Classification: Studio 70
Year of release: 1973
Type: Studio cast
Jesus of Nazareth / Judas Iscariot…………Martin Jay
Mary Magdalene…………Sharon Winters
Pontius Pilate…………Tony Steven
and The Studio 70 Orchestra and Chorus
Heaven On Their Minds
What’s The Buzz
I Don’t Know How To Love Him
Damned For All Time
I Only Want To Say
King Herod’s Song
Produced by Bill Wellings
Engineer: John Iles
Musical Direction and Arrangements by Len Hunter
Recorded in 16 track at Chappells Studio, London
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.
Don’t let the opening drum roll deceive you. Though the arrangements are very similar to the Alan Caddy recording, and Martin Jay shows up again (this time in a Jekyll-and-Hyde turn as both Jesus and Judas, showcasing his versatility — and the label’s cheapness — no doubt), this is a different recording. Though popular in fan trading circles now, this was fairly obscure in its day and should only be picked up by a completist, or someone for whom this recording was their first experience of JCS.