Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber
Lyrics: Tim Rice
I like movies and I like musicals, but in general, I don't like movies based on stage musicals. I'm guessing because movie producers like to take something simple and "Hollywood-ize" it. This 1996 movie based on the '70s stage musical, wonderfully directed by Alan Parker, is the exception that proves the rule. Although Big Hollywood stuff, I still liked it, bought this 2 CD soundtrack, bought the VHS. Jonathan Pryce nails his role and Antonio Banderas did better than I thought he would. Madonna's performance was better than her usual acting efforts, but even her earnest efforts can't overcome her thin voice. But then, she's always been more of an entertainer than musician. The show's narrative is truly heart-wrenching and the actors bring out the best aspects of the genre. As far as the songwriting goes, [shrug] it sounds like Lloyd Webber. It's not as good as Cats but it isn't as bad as Phantom Of The Opera. It succeeds by the surprisingly low standard set by the American musical theater: it has a few tunes the audience might hum as they leave the theater.
Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #2
Tracks: As with most musicals, there's about 5 or 6 solid melodies that appear with different lyrics throughout the work. My favorites are Another Suitcase In Another Hall, The Lady's Got Potential, and I'd Be Surprisingly Good For You as well as all the later songs that share those melodies. There's also more recitative-type speak song that exist to move the story forward. Those are fine in the context of the movie, but a chore to listen to on the soundtrack.
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: I've never seen the stage musical. If memory serves, I saw this movie with my lovely mother. Loved the movie and this soundtrack when they first came out, but that feeling passed quickly. I probably haven't listened to this CD set in 15 years.
Previously revisited for the blog:
Madonna - Don't Cry For Me Argentina (1997)