Compare Two Soundtracks

Any discussion related to any production or staging of Boublil and Schönberg's Les Misérables.
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Schmerg_The_Impaler
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Compare Two Soundtracks

Postby Schmerg_The_Impaler » Tue Jan 29, 2008 2:10 am

Compare the songs or singers on two different soundtracks (Ie., CSR and TAC) and then come to your conclusion about which is better! And no picking people like Lea Salonga for Fantine, because she's not on a soundtrack-- though you can pick her for Éponine, if you want. REcordings in other languages are totally allowed.

I will do it with singers on TAC and OBC, but I have DEEPLY DUBIOUS TASTES. I have a feeling a good majority of my choices will be disputed.

BETWEEN THE OBC AND TAC:

Valjean: They're the same guy

Enjolras: They're the same guy. He's sometimes flat and overly nasal on the TAC, though. (I'm still a big fan of his, though-- even though he blinks too much. He sounds very... manly and heroic, and his songs are my favourites in the show-- lovely vibrato. I just feel like his TAC performance couldn't live up to the expectations he set on the OBC one.)

Cosette: They're the same guy... I mean... girl... (Though she sometimes looks like a guy, thanks to that hideous black dress she has to wear. I've never once seen a Cosette who looked good in that dress, no matter how pretty the actress.)

Grantaire: Are they both Mr. Crivello? I know I saw him in the OBC with the huge afro, but I don't know if he was Grantaire. Anyway, both recordings sound pretty similar, and I love that guy.

Marius: TAC. I think this is one choice no one will argue! Michael Ball's voice is so warm and resonant, and he packs so much emotion into it. Plus, he's like a big teddy bear, which adds personality (and dimples) to a fairly flat character. Not that Marius is flat in the book, but in the musical, there's not much opportunity for character development. The OBC guy, David Bryant, has a pleasant voice and nice vibrato, but he puts no emotion into it, and his voice is too breathy and soft-- and some songs (like Heart Full of Love) seem way too high for him.

Fantine: OBC. I love Randy Graff. Her voice definitely showcases all of the panic that Fantine's going through, especially the frantic vibrato she uses in the last couple verses of "I Dreamed a Dream" and part of "Come To Me." Also... Ruthie Henshall's voice has this weird quality. There's a girlishness to it, but it sounds forced, like she's trying really hard to sound young, and almost like she's singing through a clenched jaw.

Éponine: TAC. Lea Salonga has a very pretty voice, if not necessarily the most original. I actually like Frances Ruffelle... but she sounds pretty weird on the OBC recording, and this is just a comparison between the OBC and TAC, not anything else. Ms. Ruffelle's pronunciation on words like "river" and "silver" and 'him' and the way she sounds like she's scream-moaning some of her lines is a bit distracting.

Thenardier: TAC. I love the Cockney accent. Though I do really love the guy on the OBC, too-- it was a hard choice. (I like his squeals and bullfrog breathing.)

Madame T: This is the only one I really can't decide on. I love the singing on the OBC, but the TAC really gets the "terrifying Thenardiess" down pat. Complete with Cockney accent.

Young Cosette: TAC. Though neither are as good as that girl who kept singing through the fire alarm on the blooper reel!


Feuilly: OBC. Why am I mentioning Feuilly? Because this was the one casting choice that I couldn't stop ranting about when I got the TAC. The OBC Feuilly has a deep, rich voice, and the TAC guy seems insubstantial in comparison. I can't even listen to "Drink With Me" on the TAC. And if you recall, Marius sings in that song. I'm forced to listen to David Bryant as Marius every time I listen to that song because I'm trying to avoid the dull Feuilly!

Gavroche: OBC. I'm almost as adamant about this as I am about Feuilly. The OBC guy has a mischievous and adorable voice. The kid on the TAC sounds stuffy, stilted, and older. (The OBC kid is also cuter-looking, but that's entirely beside the point.) When OBC guy yells "LIAR!" He really sounds fierce... the TAC guy sounds like he doesn't care.

