7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
An Uneven Guilty Pleasure,
By A Customer
This review is from: The New Starlight Express (1992 London Revival Cast) (Audio CD)
For those who saw the show on Broadway or on a U.S. National Tour, this version will be closer to what you saw than the Original London Cast Recording (OLC). I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not as the versions are quite different.
For those new to "Starlight Express", the show is a simple story of the "Little Train That Could" (U.S) or "Thomas the Tank Engine" (U.K.). The show has many common elements with "Cats" in that the bulk of the "story" is with the presentation of different kinds of trains, and there is virtually no plot.
You will like it if you like the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, else this will reinforce your dislike of him. Personally, I find this one a guilty pleasure and am willing to look past the story shortfalls and enjoy the music (as well as the visual extravaganza that was the stage show).
For those already familiar with the OLC, this is a single CD which means there is a fair bit cut out, and the tempos are probably a bit faster than on stage to fit in the 70 minute running time. For those familiar with the Joseph revival, the same overproduced sound is present here along with a space wasting Megamix. Having had the OLC first, it did take a few listens to overcome the differences and enjoy this CD for what it is.
The revival has eliminated the C.B (the red caboose) which means "There's Me" is gone. "Only You" is now "Next Time You Fall in Love" which amounts to a push. "Freight is Great" is still here, and even though it's presented differently, it's still not a very good song. The addition of "Crazy" and "Make Up My Heart" are nice.
If you are trying to fill some gaps in your Lloyd Webber collection, then this is definitely a good pickup (skip the U.S. "Concept" album which is a waste). If you only want to spend money on one version, I would recommend the OLC because it's got more music and is still in print. The revival CD is going to be pricier and would not recommend paying more than $30 for it. But, if you like the show, then you will not be disappointed.