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Elton John and Tim Rice's

Elton John and Tim Rice's "Aida"

4.5 4
by Elton John
Following the blockbuster success of "The Lion King," it's no surprise that Disney approached Elton John and Tim Rice about another collaboration. It is a pleasant surprise that their creation, AIDA, lacks the bombast of a commercial behemoth. Although they stay true to Verdi's story of love amidst oppressive


Following the blockbuster success of "The Lion King," it's no surprise that Disney approached Elton John and Tim Rice about another collaboration. It is a pleasant surprise that their creation, AIDA, lacks the bombast of a commercial behemoth. Although they stay true to Verdi's story of love amidst oppressive politics, the music is adapted to contemporary styles and sung unpretentiously by a cast of superstars, starting with Sting, Janet Jackson, Boyz II Men, Leann Rimes, Lenny Kravitz, Shania Twain, the Spice Girls, and Tina Turner. The result is less Disney, more Red Hot and Verdi: Sly and Robbie pair up with Sting on a reggae-ish "Another Pyramid," the Spice Girls make like the Supremes on a humorous "My Strongest Suit," Kravitz adds funk and muscle to "Like Father Like Son," and Turner and Angelique Kidjo turn in a wonderful duet on "Easy as Life." Before the Broadway version kicks in, this recording is a rare chance to hear the music without the star power getting in the way.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
The Lion King proved to be one of Elton John's most successful projects -- which is quite an achievement for one of the most successful rockers in history. Given its level of popularity, it's only logical that John would re-team with his Lion King collaborator Tim Rice. Perhaps to some it was surprising that they adapted Verdi's Aida as their next project, but it made sense -- Rice's background was in show tunes and John's songs tended to sound like show tunes. Hence, they were a perfect pair to modernize Aida for the Great White Way -- at least in theory. In practice, their collaborations sound like soft rock and adult contemporary tunes, especially the way they're presented here. None of the songs on Aida are performed in the order they are in the show, nor are they performed in character. However, they are performed by a variety of different vocalists, including John, Sting, the Spice Girls, Lenny Kravitz, Shania Twain, LeAnn Rimes, James Taylor, Janet Jackson and Tina Turner, plus Heather Headley, the only member of the cast to be featured on this record. As such, the album doesn't feel like a show -- it feels like an afternoon of adult contemporary radio. This isn't a bad thing, since John is a virtuoso of the form, and many of his contributions here are worthy (often better than his Lion King work) and all the featured players do them justice. Still, Aida feels incomplete, quite possibly because it is structured as a various-artists album, not a cast recording -- which is really what you want when you want to listen to cast recordings.

Product Details

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Related Subjects


Album Credits

Performance Credits

Elton John   Primary Artist,Background Vocals
Rob Mathes   Conductor,Guitar,Keyboards
Rob Mounsey   Conductor
Edgar Meyer   Acoustic Bass
Lenny Kravitz   Acoustic Guitar,Background Vocals,Bass,Drums,Electric Guitar,Timpani,Track Performer,Wurlitzer
David Tofani   Alto Flute
Angela Clemmons-Patrick   Background Vocals
Chevelle Franklyn   Background Vocals
Diva Gray   Background Vocals
Karen Kamon   Background Vocals
Lauren Kinhan   Background Vocals
Charles Mangold   Background Vocals
Peter Mann   Background Vocals
Darryl Tookes   Background Vocals
James "D-Train" Williams   Background Vocals
Toby Baker   Bass
David Finck   Bass
Jimmy Johnson   Bass
Zev Katz   Bass,Electric Bass
Mary Scully   Bass
Robbie Shakespeare   Bass
Craig Young   Bass
Virgil Blackwell   Bass Clarinet
David Taylor   Bass Trombone
Diane Barere   Cello
David Daniels [cello]   Cello
Jeanne LeBlanc   Cello
Richard Locker   Cello
Martin Loveday   Cello
Caryl Paisner   Cello
Anthony Pleeth   Cello
Frank Schaefer   Cello
Laura Sewell   Cello
Mark Orrin Shuman   Cello
Ellen Westerman   Cello
Sly Dunbar   Drums
Shawn Pelton   Drums
Philippe Saisse   fender rhodes
Ed Calle   Flute,Saxophone
Pamela Sklar   Flute
David Barry   Guitar
Clem Clempson   Guitar
Julian Gallagher   Guitar
Kenny Mims   Guitar
James Taylor   Guitar,Track Performer,Vocals
Lloyd "Gitsy" Willis   Guitar
Carl Herrgesell   Harmonium,Piano
Bob Carlisle   Horn
John Clark   Horn
Diane Lesser   Horn,Oboe
Guy Babylon   Keyboards
Clifford Carter   Keyboards
Baby Dave   Keyboards
Robby Lynn   Keyboards
Matt Rowe   Keyboards
Daryl Simmons   Keyboards
Jimmy Jam   Multi Instruments
Terry Lewis   Multi Instruments
Christopher Hooker   Oboe
Merilee Klemp   Oboe
Luis Conte   Percussion
Russ Kunkel   Percussion
Scott Meeder   Percussion
Jeff Bova   Piano
Doug Katsaros   Piano
Vance Taylor   Piano
Jill Dell'Abate   Tambourine
Andy Snitzer   Tenor Saxophone
Boyz II Men   Track Performer
Dru Hill   Track Performer
Heather Headley   Track Performer
Janet Jackson   Track Performer
Lulu   Track Performer
Kelly Price   Track Performer
LeAnn Rimes   Track Performer
Sherie René Scott   Track Performer
Spice Girls   Track Performer
Tina Turner   Track Performer
Shania Twain   Track Performer
Michael Davis   Trombone
Larry Farrell   Trombone
Jim Pugh   Trombone
Dana Teboe   Trombone
Tony Concepcion   Trumpet
Tony Kadleck   Trumpet
Jeff Kievet   Trumpet
Byron Stripling   Trumpet
Julien Barber   Viola
Juliet Haffner   Viola
Peter Lale   Viola
Carol Landon   Viola
Sue Pray   Viola
Robert Smissen   Viola
Sabina Thatcher   Viola
Kate Wilkinson   Viola
Abe Appleman   Violin
Elena Barere   Violin
Mark Berrow   Violin
John Bradbury   Violin
Avril Brown   Violin
Barry Finclair   Violin
Simon Fischer   Violin
Helen Foli   Violin
Roger Frisch   Violin
Roger Garland   Violin
Wilfred Gibson   Violin
Rebecca Hirsch   Violin
Jean Ingraham   Violin
Boguslaw Kostecki   Violin
Ann Leathers   Violin
Perry Montague-Mason   Violin
Jan Mullen   Violin
Paul Peabody   Violin
Julia Persitz   Violin
Jackie Shave   Violin
Liz Sobieski   Violin
Marti Sweet   Violin
Donna Tecco   Violin
Daria Tedeschi   Violin
Carol Webb   Violin
Gavyn Wright   Violin

