- Audio CD (March 18 2013)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: Collector's Edition, Limited Collector's Edition, Limited Edition, Original recording remastered, Soundtrack
- Label: Universal Music Canada
- ASIN: B005QVZGW0
- In-Print Editions: Audio CD
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #47,170 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
Phantom of the Paradise [Vinyl Replica Paper Sleeve] Collector's Edition, Limited Collector's Edition, Limited Edition, Original recording remastered, Soundtrack
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This is a compact disc "vinyl replica deluxe" with the same packaging as the original LP in CD format (cardboard sleeve). Brand new, original, factory-shrink wrapped, limited edition CD release. Brian de Palma tapped composer/performer Paul Williams to write the songs and star in his rock musical "Phantom of the Paradise." the original soundtrack album for this cult classic film features Williams singing the theme and two other numbers.
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First, the packaging. An earlier reviewer lamented that it was a bare bones issue with no extras and a flimsy jacket. I believe the idea is to replicate the LP rlease as it was issued back in 1974. Both this and the 2001 edition have done a great job and have accomplished exactly what you got with the original LP. The USA release has a plain paper slipcase for the CD inside the mini jacket, while the Japanese has a vinyl slipcase. The front covers of the jackets are exactly the same. The rear covers are also the same except for the American version, which has tiny copyright information added to the very bottom of theirs (the original LP, which by now you realize I still own a copy) does not have this. But it is only a miniscule difference...not a deal breaker. And both jackets appear to be of the same thickness and construction quality.
So, now on to the aural comparison using my two Oppo BDP-93s. The Japanese edition has a slightly stronger bottom end, in particular with the electric bass guitar and kick drum. And upon first inspection, the American release has slightly brighter treble (silibants are more pronounced). Upon a second listen through, I find that the American edition has accentuated the midrange to the point that the piano sounds tinnier (not tinier), which makes the echo even more pronounced on vocals and snare drum hits. This is too much unlike my LP. I refrain from calling it bad, it is just different. For my taste, I prefer the Japanese edition simply because it is much closer in sound to the original LP. The problem for the consumer is that this Japanese edition is impossible to find (read: long out of print).
Call me an old LP geek, but I love these mini LP editions. If I did not have an original LP as a reference, I would have loved this American edition. As it is, I merely like it, so four stars.
Great reproduction of the original vinyl album but the lyrics for all songs written onto the back of a cd sleeve are impossible to read. But hey, that's why we have the internet. Recommendation: Yes, Get it!
Anyway... the reason why I purchased the soundtrack to begin with...
...When I was a young boy back in the 70's and 80's, ABC ran a weekly half-hour documentary-like show called "That's Hollywood". In one of the episodes, it featured the scene of a "bird-like helmeted man", dressed in neck-to-toe black leather, who wields a neon-blue lighting bolt and sends it into the back of an unsuspecting victim. That image always captivated my imagination, and it wasn't until my teenage years that I caught this Brian De Palma masterpiece on the CBS late show. The Phantom of the Paradise is a zany mash-up of Broadway Musicals meets The Phantom of the Opera meets Faust. It tells the tale of a young and naive composer, Winslow Leach, who inadvertently sells his soul to a Mephistopheles-like record producer searching for the perfect score of music to open his fabled concert hall "The Paradise". What really makes this a genuine treat is the brilliant musical score of Paul Williams who plays Swan, the Luciferian record producer with a demonic hold on the music world. The film also features the debut of Jessica Harper playing the ingenue, Phoenix, whose vocals make her a standout on instant-classic numbers "Special to Me" and "Old Souls". I've listened to the soundtrack a million times on YouTube before I said to myself... "you have to have it". So I bought both the movie and CD soundtrack... and happily, with absolutely no regrets! My favorite songs from the soundtrack include: "Goodbye Eddie, Goodbye", "Faust", "Special to Me", "The Phantom's Theme", "Somebody Super Like You", "Life at Last", and "Old Souls". Undoubtedly, these songs will stick with you long after you've turned the music off.