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Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street (Highlights Edition)

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Stephen Sondheim's 1979 Broadway musical Sweeney Todd has been hailed as the composer's best work and the best musical of its decade, if not of the last three decades of the 20th century. It has been revived frequently and, as a work that straddles the line between musical theater and opera, adopted for the repertories of opera companies. When a stage musical is adapted into a motion picture, it is often the case that the score is given a bigger treatment. Broadway shows use a limited number of musicians, and, due to union regulations, Broadway cast albums tend to be recorded in a single day by casts also performing the music eight times that week on-stage. When the ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Stephen Sondheim's 1979 Broadway musical Sweeney Todd has been hailed as the composer's best work and the best musical of its decade, if not of the last three decades of the 20th century. It has been revived frequently and, as a work that straddles the line between musical theater and opera, adopted for the repertories of opera companies. When a stage musical is adapted into a motion picture, it is often the case that the score is given a bigger treatment. Broadway shows use a limited number of musicians, and, due to union regulations, Broadway cast albums tend to be recorded in a single day by casts also performing the music eight times that week on-stage. When the same score gets to Hollywood, producers often employ much larger orchestras and more elaborate recording techniques, for better or worse. Something like the opposite seems to have happened with director Tim Burton's 2007 film version of Sweeney Todd. Burton has cast the movie with actors not previously known as singers, starting with his frequent collaborator Johnny Depp (the two previously paired on Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, Sleepy Hollow, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), and also including Helena Bonham Carter (Burton's common-law wife) in the principal roles of Sweeney Todd and the pie shop proprietress Mrs. Lovett, plus Alan Rickman and comedian Sacha Baron Cohen (from the film Borat). To accommodate these performers, Sondheim orchestrator Jonathan Tunick has done some serious transposing of the score to bring the songs into the limited vocal ranges at hand. In this version, no one will confuse Sweeney Todd with an opera. Depp turns out to have a reasonable middle tenor, which makes for a very different Sweeney as compared with the baritones who usually essay the part on-stage. It might also cause some confusion with the secondary part of Anthony (Jamie Campbell Bower), if Depp did not adopt the same lower class British accent he used in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. He also speak-sings his way through as much of the musical material as he can get away with. Bonham Carter does somewhat better, although she's no competition to previous Mrs. Lovetts such as Angela Lansbury and Patti LuPone. Much the same thing can be said about the rest. On a soundtrack album, the comparisons with stage performers are inevitable, but they shouldn't trouble moviegoers very much. Other associations may cause titters, however. Rickman sounds much as he did in the Harry Potter movies, and when he and Depp modestly mutter their way through the lovely ballad "Pretty Women," it's like hearing Captain Jack Sparrow in a duet with Professor Severus Snape. There are two editions of the soundtrack. The regular one eliminates some minor music from the score, notably including "The Ballad of Sweeney Todd" (which is, however, used instrumentally as "Opening Title"). The highlights disc does not include the lyric booklet and deletes the short "Alms! Alms!," "Ladies in Their Sensitivities," and the lengthy "Final Scene," which consists of reprises of previously heard songs and some more killings to add to the pile in this musical Grand Guignol. Some dialogue is also edited in the highlights version. (In the marketing environment of 2007, the makers of the soundtrack are to be commended for not introducing a gratuitous new composition in the end credits just to have a potential Oscar contender for best song, and for not including karaoke versions of the songs on the album.)
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/18/2007
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • UPC: 075597996135
  • Catalog Number: 356540
  • Sales rank: 15,255

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Opening Title (3:30)
  2. 2 No Place Like London (4:25)
  3. 3 The Worst Pies in London (2:21)
  4. 4 Poor Thing (2:46)
  5. 5 My Friends (3:48)
  6. 6 Green Finch and Linnet Bird (2:16)
  7. 7 Johanna (1:57)
  8. 8 Pirelli's Miracle Elixir (2:01)
  9. 9 The Contest (2:05)
  10. 10 Wait (2:38)
  11. 11 Pretty Women (4:07)
  12. 12 Epiphany (3:14)
  13. 13 A Little Priest (4:51)
  14. 14 Johanna (5:42)
  15. 15 God, That's Good! (2:47)
  16. 16 By the Sea (2:17)
  17. 17 Not While I'm Around (3:38)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Johnny Depp Primary Artist, Vocals
Paul Gemignani Conductor
Andy Richards Organ
Edward Sanders Vocals
Alan Rickman Vocals
Helena Bonham Carter Vocals
Sacha Baron Cohen Vocals
Laura Michelle Kelly Vocals
Sweeney Todd Pit Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Jamie Bower Vocals
Jayne Wisener Vocals
Technical Credits
Stephen Sondheim Composer, Lyricist
Robert Hurwitz Executive Producer
Bob Ludwig Mastering
Andy Richards Engineer
Geoff Foster Engineer
Mike Higham Arranger, Producer, Audio Production
Bruce Witkin Producer
Jake Jackson Engineer
Alex Heffes Arranger
Tim Burton Executive Producer
Robert Edridge-Waks Editorial Coordinator
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Sweeney Todd

    My children, 13, 15, 19 and 22 all love this soundtrackj and movie.

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

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Still good

    Even though the previous Mrs. Lovetts and Mr. Todds could outsing Depp and Carter, no one can say they did a bad job vocally. I never knew Johnny Depp could sing and Carter's soprano voice perfectly coordinated with his voice.

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

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I'll stick to the original

    I picked this up not expecting to be blown away and my expectations were met. Though Mr. Depp does a suitable job of it his speak sing tactic gets a bit annoying but oh well, his voice is also often lost in the music making it hard to hear him at all. The biggest problem though is that half the songs are gone from the original sdtk and what songs remain are severly trimmed, A Little Priest and God Thats Good are cut in half, which is a shame because they are two of the best songs Broadway ever had.

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

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    After listening to Len Cariou and Angela Lansburys verison of Sweeney Todd (Original Broadway Cast), I found my favorite. Johnny Depp is amazing at his singing. I never knew he could sing. Neither Alan Rickman who plays Judge Turpin. Everyone including Tim Burton, did an amazing job on this film. I'm very happy how things turned out. Even though there wasn't a ballad. None of them were there. There should have been one at the end of the film at least.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews