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Jesus Christ Superstar (Original London Concept Recording) Cast Recording, Original recording remastered

221 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Cast Recording, Original recording remastered, September 24, 1996
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Includes Heaven on Their Mind; Strange Thing Mystifying; The Temple; Peter's Denial; King Herod's Song (Try It and See); Could We Start Again Please?; Trial Before Pilate; Superstar, and more. 25 tracks total.

It may not have been the first rock opera (the Who's Tommy was released in 1969), but Jesus Christ Superstar was a legendary album long before it hit the stage, thanks to Tim Rice's compelling book and lyrics combined with Andrew Lloyd Webber's irresistible music. Telling the story of the last days of Christ from the point of view of Judas (Murray Head), the still-unmatched original cast also stars Deep Purple's Ian Gillan as Jesus and Yvonne Elliman as Mary Magdalene, the role she made into a career (with a cameo on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack). Decades later, such songs as "Superstar," "I Don't Know How to Love Him," "Heaven on Their Minds," and "Everything's Alright" still retain their extraordinary power. --David Horiuchi

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Overture
  2. Heaven On Their Minds
  3. What's The Buzz/Strange Thing Mystifying
  4. Everything's Alright
  5. This Jesus Must Die
  6. Hosanna
  7. Simon Zealotes/Poor Jerusalem
  8. Pilate's Dream
  9. Temple, The
  10. Everything's Alright [30 seconds long]
  11. I Don't Know How To Love Him
  12. Damned For All Time/Blood Money

Disc: 2

  1. Last Supper, The
  2. Gethsemane(I Only Want To Say)
  3. Arrest, The
  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 39 Lashes)
  9. Superstar
  10. Crucifixion
  11. John Nineteen Forty-One

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 24, 1996)
  • Original Release Date: 1996
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Cast Recording, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Verve
  • ASIN: B000002P4H
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (221 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,971 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

