Les Miserables [Original Broadway Cast]

Les Miserables [Original Broadway Cast]

4.7 34
by Original Broadway Cast

The most genuinely moving extravaganza to be credited to theatrical producer Cameron Mackintosh -- the impresario behind The Phantom Of The Opera, Miss Saigon, and Cats -- is 1987's Les Misérables, a musical adaptation of Victor Hugo's novel. With a score by Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schonberg, and Herbert Kretzmer, Les…  See more details below


The most genuinely moving extravaganza to be credited to theatrical producer Cameron Mackintosh -- the impresario behind The Phantom Of The Opera, Miss Saigon, and Cats -- is 1987's Les Misérables, a musical adaptation of Victor Hugo's novel. With a score by Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schonberg, and Herbert Kretzmer, Les Misérables is a sung-through opera-lite variety show set in Paris in 1832. Bringing their stirring voices to this double-disc Broadway cast recording are Colm Wilkinson in the role of Jean Valjean, the tormented hero unjustly jailed for stealing a loaf of bread, and Terrence Mann as his obsessed pursuer, Javert. Aided by sterling performances from Randy Graff and Frances Ruffelle, this blockbuster musical contains the gorgeous melodies "I Dreamed a Dream," "On My Own," "Who Am I?," and "Bring Him Home," all deservedly familiar anthems.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Sarah Erlewine
Originally conceived as a simple recording production, Les Miserables evolved quickly into one of the premiere theater events of the 1980s. Theatrically on par with Phantom of the Opera, Les Mis is drawn from the Victor Hugo novel of the same name. The story chronicles the life of Jean Valjean, a simple Frenchman arrested as a youth for stealing a loaf of bread. After serving five years for that crime, as well as an additional 14 for attempted escape, Valjean is released on parole. Upon changing his name and eluding his parole officer, he becomes the surrogate father of a young girl and a Mayor as the French Revolution sets in. As the war rages, he finds that he cannot change the man he is. Les Miserables is typical of theater in the '80s, with extravagant effects and large, full-cast numbers. The beautiful score is full of emotion and humor, including such memorable and noteworthy songs as "Look Down," "Do You Hear the People Sing?," "Bring Him Home," "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables," and the ubiquitous "On My Own." The original Broadway cast recording contains some very fine performances, particularly by Colm Wilkinson (as Valjean) and Frances Ruffelle (as Eponine, the waif). The vocals on this recording are heavy on character, making it an interesting and entertaining listen.

Product Details

Release Date:
Decca U.S.

Related Subjects


Disc 1

  1. Overture/Work Song
  2. Valjean Arrested/Valjean Forgiven
  3. What Have I Done?
  4. At the End of the Day
  5. I Dreamed a Dream
  6. Lovely Ladies
  7. Who Am I?
  8. Come to Me (Fantine's Death)
  9. Confrontation
  10. Castle on a Cloud
  11. Master of the House
  12. The Thenardier Waltz of Treachery
  13. Look Down
  14. Stars
  15. Red and Black
  16. Do You Hear the People Sing?

Disc 2

  1. In My Life
  2. A Heart Full of Love
  3. Plumet Attack
  4. One Day More!
  5. Upon These Stones (Building the Barricade)
  6. On My Own
  7. Upon These Stones (Building the Barricade)
  8. Javert at the Barricade/Little People/The First Attack
  9. A Little Fall of Rain
  10. Drink With Me
  11. Bring Him Home
  12. Dog Eats Dog
  13. Javert's Suicide
  14. Turning
  15. Empty Chairs at Empty Tables
  16. Wedding Chorale/Beggars at the Feast
  17. Finale

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Original Cast Recording   Primary Artist,Indexed Contributor
Laurie Lewis   Violin,Leader
Bishop   Track Performer
Chain Gang   Track Performer
Valjean   Track Performer
Amanuel Vardi   Viola
Jonathan Abramowitz   Cello
Ross Allen   Keyboards
Julien Barber   Viola
Peter Boita   Drums
Ariana Bronne   Violin
Frederick Buldrini   Violin
Katherine Cash   Violin
Brent Forbes   Bass
David Gale   Trumpet
Jacqueline Giat   Flute,Piccolo
Joanna Glushak   Vocals
Allan Goldberg   Cello
Peter Halling   Cello
Michael Hinton   Drums
Peter Hyde   Trumpet
Jean Ingraham   Violin
Howard Joines   Percussion
Paul Kegg   Cello
Brian Koonin   Guitar
Jesse Levine   Viola
Batia Lieberman   Cello
Kevin Marcum   Vocals
Tony McVey   Percussion
Louann Montesi   Violin
Harriet Orenstein   English Horn,Oboe
Gene Orloff   Violin
Suzanne Ornstein   Violin
Jerry Peel   French Horn
Marion Pinhiero   Violin
Clay Ruede   Cello
John Rojack   Bass Trombone
Myra Segal   Violin
Jeff Silverman   Keyboards
Marti Sweet   Violin
Mitsue Takayama   Violin
Brooks Tillotson   French Horn
Mitchell Weiss   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone
Mineko Yajima   Violin
Harry Zaratzian   Viola
Robert Zottola   Trumpet
Jesse Corti   Vocals
Judy Kuhn   Vocals
Chris Lacey   Flute,Piccolo
Emanuel Vardi   Viola
Michael Ball   Vocals
Frances Ruffelle   Vocals
Joseph Kolinski   Vocals
Eugene Orloff   Violin
Anthony Crivello   Vocals
Lindsey Horner   Bass Guitar
Randy Graff   Vocals
Dave Willetts   Vocals
Colm Wilkinson   Vocals
Keith Burns   Vocals
Clive Carter   Vocals
Caroline Marwood   Oboe,Cor anglais
Andy Read   Keyboards
Victor Slaymark   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone
Peter Washtell   Synthesizer,Piano
Martin Koch   Conductor
Ian Laws   Guitar
Patrick A'Hearn   Vocals
Ken Caswell   Vocals
Ann Crumb   Vocals
Zoe Hart   Vocals
Duncan Hollowood   Horn
Gary Huddlestone   Vocals
Sally Mates   Vocals
Craig Pinder   Vocals
Caroline Quentin   Vocals
Robert Billig   Conductor
Siân Reeves   Vocals
Roderick Tearle   Trumpet
Brian Newman   Horn
Richard Bureau   Violin
David Hissey   Trombone
Roger Allam   Vocals
Alun Armstrong   Vocals
Jackie Marks   Vocals
Jill Martin   Vocals
Aline Mowat   Vocals
Cindy Benson   Vocals
John B. Norman   Vocals
Marius   Track Performer
Ian Tucker   Vocals
Marcie Shaw   Vocals
Robin Williams   Violin
Marcus Lovett   Vocals
Norman Large   Vocals
Susan Goodman   Vocals
Michael Maguire   Vocals
David Bryant   Vocals
David Burt   Vocals
Paul Leonard   Vocals
Susan Jane Tanner   Vocals
Ian Calvin   Vocals
Donna Vivino   Vocals
Peter Wright   Trumpet

Technical Credits

John Cameron   Programming,Orchestration
Sheridan Morley   Liner Notes
Alain Boublil   Librettist,Producer
Dave Hunt   Engineer
Claude-Michel Schönberg   Songwriter,Producer
Andy Read   Director
Martin Koch   Director
David Hunt   Engineer
Herbert Kretzmer   Lyricist
James Fenton   Additional Music

