Basically, there are no specific recommended CDs.
Amy, our MD, says that JCS is so versatile in terms of interpretations that it’s more important that you listen to lots of different recordings rather than just get stuck on one. It makes it easier to identify the moments where people mix it up!
Having said that, probably the most accurate stage version is the 1996 London cast recording:
The numbers are performed in a practical way for the stage and end better than the original ‘concept’ album but I have to say I’m not keen on some of the voices – I don’t like Judas’s phrasing and Mary sounds a bit ‘Julie Andrews’. 🙁
Tim Rice made some notorious lyric changes for this show which we are mainly ignoring (see my libretto).
If you wanted a copy of the original ‘concept’ album for old times sake, here it is:
As Andrew Lloyd-Webber has said many times, there was nothing “musical theatre” about his second important work after Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. This is pure rock opera and this is the original recording studio “concept album” that was released in October 1970.
The principal singers, Ian Gillan as Jesus, Murray Head as Judas and Yvonne Elliman as Mary Magdalene were pure raw rock voices with extraordinary ranges singing directly from their hearts and souls.
Andrew Lloyd Webber was just 21 and Tim Rice 25 when this was released. It was an experimental youth project fed on late 1960s idealism.
The only downside or this superb two record set is that it doesn’t contain Mary’s third song “Could We Start Again Please” which was added during the original Broadway production exactly one year later.
(A bit of trivia here – the guy who played Peter in the 1973 movie, and seen in the above clip, was Philip Toubus who later become the famous American pornographic film actor and director, Paul Thomas!)