CD Review: ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER UNMASKED: The Platinum Collection

CD Review: ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER UNMASKED: The Platinum Collection

Andrew Lloyd Webber is quite possibly the most recognised and mainstream composer in the musical theatre industry. Love him or hate him, he has penned the music for some of the world's most famous musicals and continues to write today.

In celebration of his 70th birthday this year, he is releasing an ultimate hits collection - Andrew Lloyd Webber Unmasked: The Platinum Collection - available next month as a two- or four-CD recording.

The musical numbers across all CDs are tribute and testament to the man himself. From original tracks from his big hits such as Phantom of the Opera and Cats, to new work from his most recent stage show School of Rock, there is an unbelievable amount to enjoy. It's remarkable how many songs are instantly recognisable and staggering when you realise the number of tracks that he's created.

However, the success of this album ultimately lies with the newly recorded songs. The emotive "I Am The Starlight" from Starlight Express by Mica Paris and George Ure, and Lana Del Rey's heartbreaking version of "You Must Love Me" from Evita, are particular highlights.

Nicole Scherzinger's rendition of "Memory" from Cats even made the cut irrespective of all the controversy she caused! This is a song that has been performed many times by different singers, but she holds her own among the best. Furthermore, Beyonce singing "Learn To Be Lonely" with Andrew Lloyd Webber at the 2005 Oscars ceremony has been given a platform for the first time - and rightly so.

The songs included on the album span Lloyd Webber's career from start to present, recorded by a wide selection of artists and casts from across the globe. From "With One Look" sung by Barbra Streisand to "Buenos Aires" performed by the cast of Glee, "Vaults of Heaven" by Tom Jones to "Sing" by the Military Wives Choir - there is a great deal of ground covered in order to appeal to different generations.

Some forgotten gems such as The Woman in White and Stephen Ward are also visited. Perhaps not as popular as other productions, but they still contribute to Lloyd Webber's long-standing career.

The fourth CD contains five newly created orchestral suites, which are respectfully prepared from the original recordings. Lloyd Webber's rich orchestrations are incredible and this CD could not represent the man's talents better.

To coincide with this CD release is his new autobiography Unmasked, which you can get your hands on the week beforehand - 6 March in the US and 8 March in the UK. The perfect accompaniment to the recording I've no doubt.

Andrew Lloyd Webber Unmasked: The Platinum Collection is available on 16 March from most major music retailers including Amazon, HMV, iTunes and the Andrew Lloyd Webber official store.

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From This Author Jenny Ell

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