Sunset Boulevard [Original London Cast]

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Following the relatively intimate and commercially disappointing Aspects of Love, musical theater composer Andrew Lloyd Webber has sought another blockbuster on the order of Evita or Phantom of the Opera in Sunset Boulevard, an adaptation of director Billy Wilder's 1950 film noir classic about the relationship between a cynical, down-on-his-luck screenwriter and a deranged, middle-aged silent-film star. As set to music here, it actually comes off as a cross between Evita and Phantom of the Opera, with an unsympathetic female star at its center and a backstage story. And Lloyd Webber, working with lyricist-librettists Don Black and Christopher Hampton with three others ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Following the relatively intimate and commercially disappointing Aspects of Love, musical theater composer Andrew Lloyd Webber has sought another blockbuster on the order of Evita or Phantom of the Opera in Sunset Boulevard, an adaptation of director Billy Wilder's 1950 film noir classic about the relationship between a cynical, down-on-his-luck screenwriter and a deranged, middle-aged silent-film star. As set to music here, it actually comes off as a cross between Evita and Phantom of the Opera, with an unsympathetic female star at its center and a backstage story. And Lloyd Webber, working with lyricist-librettists Don Black and Christopher Hampton with three others mysteriously credited in little boxes in the CD booklet for their contributions to the "development" of the show, copies much of the structures of those works, or perhaps has just found a story that has similarities. As in Evita, the female star is contrasted with a wise-cracking man who narrates the story. This time it's Joe Gillis Kevin Anderson, played by William Holden in the film, which also used the narration even though Gillis is floating dead in a pool at the start of the movie, which proceeds in flashback. As in Phantom of the Opera, the main character's obsession with a younger protégé leads to madness and tragedy. Nor has Lloyd Webber shied away from repeating himself musically. In fact, it is often possible to cite a song from his earlier works he's rewritten here. "Girl Meets Boy" owes something to Aspects of Love's "Love Changes Everything"; "This Time Next Year" is a variation on "Any Dream Will Do" from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; and, like "Rainbow High" in Evita, "The Lady's Paying" is a celebration of shopping for clothes. Lloyd Webber does evoke Hollywood movie music with one of his recurring themes, and "Let's Have Lunch" is set to a period swing band arrangement. But much of the music is essentially recycled. Happily, the singing actors are excellent, starting with Anderson, who is really the central figure, despite the hoopla surrounding the character of Norma Desmond, the aging movie queen. Anderson's Gillis is not just a musical version of the Holden portrayal; he has a little less of Holden's hard edge, a little more sympathy for the other characters. But he is just as hard on himself. In secondary parts, Meredith Braun and Daniel Benzali are equally impressive. Best of all is Patti LuPone, who, having won a Tony Award for her portrayal of Eva Peron in Evita, knows her way around Lloyd Webber and how to play an anti-heroine. Lloyd Webber has written her some big ballads, the show's best music -- "With One Look," "New Ways to Dream," and "As If We'd Never Said Goodbye." And with her powerful, expressive voice, she navigates them easily. But her acting, documented on a double album full of dialogue, also comes across well, as she fills out the character of Norma Desmond. Again, her portrayal is not simply a singing Gloria Swanson, her film predecessor, but a completely realized, personal portrayal of the deluded star who actually does become at least a little sympathetic by the end. The cast is enough to partially mask Sunset Boulevard's status as second-drawer Lloyd Webber.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/10/1996
  • Label: Decca Broadway
  • UPC: 731451976728
  • Catalog Number: 519767
  • Sales rank: 14,840