That guy who sings "You at the barricades, listen to this!": You probably don't know this about me, but those two "You at the barricades, listen to this" song-lets (complete with Enjolras's parts) are my favourite bits of music in the whole show! I'm in two minds about the two different times they sing it.
* First time: ("Give up your guns or die") OBC. He has lovely vibrato and a beautiful echo to his voice that really makes it sound powerful.
* Second time: ("Why throw your life away") TAC. For some reason, on the TAC, the second time the guy sings this, it has a crackly, radio-like quality to it-- but not the first time. My brother and I find this immeasurably awesome.


Why have I not mentioned Javert yet? Because I KNOW no one will agree with me on this one. No one EVER. I have yet to find anyone, whether in real life or on the internet, who comes even close to agreeing with me. You see, I am... *dramatic pause* A MANN FAN.

Yes. I think Terrence Mann's facial expressions, pale pop-eyes, dark purr of a voice, and lean face are better suited to the "wild wolf" character of Javert that I got from the book. Philip Quast seems too... stereotypical cop. He doesn't seem as menacing or as snarky or as stylish. (Though he is tall, unlike Mr. Mann.)

Maybe that's because I got that "ugly yet sexy" vibe from Javert, and who is better described by that phrase than the slightly freakish looking but strangely sensuousTerrence Mann? (Heck, he played Chauvelin and The Beast. The only other "ugly yet sexy" character out there is The Phantom of the Opera, and that's a tenor role.) He has more... danger about him than Mr. Quast.

Terrence Mann follows the rhythms of the songs better, and he has a smooth voice that I find a lot more pleasurable to listen to than the gravelly, often painfully harsh and nasal voice of Mr. Quast. I can't even listen to Philip Quast's version of "Confrontation" because his voice is so grating, or to his version of "Stars" because he throws off the rhythm.

Also... could Philip Quast do THIS? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGe9-LM6wnQ

:lol:

EDIT: I read the first ten pages of reviews for the OBC soundtrack on Amazon, and found eight people who think Terrence Mann is the best Javert! So apparently I'm not ENTIRELY alone, just in a serious minority.

I still think he was far better as the Beast and (especially) as Chauvelin, though... and I think he wasn't as good at being the Rum Tum Tugger as John Partridge on the DVD, though he was still great and he came before Mr. Partridge. So I'm not totally biased, nor am I secretly him. ^_^
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Postby Savoire Faire » Tue Jan 29, 2008 7:06 am

Schmerg_The_Impaler wrote:Feuilly: OBC. Why am I mentioning Feuilly? Because this was the one casting choice that I couldn't stop ranting about when I got the TAC. The OBC Feuilly has a deep, rich voice, and the TAC guy seems insubstantial in comparison. I can't even listen to "Drink With Me" on the TAC. And if you recall, Marius sings in that song. I'm forced to listen to David Bryant as Marius every time I listen to that song because I'm trying to avoid the dull Feuilly!


Matthew. His name is Matthew Cammelle.
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Postby SylvieProuvaire1832 » Tue Jan 29, 2008 12:40 pm

Aw, but I like Matthew's Feuilly!
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Postby Schmerg_The_Impaler » Tue Jan 29, 2008 8:56 pm

It is Matt, then?

Some sites say Matt Cammelle and some sites say Adam Hunter was the TAC fellow who played Feuilly. He's the one I don't like. *Shrug* Maybe Adam Hunter was the guy who played him on Broadway in the tenth year?

Apparently, some chap named Joseph Kolinski was the original guy.

It's not that I don't like Matt (Assuming it's him)... I'm just so used to the deep-voiced! Feuilly. Matt has a nice voice and he's nice to look at. I just feel he doesn't have as much substance to his voice, and it was a bit of a disappointment when I first got my TAC soundtrack.


I know this is a music video for the TV show "Lost," (Which I've never seen) but here's the OBC version of "Drink With Me." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZn-FSMEoNA. It's the only version I can find online.

