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Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) - Jesus Christ Superstar CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)


Various Genres

4.21 | 178 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Well, first I have to say that I`m not a Fan of Musical Theatre works. In fact, I despised some of the Musicals. I also have to say that I saw this work done by an unknown theatrical company, in 2003, without paying a ticket because it was a free presentation. I also saw last year "Victor Victoria" with a "courtesy ticket" because the girlfriend of one of my brothers works promoting theatrical works. This last time I saw "Victor Victoria" with first level actors, actresses, dancers, and a very good orchestra. It made me appreciate how much hard work is behind the presentation of this kind of works. So, I don`t despise them, but I`m not a fan of them, still after seeing them live.

Well, this release has a very impressive list of very good Rock musicians, like Ian Gillan, John Gustafson, the members of the "Grease Band" (which were part of Joe Cocker`s touring band), etc. It seems that Rice and Webber really spent a lot of money trying to give a lot of credibility to their Rock Opera in 1970! Well, I also have to say that I think that I only listened once to this release a very long time ago, so my commentaries are not exclusively in reference to this release, but mostly are in reference to the content of the music and lyrics. I saw the Film too, once or twice. I really laughed sometimes seeing this kind of semi- Hippie Rock Opera. But something changed my mind in late June 2003:

In those days, one of my brothers, who is a guitarist and who has a friend who plays the keyboards (very well too), phoned me asking me to go for a a chat with them, so I went to see them. They told me that a theatrical company, which were using backing tapes then, asked them to learn some songs from "Jesus Christ Superstar" to gradually help the company to substitute the backing tapes and with the band later to learn to play the whole Rock Opera live! I laughed a bit, and I said: "Well, why not? How much they pay?" We had only a month to learn those nine or ten songs. They gave us some cassettes of the Spanish version of this theatrical work. The keyboard player called one of his friends to play the bass. But the "formal rehearsals" with the band started badly because everybody had day jobs and family obligations, so for two days I was the only one who appeared at the place (my brother`s house) for rehearsals. I listened to the tape several times. I even played the drums along the musical pieces, and... I found that it really wasn`t very easy to play this kind of music! The songs have several changes in time signatures, heavy orchestral arrangements, etc. We were only a quartet to play all these orchestral arrangements! So, I started to have doubts about learning the material in just one month, with that month including rehearsals with the whole theatrical company! I realized then that it wasn`t as easy as we thought, and with the lack of time for rehearsals due to other obligations, even if I found the lyrics with the musical notes for the songs in some JSC Fans`s websites, I said to them that we needed more time and compromise to play the work properly and better organization with the teatrical company, so I finally said "I`m not going to play it if there is not enough time to rehearse it properly". The other three musicians realized that too, so they also say "No", and I really realized then that they were not very much motivated to play the "Jesus Christ Superstar" Rock Opera because they really didn`t like it!

After this long paragraph, the conclusion is that this Rock Opera really has very interesing music, very well constructed, with very good orchestral arrangements, variable time signatures, etc. I could call some of these arrangements as "Progressive". So, I don`t despise anymore this theatrical work. I really don`t like the film and some parts of the music, but this kind of works really represent a hard work for everybody involved in the proper presentation to the public.

Guillermo | 3/5 |


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