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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worst Les Mis recording, but okay
The real deal is the 10th Anniversary Concert Recording with the best cast and the most dynamic performances. Get THAT and the Complete Symphonic Recording and you have all the Les Mis that you need.
Published on July 12 2004

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing!
My first exposure to Les Mis the musical was through the Complete Symphonic Recording. Then I attended the 10th Anniversary celebration and got that recording, so upon listening to this particular album, the most I got was disappointment. The arrangement is very slow and most of the cast, while good by general standards, are mediocre compared to the talents I saw during...
Published on July 13 2004 by aline


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing!, July 13 2004
By 
aline (Paris, France) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Original Cast (Audio CD)
My first exposure to Les Mis the musical was through the Complete Symphonic Recording. Then I attended the 10th Anniversary celebration and got that recording, so upon listening to this particular album, the most I got was disappointment. The arrangement is very slow and most of the cast, while good by general standards, are mediocre compared to the talents I saw during the anniversary. Listening to Lea Salonga then to Frances Ruffelle for instance, is like going from smelling the sweet scent of a beautiful rose to getting wounded by its thorns. The difference in experience between the two recordings is so big that once you've listened to the 10th Anniversary Recording, everything else pales in comparison.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worst Les Mis recording, but okay, July 12 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Original Cast (Audio CD)
The real deal is the 10th Anniversary Concert Recording with the best cast and the most dynamic performances. Get THAT and the Complete Symphonic Recording and you have all the Les Mis that you need.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great to hear it again., Jan. 8 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Original 1985 London Cast Recording (Audio CD)
CD as good as the first one my husband purchased 25 years ago.
Couldn't find this CD anywhere else. Very nice....
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5.0 out of 5 stars Still the best after 25 years, Feb. 9 2013
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This review is from: The Original 1985 London Cast Recording (Audio CD)
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. And who can be better than Colm Wilkinson?
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5.0 out of 5 stars loved it, Feb. 4 2013
By 
Anne (Montreal,QC Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Original 1985 London Cast Recording (Audio CD)
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. The soundtrack for the movie did not include all the songs so I chose to get this version. This version doesn't have the raw quality that some of the songs from the movie did esp. some of the songs by Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman. I see the movie every time I listen to the CD which is quite often. It is a very wothwhile purchase
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great, Jan. 28 2013
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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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Les Miz is Les Wonderful!, Aug. 10 2009
This review is from: Les Miserables (Audio CD)
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. Listen once and you'll understand. This is pure theatrical magic.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good recording, but definitely not great, July 11 2004
This review is from: Original Cast (Audio CD)
Maybe it's the fact that I've been spoiled with such wonderful recordings as the Tenth Anniversary Recording, the Complete Symphonic Recording and even the Broadway Cast, but this recording of Les Miserables is at the bottom of my list in favorite recordings. It is missing something. I bought it after I had the other three recordings and also two others in Spanish, one in German, the Original French Concept Album, and two Japanese recordings. All of the others (maybe excluding the French Concept one) have better music and sound quality. What I mean by better music is that it does not sound like there is much of an orchestra playing on this CD. On some songs you can only hear a guitar and a piano playing! I just like the full orchestra sound that can be heard on the other albums. Also, this is the first recording besides the French Concept Album, so obviously they have improved the musical since this first recording; Broadway is slightly better, the Complete Recording is even better than Broadway, and the Tenth Anniversary recording is magnificent! This album just seems to be weak!
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. Also, there is a song sung by Cosette called "I saw him once" that was cut out of Broadway, and "Little People" was also cut out and made only a few lines when Gavroche confronts Javert and reveals his identity ("Good evening Dear Inspector, lovely evening my dear!").
One comment on the music: It is different. The musical starts not with the powerful overture but with music that sounds like the introduction to "At the End of the Day." The music is much slower. This helps songs like "I dreamed a dream" but ruins songs like "Confrontation," making it laughable. Stars is awful.
OK, so now it is my turn to tell you what I think of the actors and actresses. I get to be the critic! :)
VALJEAN: Colm Wilkinson is great as Valjean, but I prefer him on the other recordings. His voice isn't as strong on this recording as it is in others and he sounds more inexperienced.
JAVERT: Roger Allam is good and strong, but not as good as Phillip Quast. Terrence Mann and Roger Allam both seem to be unconvincing, but it's not the faults of the men that they were miscast.
FANTINE: Patti LuPone has a gorgeous voice, but she seems to be lacking emotion. Randy Graff has more emotion, but Graff can also be harsh on the ears at some parts ("and tell Cosette I love her and I'll see here when I wAAAAAke!!"
THENARDIERS: I must prefer Armstrong's appearance on the 10th Anniversary Recording, and I hate the Madame.
GAVROCHE/YOUNG COSETTE: Y.C. is so innocent and has a beautiful voice! Gavie is adorable and has much better rythm than Braden Danner, but I think Danner had a cuter voice.
MARIUS: Ball is great as Marius.
ENJOLRAS: I don't like the Enjolras on this recording because he is very weak. I think he was miscast. Micheal Maguire is definitely better because he has a strong voice and performance. This Enjolras doesn't cut it at all.
I think you should spend money on the other recordings. I just copied this CD on my computer and resold it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the many that I've heard, July 5 2004
By 
This review is from: Original Cast (Audio CD)
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. Colm Wilkinson is the epitome of Jean Valjean, and contrary to popular opinion I prefer Roger Allam to Phillip Quast. The conducting, as often pointed out, is slower, but it enhances the mood of the music and isn't noticable unless listened for. Michael Ball is a wonderful Marius (even though I'm not fond of his character). Rebecca Caine, granted, has a beautiful voice, but her tone is rather cold, and not as expressive as it might be. Frances Rufelle as Eponine I enjoy. I admit Lea Salonga is an excellent Eponine, but Rufelle's interpretation seems to fit her character more, as she sounds younger and is very convincing as Eponine. Overall, this is my favorite recording of the beautiful show, and I believe it performs Victor Hugo's, Michael Schonberg's and Alan Boublil's work exquisitely.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Every story must ahve a beginning, May 22 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Original Cast (Audio CD)
Even though the OBC might have better orchestrations and be more familiar to the American audience, I still prefer this version for two reasons; The cast is overall more superior and it has two additional songs that were cut out of the show when it made its transition to Bradway. Here's my review of the cast for the OLC.
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.
Clive Carter as Grantaire: 2/5 - Horrible. Grantaire is supposed to be a nasty drunk and Clive's voice is way too smooth and pretty. Plus he has no character whatsoever in his voice.
Alun Armstrong and Susan Jane Tanner as The Thenardiers: 2/5 - I've always hated Alun Armstrong as Thenardier and while Susan Jane Tanner isn't awful, nothing really great sticks out in my mind.
So there you have it. My final complaint on this album would have to be the music. One day more is way to slow and unemotional and Stars just sounds weird. Hope this helps.
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The Original 1985 London Cast Recording
The Original 1985 London Cast Recording by Les Miserables (Audio CD - 2012)
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