Click here to return to the main site.

Music Review

Cover Image

Jesus Christ Superstar
Live in Concert
Original Soundtrack of the NBC Television Event


Music: Andrew Lloyd-Webber
Lyrics: Tim Rice
Performed by: John Legend, Sara Bareilles, Brandon Victor Dixon and Alice Cooper
Label: Masterworks Broadway
Release Date: 15 June 2018

Drawing nearly 10 million viewers, NBC’s highly anticipated special event Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert received rave reviews for its production. Masterworks Broadway has released the soundtrack which features lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber...

Put bluntly, if you're a fan of this musical then this is an essential purchase. However if, like me, you think it's a badly dated, poorly constructed musical then you'll want to avoid it like the plague.

The all-star cast features Oscar, Golden Globe, Tony and 10-time Grammy winner John Legend (Jesus Christ), Broadway star and acclaimed recording artist Sara Bareilles (Mary Magdalene), rock icon Alice Cooper (King Herod) and Tony Award-winning producer and ‘Hamilton’ alum Brandon Victor Dixon (Judas).

The stellar cast also includes Tony nominee Ben Daniels (Pontius Pilate), Tony nominee Norm Lewis (Caiaphas), Broadway veteran Jason Tam (Peter), ‘M. Butterfly’ star Jin Ha (Annas) and Swedish rock star Erik Gronwall (Simon Zealotes).

You have to bear in mind that this is a musical that originally started life as a rock opera concept album in 1970, before being turned into a musical in 1971. For its time it was groundbreaking and helped to change the way modern audiences perceived the medium. I went to see one of the travelling versions of it back in the '80s and while I found parts of it rather moving, I did find the entire production to be a little too twee. The lyrics aren't overly impressive and the music is instantly forgettable, not to mention a little too repetitive.

The crowd whooping and cheering is also rather distracting on this recording - mainly because more often than not it's not clear what on earth they're getting so exited about. If it's available, you'd be better off buying the Blu-ray/DVD version of the show.

Yes, the performers are all excellent (you can't fault them) it's just that the material is so flat. There's nothing here that's memorable or compels you to return for a second listen. One for fans of the original musical who also enjoyed this new "musical event".


Nick Smithson

Buy this item online

Each of the store links below opens in a new window, allowing you to compare the price of this product from various online stores.

Digital album
iTunes GB
Digital album
Digital album