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Aida (2000 Original Broadway Cast) Cast Recording

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Audio CD, Cast Recording, June 6, 2000
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Aida (2000 Original Broadway Cast) + Wicked (2003 Original Broadway Cast)
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Product Description

Original Broadway Production Elton John & Tim Rice

For his second Broadway musical (and first time out writing a full show directly for the stage), Elton John certainly set his sights high by turning to one of the grandest of all operas as a source. His continued collaboration with lyricist Tim Rice has produced a work far closer to the agreeable pop style and formula of the team's Disney musical, The Lion King, than to the majesty and tragic passion of Verdi's opera. But the compelling tale of conflicting loyalties and star-crossed lovers--retooled in part by acclaimed playwright David Henry Hwang--inspires some of John's signature melodic felicity, as in "Elaborate Lives" and "Every Story Is a Love Story." And the original cast recording marks a dramatic leap forward from 1999's dreary mishmash studio concept album, thanks to the heat generated by Heather Headley and Rent star Adam Pascal as the forbidden lovers. Sherie René Scott can turn on a dime from a parodic stance ("My Strongest Suit") to sad resignation ("I Know the Truth"), while the three get to blend in the ensemble "A Step Too Far"--a pop counterpart to the intensity of operatic ensemble. The score touches on reggae and gospel, and on all-out rock balladry (where it's fun to hear Pascal clearly imitating John's characteristic vocal inflections), but it's most touching in the more reflective moments given to Headley's dignified Nubian princess. --Thomas May

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 6, 2000)
  • Original Release Date: June 6, 2000
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Cast Recording
  • Label: Walt Disney Records
  • ASIN: B00004RCVM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (302 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,715 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

83 of 86 people found the following review helpful By RJStuart on September 12, 2000
Format: Audio CD
"What is this Rubbish?!", I thought to myself when I first listened to 'Aida'. I thought that Elton John's music was ordinary, and Tim Rice's lyrics were nothing special. I had heard Adam Pascal in 'Rent', and not being a big fan of 'Rent', I was not thrilled with his voice. I thought Sherie Rene Scott's voice was more like a screech, and, well I didn't mind Heather Headley's voice that much. That was my first listen, and after that I just put it away for a couple of months.
After a few more listens I actually came to enjoy 'Aida' more and more, and now I just cannot stop listening to it. Based on the opera, by Verdi, 'Aida' follows the love-story of Nubian Princess, Aida (Heather Headley), and her nation's enemy, the Captain of the Egyptian Army, Radames (Adam Pascal). Yet, Radames is betrothed to Princess Amneris (Sherie Rene Scott), Pharaoh's daughter. Radames must chose love or power, and his choice of love leads to tragic circumstances.
Husky, yet versatile in range, Pascal's voice grew on me, and I believe that he portrays Radames very well. Listeners are first introduced to Radames in the song, "Fortune Favours the Brave". This fast-paced rock song is sheer brilliance on the part of John and Rice. Pascal's voice fits into this type of song perfectly. But as I listened more I discovered that his voice fitted into most of the songs on this album. He develops his character from a follower of his father's commands, to a man who decides his own fate.
Heather Headley's portrayal of the proud, majestic Aida is brilliant. Headley adds so many dimensions to her character; she is a lover, she is passionate and strong-willed, and she is loyal to her nation and her people.
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 23, 2000
Format: Audio CD
After the "All-Star" Album, I was a bit nervous about the real recording. But it turned out to be one of the best Broadway albums I have ever heard.
Now, I'm not one of those Elton John freaks who will tell you to buy anything he makes. I don't even own an Elton album. But the fact remains that this is a wonderful album.
The album starts with the slow ballad "Every Story is a Love Story" that blends ingeniously into the pop-rock song "Fortune Favors the Brave." Other note-worthy songs: "How I Know You," "Elaborate Lives," "A Step Too Far," "Written in the Stars."
The vocal talent on the CD is excellent. Heather Headley is wonderful as Aida (she deserves the Tony...and I'm just going off the album!) Adam Pascal (of Rent fame) is good as Radames, but seems to have some trouble with the slower songs; his voice is better suited to the faster rock and roll songs. At times he also sounds scarily like Elton John. Sherie Rene Scott is also good as Amneris.
I know some of you are going to scoff, thinking John&Rice will never compare to Sondheim. And this is true. But the album is good enough that I would recommend it to you. Elton John and Tim Rice fans should pick it up without a doubt, but for the rest of you, I would say it's worth a look.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Robert Lopez on June 12, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I didn't get to see the Original Broadway Cast with Tony Award Winner Heather Headley, but I was fortunate enough to experience the first National Tour with Simone, Patrick Cassidy and Kelly Fornier. That night I was blown away by the touching story, haunting tunes and brilliant performances, mainly Simone's Tour-de-force "Easy As A Life."
The Original Broadway Cast Recording, recreates all the passion and heartfelt longing that the live show created. The show's opening number cleverly starts off in an Egyptian Museum in the present time, where tourists are viewing the Ancient Ruins. A man and a woman are mysteiously drawn to the tomb of Aida and Radames, and to each other. The Egyptian Mannaquin comes to life and begins to tell the tale of the Wars between Egypt and Nubia and we are instantly taken back in time. "Every Story is a Love Story" starts off dark and mysterious, then with a wicked force and rock tempo we are catipulted back in time and greeted with "Fortune Favors the Brave." This is one of my favorite beginnings in a musical theatre production. Very clever, very catchy, and it's driving beat commands you to listen.
Enter Heather Headley. Her performance is raw, powerful, proud and enganing. "The Past Is Now Another Land" is a simple yet stirring song of the Princesses vision of her beloved land. Headley's natural accent lends a special added touch to the authenticity of creating the character of the Nubian Princess, it's as if she was born to play the role, and the Tony voters seemed to agree. Headley shines in "Gods Love Nubia" the princesses ode to her country, "Easy As A Life" her painful decision to deny Radames' love, and "A Step Too Far" the gorgeous trio sung by the tragic lovers.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Corbitt on September 17, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I saw Aida on Broadway, and I have never been so stunned. That show is what Broadway is all about; the best I've ever seen. The CD is an ingenious rock opera with Heather Headley shining brightly the whole way through on all of her numbers, but particularly on "Dance of the Robe" and the astonishing gospel-influenced "The Gods Love Nubia". Adam Pascal's raspy voice is perfect for the rock-esque songs and gives an emotional edge to the love ballads. As the original Amneris, Sherie Rene Scott belts out the fun "My Strongest Suit," but her strongest moment is during the opening and closing of the show, when she serves as the narrator in "Every Story Tells a Love Story". Tim Rice's lyrics are poignant and beautiful, while the backdrop of Elton John's compositions complete the musical experience. All in all, Aida is a worthwhile purchase and a magnificent addition to the Broadway stage.
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Aida (2000 Original Broadway Cast)
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