Billy Elliot - The Musical [Original London Cast Recording] [Bonus CD] [Explicit Lyrics]

( 6 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - William Pearl
Elton John is no stranger to theatrical productions -- make that hit theatrical productions. Aida and The Lion King established the pop phenomenon as a bona fide Broadway-bound composer, comfortable with the established conventions of writing for the stage. Billy Elliot finds John extending his winning streak with a score that abounds with his customary melodicism, tinged with drama and wit. Adapted from the 2000 family-favorite film of the same name, Billy Elliott provides John and lyricist Lee Hall with a wide canvas, corresponding to the plot’s blend of musical hall razzle-dazzle with the pathos arising from a miners' strike and Billy’s difficult home life. Whether ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - William Pearl
Elton John is no stranger to theatrical productions -- make that hit theatrical productions. Aida and The Lion King established the pop phenomenon as a bona fide Broadway-bound composer, comfortable with the established conventions of writing for the stage. Billy Elliot finds John extending his winning streak with a score that abounds with his customary melodicism, tinged with drama and wit. Adapted from the 2000 family-favorite film of the same name, Billy Elliott provides John and lyricist Lee Hall with a wide canvas, corresponding to the plot’s blend of musical hall razzle-dazzle with the pathos arising from a miners' strike and Billy’s difficult home life. Whether it's the stirring miners’ anthems "The Stars Look Down" and “Once We Were Kings," the rousing “Shine,” “Electricity,” and "Expressing Yourself,” the slashing “Angry Dance,” or the heart-tugging ballad "The Letter," John gets to flaunt his range as well as his sheer enthusiasm for theatrical songcraft. The songs not only work within the show’s context but are also memorable enough to stand independently on a cast album. And speaking of casts: The score is further elevated by such striking talents as Liam Mower in the title role and Hadyn Gwynne as Billy's tough but tender dance teacher. It adds up to another winner of a show from John, a golden-touch composer for all seasons. [Parents should note that the song "Solidarity" has explicit lyrics inappropriate for children.]
All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
The triumph that is the stage adaptation of the film Billy Elliot is all the more remarkable when one considers the many ways it could have gone wrong. Director Stephen Daldry's 2000 movie about a pre-adolescent boy in an English mining town discovering his love of dancing against a background of struggle among striking mine workers was set in 1984, but made excellent use of a score full of '70s songs by T. Rex and several new wave bands. A stage producer might have tried to turn it into a T. Rex jukebox musical, but that didn't happen. When The Full Monty, a British film with a similar setting and themes, was made into a musical, the story was moved to the U.S., and an American composer, David Yazbek, brought in. The results weren't embarrassing, by any means, but the British flavor of the piece was lost. That didn't happen to Billy Elliot, either. The hiring of Elton John as composer may have been the most dangerous choice in adapting the work, however. John has enjoyed success with the film-to-stage transfer of The Lion King, of course, and his Aida even won a Tony Award against a weak field in 2000, but he hasn't really been accepted in the musical theater ranks. Billy Elliot, which opened in London on May 11, 2005, should change that. John, who came out of a working-class background and overcame his father's resistance and other social pressures to attend the Royal Academy of Music, must have felt a special affinity for the story of a boy who does exactly the same thing, even though he winds up at the Royal Ballet School. As a result, he hasn't just dashed off a few pop songs that he could have sung himself and called it a score. His two main influences seem to have been the quintessentially English soccer anthem and swing music. The former serves him well in writing the many choral numbers in which the miners declare "solidarity forever" and the police respond derisively. The swing element serves the many dance numbers, and there's plenty of dancing. But if John is gifted in his ability to compose pastiche numbers nearly as good as the originals, he also knows his way around a ballad, and his music for such songs as "The Letter" sung in the words of the boy's dead mother and "Electricity" in which the boy tries to explain how dancing makes him feel is as appealing as anything he's ever written. But John's music is only one element in the production. An even stronger one is Lee Hall's libretto and lyrics, which bring out the twin aspects of the story, contrasting the miners' troubles with the boy's. Hall captures not only the idealism of socialism as it encountered the harsh policies of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's conservative regime, but also Billy Elliot's emergence as a dancer against the odds. And the score is well realized by a cast including Liam Mower in the title role and Haydn Gwynne as the dance teacher. Running 75 minutes, the original London cast recording is an excellent rendition of an excellent musical work. Elton John has done too much good work to call Billy Elliot his greatest achievement, but it is certainly the most outstanding theatrical project with which he has been involved so far, and it finally establishes his claim as a legitimate theater composer. [This edition includes a bonus CD containing three Elton John recordings of songs from the show. His performances of "The Letter" and "Electricity" have the unintended effect of demonstrating how impressive Martin Koch's orchestrations for the show are, since in John's hands they just sound like typical tracks that could be on any Elton John album. But the real corker is John's decision to record his own rendition of "Merry Christmas Maggie Thatcher," the miners' sarcastic holiday song, in which they celebrate Christmas only because it brings the hated prime minister one day closer to her death. This must be the most politically charged song John has ever recorded, and it is especially provocative taken out of the context of the show and dressed up in a catchy pop
ock arrangement.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/7/2006
  • Label: Decca Broadway
  • UPC: 602498765487
  • Catalog Number: 000613072
  • Sales rank: 9,103

