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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 1987 | Polydor Records

It's a testament to Andrew Lloyd Webber's crowd-pleasing compositional skills that the original cast recording of The Phantom of the Opera went on to become the biggest-selling cast album ever. So when the time came to adapt his music for the film version of the monumentally successful theatrical work, Webber enlisted the aid of longtime collaborators Nigel Wright and Simon Lee. They produced an expanded orchestral version of the score, grander and more sumptuous than the original, and assembled a 100-member ensemble to do it justice. However, the tragic story of the disfigured Phantom and Christine, the beautiful object of his desire, cannot be told without powerful performances of those roles. Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum quickly dispel any concerns regarding the adequacy of their portrayals. Butler's full-blooded renditions of "The Music of the Night" and the title song are tinged with a dark eroticism, while Rossum's account of "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" skillfully conveys her character's vulnerability and conflicted feelings. The soundtrack also features a newly penned song by Webber, the poignant "Learn to Be Lonely," sung by Minnie Driver, who appears in the role of Carlotta in the film. © Oreste Decimo /TiVo
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Film Soundtracks - Released December 20, 2019 | Polydor Records

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Cats is the soundtrack to the much-anticipated feature film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's beloved, long-running musical, itself based on a book of poems by T.S. Eliot. It features all the songs from the stage show as performed by the stars of the movie, who include stage legends Judi Dench and Ian McKellen, and pop stars Jason Derulo and Taylor Swift. A new song, "Beautiful Ghosts," co-written and performed by Swift, is also included. © John D. Buchanan /TiVo
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Musical Theatre - Released June 19, 2005 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

This recording of Jesus Christ Superstar is based on the 1996 London stage revival, but it is not billed as a revival cast album because it does not feature all the members of the stage cast; the primary difference is that Alice Cooper has been brought in to sing "King Herod's Song." This is, therefore, technically a "studio cast" recording. It benefits, however, from the stage experience of principals Steve Balsamo (Jesus Christ), Zubin Varla (Judas Iscariot), and Joanna Ampil (Mary Magdalene). Also, it was made under the personal supervision of the authors: composer Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyricist Tim Rice are listed as co-producers (along with Nigel Wright), and it was released by Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Records. As such, it is basically a re-creation of the original version with a new cast. Balsamo and Varla bring the appropriate heavy metal-style vocal bravado to their roles, and the music holds up well. (Like the 1992 studio cast album released on RCA Victor, this version contains the added song "Could We Start Again Please?") But there have been so many versions of Jesus Christ Superstar since its original 1970 recording that there's not much a new one can offer, especially one as faithful as this. Of course, it may hold a special interest to people who saw the 1996 London production, which is probably why it was recorded in the first place, and why it was not released at the time in the U.S. In the spring of 2000, with a Broadway revival of Jesus Christ Superstar on the boards, it was suddenly put out stateside with no indication of what it was, which might have fooled potential buyers into thinking it was taken from the new Broadway production. © TiVo
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Musical Theatre - Released January 1, 1987 | Polydor Records

Phantom of the Opera [Highlights] distills the cast recording of the popular Andrew Lloyd Webber musical to simply 13 tracks, all of which are the most popular numbers from the blockbuster production. Fans of "The Music of the Night," "Masquerade," "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again," "Think of Me," and "Angel of Music" who don't want to invest in the entire double-disc cast recording should find this to be a valuable alternative. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Musical Theatre - Released July 9, 2021 | Polydor Records

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Musical Theatre - Released January 1, 1981 | Polydor Records

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Pop - Released January 1, 1984 | Polydor Records

