Jesus Christ Superstar, the seminal, genre-defining rock album written by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, is set to be re-released as a digitally remastered double-album on July 16th.
The album was the starting point of the Jesus Christ Superstar phenomenon and spawned the now world famous theatrical stage show and Hollywood film. Featuring a long list of legendary musicians, the album has renowned rock vocalist and Deep Purple frontman Ian Gillan voicing the part of Jesus, platinum selling solo artist Murray Head as Judas Iscariot and the inimitable Yvonne Elliman in the role of Mary Magdalene.
Originally released in 1970, the album achieved huge global fame, most notably in the United States where it went to Number 1 on the Billboard Album Chart, keeping other seminal records by George Harrison and Led Zeppelin off the top spot and going on to sell over 7 million copies worldwide.
Andrew Lloyd Webber said ‘The re-mastered album sounds fantastic and we hope that fans both old and new will enjoy it.’
The release comes in the wake of the recording’s 40th anniversary, and with exciting plans afoot; ITV and Andrew Lloyd Webber are launching a show to search for a performer to play Jesus in a newly realised UK arena tour that will feature Tim Minchin as Judas Iscariot, Melanie C as Mary Magdalene and Chris Moyles as King Herod.
Celebrated and loved by millions, Jesus Christ Superstar portrays the story of the last seven days of Christ’s life leading up to his crucifixion, with hit songs such as ‘Superstar’, ‘I Don’t Know How To Love Him’, ‘Heaven On Their Minds’ and ‘Hosanna’. Recorded in 1969, the album has since become recognised by many as one of the first rock concept albums. As well as having some of the era’s most prominent vocalists, the record also features a number of legendary rock music session musicians such as Neil Hubbard (Bryan Ferry, BB King, Elton John), Chris Spedding (Roxy Music, John Cale), Alan Spenner (Joe Cocker, Peter Frampton) and Bruce Rowland (Paul McCartney’s Wings, Fairport Convention).
In the wake of the album’s huge success in America, a live production of Jesus Christ Superstar soon followed and played to packed out arenas during US tours in 1971, and then in 1972. UK fans finally got their chance to see this landmark show when it arrived at London’s Palace Theatre – its run of eight years and over 3,000 performances smashed all box office records.
With the re-release of the album and a wealth of other activity to follow, a whole new generation of rock fans are set to experience the magic of Jesus Christ Superstar.
Listen to clips from the album and pre-order your copy here.