Classification: First All American Cast
Year of release: 1971
Type: Studio cast
Alternate Album Covers
Jesus of Nazareth…………Doug Getschal
Judas Iscariot…………Ken Werner
Mary Magdalene…………Pat Hollis
King Herod…………Paul Antonelli
Heaven On Their Minds
What’s The Buzz
I Don’t Know How To Love Him
The Last Supper
King Herod’s Song
Jesus Christ, Superstar
Chief Engineer and Technical Director: Joseph Chiccarelli
Assisted by William Ferruzzi
Arranged and Conducted by Antonio Teixeira Jr.
Cover Design: Anthony Viola
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. This case is one of the more obscure recordings from the early Seventies. The exact year of release is uncertain (currently estimated at 1971 thanks to the help of CastAlbums.org), but Tim Rice reportedly once mentioned that it was one of the first such recordings to appear outside the UK after the original concept album was released.
Listen To This Recording!
Unfortunately, this album is out of print, but rather than try your luck finding used copies through such variable (on a good day) sources as eBay, you can listen to it on YouTube thanks to the JCS Zone YouTube channel, where rarities will frequently be posted on these pages.
The version the JCS Zone community now has is owed entirely to the efforts of JCS super-fan Mark Jabara, who designed the alternate cover above in the early days of JCS downloads and who went to great lengths to convert this old, rare EP to a digital format. According to his notes: “Considering this was an EP, and in the worst possible shape (including warped), it came out really well, and, I believe, better than some that are going around. […] I had to play it wet with a solution that stops vibration and with weights on the pickup, then 6 months with a digital mixer, and removal of all scratches by hand.”