Technical Credits

Elton John   Musical Director
Rob Mathes   Arranger,String Arrangements
Rob Mounsey   Arranger
Michael Hanna   Arranger
Jean Hébrail   Arranger,Engineer,Producer
Jimmy Jam   Arranger,Producer
Angélique Kidjo   Arranger
Lenny Kravitz   Arranger,Horn Arrangements,Producer
Terry Lewis   Arranger,Producer
Nathan Morris   Arranger
Wanya Morris   Arranger
Sisqó   Arranger
Shawn Stockman   Arranger
Jim "Big Jim" Wright   Arranger
Richard Pandiscio   Art Direction,Artwork
Fred Vaughn   Choir Arrangement
Mike Long   Contributor
Adrian Bushby   Engineer
Steve "Barney" Cahse   Engineer
Barney Chase   Engineer
Jan Fairchild   Engineer
Frank Filipetti   Engineer
Delroy "Dr. Marshall" Harrison   Engineer
Steve Hodge   Engineer
John Holbrook   Engineer
Thom "TK" Kidd   Engineer
Matt Knobel   Engineer
Nathaniel Kunkel   Engineer,Producer
Pete Lewis   Engineer
Mike Malak   Engineer
Terry Manning   Engineer
Garfield McDonald   Engineer
Olle Romo   Engineer
Tim Rice   Liner Notes
Boyz II Men   Producer
Peter Collins   Producer
Jill Dell'Abate   Producer
Dru Hill   Producer
Sly Dunbar   Producer
Russ Kunkel   Producer
Robert John "Mutt" Lange   Producer
Phil Ramone   Producer,Executive Producer
Matt Rowe   Producer,Programming
Robbie Shakespeare   Producer
Daryl Simmons   Producer,drum programming
Ivy Skoff   Producer
Richard Stannard   Producer
Lee Blaske   String Arrangements
Nick Ingman   String Arrangements
Kelly Price   Vocal Arrangements
Alexander Richbourg   drum programming
Jake Davies   Programming
Jan Folkson   Programming
Julian Gallagher   Programming
Pat Thrall   Programming
Paul Waller   Programming

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Elton John & Tim Rice's "Aida" 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a fantastic disc -- however make note before hitting the order button. This is -NOT- the cast recording! This is a fantasic compilation of songs from the show sung by contemporary artists.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have seen the real Aida play and it is fantastic. This cd is wonderful, but it doesn't quite do justice to the wonderful voices of all the actors. The music touches your soul. The sets are breathtaking. Everyone should see this play and if not get this cd.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have also seen the musical on Broadway and I have never seen such a wonderful thing. The songs and the actors are really great. If you have the oportunity to go there do so, if I ever come back to NY I will go again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Elton John and Tim Rice do an amazing job with the musical. The absolute best part is the amazing cast that was assembled for this project. First off, Adam Pascal (the original Roger in RENT) plays Radames. He has such a strong and powerful voice that makes him perfect for the part. Heather Headley, who was in the Lion King, has the most beautiful voice I have ever heard. It can be soft and gentle or filled with love or pain. The third star is Sherrie Rene Scott whose character skillfully keeps things lighthearted and fun even though things get hard. When all three come together in one song, A Step Too Far, their voices blend beautifully without one outshadowing anot