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Elton John Vocals, Track Performer
Derek Watkins Trumpet
Craig Armstrong Vocals
John Barclay Trumpet
Pete Beachill Trombone
Mark Berrow Violin
Jeff Daly Woodwind
Michael Dove Vocals
Yona Dunsford Vocals
Simon Gardner Trumpet
Roger Garland Violin
Garfield Jackson Viola
Alison Jiear Vocals
Paul Kegg Celli
Martin Loveday Celli
Steve Pearce Bass
Anthony Pleeth Celli
Ralph Salmins Drums
Jamie Talbot Woodwind
David Porter Thomas Vocals
Paul Willey Violin
Bruce White Viola
David Hartley Piano
Martin Koch Conductor
David Daniels [cello] Celli
Stephen Henderson Percussion
Tracy Holloway Trombone
Matthew White Vocals
Rachel Bolt Viola
Deborah Widdup Violin
Katy Stephan Vocals
Warren Zielinski Violin
Steve Paget Vocals
Simon Preece Vocals
Ben Castle Woodwind
Alan Forrester Vocals
Tom Pearce Vocals
Natalia Bonner Violin
Chris Dean Trombone
Chris Lennon Vocals
Isaac James Vocals
Mike Lovatt Trumpet
Emma Kershaw Vocals
Steve Elias Vocals
Laurence Davies Horn
Samantha Shaw Vocals
Susan Fay Vocals
Richard Ashton Horn
Michael Blake Vocals
Perry Montague-Mason Violin
Philip Bateman Musical Direction
Poppy Coggins Vocals
Erica Ann Deakin Vocals
Alex Delamere Vocals
Damien Delaney Vocals
Trevor Fox Vocals
Adam Goldsmith Guitar
Christie Halsey Vocals
Charlotte Hamilton Vocals
Simon Harpham Trombone
Chris Hornby Vocals
Gillian Kirkpatrick Vocals
Michelle McAvoy Vocals
Emily Neil Vocals
Daniel Page Vocals
Lee Proud Vocals
Stephanie Putson Vocals
Stephanie Rawson Vocals
Phil Snowden Vocals
Alice Stephen Vocals
Katie Stephen Vocals
Jennifer Veal Vocals
Ellie Jaine Woolf Vocals
David Massey Vocals
Tessa Worsely Vocals
Paul Stevens Woodwind
John Pinter Woodwind
Tom Rees-Roberts Trumpet
Michaela Blake Vocals
Daniel Coll Vocals
David Massey Vocals
Mike Scott Vocals
Karl Morgan Vocals
David Coombs Vocals
Christopher Tombling Violin
David Woodcock Violin
Ralph de Souza Violin
Tim Jones Horn
Jeremy Holland-Smith Keyboards
Jonathan Evans-Jones Violin
Alexander Delamere Vocals
Jenny O'Grady Choir Master
Ivo Jan van der Werff Viola
Technical Credits
Elton John Composer, Executive Producer
Phil Ramone Executive Producer
Martin Koch Producer, Musical Supervision
Julian Leaper Orchestra Leader
Nicholas Gilpin Producer
Billy London Artwork
Lee Hall Lyricist, Book
Nick Gilpin Programming, Engineer
Steve Price Engineer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Awesome

    For those who saw the show its a good way to picture yourself back in the theater; for those who haven't seen it yet it's really inspiring and makes you want to see it right now. Great Elton John Bonus Tracks. However, some further material on the bonus CD would be nice.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Stimulating & Fulfilling!

    An exceptional vocal & musical CD! Great listening that causes complete recall of the full musical production allowing one to again achieve the intellectual and emotional stimulation and fulfillment of the story, thought, and characters of the film and musical!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Billy Elliot Soars

    A rousing, rhythmic score with clever words that makes you want to hear it over again.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews