job without overdoing the Elvis impersonation, which most versions of the show do. The other soloists are all solid. The children's choir is a little weak and there is not nearly as much harmony as in later versions, which I do miss, but the orchestrations come through more and seem more natural to the score than the later versions.
This recording is much more in the same vein as the concept albums of JCS, Evita, and so forth. Recordings like this are more about the score itself. They have people who sing well enough who fit with the style of the music. I've always thought Joseph had a fun score and this recording reflects that particularly well. If you're a fan of the stage show, I would recommend the 1982 Original Broadway Cast version, but if you just like the music, I recommend this one."