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Godspell Cast Recording
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This timeless tale of friendship, loyalty and love has touched the hearts of countless theatergoers all over the world--and now you can join the celebration as a spectacular ensemble of Broadway's best, including Hunter Parrish (Spring Awakening, Showtime's "Weeds"), Telly Leung ("Glee", Wicked), Anna Maria Perez de Tagle ("Hannah Montana", Camp Rock), performs the greatest story ever told. So come sing about love at GODSPELL! Featuring exclusive bonus track of "Beautiful City" sung by John Ondrasik from Five For Fighting.
Top Customer Reviews
Case in point: "By My Side". Any admirer of "Godspell" knows how haunting this can be. In this recording, unfortunately, the singers have decided that the music and lyrics are too under-stated: they overwhelm the song with that awful fake emotion that is rife on shows like the international "Idol" talent contests and "Glee". You know, never be content with one note when a syllable can be drawn out to allow three, make sure the audience knows they are supposed to be moved by adopting a caricature of sadness in your voice.
I could go on, but no recording of "Godspell" leaves me in an overly nasty mood, and there are certainly good things here. The new arrangement of "All Good Things" is the best I've heard, "Learn Your Lessons" and "All for the Best" are as exuberant and cheeky as they should be, and the new lyrics of "Beautiful City" make moving and tasteful reference to the terrorist attacks on New York without interrupting the flow.
If, like me, you have a few recordings of this show, then this one is certainly a worthy addition to your collection. For what it's worth, I think that on CD the film soundtrack Godspell: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (now available here: Godspell: 40th Anniversary Celebration is the best of the lot.
The singers are good, albeit very Broadway-sounding. Some of the singing and rhythms seem forced, almost as if there was extreme effort in ensuring the songs sound different than the known (and loved) versions from decades prior. I appreciate purposeful dissonance as much as the next musician, but there seemed to be an over abundance of it just for the sake of doing it.
Let's talk about the songs. Godspell isn't Godspell without the flagship "Day By Day". While I prefer the old versions, I at least anticipated that this one song would be respected to keep as-is. Nope. The arrangement, while cool, instantly reminded me of a version that could have been performed by The 5th Dimension; so much for trying to bring it current. "We Beseech Thee" starts off with the same riff as Billy Joel's "My Life". "By My Side" (one of my faves) not only had a key change from the original (likely to accommodate the vocalist), but just seemed to be a bit disjointed. "O Bless the Lord My Soul" had a nice vocal until she decided to over sing it. There are other tracks that are less spectacular which I won't mention.
Amidst all this, however, were some bright spots and one stellar track.Read more ›
I did see the national tour (2013-2014), which has the same updated score as the 2011 Broadway production; the national tour is fantastic and it stayed with me long after I left the theater -- then I stumbled upon THIS version/recording online and ordered it, to reconnect with the music and feeling I had from the national tour production.
I was NOT disappointed. Certain songs like "God Save the People" and "Day by Day" are quite similar to the original motion picture soundtrack, but have different timing and beat. However - by far the biggest (AND BEST!) departure from the original is Beautiful City; this version is Jesus singing alone, and is extremely moving. The message it carries in this manner is remarkable. Additionally, the finale of this production is equally as moving as the original - but different, too.
If you are a die-hard Godspell fan from the 70's and have never seen a modernized version, this may sound slightly foreign to you (I imagine it's like being French and listening to a French Canadian speak) .. however if you have an open mind to embrace Godspell in modern times, and/or have seen a modern version; I highly recommend this album.
Stephen Schwartz is both the original composer, and composed the updated score - and I appreciate both his respect to the original, while carrying us forward in time.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Prefer the original recording. This one seems to be trying to hard.Published 3 months ago by Elizabeth Pond
I purchased this as a gift for my Godson, as his name is Mattei, and Godspell is based on Matthew's gospel. Well, what a huge success! Read morePublished 12 months ago by Beverley Gledhill
Prefer other renditions of this show. Wasn't impressed with the quality of the voices or the musical arrangements. Probably won't listen to it again :(Published 18 months ago by Jeannie Houck