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Thread: Jesus Christ Superstar, The Original Album....

  1. #51
    Member Guitarplyrjvb's Avatar
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    Just gave this a couple of more listens. Wow! It's really great. The tune "Trial Before Pilate" with the lashes in the background against the funky rhythym section is spine chilling. The Grease Band's playing is great too. I remember when this came out in 1970 and how popular it was. I believe it was the #1 record in the US and even more popular in Norway where it was #1 for over 37 weeks. More popular in the US than Led Zeppelin IV, Tapestry, and Imagine. Highly recommended for your Passover, Easter and general listening pleasure.

  2. #52
    I probably already stated it in this thread, but Ian Gillan's performance of "Gesthemane" is his best-ever vocal performance on record, IMO.
    "A conspiracy of silence speaks louder than words."

    - Dr. Winston O'Boogie

  3. #53
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    I grew up listening to this LP in my parent's house. Scared me to death!!!
    Prog's Not Dead

  4. #54
    We also had this LP from the get go growing up and I was fascinated by it, and I've had the double CD ever since that came out. Also remember going to the movie (the theatrical movie--seems many in the early thread thought it was a TV movie) as a young teen with the family, which included my grandmother who was visiting. She was appalled at the skimpy "hippie clothes" the girls wore, but in the end the music and portrayal won her over. But the original soundtrack is much better than the movie soundtrack imo.

    Murray Head as Judas shined, esp Heaven on their Minds, as did Gillan and Yvonne Elliman, and always got a kick out of the humor (Herod--"prove to me that you're no fool, walk across my swimming pool") and The Last Supper--
    "Always thought that I'd be an Apostle
    Knew that I would make it if I tried.
    Then when we retire we can write the gospels
    So they'll still talk about us when we've died"
    Last edited by DocProgger; 03-30-2018 at 05:27 PM.

  5. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by miamiscot View Post
    I grew up listening to this LP in my parent's house. Scared me to death!!!
    Funny you mention that. During Halloween, when I have a graveyard scene set up, I often use "John Nineteen: Forty-One" for sound effects. It's creepy as hell.
    "A conspiracy of silence speaks louder than words."

    - Dr. Winston O'Boogie

  6. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by Guitarplyrjvb View Post
    The song "Damned for All Time/Blood Money" is a fantastic vocal performance by Murray Head! The aforementioned "Trial Before Pilate (including the 39 lashes)" is pretty poignant, too, with that cool guitar riff punctuated by the sound of the lash whipping Christ. It really get's to you in that it highlights how long it really takes to get 39 lashes. Man!

    The voice of Pilate, Barry Dennen also seemed familiar. He's the guy that plays "Caligula" in "The Robe". I guess one of his other claims to fame is that he shacked up for a while with Barbara Streisand.
    I would throw in Victor Box's ultimately menacing bass vocals as Caiaphas on "This Jesus Must Die". I remember watching the film for the first time and being very disappointed in the vocal performances overall -- the album versions of the songs were just so much better.
    "And your little sister's immaculate virginity wings away on the bony shoulders of a young horse named George who stole surreptitiously into her geography revision."

    Occasional musical musings on https://darkelffile.blogspot.com/

  7. #57
    Speaking of JCS, NBC is airing a live performance of it Sunday night. Seems an odd choice for Easter Sunday being that the play is largely from Judas' point of view, but I'll tune it.

  8. #58
    Member Guitarplyrjvb's Avatar
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    Alice Cooper as King Herrod..

  9. #59
    Hmm Interesting......for the holiday(!?).......most people mention Ian Gillan - not sure if the NYC Broadway cast was at the same time 1970 or 71 ? = I don't want to talk about it..... - do some research about the original NY cast (different album, different singers) you might be surprised what you find........Personally I'm not religious (about Andrew Loyd Weber musicals) = I think it had little to do with (the real Jesus Christ = mysterious topic.) Anyway, lots of Great singer musicians from that 'show' over the years - I've heard that many of them claim it to be blasphemy (to the church and/or God) after they have been in that show. - [like the parade they have in the Philippines for Easter where they reenact the crucifixion (!?)] - Yikes!!!

    Weird time lots of great music back then......lots of crazy people (I remember seeing online a downloadable RAR for Charles Manson Live at San Quenton - he was a good singer to) = I think people are more crazy Now unfortunately (or am I wrong - did music die - or is is just hiding?) = for some reason Charlton Heston in the film the planet of the apes comes to mind when he's locked in cage Screaming "It's a mad house, a mad house !!" ......... (I'm more into sci-fi, then religion for entertainment)

    Happy Easter!! (sorry I'm in a strange mood.) (working on some very cool music of my own {music is just hiding} - the biz died - we need to 'resurrect' some real music in the music 'industry' (but who is going to pay for it?) ........... how do we prevent the Internet from destroying all businesses? - Happy Holidays !!
    Last edited by PaulPb; 03-29-2018 at 09:52 PM.

  10. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by PaulPb View Post
    Hmm Interesting......for the holiday(!?).......most people mention Ian Gillian - not sure if the NYC Broadway cast was at the same time 1970 or 71 ? = I don't want to talk about it..... - do some research about the original NY cast (different album, different singers) you might be surprised what you find........Personally I'm not religious (about Andrew Loyd Weber musicals) = I think it had little to do with (the real Jesus Christ = mysterious topic.) Anyway, lots of Great singer musicians from that 'show' over the years - I've heard that many of them claim it to be blasphemy (to the church and/or God) after they have been in that show. - [like the parade they have in the Philippines for Easter where they reenact the crucifixion (!?)] - Yikes!!!

    weird time lots of great music back then......lots of crazy people (I remember seeing online a downloadable RAR for Charles Manson Live at San Quenton - he was a good singer to) = I think people are more crazy Now unfortunately (or am I wrong - did music die - or is is just hiding?) = for some reason Charlton Heston in the film the planet of the apes comes to mind when he's locked in cage Screaming "It's a mad house, a mad house !!" ......... Happy Easter!! (sorry I'm in a strange mood.) (working on some very cool music of my own {music is just hiding} - the biz died - we need to 'resurrect' some real music in the music 'industry' (but who is going to pay for it?) ........... how do we prevent the Internet from destroying all businesses? - Happy Holidays !!
    Wow. Sure hope you're not operating any heavy machinery tnite......

  11. #61
    "Wow. Sure hope you're not operating any heavy machinery tnite......"

    What cha mean ? - I never operate heavy machinery. - hope my stream of consciousness writing doesn't bother anyone - (correcting my spelling errors.) and what type of doctor are you?

    ( hear, see, speak no evil )?
    Last edited by PaulPb; 03-29-2018 at 10:12 PM.

  12. #62
    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    I probably already stated it in this thread, but Ian Gillan's performance of "Gesthemane" is his best-ever vocal performance on record, IMO.
    Hard to beat Steve Balsamo performance.


  13. #63
    Member Guitarplyrjvb's Avatar
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    ^^ No denying this guy can sing, but Gillan is still the definitive version for me. I think I heard him on JCS before I ever heard him in Purple.
    Last edited by Guitarplyrjvb; 03-29-2018 at 11:44 PM.

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronmac View Post
    I probably already stated it in this thread, but Ian Gillan's performance of "Gesthemane" is his best-ever vocal performance on record, IMO.
    When he sings "God, thy will is hard, but you hold every card" I get effin' chills.
    "Arf." -- Frank Zappa, "Beauty Knows No Pain" (live version)

  15. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by The Dark Elf View Post
    I would throw in Victor Box's ultimately menacing bass vocals as Caiaphas on "This Jesus Must Die". I remember watching the film for the first time and being very disappointed in the vocal performances overall -- the album versions of the songs were just so much better.
    Actually, I think it's Victor Brox,. who was at the time the lead singer and keyboard player for blues-rock band the Ainsley Dunbar Retaliation.

  16. #66
    Quote Originally Posted by rickm View Post
    Hard to beat Steve Balsamo performance.