This is the TAC version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lj3lVF3lc0

But I already said my opinions usually stink, and I am not a professional singer or actor. Does anyone else have a comparison of 2 soundtracks to make?
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Postby MmeJavert » Tue Jan 29, 2008 11:28 pm

Maybe I shouldn't mention that Marianne and I watched the TAC and played the drinking game, and sporked Maguire the whole time. (It helped that we got plenty drunk by the time Master of the House rolled around) Seriously, Maguire is terrible in the TAC, and tolerable in the OBC. They should've let Matt be Enjolras instead.
and to this day, she's glided on
always home but so far away
like a word misplaced
nothing said, what a waste

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Postby Citizen_Aku » Tue Jan 29, 2008 11:43 pm

*cracks up* I hope Philip Quast NEVER plays the Rum Tum Tugger. Ever.

Well... well... well... who looks more like Vidocq, eh?

Maybe part of the reason I dislike Terrence Mann as Javert so much is that I think he's really good as Chauvelin. And Chauvelin and Javert should not be mixed.

Also, I like the way Quast is smiling at the start of the Confrontation.

I also have to disagree with you on Gavroche, Schmerg, but that may just be because I've only heard TAC Gavroche for so long that any other one sounds weird.
Last edited by Citizen_Aku on Wed Jan 30, 2008 11:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Viorica » Wed Jan 30, 2008 4:47 pm

I like Terrence Mann as a rule (I love him in Scarlet Pimpernel) but I prefer Philip Quast's Javert. Mann just wasn't stern or theatening enough for me. That, and he sounded like he was trying too hard to sound tough, and it didn't work.

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Postby MmeJavert » Wed Feb 06, 2008 1:57 am

Let's see...
-Drink every time Colm makes that high pitched -"nuh!" noise
-Drink every time the conductor sings along
-Drink every time the exit sign is in view
-Drink every time you catch one of the actors grabbing their water bottle
-Drink when you can see Valjean's expensive suit under his convict costume
-Drink when someone does something gross (Little Cosette picking her nose; Michael Ball wiping his nose on Lea Salonga's hair)
-Drink when the subtitles on the screen don't match the supertitles on stage
-Drink every time Philip Quast has to adjust his microphone.
-Drink every time Philip Quast can't decide what word he wants. (It sounds like it's saying "Thit means you get your yellow ticket-of-leave" instead of That or It. XD)

Um, I think there were a few more, but that list is definitely enough to get you good and sloshed. :lol: The ones I'm missing are fairly minor ones, probably. The exit sign shows up a lot, and the conductor sings along a lot, and you can see the actors drinking a lot. XD

I should point out that someone made this list up and posted it on the internet a bajillion years ago, I'm taking it from memory that's almost ten years old. XD If you search 'TAC Drinking Game' there are a few results.
and to this day, she's glided on
always home but so far away
like a word misplaced
nothing said, what a waste

~pearl jam, "dissident"

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Postby MllePaula » Wed Feb 06, 2008 3:03 am

I got a hangover from just reading that.
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Postby Frédéric Dumont » Wed Feb 06, 2008 10:13 am

For that massive Colm squeak in "Who am I" you ought to drink twice at the very least. :lol:

And how about "who saw what and why can't where"? :D
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Postby Schmerg_The_Impaler » Wed Feb 06, 2008 11:22 pm

:lol: When does Michael Ball wipe his hair on Lea Salonga's hair?

Now, since no one else will compare two soundtracks, I'll do it again, comparing the cast of OBC versus me, my brother, and sister. ^_^ We're doing a musical revue of Les Misérables for Easter, and I thought it would be funny to compare the productions. My brother and sister are thirteen-year-old twins and I am fifteen.

At The End of The Day: OBC. There are three of us, so we can't possibly sing all the parts. Also no set. It's pretty terrible.


I Dreamed A Dream: OBC. We have a four-foot-ten Fantine who looks and sounds about ten, which somehow makes the song seem very inappropriate. (For this reason, we cut "Lovely Ladies."

Who Am I?: OBC. Somehow, the high notes and Valjean's squeak at the end sounds less awesome coming from a boy soprano.

Confrontation: OBC. Well, two sopranos are playing Valjean and Javert, I'll just put it that way... And Valjean (my brother) is taller than Javert, who is a girl (namely, me).


Castle On A Cloud: My sister. Ha! I can honestly say that she's better than the OBC girl, though she has an unfair advantage because she's thirteen. She just looks ten.


Master of the House: OBC. Well, I'm playing Thenardier and my brother is playing my wife, and we're censoring all of the curse words with big "AMERICAN IDOL" symbols that my sister puts over our mouths. 'Nuff said.

