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Chess (Original Concept Album) Soundtrack
|Price:||CDN$ 27.78 & FREE Shipping. Details|
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File ABBA. 2CD set original 1984 recording of the Benny Andersson & Bjorn Ulvaeus hit musical written with veteran Tim Rice.
Chess is a musical that sounds like it shouldn't work but instead succeeds surprisingly well. This is the original concept album that was recorded before the musical was staged in London. Chess is the story of a love triangle told against the backdrop of an international chess tournament during the height of the cold war. The composers are Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus (the Bs in ABBA) and the lyrics are by Tim Rice, who supplied the words for Andrew Lloyd Webber's Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita, as well as Disney's Aladdin (with Howard Ashman), The Lion King, and Beauty and the Beast. The six-member cast does a beautiful job with the songs, which are a combination of ballads, rock, and operatic choruses. Murray Head's version of "One Night in Bangkok" became a surprise hit in the mid-'80s and it still turns up on the turntables in dance clubs around the world. --Michael Simmons --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The concept cast is phenomenal. The six principal singers are absolutely fantastic. The singers from the Broadway recording do not begin to compare to the cast featured on the concept album. In fact, I was rather disappointed with the version of Chess that finally made it to Broadway (some of the best songs from the concept album didn't make the cut to the final version).
The instant Chess was made available in CD format, I purchased it. It is well worth the cost. The concept album is by far the better of the two versions available.
Start to finish, this has to be one of the most amazing scores ever composed. Benny Anderson and Bjorn Ulvaeus of ABBA created a perfect blend their signature pop music, brassy show tunes, and operatic anthems.
Just as impressive is the lyrical genius of Tim Rice. Rice, known for writing the lyrics to EVITA, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR and THE LION KING (to name just three), gives us here his most heartfelt, passionate and personal lyrics. The combination of these lyrics with Anderson & Ulvaeus' score is heard to its fullest effect on songs like ANTHEM, HEAVEN HELP MY HEART and the heartwrenching finale, YOU AND I. I read somewhere that, at the time of the making of this album, Rice was carrying on an affair with the shows leading lady, Elaine Page.Read more ›
This album records the show at its best. The original London show moved some of the songs (Pity the Child to the first act, a horrendous move). The Broadway show, which changed the plot, thereby ruining it, has a better cast in my opinion. (Listen to Judy Kuhn sing anything, and you will melt. Philip Casnoff is also a more vocal and less screaming Freddie. I like him better) This show is very eighties, but it has heart and melody in abundance without being cheesy and sentimental. "Nobody's Side" will make you swear off relationships forever, while "Mountain Duet" will make you want to fall in love (especially in the Alps) My favorite songs include "Nobody's Side", "Anthem", "The American" (the rock interlude in "Merano") "Florence Quits/A Taste of Pity" and "The Deal (No Deal)" "Pity the Child" is brilliant... Ok, so I love the whole show. Serious Chess fans will also buy the Danish cast (in English) and the 2002 Swedish cast (in Swedish... you'll swear it was first written in Swedish! The orchestrations are great) As well as the Broadway version. There is also a 1994 Swedish cast that is basically a second-hand re-hash of this album.
Before we ever saw the musical, my wife and I fell in love with this beautiful original score. Full of passion and complexity, it makes the heart soar. Then, years later in England, we saw this original version on stage. SPECTACULAR!
Then, unfortunately, there's the American musical revamped version (audio is a red, white and blue cover) -- what is labeled The Broadway Cast recording. What an utter disappointment. Typically unchallenging and unpassionate. This seems to be what Americans want. I am an American, but can't stomach this mutilated version!!!
My advice: Stick to the beautiful original -- it is NOT just a concept album, it has been and continues to be performed in this breathtaking version (audio is a black cover with white chess squares) all over the world.
Most recent customer reviews
Did not know what to expect, but overall a very solid collection of songs. Production shows its age but with the return of the "cold war" this album strikes a cord.Published 4 months ago by geomeister
Was expecting more of the whole thing knowing songs like "I know him so well" and "One night in bangkok" were such huge hits back then. Read morePublished on Feb. 16 2013 by SG
I love this CD....I've never seen it but I heard that a while ago, there was a concert and Josh Groban sang "Anthem." The music is brilliant...amazing... Read morePublished on Sept. 7 2005
Chess (1986 London Concept Cast - 1997 Polydor Slimline Release) [CAST RECORDING]~ Benny Andersson (Composer), et al is very good and I usually hate musicals since they are stupid,... Read morePublished on June 17 2004 by B. Viberg
The year was 1984, and two guys from a 70's disco band, along with a legendary Broadway lyricist, decide to make a musical about a Cold War chess game. Read morePublished on Feb. 23 2004 by AngelSinger
In the midst of being in the local high school summer production of Chess, I had to get the soundtrack. This being only one in the nearest FYE store, I bought it. Read morePublished on July 29 2003 by Rachel
This is an absolute masterpiece. Admittedly, the storyline of the musical is a little weak, and at times, the plot lapses into moments of pure silliness. Read morePublished on June 17 2003
So, I bought this LP (as in record...I'm dating myself) when it first came out in 1986. I got it because of the "One Night In Bangkok" frenzy. Read morePublished on June 3 2003 by Jennifer Smith