Shaun's Jukebox #4: The Andrew Lloyd Webber Edition

To bring Andrew Lloyd Webber week on Shaun's Musical Musings to a close, I thought there'd be nothing better than a special edition of Shaun's Jukebox to get us in the spirit for the weekend. Andrew Lloyd Webber isn't my favourite composer ever, but I most definitely adore a fair few of his shows so today, I thought I'd take you through a couple of them (and picking was hard - I had to avoid shows like Phantom and Cats and Starlight Express!)
Evita is one of my top 10 favourite musicals of all time so I have several different cast recordings from the show's many different productions, but this one is most definitely my favourite of them all. Elena Roger has an absolutely stunning voice and even though the 2012 Broadway transfer's album from this production - also starring Elena Roger as well as Ricky Martin and Tony Award-winner Michael Cerveris - is amazing, I do prefer this album. My favourite picks from it? Buenos Aires is a beautiful performance from Elena Roger as well as Oh, What A Circus! performed by Matt Rawle, and High Flying, Adored... and A New Argentina... and Another Suitcase in Another Hall - gah, IT'S SUCH A GOOD ALBUM!

I am beyond excited to see Glenn Close return to her iconic performance as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard in April and to celebrate, I've been falling back in love with this amazing cast recording. The show itself is stunning yet slow overall, but it's a gorgeous piece nonetheless and Glenn Close really is the embodiment of Norma Desmond; a role that feels like it's been made for her. My picks from this album include the iconic With One Look and As If We Never Said Goodbye, as well as The Greatest Star of All and the amazingly-captured Final Scene.

This is another musical, a bit like Cats and Starlight Express, that people are extremely surprised to hear I enjoy; I do really like Jesus Christ Superstar. Even more weird than that is that I actually *prefer* it when this show is staged in a standard theatre, unlike an arena as a rock performance, which is what ALW originally intended for the show. I find this religious story weirdly gripping and the movie adaptation was one of the first movie musicals I ever saw (a teacher brought in the DVD and showed us it when I was around 7 in an RE 'lesson' - a memory I'll never forget!). My favourites from the album? Of course I love Superstar* and I Don't Know How To Love Him, as well as the amazing Herod's Song. Also, fact of the day: did you know that the album was originally banned by the BBC in the UK on ground of it being "sacreligious"!?

What are your favourite Andrew Lloyd Webber albums, or other theatre albums in general? Tweet me @shaunycat to let me know, and check out the rest of the Shaun's Jukebox series here on SMM!

*Unfortunately, I couldn't find a YouTube video of the exact recording of Superstar from the album, so enjoy the amazing 2012 Broadway revival cast performing it on the Tonys instead!

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