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Customer Reviews

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Les Miserables [Original Broadway Cast] 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've been a huge fan of Les Misérables for many years now, and while I do not own every version, I do have both the Original London and Broadway Recordings, and I have heard selections from the Complete Symphonic Recording (CSR) and the Tenth Anniversary Recording (TAR). Before I break it down by character, let me just say that any recording of Les Misérables is worth your money, even the highlight recordings are enjoyable. *ORCHESTRATIONS* - London. The Broadway recording is fuller and clearer, however, it is also a lot more rushed. Now, for certain songs like "One Day More", that works, but at other times it can be a problem. The orchestrations on London seem more refined, they're slower and you have to opportunity to catch more and experience it better. *JEAN VALJEAN* - London. Colm Wilkinson is the definitive Valjean, and plays him on all of the recordings with the exception of the Complete Symphonic Recording. On Broadway he is rushed too much, he speaks quickly, and tends to say every word like it is its own sentence it ruined "What Have I Done?" for me. What makes Wilkinson the best Valjean, while he is good in the TAR, is exemplified in the London recording. He is a wonderful actor, and appropriately conveys every emotion needed for such a complicated character. His voice is full and powerful, and he hits some truly high and difficult notes with such perfection that he makes it seem easy. *JAVERT* - Tenth Anniversary Recording. Philip Quast is by far the best Javert, without any questions. He performs Javert in both the CSR and the TAR tremendously. While the Javert from London, Roger Allam, is quite good, he leaves a lot to be desired, and I have a strong dislike for Terrance Mann's performance on Broadway, it felt weak. What Quast did that was truly impressive, at least to me, was that he took a character I never really liked, and made me love him. I was blown away by his rendition of "Stars" in the TAR, truly amazing. He fills the characters shoes perfectly, he sounds tough and intimidating, a truly complex and interesting character performed beautifully. *FANTINE* - This is a matter of taste. I prefer Patti LuPone's Fantine on the London recording, though all of the other Fantines are excellent as well. No matter which recording you end up with, you'll get a good Fantine. *THENARDIER* - London. Alun Armstrong plays Thenardier on both the London and Tenth Anniversary Recording, and he is spectacular. Yes, he does have a cockney accent, which is somewhat confusing since all of the characters are French, but he is still amazing. He performs Thenardier exactly as he should be, crooked, rude, conniving, and just a little bit skeevy. His renditions of "Master of the House" are just fun to listen to you can see why that song is such a crowd pleaser. *ENJOLRAS* - Broadway. Even though I don't think Michael Maguire is the perfect Enjolras as so many make him out to be, he is quite good. He performs on the TAR as well, though he was vocally less than perfect there. His Enjolras is tough and determined and convincing, though Craig Pinder on the London recording is very good as well, and I've never heard the CSR Enjolras. *COSETTE* - Tenth Anniversary Recording. Now don't get me wrong, I adore Rebecca Caine's Cosette on the London recording, but Judy Kuhn is just a better performer. Vocally I would say the two are equally impressive, but Kuhn really makes Cosette seem so much more real. She's equally as good on both the Broadway and the TAR, but I would give it to the TAR, simply because Cosette sings many of her songs with Marius, and the Marius on the Broadway version is awful. A final note, on the London recording In My Life and A Heart Full of Love are not only lyrically different (and In My Life is much shorter) but they are all one track, entitled "Love Montage" which includes a song not present on any other recording I have seen called &q
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you have ever seen the show on stage, this is the next best thing!! You actually bring the Broadway musical into your living room. Eponine will make you cry just as she did in the show, in the songs:A Little Fall of Rain or On My Own(which I highly suggest listening to to all females!)
