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Chicago - The Musical (1998 London Cast) [Cast Recording]

Fred Ebb, Chicago (Related Recordings), John Kander, Meg Johnson, Henry Goodman, Ruthie Henshall, Ute Lemper, Various ArtistsAudio CD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

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Chicago - The Musical (1998 London Cast) + Chicago - The Musical (1996 Broadway Revival Cast)
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 28, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Cast Recording
  • Label: RCA Victor Broadway
  • ASIN: B000009HQW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #131,073 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Overture
2. All That Jazz
3. Funny Honey
4. Cell Block Tango
5. When You're Good To Mama
6. All I Care About
7. A Little Bit Of Good
8. We Both Reached For The Gun
9. Roxie, Part I: Soliloquy
10. Roxie, Part II
11. I Can't Do It Alone
12. My Own Best Friend
13. Finale: Act I
14. Entr'Acte
15. I Know A Girl
16. Me And My Baby
17. Mister Cellophane
18. When Velma Takes The Stand
19. Razzle Dazzle
20. Class
See all 23 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Like 1997's Grammy-winning new Broadway cast recording, this disc benefits from CD length by featuring music and dialogue cut from 1975's original Broadway cast recording. Plus, time's been very kind to the Kander and Ebb musical, which was initially critically panned for its decadent cynicism...but that was before O.J. Simpson and, in the words of Chicago's Roxy Hart (played by the terrific Ruthie Henshall here), murder became an art. Ute Lemper can't touch Chita Rivera's wonderfully sex-drenched original Velma Kelly, but, then, neither did Bebe Neuwirth in 1997--and still, "All That Jazz" remains one of the greatest opening numbers in musical-theater history. Everything else here is as fine as, if not better than, the U.S. recordings, and all 23 tracks are just good old-fashioned Broadway gems. --Bill Holdship

