The first soundtrack to Evita, written by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, was released in 1976 in a similar fashion to the pairs’ other work. It released at first as a concept album with the musical production to follow in London’s West End in 1978. A year later, it went to Broadway where it became the first British musical to win a Tony award. Over the years, there have been countless productions and tours. There have been 25 albums made in the English language, five in German, four in Spanish, three in Japanese, two in Hebrew, and a handful in other languages. Finally , from a pop culture standpoint, the musical was adapted into a movie in 1996 with Madonna and Antonio Banderas in the lead roles.
This version was made by the 1980 cast from the Original Madrid Production and is simply awesome. Musically, the songs are far better than both the original album and the movie. The songs have more of a Latin feel in some parts and are more fully developed in others. Paloma San Basilio handles the role of Evita while Patxi Andion and Julio Catania handle the roles of Che and Peron, respectfully. The vocals, in Spanish, are very good as well. If you are familiar with the songs, the fact that the lyrics are in Spanish becomes arbitrary. After reading a handful of reviews on the Internet, it is safe to say that this is a favorite of hardcore Evita fans.
As this is the end of the month, it means that I have been listening to the songs since Sept 1st and, to a point, am a little burned out upon hearing them. However, after picking these up again, I am reminded of what makes this album great. Perhaps it is a bit unfair to compare this to the original album as the Madrid production was able to fully digest prior versions of the material.
For samples, I went with a couple of my favorite songs from the musical. First off, “Buenos Aires” was a wild, discotheque sound to it that seems to highlight the bustling nightlife Evita embraces at the beginning of her rise. “Adios Y Gracias” ( Thank You and Goodbye), is one of my favorite numbers where Che is showing Evita’s lovers out the door. “La Nueva Argentina” ( A New Argentina) is another favorite of mine. Finally, I included “Talisman/ Tourne Del Arcoiris” (Rainbow High/ Rainbow Tour) together.
This is a Top Rated Album for me.