In 1981, Andrew Lloyd Webber scored what turned out to be the biggest success of his career with Cats, a lightly plotted musical using contemporary pop/rock music that was dominated by its costumes, staging, and choreography, and appealed primarily to children. Teaming up again with director Trevor Nunn, Lloyd Webber also repeated many of the essential elements of Cats in his next musical, 1984's Starlight Express. Where Cats was about felines, Starlight Express was about trains, with the actors portraying engines and sidecars in elaborate costumes, recreating the effect of trains on tracks by riding around the theater on roller skates. The plot, such as it was, had to do with a race. But the score consisted largely of what in the theater are called "I am" songs, in which individual characters introduce themselves. Thus, like Cats, which took its lyrics from poems by T.S. Eliot, Starlight Express was as much a collection of individual songs as a theater score. Lloyd Webber stuck largely to current pop/rock styles circa 1984, and that meant lots of synthesizers and percussive dance tracks. He also found space, however, to include pastiches of blues, rap, country, and gospel music that were little more than lampoons and often revealed their composer's ignorance of the forms. For example, "The Rap" was more reminiscent of the rhythmic "Rock Island" opening of The Music Man, itself set on a train, than of the rap music of the 1980s. Richard Stilgoe's lyrics were simplistic and often a bit suggestive for a children's show. The ensemble cast was adequate, but overwhelmed by both the music and the staging. The show opened in London on March 27, 1984, and was an immediate hit. This original cast album was recorded live and in the studio the following month. It was released belatedly in the U.S. on May 9, 2000. © TiVo
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Musical Theatre - Released December 10, 2004 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical adaptation of Gaston Leroux's 1911 gothic mystery novel The Phantom of the Opera proved to be at least the composer's second most successful project, behind only Cats, and with the potential to outdo even that blockbuster. The musical opened in London in October 1986 and in New York in January 1988, and both productions were still running (along with many others around the world) when the film version finally premiered in December 2004. Because the same starring performers, Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman, moved from the West End to Broadway, there was no original Broadway cast recording, the original London cast album serving to represent both stagings. In line with the success of the show, that album, a double-disc set, was also a hit, selling four million copies in the U.S. alone by 1996, with another four million copies of a single-disc highlights version as well. Although there was also an original Canadian cast album (not to mention foreign language versions from such countries as Japan and Austria), the movie soundtrack represents the first major re-recording of the score since 1986. Again, Lloyd Webber has opted to issue it in two versions, but this time, the 63-minute single CD is considered the standard release, with the double-disc set billed as the Special Edition version. Even fans of the show and the film may want to stick with the shorter one, however. The two-hour special edition is that rarity, a soundtrack album that actually contains the complete, unedited film soundtrack, including dialogue, incidental background music, and sound effects. This, of course, makes it something of an odd listening experience, especially because there doesn't seem to be any reason why some dialogue is spoken and some is rendered in singsong recitative. Lloyd Webber has written some extra background music here and there, as well as one new song, and that's an oddity, too. Minnie Driver, who plays the prima donna Carlotta, had her singing dubbed by Margaret Preece, but she turns up at the end and, over the closing credits, sings "Learn to Be Lonely," an irrelevant and musically out-of-place song clearly composed just to have a new tune that would be Academy Award eligible. The film's other singers are adequate but no competition to Crawford, Brightman, and their colleagues, and the initial recording remains the one to buy. © TiVo
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Musical Theatre - Released January 1, 1978 | Geffen

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Musical Theatre - Released January 1, 2011 | Polydor Records

To describe Andrew Lloyd Webber's production of The Phantom of the Opera, the tale of a disfigured musical genius' obsession with a young soprano based on Gaston Leroux's early 20th century novel, as a phenomenon would be something of an understatement. Since its West End premiere in 1986, it has been seen by around 130 million people, earned both Tony and Olivier awards for Best Musical, and amassed a staggering five billion dollars worldwide at the box office. Celebrating its momentous achievement, this unique recording of its 25th anniversary show at London's Royal Albert Hall shows exactly why it's become such an institution, from the horror movie organs and haunting synths of the iconic "Overture," to the glass-shattering vocals and dramatic melodies of the anthemic title number, to the emotive balladry of "The Music of the Night." Featuring all 22 songs from the 2011 Cameron Mackintosh-produced show, which starred Ramin Karimloo as the Phantom, Sierra Boggess as Christine, and Hadley Fraser as Raoul, the first official West End cast recording since 2000 is certainly comprehensive. But while the passages of dialogue on "Think of Me" and "Poor Fool, He Makes Me Laugh" may transmit well to its accompanying DVD, they feel slightly redundant here, and the constant applause, particularly the four-minute standing ovation that ends "Down Once More/Track Down This Murderer," suggests more extensive use of an editor would have been appreciated. Fans who were lucky enough to see the show in person may also be disappointed that the star turn from its most renowned leading lady, Sarah Brightman, on the "Grand Finale" has been strangely omitted, even though the lengthy congratulatory speech from Lloyd Webber himself remains fully intact. An accomplished and impressively performed tribute it may be, then, but those wanting to relive its most glorious moments may find themselves pressing the fast-forward button far more often than was necessary. © Jon O'Brien /TiVo
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Musical Theatre - Released March 16, 2018 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

