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Les Miserables - The Original French Concept Album
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Les Miserables - The Original French Concept Album [Soundtrack]

Maurice Barrier, Jacques Mercier, Claude-Michel Schonberg, Rose Laurens, Alain BoublilAudio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)

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Audio CD, Import, Cast Recording, 2003 $15.58  
Audio CD, Soundtrack, 1991 --  
Vinyl, 1990 --  
Audio Cassette, Soundtrack, 1990 --  

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 1, 1991)
  • Original Release Date: January 31, 1989
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Relativity
  • ASIN: B000003C5B
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,433 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. La Journee Est Finie
2. L'Air De La Misere
3. Les Beaux Cheveux Que Voila
4. J'avais Reve D'Une Autre Vie
5. Dietes-moi Ce Qui Se Passe
6. Fantine Et Monsieur Madeleine
7. Mon Prince Est En Chemin
8. Mam'zelle Crapaud
9. La Devise Du Cabaretier
10. Valjean Chez Les Thenardier
See all 14 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. A La Vlonte du Peuple
2. Cosette: Dans La Vie
3. Marius: Dans La Vie
4. Voila Le Soir Qui Tombe
5. Le Coeur Au Bonheur (Cosette Et Marius)
6. L'Un Vers L'Autre
7. La Faute A Voltaire
8. La Nuit De L'Angoisse
9. Demain (Final Act 2)
10. Ce N'Est Rien
See all 18 tracks on this disc

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
62 of 63 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
This is the one that got the whole thing started!
For all the loyal fans of Les Miserables, this is a must own. Even if you do not speak French, this album is a real jewel. I found that, as I suspected, the French version's songs are much nicer, more natural, and have better rhymes. Among my favorites: La Journée Est Finie (At the end of the day), J'Avais RÍvé d'Une Autre Vie (I dreamed a dream), Mon Prince Est en Chemin (Castle in the cloud), La Devise du Cabaretier (Master of the House), Le Coeur au Bonheur (A heart full of love) to mention just a few.
This recording became the first version of the stage show in Paris in 1978, long before Schonberg (music) and Boublil (lyrics) ever imagined that a French musical could be adapted for the English speaking world, to later become a multinational, multi-language phenomenon. For obvious reasons, in order to adapt it for the English play, the original concept had to be modified . Segments and songs were added to familiarize the English speaking public with a novel that is standard reading in any French school, and considered by many as the second most read book in history (after the Bible).
The work is faithful to Hugo's novel which was first published in France and Belgium in 1862. Although the novel is very lengthy and rich in infinitesimal details, the main plot around Fantine, Cosette, Valjean, Marius, Javert and others remains truly genuine; unlike the English version, this one does not have the climatic ending.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fans owe themselves this recording! February 17, 2001
Format:Audio CD
I only know a handful of words in French. However, this does not stop me from knowing a great recording when I hear it. And this is a great recording.
For me, the highlights of this 2-disc Boublil & Schönberg masterwork are "L'Air De La Misère," "J'avais RÍvé D'Une Autre Vie," "A La Volonté du Peuple," "L'Un Vers L'Autre," and "La Faute A Voltaire." "L'Air..." was sung beautifully by Fantine here, though it would go on to be the intimately familiar "On My Own" in the English version, sung by Éponine. Fantine got to keep "J'avais RÍvé..." as "I Dreamed A Dream," though it also contains a snippet that would be used as the basis for "Lovely Ladies." In my opinion, "A La Volonté du Peuple" will never be eclipsed by its English counterpart "Do You Hear the People Sing?", much as I love the latter. "La Faute A Voltaire" was based on poetry by Victor Hugo, and the main theme will run under "Little People" in the show.
It's a fundamentally different piece than the Cameron Mackintosh production, but I think it is also an absolutely perfect complement to the various recordings of the stage version. The orchestrations are interesting, as there is no readily apparent synthesizer (and the stage versions would use them heavily). As a whole, it perfectly preserves the spirit of Victor Hugo's massive novel.
Highest honor in this album goes to Rose Laurens as Fantine, with close seconds going to Michel Sardou for Enjolras and Marie (this is the only name the notes give) as Éponine.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
I love this CD. Although I am not a fan of concept albums in general, and always prefer cast recordings, this one is filled with simply wonderful voices and touching performances. The lyrics are good and sound enchanting in French.
While a lot is obviously missing from this CD-- many songs were later added such as "Bring him home"-- I was absolutely amazed by the quality of the performances. I am not certain of all the names of the performers, so I'll refrain from mentioning them, so as not to make a mistake.
Fantine on this record is incredible-- her songs are so touching and emotional she can rival any of the best stage Fantines, and then some. And I like "L'air de la misere" which later obviously became Eponine's "On my own" much better in this format.
Valjean doesn't have many parts strangely enough, but I always thought a tenor Valjean was a bit strange. Here, he is a baritone, who sounds his age, and is very touching.
I love the "Master of the House"!-- this song and the singer fit together so well here, it's definitely the best version I have ever heard. The overreacting and oversinging of this song in the other Les Miz recordings goes on my nerves, and the exaggerated English and wacky voices that are somehow always employed make it sound like Muppet Show. Here, it's fantastic.
The young Cosette and Gavroche are exeptional. And the song which later became "Castle on a cloud" is just more heartfelt than in the other versions I have heard (make that 'all the other CDs'). I also love the Eponine and older Cosette here, while Enjolras's voice completely blew me away (very powerful). Marius is the only, well, not 'mediocre' performer, but he sounds like most other Mariuses I have heard since then.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Pre Les Mis Concept Album - If You're a Fan, You Will Love This...
This is an unusual album. It is said to be the album used to sell the concept of the musical. It's beautifully executed (in French). Read more
Published 5 months ago by Gary L. Misch
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Is a excelent version
Published 7 months ago by carlos guerra
5.0 out of 5 stars The best way to hear Les Mis is in this original ...
The best way to hear Les Mis is in this original French concept version. It's in French, sung by French vocalists, performed by French instrumentalists. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Victor Neves
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great but different than the London production
Published 10 months ago by Peter F Adam
5.0 out of 5 stars Les Mis at it should be
The original French cast ensemble, sung in French. Gritty, funny, tragic, familiar. If you're a fan of Les Mis on Broadway, you'll want to hear this version. Read more
Published 15 months ago by spacepiggy
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for the Collector
The collector and enthusiast of Les Misérables would most likely love this; the passing dilettante, not so much, of course.
Published 17 months ago by John
3.0 out of 5 stars Problem
This came with a flaw on one of the tracks that can been seen by the naked eye (waviness). I wrote to the 'whoever' who never cared to replace it for me, so I am stuck with a... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Songbird
5.0 out of 5 stars presents a beautiful perspective of Les Mis
It is really worth hearing the French version of Les Miserables! --Indeed, it is a great gift for those who appreciate great music, language, and literature.
Published 19 months ago by DutchDivaMom
5.0 out of 5 stars Les Miserables in French
It is great to hear this wonderful musical in the original French language. Even if one does not understand French, if you loved Les Mis, you will love this album.
Published 21 months ago by John B.
5.0 out of 5 stars Les Miserables(Broadway)
This is a awesome soundtrack it is fun and enjoyable to listen to. the best songs on this soundtrack are all of them. Read more
Published 24 months ago by David
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