    Yeah, that's pretty incredible. I think it's posted earlier in this thread. There's something about Gillan's performance that, to me, seems a bit less performance and more genuine. It could just be that Gillan's is audio only and my imagination fills in the visual. Nonetheless, if the original was Balsamo's and Gillan's came later, I'd likely think otherwise.
    "A conspiracy of silence speaks louder than words."

    - Dr. Winston O'Boogie

  17. #67
    Member Guitarplyrjvb's Avatar
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    Another part of JCS that I find to be a brilliant piece of vocal arranging is the vocals during "The Crucifixion". Weber mimics a murder of crows with chilling effect over Christ's final words on the cross.

  18. #68
    Quote Originally Posted by Guitarplyrjvb View Post
    Another part of JCS that I find to be a brilliant piece of vocal arranging is the vocals during "The Crucifixion". Weber mimics a murder of crows with chilling effect over Christ's final words on the cross.
    Chilling, indeed.
    "A conspiracy of silence speaks louder than words."

    - Dr. Winston O'Boogie

  19. #69
    My parents bought the vinyl when it came out (in the box, as mentioned earlier). I think they might even still have it. So it was in the house when I was growing up, but I don't really have any memory of liking it or anything until college, when I good friend of mine was raving about how good it was. I then played their vinyl and was blown away by how great it was. My parents eventually got the CD version and I burned a copy, but I have no idea what happened to my copy. I haven't heard it in many years, but this thread is making me think I should probably buy my own copy. I'm a little wary about a remaster........can anyone give a comparison to the original? Is it as good, better, or not a great remaster?

    I've been covering a couple songs from it for many years, so it would be cool to hear it again after so many years.

    I think I may have seen the movie maybe once, but don't remember anything about it (I do remember friends telling me nothing was better than the original studio album).

    Also, I swear I read somewhere that Geddy Lee played Christ in a stage production of it in the late 70's, but never knew if that was true or not. Anyone here know? I would sure love to hear how he handled it though.

  20. #70
    Quote Originally Posted by Supersonic Scientist View Post
    I still have my original double LP which came in a "box".

    Back in the early '90's, I was doing a lot of Pit Band work and I had the honor to play lead guitar for a production of this. Very challenging since it is an opera and the music never stops! Some GTR change-overs from electric to acoustic had to be done in the space of 1 or 2 measures!!!

    High-pressure but also highly rewarding too.
    yep, still have that original box too! Always loved this album...our young grade 6 teacher took half hour of class each day to listen to the album, she printed us all lyric sheets so we could follow along. Then we had discussion about the songs and lyrics we heard. Back when education was realer.

  21. #71
    Back in late 70s a friend and I went to some theatre in Buffalo to see the original broadway crew perform this. Ok, we were high as a kite, but honestly one of the most brilliant things I've ever seen, to this day. They had an incredible 5 piece rock band in the pit, surrounded by the orchestra...the singers/actors were fuckin brilliant, the stage was amazing with it's hydraulic scene changes...just top notch. But the musical part was so good, it hurt, I swear.

  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by flowerking View Post
    Speaking of JCS, NBC is airing a live performance of it Sunday night. Seems an odd choice for Easter Sunday being that the play is largely from Judas' point of view, but I'll tune it.
    But John Legend is not Jesus. Sorry. Everyone knows that's Ian Gillan.
    Prog's Not Dead

  23. #73
    When that grade 6 teacher introduced us to the album, she told us that the first choice for Jesus was John Lennon. He either couldn't or wouldn't, can't recall. But she did add that she was the world's biggest Beatles fan, but still felt Gillan was the much better choice. Edumacation.

  24. #74
    Man of repute progmatist's Avatar
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    I bought this album years ago because I was a huge Deep Purple fan, and Gillan is the lead. Turned out to be one of my most serendipitous purchases ever.
    "Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"--Dalai Lama

  25. #75
    ieugch!! I hate Broadway musicals -

    Did you ever see the very popular 1970's Christian piece of jewlery - the agonized head of christ (just the head on half cross)? really ugly - you could probabally find it if you did a google search.....

    Well I was in NYC (greenwich village) to see a friends band perform at the newish knitting factory (on leonard street).....

