Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Now & Forever
Genres: Special Interest, Pop, Soundtracks, Classical, Broadway & Vocalists
Disc 1: Selections from Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Cats, and Song and Dance Disc 2: Selections from Starlight Express, Requiem, Phantom of the Opera, and Aspects of Love Disc 3: Selections from Joseph nad the Amazion... more »
Disc 1: Selections from Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Cats, and Song and Dance Disc 2: Selections from Starlight Express, Requiem, Phantom of the Opera, and Aspects of Love Disc 3: Selections from Joseph nad the Amaziong Technicolor Dreamcoat, By Jeeves, Sunset Boulevard, Whistle Down the Wind, and The Beautiful Game CD 4: 1. "Oh What a Circus" --David Essex 2. "Memory" - Betty Buckleey 3. "The Phantom of the Opera" -Sarah Brightman, Steve Harley 4. "All I Ask of You" --Sarah Brightman, Cliff Richard 5. "Love Changes Everything"--Michael Ball 6. "Any Dream Will Do"--Donny Osmond 7. "Amigos Para Siempre (Friends for Life)"--Sarah Brightman, Jose Caerras 8. "As if We Never Said Goodbye"--Barbra Streisand 9. "The Perfect Year"--Dina Carroll 10. "With One Look" --Petula Clark 11. "You Must Love Me" 12. "The Heart Is Slow To Learn" --Kiri Te Kanawa 13. "Whistle Down the Wind"--Tina Arena 14. "A Kiss Is a Terrible Thing To Waste"--The Metal Philharmonic 15. "No Matter What"--Boyzone 16. "The Vaults of Heaven"--Tom Jones and Sounds of Blackness 17. "Try Not To Be Afraid"--Boy George 18. "Pie Jesu"--Charlotte Church Disc 5: (All tracks available for the first time) 1. "Make Believe Love"--Wes Sands 2. "Down Thru' Summer"--Ross Hannaman 3. "I'll Give All My Love to Southend"--Ross Hannaman 4. "Believe Me I Will"--Sacha Distel 5. "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat: 1969 Luxembourg Radio Commercial--The Jospeh Consortium, Pete Murray 6. "Try It and See"--Rita Pavone 7. "Come Back Richard Your Country Needs You"--Tim Rice and the Webber Group 8. "Goodbye Seattle"-- Paul Raven 9. "John 19:41"--The Andrew Lloyd Webber Orchestra 10. "What a Line To Go Out On"--Yvonne Elliman 11. "Disillusion Me" --Gary Bond 12. "The Ballad of Robert and Peter"--Tim Rice 13. "Christmas Dream" --Maynard Williams 14. "It's Only Your Lover Returning/All through My Wild and Crazy Days/Don't Cry for Me Argentina--Julie Covington 15. "It's Easy for You" (1977 Jungle Room Session version)--Elvis Presley 16. "Magdalena"--Tony Christie 17. "Buenos Aires"--The Rioja Rockers 18. "Pollicle Dogs and Jellicle Cats"--Andrew Lloyd Webber original demo 19. "Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer" (Live at Sydmonton Festival 1980)-Gemma Craven 20. "I Could Have Given You More"--Petula Clark 21. "I've Been in Love Too Long"--Marti Webb 22. "Benedicte"-- Stephen Hill Singers
A very very complete collection
fuzzee77 | Nashville, TN United States | 03/30/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I kept putting and removing this item into my shopping cart because of its price. Had I known just how extensive and complete the collection really is, I would not have hesitated. What's in this collection?
* Five CDs in total, packaged in a very nice box set format
* About 100 songs from every musical ever written by Webber on three CDs.
* The fourth CD includes different versions of some of the more popular songs (sung by different artists). It also includes Madonna's rendition of "You Must Love Me" (from the movie version of Evita).
* A bonus CD (so five CDs in total) with some never released stuff (very cool)
* A 64 page booklet with plenty of color photos, and information on the musicals and the songs in the collection.Overall, a wonderful addition to any Webber fan's collection."
As good as it gets
Jacob A. Davis | Louisville, KY USA | 02/18/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This box set could very well be the only Andrew Lloyd Webber collection someone would ever need. Of course, if you don't know much about Andrew Lloyd Webber's music, you probably wouldn't want to spend over sixty dollars on a box set. On the other hand, if you are a true Lloyd-Webber fan, then this is probably not the only one of his recordings you have, either. Anyhow, this box set contains the highlights of his greatest work performed by the people who (arguably) performed the songs best. Most Lloyd-Webber fans will have the majority of the songs on the first three CDs (with the possible exception of American fans perhaps not having those from The Beautiful Game). However, these all of these tracks have been newly digitally remastered and sound better than ever. There are also other perks for us all-time buffs. Disc 4 has many famous cover versions and singles, some of which you may already have, but you also get the bonuses on this disc of Kiri Te Kanawa's "The Heart is Slow to Learn" (which was originally going to be part of a sequel to Phantom) and the Metal Philharmonic Orchestra's breathtaking rendition of "A Kiss is A Terrible Thing To Waste" (featuring vocalist "Scarpia"). You will have chills for days after that one.Finally, there is the famous disc 5! Tracks never before realeased on CD for many of us to enjoy for the first time. This CD takes us back to the roots of ALW's music and lets us taste a few of the early moments of his career. It includes many singles for several well-known artist that didn't quite work out. It even includes the song written by Lloyd-Webber for his 1992 wedding. This is the most treasured disc of the whole set, in my opinion. Of course, this whole set is a treasure (even the extravegant and informative booklet in the box) and I highly reccomend this to anyone with a passion for Lord Lloyd-Webber's music."
