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


Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)


Various Genres

4.17 | 195 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars "Jesus Christ Superstar" was a multimedia project: double studio album, musical, film. It had a great success with the public and critics for three main reasons: 1) The idea of ​​staging the story of the last two weeks Jesus actualized in the present was brilliant 2) The writing of music and lyrics was excellent 3) Singers and musicians were talented, and very inspired.

"Jesus Christ Superstar" was written by Tim Rice (lyrics) and Andrew Lloyd Webber (music), two great composers of lyrics and musical music, as attested by this album and by their subsequent career at JCS ("Evita", "Cats" and many other successful musicals).

The album's story follows the Synoptic Gospels and Fulton J. Sheen's Life of Christ. The lyrics put emphasis on the interpersonal relationships between Jesus, Judas and Mary Magdalene, anticipating many studies and many works of art (literary and musical) on the figures of Judas and Magdalene, which in the last 50 years have been re-evaluated and re-interpreted in a new key according to the message of Christian salvation. In particular, Judas is seen today by many not as a traitor but as a man forced to fulfill his role so that the divine plan is accomplished.

The music alternates epic and pompous moments, such as the famous "Overture" melody, at more melodic, more modest moments, at more progressive moments, at moments with a beat and response typical of the musical, at almost psychedelic moments. Overall, the music is always very creative even when not remarkable. I am not a lover of the musical (which tends to get tired, usually), but I recognize in this work a great inspiration both in music and lyrics, and I recognize that these two planes are very well combined with each other. So, although my involvement is alternate in this work, in any case I recognize his excellent inspiration. In the most melodic and dialogue moments, there are some refrains that have made epochs, as catchy and contagious, like this:

"What's the buzz? Tell me What's happening!" Taken from these lyrics (very inspired): "Apostles): What's the buzz? Tell me what's a-happening. (Jesus): Why should you want to know? Don't you mind about the future. Don't you try to think ahead Save tomorrow for tomorrow Think about today instead I could give you facts and figures I could give you plans and forecasts Even tell you where I'm going. (Apostles): When do we Ride to Jerusalem? (Jesus): Why should you want to know Why are you obsessed with fighting Times and fates you can't defy? If you knew the path we're riding You'd understand it less than I. (Apostles): What's the buzz? Tell me what's happening. (Mary Magdalene): Let me try To cool down your face a bit. (Jesus) That feels nice, so nice Mary, oooh, that is good While you prattle through your supper Where and when and who and how She alone has tried to give me What I need right here and now. (Apostles): What's the buzz Tell me what's happening. (Judas): It's a strange thing Mystifying That a man like you Can waste his time With women of her kind I can understand that she amuses you But to let her stroke you Kiss your hair Is hardly in your line It's not that I object To her profession But it doesn't seem to square With what you do or say It doesn't help If you're inconsistant They only need a small excuse To put us all away. (Jesus): Who are you To criticize her? Who are you To despise her? Leave her, leave her Let her be now Leave her, leave her She's with me now If your slate is clean Then you can throw stones If your slate is not Then leave her alone! I'm amazed that men like you Can be so shallow, thick, and slow There is not a man among you Who knows or cares if I come or go (Apostles, except Judas) No you are wrong You're very wrong How can you say that! How can you say that! (Jesus) Not one, not one of you."

The caliber of the performers has allowed some pieces of excellent writing to have great performances, think (to say one) to the vocal and instrumental performance in "Gethsemane (I Only Want to Say)". The singers were: Ian Gillan (Jesus), singer of Deep Purple, Murray Head (Judas Iscariot), Yvonne Elliman (Mary Magdalene), Victor Brox (Caiaphas, High Priest), Barry Dennen (Pontius Pilate). Many of the primary musicians, like guitarists Neil Hubbard and Henry McCullough, bassist Alan Spenner, and drummer Bruce Rowland, they came from Joe Cocker's backing group The Grease Band. John Gustafson (Simon Zealotes) was the singer of Quatermass, then bassist of Roxy Music. Peter Robinson, who plays piano, electric piano, organ, positive organ, was the ingenious mind of Quatermass. Tony Ashton (backing vocals), was a great pianist, present on "It's Only a Movie", album of Family (1973).

Vote album: 9. Rating: Five Stars.

jamesbaldwin | 5/5 |


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