Anyway, I was also going to post a few tracks from the original 1971 concept album, but for some reason, the files I ported from home don't include the all-important overture, which I really, really wanted to post; on its own, out of context, the overture is a fantastic piece of proggy, chuggy instrumental rock music whose tendrils of influence are far greater than you'd expect.
A little background on Jesus Christ Superstar: Yes, it was composed by the, depending on your point of view, genius/hack Sir Andrew Lloyd Weber with lyrics by Tim Rice (who, after the dissolution of his artistic partnership with Lloyd Weber, penned the rock opera Chess with ABBA's Benny and Bjorn; I'm sure I'll post about that someday as well) and covers the events from Palm Sunday to Good Friday, leaving out all the Easter activities. The massive success of a concept album recording in 1971 featuring Deep Purple frontman (and briefly, Black Sabbath's -- from 1982-1984) Ian Gillan as Jesus, Murray Head (who would later make Chess' "One Night In Bangkok" a hit in the early 80's) as Judas, and disco diva Yvonne Elliman as Mary Magdalene (as well as a then-unknown Gary Glitter and Manfred Mann's Michael D'Abo) led to a rather badly-received Broadway production in 1971 (the 1972 production mounted in London's West End fared better) and a film version (directed by Norman Jewison) in 1973.
Just a look at the extensive listing of productions and tours and revivals in the Superstar wikipedia entry is a testament to the enduring appeal of this work -- and I'm never surprised to meet people who harbor a secret love for that brown-covered double album they inevitably discovered in their parents' or older siblings' record collections. What's not to love -- Jesus is kind of a goober, Judas gets all the good songs, Mary Magdalene is totally torn in her love for Jesus, the apostles are drunk hangers-on -- well-intentioned, but drunk hangers-on nonetheless, Herod is a lush with slave girls, Pilate actually feels bad about putting Christ to death. In other words, it's all much more interesting than the dusty gospel stories -- and yeah, the score rocks; the lyrics are clever (though, I once heard Tim Rice give a lecture in which he revealed that the original lyrics to "I Don't Know How To Love Him" were "I love a Kansas morning/Kansas mist at my window..." until the tune migrated into the show -- thank goodness) and there's not a lick of proselytizing.
Included here is the opening number, "Heaven on Their Minds," that introduces Jesus and Judas' relationship; Mary Magdalene's plaintive ballad "I Don't Know How To Love Him," and the carnivalesque "King Herod's Song." And of course, if I get a hold of the overture, I'll put it up posthaste.
Jesus Christ Superstar -- Heaven On Their Minds
Jesus Christ Superstar -- I Don't Know How To Love Him
Jesus Christ Superstar -- King Herod's Song
Plus, here's a few bonus tracks, because I'm amusing like that.
From the utterly brilliant Sugar EP, Beaster:
Sugar -- Judas Cradle
Sugar -- JC Auto
From Peter Gabriel's Passion, the soundtrack to Martin Scorsese's still-controversial film The Last Temptation of Christ:
Peter Gabriel -- A Different Drum
Peter Gabriel -- Passion
Have a good weekend, don't eat too much candy. Or rather, eat as much candy as possible. You have my blessing.