Highlights From The Phantom Of The Opera: The Original London Cast Recording 1986 London Cast
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Highlights From The Phantom Of The Opera
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Media Type: CD
Artist: PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
Title: ORIGINAL CAST
Street Release Date: 10/10/1988
Genre: CAST RECORDINGS
Highlight versions of cast recordings are by definition a compromise, and this reduction of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera is no exception. Weighing in at 59 minutes, it's over 40 minutes shorter than the two-disc version, excising many musical scenes that convey the flow and impact of the show (which include, admittedly, a lot of patter and screaming). On the other hand, all the hits are here--"Think of Me," "Angel of Music," the title tune, "The Music of the Night," "All I Ask of You," "Masquerade," and "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again"--and Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman are still on hand to make their distinctive contributions to the original London cast. So if you're looking for a convenient, inexpensive single disc that will let you enjoy Lloyd Webber's scrumptious melodies without having to immerse yourself in the action, this just might be for you. --David Horiuchi
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But this particular recording is not great. The songs are stacked on top of each other so that they sometimes end or begin too abruptly. It's jagged sounding sometimes, instead of having smooth transitions. Part of this is likely due to the fact that this is a highlights CD, so the songs are cut out of the longer musical fabric of the show (if that makes any sense). This CD only has the main songs, so the music leading into them and the music following them might be cut out. (At least that's how I understand it.)
The rough transitions are especially noticeable in the final track, a 13-minute behemoth comprised of snippets of different verses from the show's final scenes. There are some Christine-Phantom songs mixed with angry mob stuff and it's really not put together very well. Again, it's because this is just the highlights. But it sounds pretty bad.
The CD comes in a kinda flimsy jewel case and there are no liner notes to speak of. But this is good music. It's Michael Crawford, Sarah Brightman and the original cast. If you like Phantom of the Opera, you'll like this CD. If you're curious about the show or just can't afford the full 2-disc set, this is the CD to get.