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you love classic literature and classic stage drama, this is all you will ever need. Each song more stirring and memorable than the next.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I believe my subject tells it all. If you do not have this soundtrack as apart of your collection, go out and buy it now with no further hesitation.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This cd is decent but there are better recordings of this show. On my personal opinion the cd was poorly cast. Young Cosette, Gavroche, Valjean, Enjolras, and Cosette are fine. But the rest I personally feel was very poorly cast. Go with the Tenth Anniversary cast. It is the best you'll find!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I abouslutly LOVE Les Mis! So do all my friends. But I lost it so now I'm ordering a new one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've been listening to Les Miserables for, well, years. My grandparents played it to me when I was a baby (no, I'm not fibbing, I'm just 14) and I've loved it ever since. The characters are so easy to identify with.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is excellent all the pieces i needed are all here for me to hear
Guest More than 1 year ago
Frances Ruffelle est la vraie Eponine! Frances Rufelle is the real Eponine! If you've yet to hear an angel sing, voilà.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is a wonderful soundtrack, especially the catchy beat of the overture! I am not an audiophile, but this CD has captured my attention. I have listened to it in school and I loved it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Goshen High School (Indiana) has made a great effort and achieved it at making Les Mis a success!! Les Mis is a wonderful work of liturature as well as a great performance!
Guest More than 1 year ago
i absolutly love with this album. it is sooo awesome, unlike anything i've heard before. i first heard it when i was 12 and fell in love with the story and songs from day one. i am now 15 and still continue to listen to it. most of my friends think that i'm weird or dorky or whatever for listening to it but i just can't help it. i love everything about it. i'm even reading the book, which is whoa huge. i would recommend this to anyone up for a different sound other than what's playing on the radio today.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As there are many Les Miserables albums out there, I've done a comparison of some ascepts of the three soundtracks that I own: the Original Broadway Cast (OBC), the Complete Symphonic Recordings (CSR), and the 10th Anniversary Concert (TAC). JEAN VALJEAN: Colm Wilkinson is by far a better Valjean than Garry Morris (CSR). Still, Morris is very good, it's just that anyone pales in comparison to Wilkinson as Valjean. Though Wilkinson is basically the same on OBC and TAC, I would say that he has a bit more emotion on TAC. JAVERT: TAC outstrips the other two soundtracks by far. Philip Quast shows much more emotion in TAC than CSR. His TAC version of "Javert's Suicide" is absolutely stunning. Terrence Mann in OBC is a decent Javert, also. FANTINE: In my opinion, Ruthie Henshall from TAC is the best Fantine. Her voice is very emotional but never strained (like Randy Graff in OBC.) However, Debbie Byrne in CSR is a HORRID Fantine. She has a pretty voice, but it is soft and weak and never changes. LITTLE COSETTE: All three Little Cosettes are very good. Marissa Dunlop in CSR has the cutest voice, whereas Hannah Chick in TAC sounds the most pathetic, whichever one you prefer. MME. THENARDIER: CSR and TAC tie in this one. Jenny Galloway of TAC is hilarious, whereas Gay Soper in CSR has a very good mean voice. Mme. Thenardir does not make much of an appearance in the OBC version. THENARDIER: My favorite Thenardier is the OBC one. His voice is humorous but not overdone. Alun Armtrong from TAC is fairly good, too. However,Barry James in CSR overdid his voice to the point that you can hardly understand him. GAVROCHE: Adam Searles in TAC is THE best Gavroche. His voice is so bubbly and he plays Gavroche with such enthusiasm. Ross McCall in CSR is pretty good, too, though a bit heavy on the Cockney. I detest the way Braden Denner mangles "Little People" in OBC. ENJORLAS: All three soundtracks have excellent Enjorlas. Michael Maguire in OBC wins by a only a bit. MARIUS: This is a tie between TAC and CSR. Michael Ball does an amazing job in both. David Bryant makes an OK-Marius, but he is emotionally and vocally weaker than Michael Ball. EPONINE: This one is difficult, all three actresses have a different interpretation to Eponine. Lea Salonga in TAC is an angry and strong Eponine (downside: her voice is almost too pretty and she'd be a better Cosette), Kaho Shimada in CSR plays her like she is a sad and frightened little girl (downside: she is a bit too soft sometimes), while Frances Ruffelle in OBC has heartbreak written all over in her scratchy tone (downside: sometimes her voice is a bit painful on high notes). COSETTE: Judy Kuhn is absolutely AMAZING in OBC. She does well in TAC, too, but her high C in "A Heart Full of Love" sounds a bit off. Tracy Shayne of CSR has a girlier-sounding voice than Judy Kuhn, but I find it annoying and shrill. OVERALL: My favorite Les Mis Soundtrack is the TAC because it does not contain a weak spot in the cast. CSR is good because they include a lot of material that you don't get to hear on other soundtracks. The OBC displays some of the TAC cast at their best. BOTTOM LINE: You can't go wrong getting either CD.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is, of course, a must see. I agree with the other 15 year old who wrote a review (I'm also 15)-you just can't stop listening-it's really impossible. I saw it like a year ago, and I didn't review it, but now I am. My mom mistakenly bought the Decca Highlights one, so I don't have the complete CD. I go to bn.com all the time, and comfort myself with listening to the clips-someday I'll accumulate all Broadway Cd's and LISTEN!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've been a Les Mis addict for several years now and this CD was just what I needed. Nothing like going around and singing Les Mis all day long. If I don't have all the songs memorized yet I should. I guess my favorite song has to be One Day More. But all of this CD is so wonderful. It makes me want to see the Broadways show very badly. BUY THIS CD! You'll love it! But hey, isn't this cool? I'm also fifteen, and, like the person before me, I had to satisfy myself with the little clips for weeks before I could buy this cd. But it was worth every penny!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Have just seen "Les Miserables" performed by local high school students and having it being so unbelievably amazing, I simply had to pick this up. It is breath-taking! Pick this up if you enjoy "mega-musicals".
Guest More than 1 year ago
i like to listen to this album because it's great to sing along to. I like the song called "Look down."
Guest More than 1 year ago
OMG! I love this CD! I saw my high school's production of it freshman year and I cried because the story was so beautiful and about a year ago I bought the CD after listening to the clips and I annoyed everybody around me becuase I couldn't wait for it to be delivered. When I finally did get, it was all I ever listened to! A year later, I'm seventeen and am still listening to it. The music is phenomenal and the singers are even better. There isn't a more perfect man to play Jean Valjean than Colm Wilkinson. His voice really gets to you! I loved the music so much that I even decided to read the actual book! I just finished it a couple of days ago and now I can see how a great story turned into a great musical! I'm just sad that I never did get to see the musical because it closed down in the summer of 2003. I've seen many musicals and have heard many soundtracks, and I think that Les Miserables is by far the best musical ever!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a WONDERFUL CD, with the entire Broadway release of Les Mis. Out of all the Les Mis CDS, I believe that this one is truly the best.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For those fans of Jean Valjean's number "Bring Him Home", this is the CD. While the singer, Colm Wilkinson, also preforms on the London Cast as well as the Reunion, this recording is his best. Here his timing is perfect, his understanding is complete he nears vocal perfection. In the others he seems to rush, or move to slowly, his voice seems too weak or too heavy. But this, if you are willing to select on the basis of merely one song, as epic as it may be, this is the one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm a sucker for big numbers and a rotating stage, so it is no surprise that I love this show! This original broadway cast recording is great and really captures the essence of the show. As someone who read the novel by Victor Hugo first, I was a little disappointed at some of the cuts and some of the artistic alterations, but I can understand the reasoning behind those choices and it still makes for a great story. Colm Wilkinson (Jean Valjean) has a ridiculously awesome voice and Frances Ruffelle (Eponine) is my favorite character to root for (even though you know what's going to happen). I really love the energy of the track "Plummet Attack" and the multi-layered company tracks like "At the End of the Day" and "One Day More." I was disappointed with the songs "In My Life" and "A Heart Full of Love" towards the end of the first act, thinking that they were a little cliché and boring, but I know that has little to do with Judy Kuhn's (Cosette) vocal performance and more to do with the compositions. Although the novel that this show is based on is one of my favorites ever and I'm probably biased, I think this album still stands up nearly 20 years later. Check it out!