Stars: OBC. Though if it was versus us and the TAC, my brother would win. He pwns Philip Quast's version of the song. Also, he screams the word "BAAAAARS" in a weird Janis Joplin kind of way, which is sort of awesome.

Look Down: OBC. This song fails with three people, especially when Gavroche also plays a prostitute, Marius also plays a pimp, and Enjolras also plays a beggar woman.

Red and Black: OBC. Let's just say that a five-foot-two girl playing Enjolras and waving around a water gun and a four-foot-ten girl playing Grantaire and waving around a Sprite bottle labeled "XXX" does not make for a very intimidating chorus of Revolutionaries. Oh yeah, and Marius also plays Gavroche.

Do You Hear The People Sing: OBC. We always accidentally start singing, "Do you hear the people scream, screaming the screams of dying men, yes it is music to my ears because they can't fight back again!"

In My Life/Heart Full of Love: OBC. There's something pervy about the same guy playing Marius and Valjean. Also when Cosette forgets to take off the false mustache she was wearing when playing Enjolras before singing. And when all three members of the love triangle are siblings.

One Day More: OBC. Three people doing this song means that Cosette, Enjolras, and Javert are played by the same person, as are Marius and both Thenardiers, and Éponine and Valjean. It also means that the part where everyone's singing together is a bit of a disaster.

On My Own: TIE. Obviously, Frances Ruffelle is a pro singer, but at least my sister never says, "LIEEEEEK SEEEL-VUHRR."

Little People: Us. We automatically win because the full version of this song is not on the OBC!

A Little Fall of Rain: OBC. For once, it's good that Frances Ruffelle sounds like she's dying when singing. Also, I always start giggling while singing Éponine's part in this song because I'm lying with my head back and my brother keeps dropping weird things into my mouth.

Drink With Me: OBC. Our Marius insists on gargling while singing.

Bring Him Home: OBC. Let's just say that a thirteen-year-old girl plays Valjean and leave it at that. On the other hand, wasn't that kind of what Colm Wilkinson was going for with this song?

Javert's Suicide: OBC. My brother insists on doing a striptease while singing because he believes Javert would not want to get his nice uniform all wet when he drowns. At least, that's the excuse he gives.

Empty Chairs At Empty Tables: Us. Despite the fact that I'm a soprano and despite the fact that I really, really suck at this song, at least I'm not David Bryant.

Finale: OBC. Our Valjean always sings the lines from the Death of Fantine and On My Own.
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Postby Frédéric Dumont » Thu Feb 07, 2008 10:10 am

Your own cast probably pwns at pure sparfle-worthiness, though.
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Postby Citizen_Aku » Thu Feb 07, 2008 11:53 am

Javert's Suicide: OBC. My brother insists on doing a striptease while singing because he believes Javert would not want to get his nice uniform all wet when he drowns. At least, that's the excuse he gives.


:shock:
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Postby Frédéric Dumont » Thu Feb 07, 2008 3:53 pm

Get your siblings on here, why don't you?
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Postby Schmerg_The_Impaler » Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:59 pm

Well, they've never read the book, they've never seen the musical, they're not allowed to join online communities, they don't know anything about the plot of the book or musical (they've learned the songs from me, the TAC soundtrack, and lots of karaoke arrangements), they don't know anything about the French Revolution(s) except that I did a report on it and "Scarlet Pimpernel" happened during it, and they get Chauvelin from Scarlet Pimpernel confused with Robespierre.

Also, they would be totally traumatized by everything on this site... they don't know anything about, you know, basically ninety-hundredths of the "adult humour" stuff on here, and they don't even know what "Lovely Ladies" means.

Maybe part of the reason I dislike Terrence Mann as Javert so much is that I think he's really good as Chauvelin. And Chauvelin and Javert should not be mixed.

Really? I've always thought they were very similar. Very driven, dark-minded men who take on animal-like characteristics in situations of extreme emotion. And they get very obsessive about finding and destroying a specific man, to the point of frenzied near-insanity. Both are antagonists, but neither are totally bad, and both consider themselves to be the good and righteous ones.
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