254 of 261 people found the following review helpful By Roger Williams on May 12, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Andrew Lloyd Webber's showtunesy, over-orchestrated bombast is nowhere to be found here. This is the original London Concept recording featuring Deep Purple's Ian Gillan as Jesus, and Murray Head's wonderfully anguished (and sometimes downright unsettling) performance as Judas Iscariot. This is not the hippy dippy passion of St. Matthew as told in "Godspell", but rather, much darker, much more intimate, and conveys the story of Christ as a man, who doesn't really want to die.
The incredibly loud orchestra of the stage performance is toned down a bit, showcasing the excellent rock songs that made this album a #1 hit in 1971. I first heard this album when I was about 4 or 5 years old, and still, even today, there's a chill that runs down my back when Judas sings "Heaven on Their Minds" or when Jesus screams "just watch me die!" in "Gethsemane". Not one of the endless movie soundtrack, or broadway versions can hold a candle to this interpretation. It's the only Jesus Christ Superstar one needs to own.
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101 of 105 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on November 17, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Believe it or not, I first heard "Jesus Christ Superstar" when it was played for us in my freshman English class in high school (I think our student teacher was trying to show he was cool, because there was no assignment to go with spending two days listening to the album). I also remember trying to remember how the theme for the title song went so I could keep it in my mind and thinking that this really was an opera because the two main characters are both dead at the end, certainly a traditional ending in many operas. The controversy over this two-album studio production was like a firestorm and focused on two key issues:
First, there was the uproar that rock music was being used to tell a religious story; you have to remember that this was a time when having a folk mass or service was seen as being cutting-edge radicalism in Christianity. But Andrew Lloyd Webber's music involves much more than rock, although certainly the guitar that opens the "Overture" is a definitive statement. "I Don't Know How to Love Him" is a traditional pop ballad, as Helen Reddy proved with her cover that hit the charts, while "John Nineteen Forty-One" is a classical piece for strings. "King Herod's Song" stands out as one of those stylistic pastiches that Lloyd Webber loves (as we would later see in "Cats" and "Phantom of the Opera"). More importantly, it seems to me that the rock music is used strategically. Certainly Judas has songs that are more rock oriented (e.g., "Heaven on Their Minds," "Damned for All Time") when compared to those for sung by Jesus (e.g., "Gethsemane"), which makes sense in terms of character dynamics.
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86 of 90 people found the following review helpful By Eric V. Moye on March 15, 2000
Format: Audio CD
After thirty years, this is still moving. The performances nothing less than spectacular.
Murray Head as Judas steals the performance, to my mind. The rest of Deep Purple never got from Ian Gillian what Rice and Webber were able to, but maybe portraying Jesus will do that for a Brother. Hearing Yvonne Elliman's positively angellic voice as Mary singing "Everything's Alright" would tempt even a Saint. I cannot recall who portrayed Ciaphas, but the depth of his voice is awsome.
Aside from the great music, the story is much more multi-layered than I recall from Sunday School. The characters, including Jesus himself, seemed to be much more reachable. I remember listening to "I Only Want To Say", and marvelling about whether there was ever any doubt that came with being the Son of God. I saw Judas for the first time as a man who just had to do the things he did, and the disciples not as saints, but men with uncertainties too.
Even if you don't like the fabulous music (I'd bet against it), it is nothing if not thought provoking. One of those attributes alone would suffice. Both make it a great a couple of discs as one could want.
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55 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Tpesikoff on January 12, 2000
Format: Audio CD
The question is not whether or not you should purchase the soundtrack to Jesus Christ Superstar, but which recording to get. There are a variety of recordings from which to choose, so do your homework. I wrestled with this issue, but ultimately settled on this remastered recording for a number of reasons. Firstly, the performances are the best of the three that I would include in the set of legitimate possibles (this original cast recording, the movie soundtrack and the 20th anniversary London Cast). Ian Gillian as Jesus and Murray Head and Judas are spectacular. Secondly, they did a great job remastering this recording as the music is crisp and clear--much more so than you would expect from a 25+ year old reel. I weighed the fact that this recording does not have "Can We Start Again, Please", which was added to the score later, against the vibrancy of the performance and decided to go with this one. If you're going to get a recording of the full musical, this is the one to get.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie Dray on April 16, 2003
Format: Audio CD
There are musicals, there are operas, and then there is Jesus Christ Superstar.
It is different than anything else you have ever heard, and anything else ever made. It's even different than anything else Andrew Loyd Webber or Tim Rice ever did again. While both of them went on to be famous and produce other respectable pieces, neither of them ever touched the heavans again. This was their moment of truth.
This album represents one of those rare times in history when talent, inspiration and magic clashed in a way that goes beyond music, into politics and into spirituality that affected the entire generation that listened to it.
The lyrics tell a story that we all know, and yet they tell it in such a human way that one cannot help but be drawn into the story on a more personal level. How jaded we become looking at that crucifix at the front of the church and that unknown unknowable God upon it. This album will remove all that, and confront you with a divinity that is reflected in humanity--our awfulness and the beauty we are capable of.
The performances are haunting and raw. Intense. Did I saw raw? So raw, primal and powerful that you will not be able to tolerate any other rendition. These people had to have known what they were doing--had to have known what they had stumbled over, because they give the performances of their lives. Voices that will stay in your head and figure into your thinking about God and mankind, even if you are an atheist.
You will cry at the whips. You will cry as the nails are driven in. You will cry when Judas hangs himself. You will identify with Pontius Pilate's unfathomable rage. You will find yourself laughing at Herod's song, and feeling guilty for it.
There has never been a time since I was a child that I have listened to this album and not been profoundly moved.
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Jesus Christ SuperStar
A year and a half late and a dollar short. The original album was an opera recording. The first movie with Ted Neeley has a soundtrack. I saw the theatrical version last night at Savannah Civic Center. Ted Neeley still has it, in his 60s. Absolutely outstanding performances, and Judas was... Read More
Jun 6, 2008 by Karen Anderson |  See all 3 posts
JCS (1970) Gold 1996 or 2012 UK remastered. Which one? Be the first to reply
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Jesus Christ Superstar (Original London Concept Recording)
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