Guest More than 1 year ago
All of the commercially available recordings of Les Miserables have something great to offer, and which recording is best for you really depends on who your favorite characters are. For Valjean there are only two choices, Gary Morris on the CSR and Colm Wilkinson of all the others (OLC, OBC, and TAC). The more I listen to Colm Wilkinson, the more I appreciate Gary Morris simply because he's different. Morris is certainly not everyone's favorite, but he really does shine as the complete charater. His &quot Valjean's Soliloquy&quot is amazing, &quot Bring Him Home&quot is more subtley sung by Wilkinson, particularly on the TAC and the weight and power of Wilkinson's mature voice is a joy to hear on the TAC. I gotta say, though, I do like Gary Morris (Except for his &quot Who Am I?,&quot not his best...). There are other Valjeans out there, try to find Randall Keith singing &quot Bring Him Home,&quot you'll never hear a more tender and heart-felt rendion. Ruthie Henshall on the TAC is my absolute favorite Fantine. Her vulnerability and frailty is palpable. She sings &quot I Dreamed a Dream&quot with such sadness and desperation, you can't help but be moved. Ruthie's the best, but Patti Lupone on the OLC is also amazing. You really can't go wrong with either one. Randy Graff (OBC) is perhaps a little too strong for Fantine, and Debbie Byrne (CSR) seems to grate on many people's nerves, though I don't find her voice offensive. For Javert there is only one real choice: Philip Quast on the TAC. He also sings on the CSR, but his rich, powerful baritone is in full bloom on the TAC. Terrence Mann was very new to singing on the OBC, and while his voice has improved admirable over time, he just is not imposing enough for Javert. Roger Allam is just awful on the OLC. My favorite Cosette is Rebecca Caine on the OLC. Her wonderfully youthful tone is refreshing and innocent--perfect for the character. Judy Khun appears on the OBC and the TAC. Earlier is better for her. When the OBC recording was made, she had not yet tackled roles which required her to belt and on the TAC, we can hear the beginnings of strain in her vibrato and upper register. Tracy Shane (CSR) is also youthful sounding, but comes off sounding canned. Lea Salonga is the most finely sung Eponine on record. There is nothing lacking in her performance. Perhaps some would want a rougher-sounding Eponine, but not me! Francis Ruffelle sings on both the OBC and the OLC. London is the one to own, it's actually hard to believe this is the same person. On the OLC Ruffelle is vulnerable and engaging with just the right amount of edge to her voice. On the OBC she is harsh and seems to resort to shouting many of her lines, singing &quot On My Own&quot completely in her nose. The only recording on which Michael Ball does not appear as Marius is the OBC where David Bryant asumes the role. While Bryant isn't horrible, the youthful Ball on the OLC and CSR is the way to go. On the TAC he goes too far and while clearly enjoying himself and the atmosphere of the live recording, he also clearly enjoys the sond of his own voice more. Enjolras is a toss-up between Michael Maguire on the OBC (for the love of all that is holy not on the TAC!!!)and Anthony Warlow on the CSR. My vote is for Warlow. His voice is powerful, his technique secure and his tone capable of being both warm and heroic. David Burt is not worth hearing on the OLC. You can't go wrong with the Thenardiers on the TAC (Alun Armstrong and Jenny Galloway also appear on the OLC). The energy the give and receive to and from the audience is amazing. The CSR has the best orchestra, the TAC has the best emsemble and the OBC has the best orchestrations, though it's cool to hear the originals on the OLC. So that's it! Something for everyone on every single recording! Hope this helps make your decisions!!
Sydney_Pureheart More than 1 year ago
I purchased this CD for a friend who was a great Broadway Musical Fan. Yet he had never heard Les Miserables. So I bought this for him and sadly he slowly died from cancer. Yet this CD brought him a measure of peace in his final days. It was a great nay incredible audio experience or my wife and I wouldn't each have our own copies of it in our cars!