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Andrew Lloyd Webber: His Life and Works Hardcover – October 1, 1989


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 239 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; Exp Upd edition (October 1, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810912759
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810912755
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 1.2 x 11.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,657,972 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In Andrew Lloyd Webber Michael Walsh offers a detailed biography of the composer of Evita and Cats. He chronicles the triumphs and tragedies of Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard, Whistle Down the Wind, the film version of Evita, his third marriage, and the financial upheaval at The Really Useful Company, Lloyd Webber's production group. Walsh attempts to hack through the mass of Fleet Street sensationalism and get at what is really happening in the life of this talented, troubled man. The book offers a fascinating mix of musical analysis and keyhole peeping, along with 175 color and black-and-white photographs.

From Publishers Weekly

There is a fairy-tale quality about this biography, for despite persistent negative reviews and accusations of plagiarism, Andrew Lloyd Webber, whose ability to make money may exceed his talent for making music, has risen to the top with Jesus Christ Superstar , Evita , Cats , Starlight Express and Phantom of the Opera. After Phantom he was earning $12 million a year; at the age of 41 he is one of the wealthiest and most successful composers of all time. Walsh, music critic of Time , analyzes the works and their influence on musical theater in England and the United States, and he also takes a close look at the man--his childhood, his marriages and his difficult relationships with associates, particularly lyricist Tim Rice and directors Hal Prince and Trevor Nunn. Written in a bouncy style and illustrated with color photographs from the musicals, the book is as glitzy as Lloyd Webber's shows.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

With five critically acclaimed novels, as well as a hit TV movie, journalist, author and screenwriter Michael Walsh has achieved the writer's trifecta: two New York Times best-sellers, a major literary award and, as co-writer, the Disney Channel's then-highest-rated show.

The 1998 publication of As Time Goes By -- his long-awaited and controversial prequel/sequel to everybody's favorite movie, Casablanca -- created a literary sensation; translated into more than twenty languages, including Portuguese, Chinese and Hebrew, the story of Rick and Ilsa landed on best-seller lists around the world.

His first novel, the dark thriller Exchange Alley, was published by Warner Books in July 1997. Hailed by critics for its moody depiction of a crumbling Soviet Union - which Walsh covered first-hand as a correspondent for Time Magazine - and a violent, dangerous New York City during the darkest days of the early 1990s, the novel was picked by the Book-of-the-Month Club as an alternate selection.

Walsh's third novel, the gripping gangster saga, And All the Saints, was named a winner at the 2004 American Book Awards; even before publication, the movie rights to this fictionalized "autobiography" of the legendary Prohibition-era gangster Owney Madden was bought by MGM.

His 2009 novel, Hostile Intent, the first in a series of five thrillers about the National Security Agency to be published by Kensington Books, was an Amazon Kindle #1 bestseller, as well as a New York Times bestseller. The eagerly awaited sequel, Early Warning, will be published in Sept.

In the spring of 2002, the Disney Channel premiered Walsh's original movie (co-written with Gail Parent), Cadet Kelly, starring teen idol Hilary Duff of "Lizzie McGuire" fame. Until High School Music, the two-hour film reigned as the highest-rated original movie in Disney Channel history, as well as the Disney Channel's highest-rated single program ever.

Walsh is also the author of Who's Afraid of Classical Music (1989) and Who's Afraid of Opera (1994) for Fireside Books, and Andrew Lloyd Webber: His Life and Works, a critical biography of the composer for Harry M. Abrams (U.S.) and Viking Penguin (U.K.), published in the fall of 1989; an updated and expanded edition appeared in 1997. With fellow TIME Contributor Richard Schickel, he is the co-author of Carnegie Hall: The First One Hundred Years, a cultural history of the great American concert hall published by Abrams in November 1987. His most recent book about music is So When Does the Fat Lady Sing?, published by Amadeus Press.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By "bazzywazzy" on July 29, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Okay, so there is very limited published information about Andrew Lloyd Webber, although ther eis plenty about his shows, there is little about the man himself. This is why this book is a great buy.
I find Walsh gets himself into a repeated pattern with each chapter, and the sypnosis of each story becomes very tiresome and the the musical analysis (ie, a key signature and time signature) is not really worth doing. Any five year old can open Lloyd Webbers music and find out the key and time signature. I wanted more detail about the music.
The book I brought was the reprinted one with information about Sunset, Whistle and the movie of Evita, although it was already worth the reprint and these chapters are no where near as enthused or informative as the previous chapters. Very disappointing, but still a great buy and well worth getting.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By E. A. Bucchianeri on January 19, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is a must-have for Lloyd Webber fans; it truly is an in-depth account of his life and work. Packed full of information and many photographs, it was an interesting read. It has been claimed that Walsh concentrates too much on the chapter featuring "Phantom of the Opera", but I for one cannot blame him! Walsh has reason to, as he states "Phantom" was the first musical where Lloyd Webber developed his more mature style and a strong sense of key association than in his previous musicals. (He also admits it was after viewing "Phantom" he had the notion to write the book in the first place.)

The only reason why I would not give this book the full five stars is the fact it may be somewhat frustrating to read for musicologists and music students who wish to study Lloyd Webber's style in depth. Walsh tantalizes the reader with only brief excursions into analysis of the music; e.g. very brief descriptions of the keys and rhythms the songs are in, with no printed musical examples on how Lloyd Webber constructs the fabric of his scores.

However, in all, I would certainly recommend this book.

E.A. Bucchianeri, author of ...
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 2, 1997
Format: Hardcover
This book contains lots of very interesting information about the composer, including detailed song-by-song analysis of each of his shows, including lesser known ones and even flops like "Jeeves." For the most part, the author likes the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, and it is a refreshing change to read the opinion of a critic (he is a music critic for Time Magazine) who has good things to say about the composer. This book was invaluable to me in doing Lloyd Webber
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 22, 1997
Format: Hardcover
This book has just been released in an updated version. It covers Sunset Boulevard, the Joseph, Superstar and By Jeeves revivals, the Evita movie, and Whistle Down the Wind. On the personal side, it covers Lloyd Webber's divorce from Sarah Brightman, marriage to Madeline Gurton, the births of their three children, and his recent knighthood. A must read for all musical theatre enthusiastics.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 1, 1995
Format: Hardcover
This book is great about finding little known facts.
It has evrything until Aspects of Love.It doesn't have
anything about his divorce from Sarah #2 or his 3rd
marriage. Lots of pictures!
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