ONE OF LLOYD WEBBER'S BEST COMPILATIONS, DESPITE A FEW FLAWS
Marijan Bosnar | Croatia | 03/20/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Regardless of the fact that some of his latest efforts (most notably, The Woman in White) are disappointing, there can be little doubt that Andrew Lloyd Webber is one of the greatest composers ever to work in the musical theatre. Ever since his "Jesus Christ Superstar" hit the stage in the early 70-is, it was clear that the conception and perception of musicals are never going to be the same again. Many of his songs became standards not only in the theatre history, but also as tops on the charts. Even though he's British, his influence on the shape of the modern musical theatre expanded over the West End boundaries long ago and has thus made an enormous impact on Broadway. Two of his shows ("Cats" and "The phantom of the opera") hold the record as two the longest running shows in the history of Broadway. He has also been the only composer to have three of his shows running at Broadway concurrently. Some of his awards include three Grammies, a Golden Globe, an Oscar and a bunch of Tony awards. But perhaps most of all, Lloyd Webber is responsible for bringing the musicals and the theatre appealing to the wide audiences, who in different circumstances would not consider seeing a musical. The secret of his success is probably the mixture of beautiful and catchy melodies, interesting subject matter (though some, like Starlight Express, are too thin) and grandiose staging.
Over the years many compilations of his work have emerged. In the late 80-is and early 90-is it was the "Encore" series and lately the one-disc collection called "Gold". The one in question here can be considered one of the best currently on the market. First, it includes a 3-disc selections from all of his shows, minus the latest one, i.e., "The Woman in White", which, considering the triviality of the score, is no great lost. The fourth disc covers some of his most known songs sung by the famous artists. Then, there is the fifth disc with previously unreleased material, most of which are the songs ALW wrote with Tim Rice for various artists during the 70-is. The disks are all neatly packed in a hardcover book that features 67 pages of pictures and text with information about each of ALW's shows. One of the other assets here is the perfect sound quality, since all of the tracks have been digitally remastered.
Here are my basic impressions and comments regarding the material on the discs:
* Disc #1 has the selections from "Jesus Christ Superstar", "Evita", "Cats" and "Song & Dance". The Superstar material mostly comes from the Concept Recording. Although the songs sound beautiful as always, their orchestration is a bit dated now. Only Steve Balsamo's "Gethsemane" from the 1996 revival cast has a modern rock sound. "Evita" comes with the material from all of the major recordings: London, Broadway and the movie productions, as well as the Concept album. No objections here; since this is one of ALW's most satisfying works, every song is just perfect, although Patti LuPone, the Broadway and overall the best Evita, is left with only a couple of lines. With the selections from "Cats", however, I have some doubts. A plus to the choice of the "Jellicle ball" impressive orchestral sequence from the 1998 movie version and "Mister Mistoffelees" from the 1981 London cast. One of the best known ALW's songs, "Memory", also comes from that album. It's a pretty version and Elaine Paige's rendition cannot be matched, but why include this when the definite version, featuring an 80-piece orchestra and Elaine Paige with much better interpretation, can be found in the same movie version. Thusly, one has to buy Elaine Paige's latest 2-disc compilation "Centre Stage: The very best of Elaine Paige" to get that one. And "Gus the theatre cat" is more a recital than a song, so there was not much point in including that. Marti Webb brings her vocal charm to the "Song & Dance" sequence, Sarah Brightman sings "Unexpected song" with her famous soprano, but as much as I like her version, Bernadette Peters, who was in this show on Broadway is strangely left out here.
* Disc # 2 starts with "Starlight Express". This was never one of my favorite ALW's shows; the plot is even lighter than in "Cats" and the 1984 original cast recording is terribly dated. Yet, here we have one terrific duet, "I am starlight" from the original together with three songs from the later revivals and it seems that fresh orchestrations were just the thing Starlight needed. My favorite remains a touchy ballad, "Next time you fall in love". "Requiem" is the most solemn of all ALW's compositions, written in 1985 to commemorate the death of his father. Placido Domingo's tenor rides together with the chorus all the way through the strong "Hosanna", only to be joined by Sarah Brightman in the final moments of this song. She then gives an echoing deliverance of "Pie Jesu". What can be said of ALW's next show, "The Phantom of the Opera"? A phenomenon in its own right, it's easy to see from the six numbers included here why this is one of the best and most beloved musicals of all time. The cast, the music, the story - everything is perfect. Although "Aspects of love" was never a popular hit, it does have some of the most beautiful love melodies ALW has ever written. "Love changes everything" sung by Michael Ball is probably one of the best tunes ever about love. The rest of the selected material here has a dreamy love flavor and the melodies find their way into your brain in the best Lloyd Webber way.
