3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
The Best English-Language Cast By Far, Jan. 5 2004
I own both the original London cast recording (the double CD) and this one and I've listened to a friend's copy of the London cast highlights CD and I have to say that I think this recording is the best I've ever heard. I have yet to hear any of the foreign-language recordings, although I understand some of them are fantastic. The only thing that keeps me from recommending this recording above all others is that this CD is, after all, only a highlights recording (which is why I'm only giving it four stars) and the original London cast double CD does contain most -- but not all -- of the music in the show (it's also a very good recording, just not nearly as good as this one). But the performers on this recording far outshine the performers on the original London cast recording. The London cast highlights recording isn't even worth considering. It's an abbreviated selection of songs performed by an inferior cast. You'd do well to forget it even exists.
By the way... As you may or may not know, Colm Wilkinson, who sings the role of the Phantom on this recording, was Andrew Lloyd Webber's first choice to play the Phantom on stage in London, but he was performing in another show and couldn't do it.