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Les Miserables (1985)
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Digitally remastered edition reissued to coincide with the 2012 motion picture. This recording captures the 1985 London cast that transformed an obscure French musical based on Victor Hugo's gargantuan novel of pre-Revolutionary France into a worldwide phenomenon throughout the late-'80s and '90s and became one of the best examples of the era's trend of blockbuster musical spectacles. Yes, Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schoenberg's score tends to recycle its themes, but the beautiful melodies and stirring anthems rarely fail to captivate and touch its audience. Colm Wilkinson is the heroic Valjean, Patti LuPone is the tragic Fantine, Michael Ball is the love-struck Marius, and Frances Ruffelle is the despondent Eponine, with Roger Allam (Javert), Alun Armstrong and Sue Jane Tanner (the Thnardiers), Rebecca Caine (older Cosette), and David Burt (Enjolras) filling out the excellent cast.
This recording captures the 1985 London cast that transformed an obscure French musical based on Victor Hugo's gargantuan novel of pre-Revolutionary France into a worldwide phenomenon throughout the late-'80s and '90s and became one of the best examples of the era's trend of blockbuster musical spectacles. Yes, Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schoenberg's score tends to recycle its themes, but the beautiful melodies and stirring anthems rarely fail to captivate and touch its audience. Colm Wilkinson is the heroic Valjean, Patti LuPone is the tragic Fantine, Michael Ball is the love-struck Marius, and Frances Ruffelle is the despondent Eponine, with Roger Allam (Javert), Alun Armstrong and Sue Jane Tanner (the Thénardiers), Rebecca Caine (older Cosette), and David Burt (Enjolras) filling out the excellent cast. Fans will want to take note that this recording includes some material that was revised when the show crossed the pond to Broadway--"Little People" was lost altogether, while the "Love Montage" was significantly rewritten. Les Misérables sounds especially vivid in its 1998 remastering, and a synopsis and full lyrics are included. --David Horiuchi --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
COLM WILKINSON: Valjean: Colm is heard on both recordings, but here is sounds somewhat inexperienced, and a little flater than B-way where he relly lets loose.
PATTI LuPONE:Fantine: Patti is a wonderful singer/actress, and has a great voice, but she sounds like she's either about to fall asleep, or painting her fingernails!! She puts NO feeling into the role of a sad, lonely woman.
ROGER ALLUM:Javert: Roger has a captivating voice, and is by far the best Javert ive heard. His rendition of STARS is amazing, and brings out Javert's vow to caputre & jail Valjean.
FRANCES RUFFELE: Eponine: Frances has a beautiful voice, which is clearly understood on this recording, more so then the B-way rec. where she basically shreiks her way through all of her songs except On my Own. On this CD, her voice is moe refined, and her death duet with Michael Ball (A LITTLE FALL OF RAIN) makes me want to cry. She is GREAT!!
JUDY KUHN: Cosette: nice, sweet, opera voice, that is very much suited for the part of Cosette. However, she is obviously NOT a young wistful teen, but a 30 year old actress portraying one. Blegh!
MICHAEL BALL: Marius: GREAT!! He puts a lot of feeling into the role & can actually sing, unlike the other dude, whose name i do not know. wonderful duets with Cosette/Eponine. He is clearly a professional singer.
ENSEMBLE: Although their vocies are heard better on this recording, hear the B-way cast. COMPARE.Read more ›
The company is okay, but not great. One thing that bothers me about the company is in the song "At the End of the Day." If you have good speakers, the woman singing the descant (the higher notes over the chorus) in such parts as "like the waves crash on the sand, like the storm that'll break any second...", there is this woman with a very shrill voice that ruins the beauty of the song that you can hear in other recordings.
The parts in this musical are written differently. For instance, the students sing different parts on this album than on other albums.Read more ›
Colm Wilkinson as Valjean: 5/5 - Colm can be heard on 3/4 english recordings. In my opinion this is his greatest recording of the role. He puts the right amount of passion and his voice is the best it has been.
Roger Allam as Javert: 4/5 - Not the greatest voice but it still fits the inspector. Not as good as Phillip Quast but miles ahead of Terrence Mann.
Rebecca Caine as Cosette: 3/5 - Ms. Caine has a gorgeous soprano voice and I loved her as Christine in POTO. However, in Les Miz, she doesn't really have any character in her voice. It seems as though she's just singing the songs.
Michael Ball as Marius: 5/5 - It's Michael Ball! What else do I have to say? He's the only Marius.
David Burt as Enjolras: 3/5 - Like Terrence Mann as Javert, David tries all he can do, but is terribly miscast as the revolutionary student. He sounds more like a Marius than an Enjolras.
Frances Rufelle as Eponine: 5/5 - Many people have criticized Ms. Rufelle for her interpretation, but I think she's perfect. Yes she sounds young, but Eponine was 15 in the book. She plays the role just as it was written in the book. Besides, if she's so horrible than why did she win a tony award. They don't just hand those out you know.
Zoe Hart as Young Cosette: 5/5: Perfect! So adorible.
Ian Tucker as Gavroche: 2/5: I hate Ian as Gavroche. He's annoying and his voice is shrill. Although he does get his own song, I wish it could have been sung by someone else.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
CD as good as the first one my husband purchased 25 years ago.
Couldn't find this CD anywhere else. Very nice....
Excellent sound quality and cast quality. It is the soundtrack of the cast of the show I first saw and so it still has special meaning for me. Read morePublished on Feb. 9 2013 by Judy Woodburn
I saw the movie Les Miserables and loved it. The music was incredible so wanted to be able to listen to it over and over again. Read morePublished on Feb. 4 2013 by Anne
This is my favourite musical & I was very pleased to get this CD. I have the CD in my car and play it more than listen to the radio.Published on Jan. 28 2013 by Maureen
The CD recording of the original London production of Les Miserables is the absolute gold standard. The voices, the music, the story stir the heart and rouse the spirit. Read morePublished on Aug. 10 2009 by JM Barrie
This album may be the best recording I've heard of Les Miserables - the opinion of one who's heard many performances of the show. Read morePublished on July 5 2004 by Rebecca
Whiny and squeaky interpretation here leaves much to be desired. Get the 10th Anniversary Concert Recording -- you'll find an Eponine version that's heartfelt and empathetic.Published on May 17 2004 by adam
This is a great recording (well, it's Les Mis!), but to those who love the caharcter Eponine, the performance here (and the Broadway album) leaves much to be desired. Read morePublished on April 30 2004 by antonio