The Living Strings and Living Voices (1971)


Recording Information

Classification: Living Strings & Living Voices
Year of release: 1971
Language: English
Type: Studio cast

Alternate Releases

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Credited to The Living Strings & The Living Voices 

(later releases credit Johnny Douglas & Magic Fantasy Orchestra)

Track Listing

Side 1:
Heaven On Their Minds
Everything’s Alright
Pilate’s Dream

Side 2:
I Don’t Know How To Love Him
King Herod’s Song
John 19:41

Audio Production Information

Orchestrations, Vocal Arrangements, Musical Direction: Johnny Douglas

Historical Notes from a Fan

When any show is a hit, a lot of people will be quick to capitalize on the show’s success. In this case, Jesus Christ Superstar was one of the first albums of its kind, and everyone wanted their own slice of the pie where the Passion According to Tim and Andrew was concerned. At this time, many “budget” labels famous for releasing low cost sound alike albums (“knock-off” recordings capitalizing on shows, songs, or albums that became hits) jumped into the fray. The performers were usually never an actual ensemble that had performed JCS (indeed, in its early days, the number of actual casts performing the show were very few), but instead merely a group of vocalists who recorded songs from the show. Usually, these recordings were very cheaply put together and produced, and priced to own. (In the future, albums like these, now labeled “studio cast recordings,” could no longer be accurately described as simple cash-grabs, but at the time, the use of the phrase “knock-off” is totally appropriate.) Though it may be a matter of opinion, this particular fan feels that since the performers on these studio recordings lack the experience of getting on a stage and actually performing the show in front of an audience, the performances are pleasant enough, but not always up to par with a real cast album.

Even budget-level classical ensembles were getting in on the act, as this recording proves. Not really much more to say about this one, but suffice to say that classical covers of Andrew Lloyd Webber are not to everyone’s taste. Although previously (and frequently) confused with 101 Strings owing to the similarity of styles, this is a different recording altogether.