Andrew Lloyd Webber Jesus Christ Superstar: 50th Anniversary Half-Speed Remaster 180g Vinyl 2LP
50th Anniversary 180g Vinyl 2LP Reissue Half-Speed Mastered by Miles Showell at Abbey Road with 12-Page Booklet!
In 1970, Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber released Jesus Christ Superstar as a concept double album. It became a massive global best-seller, topping the US Billboard Top LPs chart in both February and May 1971, as well as ranking at number one in the year-end chart. By 1983, the album had sold over 7 million copies worldwide.
To mark the 50th anniversary of the landmark collection, the audio has been newly half-speed mastered by Miles Showell at Abbey Road and is reissued here on 180g vinyl 2LP with a replica card gatefold sleeve featuring a 12-page booklet.
The journey to international success was far from straightforward, however. As unknown names in musical theatre, Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber were unable to find a producer willing to stage their ambitious idea for a religious-themed rock opera. Eventually, they persuaded MCA records to let them record the score first. Using a full orchestra, and with the outstanding talents of Ian Gillan, Murray Head, Yvonne Elliman and The Grease Band, they created a masterpiece that revolutionized the form of musical theatre.
Within a year of its chart success, stage productions of Jesus Christ Superstar began to appear all over the world, leading to record-breaking runs in the West End, a hit Hollywood film, Tony nominations and Olivier Awards. Its influence and impact have not diminished: in 2018 the NBC live production of the show, starring John Legend and Sara Bareilles, resulted in Emmy Award wins for Rice and Lloyd Webber (thereby making them two of the 16 people in history to have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony).
Lloyd Webber said: "A musical about Jesus Christ! Back in 1969 the mere thought had theatre producers falling about with laughter. But somehow Tim Rice and I persuaded MCA to record a single. It came at a time when fusion was all the rage. The Rolling Stones had recorded with the London Bach Choir. Deep Purple's Jon Lord composed a symphony for rock band and orchestra. So I was like a kid in a sweet shop when I was able to combine a rock band, a symphony orchestra and a gospel choir in what was the first track to be recorded, simply titled Superstar.
Overriding everything was that we were telling our story in sound – and sound alone. We had none of the visual elements of theatres and film to fall back on. A cast-iron musical and dramatic structure was the key. Dialogue had no place on a record, so music and lyrics had to carry everything. In truth, we were writing a musical radio play. Ultimately, this gave us one enormous advantage. Audiences came to know our recordings so well that no future director or producer could add musical passages for scene changes or tamper with the construction. The score had become set in stone."
Andrew Lloyd Webber Jesus Christ Superstar: 50th Anniversary Track Listing:
2. Heaven On Their Minds
3. What's The Buzz – Strange Thing, Mystifying
4. Everything's Alright
5. This Jesus Must Die
7. Simon Zealotes – Poor Jerusalem
8. Pilate's Dream
9. The Temple
10. Everything's Alright
11. I Don't Know How To Love Him
12. Damned For All Time – Blood Money
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)
7. Judas' Death
8. Trial Before Pilate (Including the 39 Lashes)
11. John Nineteen: Forty One
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