This career-spanning collection from the king of musical theater features the biggest show-stoppers from his most successful shows including The Phantom of the Opera, Cats, Evita, and Jesus Christ Superstar. The topflight artists include Sarah Brightman, Tom Jones, Madonna, Beyoncé, and Elaine Paige. © John D. Buchanan /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 1, 1978 | Universal-Island Records Ltd.

This is a genuine oddity in the career output of Andrew Lloyd Webber, growing out of a personal/familial vignette. The piece, a set of variations on Niccolo Paganini's "Caprice No. 24" (which had previously inspired adaptations by Franz Liszt, Johannes Brahms, Sergei Rachmaninov, and Boris Blacher, among others), came about because Andrew Lloyd Webber lost a bet with his cellist brother Julian Lloyd Webber, and was obliged to compose a work for cello and rock band for him, which was premiered in August of 1977 at a music festival, and subsequently recorded and released on an LP (later transferred to CD) by MCA. At the time, progressive rock was still hanging on to some semblance of commercial viability, and in fairness, MCA had made a fortune off of Lloyd Webber's work on Jesus Christ Superstar, etc. The work was later incorporated into Andrew Lloyd Webber's Song and Dance, and mid-'80s theater work, and later appeared in a recording on Philips, featuring a new orchestration and the participation of Julian Lloyd Webber with the London Philharmonic under Lorin Maazel. This recording, featuring what amounts to virtually an all-star contingent of players -- including Rod Argent, Herbie Flowers (whose playing is outstanding throughout), Jon Hiseman, and Gary Moore -- is reminiscent of other rock-classical hybrids of the period, a slightly awkward fit highlighted by charming and delightful moments, along with some bracing moments for the band. As the scoring is rather lean (cello by the Lloyd Webber sibling and a band, complete with synthesizer and other electronic keyboards), it's a bit less bombastic than most prog rock of the period and there's also more of a sense of humor in evidence, especially in the quotations hidden within the scoring. The rock players get their moments, especially on "Variation 7" (which is Moore's great showcase), and while it's a little more involved than the typical Yes or Emerson, Lake & Palmer recording of the era, there was something there for the high school or college kid just looking for music to get stoned to. Ultimately, as music, it's a minor part of the Andrew Lloyd Webber catalog (though it did, as pointed out, work its way into more substantial pieces and settings), but it's a lot of fun and charmingly unpretentious. © Bruce Eder /TiVo
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Musical Theatre - Released December 10, 2004 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical adaptation of Gaston Leroux's 1911 gothic mystery novel The Phantom of the Opera proved to be at least the composer's second most successful project, behind only Cats, and with the potential to outdo even that blockbuster. The musical opened in London in October 1986 and in New York in January 1988, and both productions were still running (along with many others around the world) when the film version finally premiered in December 2004. Because the same starring performers, Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman, moved from the West End to Broadway, there was no original Broadway cast recording, the original London cast album serving to represent both stagings. In line with the success of the show, that album, a double-disc set, was also a hit, selling four million copies in the U.S. alone by 1996, with another four million copies of a single-disc highlights version as well. Although there was also an original Canadian cast album (not to mention foreign language versions from such countries as Japan and Austria), the movie soundtrack represents the first major re-recording of the score since 1986. Again, Lloyd Webber has opted to issue it in two versions, but this time, the 63-minute single CD is considered the standard release, with the double-disc set billed as the Special Edition version. Even fans of the show and the film may want to stick with the shorter one, however. The two-hour special edition is that rarity, a soundtrack album that actually contains the complete, unedited film soundtrack, including dialogue, incidental background music, and sound effects. This, of course, makes it something of an odd listening experience, especially because there doesn't seem to be any reason why some dialogue is spoken and some is rendered in singsong recitative. Lloyd Webber has written some extra background music here and there, as well as one new song, and that's an oddity, too. Minnie Driver, who plays the prima donna Carlotta, had her singing dubbed by Margaret Preece, but she turns up at the end and, over the closing credits, sings "Learn to Be Lonely," an irrelevant and musically out-of-place song clearly composed just to have a new tune that would be Academy Award eligible. The film's other singers are adequate but no competition to Crawford, Brightman, and their colleagues, and the initial recording remains the one to buy. © TiVo
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Musical Theatre - Released January 1, 1983 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

Andrew Lloyd Webber's epic Cats takes its characters from T.S. Eliot's book Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. Though the book contains no narrative structure, Webber has created one, although what drew audiences to the theatre in droves was the charm of the feline characters, not the tale of what happens to them. The score is rather fetching but simple, with moments of elegance, as in during the now-standard "Memory." The longest-running musical of its time, Cats is at times overrated, but as a whole it retains the charm that attracted audiences. This is the original Broadway cast album, containing slight musical alterations from the earlier London version (and, of course, different singers), though it is not very distinct. Geffen 2031 is a two-disc complete version of the show and there is an abridged, one-disc version, Geffen 2026. © TiVo
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Musical Theatre - Released March 16, 2018 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

This career-spanning collection from the king of musical theater features the biggest show-stoppers from his most successful shows including The Phantom of the Opera, Cats, Evita, and Jesus Christ Superstar. The topflight artists include Sarah Brightman, Tom Jones, Madonna, Beyoncé, and Elaine Paige. © John D. Buchanan /TiVo
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Musical Theatre - Released September 17, 2021 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

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Film Soundtracks - Released January 1, 1991 | Polydor Records

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Pop - Released January 1, 1997 | Polydor Records

Despite a long history of pop and musical-theater success in England, Sarah Brightman was not well known in the U.S. until her 1997 album Time to Say Goodbye became a triumph, topping the Billboard classical crossover chart for most of 1998. Really Useful Records, her former husband Andrew Lloyd Webber's label, took advantage of her sudden popularity to release this compilation of recordings of Lloyd Webber songs she'd made between 1985 and 1995, and since she had served as a real muse to the composer, many of his most popular songs were included. Several of them -- "Pie Jesu," "All I Ask of You," "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again," and "Amigos Para Siempre (Friends for Life)" -- had been chart hits for Brightman in the U.K. So had "The Phantom of the Opera," the title song of a musical Lloyd Webber had written for her and in which she had starred, albeit in a different recording from the one included here, which was the Original London Cast version featuring her co-star, Michael Crawford. Also included were the most memorable songs from such Lloyd Webber shows as Evita ("Don't Cry for Me Argentina"), Song & Dance ("Unexpected Song," "Tell Me on a Sunday"), Aspects of Love ("Love Changes Everything"), and Cats ("Memory," "Gus: The Theatre Cat," "Macavity: The Mystery Cat"). Even the songs that had not been tailored specifically for Brightman had been written for her kind of voice, a full-bodied, dramatic soprano, and she sang with a thorough understanding of the composer's intentions. The result was an excellent primer for anyone who had first encountered Brightman with "Time to Say Goodbye" and was wondering where she came from. © TiVo
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Musical Theatre - Released November 19, 1976 | Geffen

Madonna staked much of her career on Evita, gambling that it would establish her as a proper movie star and a respected actress, as well as reviving her slumping musical career. Both the film and the soundtrack, while worthy efforts, fall just short of their goals, despite their numerous strong points. The double-disc soundtrack to Evita -- which essentially is an audio document of the entire film, since there is no dialogue in the movie -- is an exquisitely produced and expertly rendered version of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's rock-inspired musical, yet it remains curiously unengaging. Part of the reason is Madonna's performance. While she gives a startlingly accomplished and nuanced performance -- her voice actually sounds like it matures over the course of the album -- it is impossible to listen to her without getting the impression that she is trying really hard to be credible, which makes it difficult to connect with her. It doesn't help that her supporting cast of Jonathan Pryce and Antonio Banderas are only fitfully successful; Banderas' performance, in particular, suffers from being removed from the visuals. Even with the faults, Evita has its merits, including the written-for-film ballad "You Must Love Me," and is worth investigating. It just isn't the definitive work that it wishes to be. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Musical Theatre - Released January 1, 1980 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)