Godspell [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

Godspell [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]


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Godspell [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

Godspell, the second musical of the early '70s to be based on the life of Jesus Christ (following Jesus Christ Superstar, which hit the record racks, but not the stage first), was something of a sleeper, opening off-off-Broadway in May 1971, with an original cast album that belatedly became a big success in 1972 after "Day By Day" was released as a single and hit the Top Ten. By then, the show had moved to off-Broadway and was well on its way to a run that would exceed 2,500 performances (and eventually reach Broadway itself). Bell Records, a subsidiary of Columbia Pictures, had released that cast album, and the film company quickly put a movie version into production. Happily, composer Stephen Schwartz retained musical control, and the film, other than using various deserted New York City locations as its set, was quite faithful to the stage version. Five of the ten ensemble performers were retained from the original cast, along with all four of the original musicians, and Schwartz produced the music, as he had on the cast album. As such, the soundtrack album offered him the opportunity to improve upon the cast album, and he did. The key casting change was the replacement of Stephen Nathan, who played Christ onstage, with Victor Garber, a talented young singer/actor who would go on to a distinguished stage career that would include two Stephen Sondheim musicals, Sweeney Todd and Assassins. Garber was a stronger singer than Nathan, and that improved things noticeably. Meanwhile, David Haskell stayed on in the dual role of John the Baptist and Judas, and, naturally, Robin Lamont got to repeat her triumph singing "Day By Day." Though Joanne Jonas was an original cast member, she had not sung "Turn Back, O Man," which she here inherited from Sonia Manzano and did well with. With a bigger budget, Schwartz was able to augment the original musicians using key studio personnel such as lead guitarist Hugh McCracken (on "Prepare Ye [The Way of the Lord]") and keyboard player Paul Shaffer, along with a horn section and half dozen strings. As a result, he was better able to realize the score's pop tendencies than he had on the cast album. Two songs, "Learn Your Lessons Well" and "We Beseech Thee," were cut, along with a reprise of "Day By Day," and one, "Beautiful City," was added. So, this was a less complete version of the score, but it was much better performed and produced, making this a rare instance in which the soundtrack album is better than the original cast album. (Though the film was not a commercial success and took 25 years to get to video, the soundtrack album reached the Top 40 and stayed in the charts for almost a year.)

Product Details

Release Date: 05/01/1992
Label: Arista
UPC: 0078221833721
catalogNumber: 8337

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Michael Kamen   ARP
Corky Hale   Harp
Paul Shaffer   Organ,Keyboards,Multi Instruments,Tack Piano
Victor Garber   Vocals,Track Performer
Jesse Cutler   Bass,Guitar
Wayne Andre   Trombone
Norman Carr   Strings
George Devins   Timbales,Timpani
Mickey Gravine   Trombone
Richard LaBonte   Bass,Rhythm Guitar,Vocals,Track Performer
Charles Macey   Banjo
Hugh McCracken   Guitar
Allen Ralph   Trombone
Steve Reinhardt   Keyboards
Ricky Shutter   Percussion,Drums
Irving Spice   Strings
Louis Stone   Strings
Don Thomas   Guitar
Anahid Ajemian   Strings
Bira Haas   Strings
Steve Manes   Bass
Jeffrey Mylett   Recorder,Vocals,Track Performer
Allen Raph   Trombone
Chayim Tamar   shofar
Robin Lamont   Vocals
David Haskell   Vocals
Lynne Thigpen   Track Performer
Stephen Schwartz   Keyboards
Joanne Jonas   Vocals
Merrell Jackson & Company   Vocals
Jerry Sroka   Vocals
Gilmer McCormick   Vocals
Katie Hanley   Vocals
Stephen Reinhardt   Keyboards,Vocals
Elliot Rosoff   Strings

Technical Credits

Michael Kamen   Contributor
Victor Garber   Contributor
Elvin Campbell   Engineer
Elliot Scheiner   Engineer
Edgar Lansbury   Producer
Beverly Weinstein   Art Direction
Stephen Schwartz   Producer
Joanne Jonas   Contributor
Jerry Sroka   Contributor
Gilmer McCormick   Contributor
Stephen Reinhardt   Musical Supervision

Customer Reviews

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Godspell [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is a a nice movie with fine music, and good for kids. Jesus's teachings are presented playfully but faithfully. Watching this movie now, the most striking thing about it is how they filmed one of the dance numbers at the top of one of the incomplete Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in Manhattan.
CeruleanRARS More than 1 year ago
It was everything I remembered it to be. My album was scratched and I really wanted to hear the songs again. It was as beautiful at when I first heard it in the 70's. Liked it better than JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago