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

4.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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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.
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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 (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #781,776 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer 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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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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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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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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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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By A Customer on April 27, 2001
Format: Hardcover
My first impression of this book was that Michael Walsh must only be a fan of The Phantom of the Opera. It honestly seems to be the only show that he doesn't have an unkind word for. However, once you get past the comments that might be offensive to serious fans, you find a great wealth of material on the inside life of Lord Lloyd Webber. Everything is covered in this book, from the origins of his nickname (Bumper) to Jean's pet monkeys and days in "Bohemian" Lloyd Webberdom, to the recent revivals and productions of his shows. Even the musical structures of some songs from each show are analyzed. This is only the beginning; there is lots of great information that any fan will find infinitely interesting. Now if only Mr. Walsh would lighten up....
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