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Les Miserables (1985)

4.2 out of 5 stars 94 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Dec 11 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Sony Music Canada
  • ASIN: B009XC8RZ6
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 94 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #13,932 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

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 Th‚nardiers), Rebecca Caine (older Cosette), and David Burt (Enjolras) filling out the excellent cast.

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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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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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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Format: Audio CD
I first copied the b-way cast of Les Miz, and immediatly fell in love with it. But unfortunately, i had nothing to compare it to having not heard any other recording of the show. I recently got the London cast recording, and since i was so used to the B-way cast, it took me a while to warm up to it. Here's a list of the cast & how i rated them
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.
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Format: 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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Format: 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.
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Format: 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.
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