    Walking around town (it must have late July 1997?) there were these posters all over town......

    That same agonozed head of christ on the cross, with a very hot Womens Bikini/physique models body ...!?!? - I think it was an advet for a strip club in the area.......Absurd.

    I wish I had a photo of that so I could post it here.

    "In this business you have to play the blues or sing with a high voice" 200 motels

    wikipedia:

    Principal roles[edit]

    Character Voice type Description
    Jesus Christ tenor (A2–G5) Title role, leader of the twelve disciples, called the "Son of God" and the "King of the Jews."
    Judas Iscariot tenor (D3–D5) One of the twelve apostles of Jesus; concerned for the poor and the consequences of Jesus's fame.
    Mary Magdalene mezzo-soprano (F3–E♭5) A female follower of Jesus who finds herself falling in love with him.
    Pontius Pilate baritenor (A2–B4) Governor of Judea who foresees the events of Jesus's crucifixion from beginning to aftermath in a dream and finds himself being presented with that very situation.
    Caiaphas bass (C♯2–F4) One of the main antagonists of the show. High priest who sees Jesus as a threat to the nation.
    Annas countertenor (G2–D5)
    One of the main antagonists of the show. Fellow priest at the side of Caiaphas who is persuaded by Caiaphas into seeing Jesus as a threat.
    Peter baritone (A2–G4) One of Jesus's twelve apostles; denies Jesus three times upon the night of Jesus's arrest to save himself.
    Simon Zealotes tenor (G3–B4) One of Jesus's twelve apostles; urges Jesus to lead his followers into battle against the Romans.
    King Herod tenor (C♯3–G4) The King of Galilee; Jesus is brought to him for judgment after first being taken to Pilate.

    The songs were first written and conceived as a concept album, before the musical was created and staged.[7] On the original album, the part of Jesus was sung by Ian Gillan, with Murray Head as Judas, Michael d'Abo as King Herod, Yvonne Elliman as Mary Magdalene, and Barry Dennen as Pilate. In July 1971, the first authorised American concert of the rock opera took place in front of an audience of 13,000 people at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania's Civic Arena with Jeff Fenholt singing the role of Jesus, Carl Anderson as Judas and Elliman repeating as Mary Magdalene.[8]

    Original Broadway production[edit]
    The musical opened on Broadway on 12 October 1971, directed by Tom O'Horgan, at the Mark Hellinger Theatre. It starred Jeff Fenholt as Jesus, Ben Vereen as Judas and Bob Bingham as Caiaphas. Dennen and Elliman played the roles that they had sung on the album. Kurt Yaghjian was Annas, and Ted Neeley (as a Christ understudy), Samuel E. Wright and Anita Morris appeared in the cast. Carl Anderson replaced Vereen when he fell ill, and the two performers later took turns playing the role. The show closed on 30 June 1973 after 711 performances. The production received mixed reviews; the bold casting of African-Americans as Judas was lauded, but the reviewer from The New York Times deemed it to be a heartless over-hyped production.[9][citation needed] Lloyd Webber said in 2012: "I hugely objected to the original New York production, which was probably the worst night of my life. It was a vulgar travesty."[7] The show was nominated for five Tony Awards, including Best Score, but didn't win any. Lloyd Webber won a Drama Desk Award as "Most Promising Composer", and Vereen won a Theatre World Award.

    Controversy[edit]
    The Broadway show and subsequent productions were condemned by some religious groups. Tim Rice was quoted as saying "It happens that we don't see Christ as God but simply the right man at the right time at the right place."[10][11] Some Christians considered such comments to be blasphemous, the character of Judas too sympathetic and some of his criticisms of Jesus offensive.[12] At the same time, some Jews claimed that it bolstered the antisemitic belief that the Jews were responsible for Jesus' death by showing most of the villains as Jewish (Caiaphas and the other priests, Herod) and showing the crowd in Jerusalem calling for the crucifixion.[13][14] The musical was banned in South Africa for being "irreligious".[15] A 1972 production of the play was banned in the Hungarian People's Republic for "distribution of religious propaganda".[16]

    bah humbug

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