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Prologue: House on Sunset - David Caddick & Sunset Orchestra, The (3:01)
  2. 2 Paramount: Let's Have Lunch - David Caddick & Sunset Orchestra, The (3:30)
  3. 3 Sheldrake's Office - David Caddick & Sunset Orchestra, The (1:26)
  4. 4 On the Road / The House on Sunset - David Caddick & Sunset Orchestra, The (3:00)
  5. 5 Surrender - David Caddick & Sunset Orchestra, The (2:32)
  6. 6 With One Look - David Caddick & Sunset Orchestra, The (4:00)
  7. 7 Salome - David Caddick & Sunset Orchestra, The (4:41)
  8. 8 The Greatest Star of All - David Caddick & Sunset Orchestra, The (3:26)
  9. 9 Let's Have Lunch (Reprise) / Girl Meets Boy - David Caddick & Sunset Orchestra, The (3:41)
  10. 10 The House on Sunset - David Caddick & Sunset Orchestra, The (1:03)
  11. 11 New Ways to Dream - David Caddick & Sunset Orchestra, The (4:42)
  12. 12 The Lady's Playing - David Caddick & Sunset Orchestra, The (4:19)
  13. 13 The House on Sunset - David Caddick & Sunset Orchestra, The (0:42)
  14. 14 The Perfect Year - David Caddick & Sunset Orchestra, The (3:09)
  15. 15 Dialogue After the Perfect Year (1:02)
  16. 16 Artie Green's Apartment - David Caddick & Sunset Orchestra, The (0:29)
  17. 17 This Time Next Year - David Caddick & Sunset Orchestra, The (5:28)
  18. 18 House on Sunset - David Caddick & Sunset Orchestra, The (1:34)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Sunset Boulevard - David Caddick & Sunset Orchestra, The (6:14)
  2. 2 The Perfect Year (Reprise) - David Caddick & Sunset Orchestra, The (1:27)
  3. 3 Journey to Paramount - David Caddick & Sunset Orchestra, The (3:29)
  4. 4 As If We Never Said Goodbye - David Caddick & Sunset Orchestra, The (6:52)
  5. 5 Surrender (Reprise) - David Caddick & Sunset Orchestra, The (1:04)
  6. 6 Girl Meets Boy - David Caddick & Sunset Orchestra, The (2:10)
  7. 7 Eternal Youth - David Caddick & Sunset Orchestra, The (3:30)
  8. 8 Too Much in Love to Care - David Caddick & Sunset Orchestra, The (5:25)
  9. 9 New Ways to Dream (Reprise) - David Caddick & Sunset Orchestra, The (3:47)
  10. 10 Sunset Boulevard (Reprise) - David Caddick & Sunset Orchestra, The (6:00)
  11. 11 Greatest Star of All (Reprise) - David Caddick & Sunset Orchestra, The (4:05)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
A. L. Webber Primary Artist
Original Cast Recording Indexed Contributor
Patti LuPone Vocals, , Track Performer
David Caddick Conductor
David Cullen Track Performer
Richard Tate Vocals
Sunset Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Steve Devereaux Vocals
Liz Greenaway Vocals
Sasha Millard Vocals
Gareth Snook Vocals
Dawn Spence Vocals
Nicolas Colicos Vocals
Trevor Nunn Conductor
Michael Bauer Vocals
Anita Louise Combe Vocals
Alisa Endsley Vocals
Adam Matalon Vocals
David Caddick & Sunset Orchestra, The Track Performer
Meredith Braun Vocals
Kate Arneil Vocals
Carol Duffy Vocals
Gerard Casey Vocals
Daniel Benzali Vocals
Peter Gale Vocals
Bernard Sharpe Vocals
Nadia Strahan Vocals
Daphne Pena Pardy Vocals
Sunset Orchesta Performing Ensemble
Nicola Jane Filshie Vocals
Mark Inscoe Vocals
Martin Turhlund Concert Master
Richard Purro Vocals
Harry Ditson Vocals
Sandy V-Strallen Vocals
Larissa Murray Vocals
Simon Hayden Vocals
Kevin Anderson Vocals
Technical Credits
A. L. Webber Producer, Engineer, Orchestration
Don Black Lyricist, Author, Book
David Caddick Orchestration
Maurice Cambridge Orchestral Manager
David Cullen Orchestration
Robin Sellars Engineer
Nigel Wright Producer, Engineer
John Napier Production Design
Christopher Hampton Lyricist, Book
David White Director
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    SUNSET BLVD. is Amazing!

    Truly one of Andrew Lloyd Webber's best, I would reccommend this to anyone. Although not everyone agrees, I prefer the lovely PATTi LuPONE in comparrison to the Los Angeles Recording's Glenn Close, for a CD anyway becuase Patti has a much better voice. However, this is "version 1" and the L.A. cast is overall better and is the complete version if you were to see the show today.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews