Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger



Elton JOHN and Tim RICE  The Lion King   Original Broadway Cast  Edel 0104552DNY [65:10]





I must declare from the outset that I have seen neither the film nor the show.

As a musical experience this disc represents a very mixed blessing. Of course the whole event is in brilliant punchy sound. As a keepsake of a show the disc is highly desirable. The show must be a tour-de-force of imaginative design inspiration. Look at the giraffes on the back cover of the full text insert … and look again. However the music is such a mish-mash.

Some tracks are quite stunning. The 'African' tracks (Circle of Life, Grassland Chant, Lioness Hunt) survive best although if you enjoy this music you might well go for other CDs devoted to ethnic material. The Morning Report is just draining (sub-G&S material) as is the soft-core pop of Chow Down and I Just Can't Wait. They Live In You blends an attractive ballad with African chants. Be Prepared a sinister and amusing tango-ballad. Hakuna Matata and The Lion Sleeps Tonight ('Wímmaway') are the popular highlights. They are done with great style. In fact everything is done very well but it is all so diffuse and the stylistic clashes are un-nerving rather than peppery. Much of the pop material is drab.

My 14 year old daughter, who loved the film and songs from the original soundtrack, thought that this recording was pretty good. So, if you like the music and want a slightly different take on it this is the disc for you. If you are not a fan then this will not convert you and I remain obstinately unimpressed by all but a couple of the songs.

(as music) (for those who like the show in the first place)


Rob Barnett


Rob Barnett

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