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CHICAGO with a rougher edge . . . June 12, 2000
By Sean
Format:Audio CD
This is a really great album. More music and dialogue than the Broadway counterpart album, and it has a lot of superior lead-ins to the songs as compared to the Broadway album. Ute Lemper (as Velma) is -- well, what can one say about Ms. Lemper? I definately like her, she is quite a stirring performer. But my admiration for her is more out of a sense of mystery, and out of some sort of reverence. To tell the truth, I'm so confused I can't tell if she's brilliant or terrible, but she does give an exciting "All That Jazz" and a funny "I Can't Do It Alone." She also gives the show a Brecht-Weill feel that I find is appropriate to the show. Ruthie Henshall (as Roxie) is SOOO cute. She is a major plus on "Foxy Roxie Hart" and "Funny Honey," and while she might milk every last laugh out of her Act I Soliliquy, she is SOOO cute doing it, and is obviously having fun in the role. Nigel Planer (as Amos) does wonderfully in his interpretation of "Mister Cellophane." He gets Amos's rage in their perfectlly. Yelling out the line "Beside one man for SEVEN YEARS . . . !" shows his true anger at Roxie's infidelity. I appreciate Henry Goodman's performance (as Billy Flyyn) a lot more now then I did before, and I appreciate the edge he has on the role. Meg Johnson packs a punch as Big Mama, and even Mary Sunshine has an edge to her/his/its performance (LOL). Other pluses on this album. Hearing the murderess' ad-libs at the beginning of the "Cell Block Tango." Listening to Fred and Roxie commit adultery, frollicking and laughing through the musical interludes on the "All That Jazz" track. The chorus's sinister laughter during Henry Goodman's icy "Razzle-Dazzle" is a major plus, too. Read more ›
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ruthie & Ute are simply to die for! August 17, 1999
Format:Audio CD
The London Cast Recording of CHICAGO is absolutely fantastic! As far as I'm concerned this is the one true CD that has the most talented cast of performers to play these phenomenal characters. Ruthie Henshall is absolutely amazing as Roxie. In fact she's the best Roxie I've ever seen or heard for that matter. Her "Funny Honey" and "Roxie" numbers will have you guessing "How does she do that with her voice? " Ute is fabulous too, although it does take some time to get used to her smokey, sexy voice. Chita Rivera originated the role of Velma and ofcourse is the best, but Ute holds her own as she belts "All That Jazz" and "I Can't Do It Alone." The supporting cast is fabulous also. Songs to hear include; the belty "When Your Good To Mama", the harmonious "My Own Best Friend" and the hilarious "Mr. Cellophane". Highlights of this CD also include a higher range for the girls' duet in "My Own Best Friend", and most of the tempos of each song has been sped up. And I won't forget Roxie's Soliloqy which is not heard on any of the previous records. This CD is a mussssst buy. Buy it over the dreary recording of the Broadway cast anyday. Bebe is great but her singing is nowhere near as strong as Ruthie's or Ute's. CHICAGO-LONDON ROCKS!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beats the Broadway Cast December 22, 2002
Format:Audio CD
I saw this production on tour in the U.S., and then soon after bought the Broadway revival CD. Soon after that, I sold it. I did find the London CD in the library and listened to it, and I must say, if you are going to choose between the Broadway and London cast recordings of the revival of CHICAGO, this is the better of the two. The orchestra is just as lively, and in fact, this album is more complete, with dance music and some dialogue added.
While I am not fond of her Fantine in the 'Les Miserables', Ruthie Henshall, as Roxie Hart, does some of her best work here. However skilled a dancer Ann Reinking is, she unfortunately is a weak singer and actress.
Ute Lemper is a fabulous Velma Kelly. Both she and Bebe Neuwirth on Broadway have big voices, both are strong and sassy, but where Lemper is effortlessly smooth, cool, and sexy, Bebe seems like she's struggling to relax and comes off rather stiff. Simply listen to 'All that Jazz' and you'll know what I mean.
As for the accents, while the native German Lemper does have a slight lilt, it's easy to ignore (especially since her singing is superb) and the British cast doing American accents didn't bother me one bit.
There really is no 'definitive' album of this show. The original cast recording with Chita Rivera and Gwen Verdon should be listened to at least once for historical value, and the film soundtrack is great if you're into pop culture. But think, kids: No cut songs. No movie stars with iffy musical abilities. No hip-hop 'Cell-Block Tango'. The London CHICAGO is the one to own.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars No Place Like London....... May 25, 2002
Format:Audio CD
...I am a professional musician and play musicals all of the time, and am also a dancer and actor. I have found that most imports of musicals have a MUCH better grasp on the orchestral understandings and are able to play with the American flare much better than we do! This is very evident in the West End production of CHICAGO. The B'Way revival CAN'T TOUCH the orchestra on this London recording. The musicians play with an amazing flare and stylistic edge that this show requires.
Overall, the cast acts the show better. Fosse shows require a touch of characterization and melodrama...this production sees to instilling these elements. Ruthie Henshall is AMAZING as Roxie (as Anne Reinking is ust a poor rip-off of Gwen verdon). She provides dramaric sides to Roxie found no place else. The ensemble has soooo much energy that it creates an amazing backbone to this cd. This is very obvious in such numbers as the Cell block Tango when compared to the B'way revival. My biggest dissappointment of this recording is Mary Sunshine...never before have I heard such a poor rendition of "A Little Bit Of Good."
Granted there are other little imperfections, but nothing to warrant a suggestion NOT to purchase this cd. This recording is definitely worth it!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
fun to listen to
Published 1 month ago by Sandra E. Russell
4.0 out of 5 stars Kander Cd is Great
A great re-make on this show written many years ago. Glad to have this copy in my collection. Wonderful is the way to say it.
Published 16 months ago by Charles J. Anctil
4.0 out of 5 stars This is the London version
The vocals are fine but I felt that, in places, the vocal pronunciations were a bit overdone. Not as good as the original
Published 17 months ago by Carol McCauley
5.0 out of 5 stars Chicago - The Musical (1998 London Cast)
Chicago - The Musical (1998 London Cast) is the 1998 recording with the London Cast of the musical Chicago. The booklet contains a synopsis and a cast list but no lyrics. Read more
Published on June 8, 2012 by Bjorn Viberg
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Cast and Great Harmonies!!!
I've notice many reviews focus on Ute & Ruthie and either she's an awful Velma/she's an awful Roxie. Read more
Published on December 14, 2009 by BobbyZup
1.0 out of 5 stars Sadly... another recording "don't!"
Critics on this page would have you believe that this recording contains better vocals than the Broadway Revival -- and while the vocals are bang on, the harsh mock-American... Read more
Published on March 2, 2006 by j
5.0 out of 5 stars Third of Four Great Recordings of the show
It's unique in recording history when four productions of a musical are staged (and/or filmed) and all four produce superb original cast/soundtrack albums. Read more
Published on November 4, 2005 by A. Andersen
4.0 out of 5 stars Great - the best we can expect
This recording of the 1997 London revival with the breathtaking musical greats Ruthie Henshall and Ute Lemper, has got to be the best we can expect from this show. Read more
Published on August 15, 2005 by Phil Glew
5.0 out of 5 stars Easily the best recording of the show
The excellent original cast album is sadly truncated, the longer Broadway revival album features performances that aren't as impressive off stage, and the soundtrack (like the... Read more
Published on August 11, 2005 by Michael A. Benedetto
4.0 out of 5 stars A great version of "Chicago". Henshall and Lemper shine!
The 1998 London version of the smash hit Broadway Musical Chicago, is quite a good album.

Ruthie Henshall and Ute Lemper are the two leading ladies. Read more
Published on August 5, 2004 by Lou
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