* ALW's first musical, "Joseph and the amazing Technicolor dreamcoat" was more successful in its revival form than the original from the 70-is. The three songs included here are sung by the show stars, Jason Donovan and Donny Osmond. Maria Friedman was not a lucky choice to play the narrator, as the track from the 1998 movie version shows. "By Jeeves" was ALW's only big flop when it came to the stage in the 70-is. The 1995 revival sounds much better though, full of funny numbers in the best manner of the musical comedy. "Travel hopefully" remains one of the show's highlights on this compilation. "Sunset Boulevard" comes next. "Sunset" remains for me one of Webber's best scores; lush and beautiful. I listen to the original cast recording with Patti LuPone all the time. However, here most of the songs are performed by Glenn Close. A big mistake. If you've ever listened the American premiere recording with her, you'll know what I am talking about. She may have a strong stage presence, but her vocal abilities are too limited, and her aggressive approach to the role lacks any subtlety. Therefore, the two big numbers from this show, "With one look" and "As if we never said goodbye" are ruined by the fact she can't sing. The same goes for the American Joe Gillis, who was played by Alan Campbell. Luckily, Patti LuPone and Kevin Anderson, the original Norma and Joe from the London production, make their brief entrance here with the "Perfect year"; enough to show how better they are. The funny thing is, on the jacket and inside of it, Glenn Close and Alan Campbell are credited as performers in this song as well. If this was a mistake on ALW's part, it was a good one. The next ALW's show, "Whistle down the wind" was never a critic's dear and yet the audiences rushed in to see it in London. The score brings back ALW to his rock and roll roots of the seventies and the story is quite interesting. But the selections here are not the happiest, since the cast recording boasts with much better songs. And finally, "The Beautiful Game". Again, we have one of those ALW's shows that is worth in its individual parts rather than as a whole. "Our kind of love" and "Let us love in peace" are two catchy ballads. The latter is a nice amalgam version not available elsewhere. The two other tracks here I could live without.
* Disc # 4 has the songs from all the above shows performed by different artists. The assembled tracks have their pros and cons. For example, we have some previously unreleased stuff, like Dame Kiri Te Kanawa's operettic rendition of "The heart is slow to learn", or a stunning and epic "A kiss is a terrible thing to waste" from "Whistle down the wind", performed by The Metal Philharmonic Orchestra. Then again, what was the point in including almost identical tracks as the ones on the previous disks? So we have Michael Ball again singing "Love changes everything" with only a bit different orchestration; Sarah Brightman comes out again with the same Phantom duets, but only with the different male singers. It would be much more appropriate to include tracks from the Toronto Cast of the Phantom, with Colm Wilkinson. Other pop deliverances (Tina Arena's "Whistle down the wind", Barbra Streisand's "As if we never said goodbye", Boyzone's "No matter what" and many more) were wisely chosen. Patti LuPone is again nowhere to be found and Petula Clark's "With one look" sounds too worn-out.
* The last disc is probably the one that will be of most interest to Lloyd Webber aficionados. It consists of entirely previously unreleased material ALW for the most part wrote for various artists during his early years, with Tim Rice. Some of these tunes, not successful as a singles, were later used in his shows. Thus "Down thru' summer" became "Buenos Aires"in Evita, "Try it and see", an unsuccessful attempt for the Eurovision was used for "King Herod's song" in "Superstar" and so on. Some of these songs are nicely made pop songs: "Make believe love", ALW's first recorded composition, for which he provided the lyrics; "Goodbye Seattle", sung by Paul Raven, who later became Gary Glitter; "Come back Richard, your country needs you", from a never made musical, sung here by Tim Rice, or Latin flavored "Magdalena", with Tony Christie singing. My all time favorite here is a song called "It's easy for you", sung by none other than Elvis Presley himself. Lloyd Webber and Rice sent him a demo recording that he accepted and recorded this live version a couple of weeks before he died. It's amazing to hear how his voice remained in the perfect shape. Also, there is a track of Andrew Lloyd Webber singing "Policle dogs and Jellicle cats" while plying the piano. His voice doesn't sound bad at all.
Taken as a whole, this compilation makes a perfect birthday or Christmas present to any fan of Andrew Lloyd Webber shows, or just anybody interested in some of the best tunes from the modern era of the musical theatre; despite the flaws I mentioned above. To the former, it may just be the final addition for the Andrew Lloyd Webber collection.