Cover of "Kiss Me Kate: A Musical Comedy,...

Cover via Amazon

So, on to the 80’s and I guess The Rolling Stones are still going but there’s lots of other stuff going on.

In 1982 I met Leighton and my ears were opened up to “Showtime”. Leighton played the piano and soon I was being serenaded with:-

  • Ivor Novello –  “I Can Give You the Starlight”
  • Cole Porter – I’ll always remember “So in Love” from Kiss me Kate

And we also went to shows. Not only locally in Jersey (including St. Martin’s Olde Tyme Music Hall Society which Leighton took part in during their early years and which I became a member of after he died) but also to “Phantom of the Opera” and my all time favourite “Les Miserables” which were both on in London. Mum had taken Bruce and I to see “Jesus Christ Superstar” at the same theatre, The Palace Theatre, when it first opened in the 70’s but it was only now that I started really appreciating musical theatre.

“The musical was first heard as an album before being staged on Broadway and later in London‘s West End. On the original album, the part of Jesus was sung by Ian Gillan, the lead singer of Deep Purple who later also worked with Black Sabbath and others, and that of Judas by Murray Head. The future Gary Glitter had a one-liner as a priest and Michael d’Abo appeared as King Herod. The title song, “Superstar”, sung by Judas (Murray Head), and “I Don’t Know How to Love Him”, sung by Mary Magdalene (Yvonne Elliman) about her relationship with Jesus, were both big hits.

The original album has a rock flavor that is very different from Webber’s later work. This is in part due to the emotive singing of Murray Head and Ian Gillan and the playing of well-known rock session musicians such as guitarists Neil Hubbard and Chris Spedding, bassist Alan Spenner and drummer Bruce Rowland. The musical arrangements are often multi-layered, featuring rock and classical elements, and contain many abruptly shifting dynamics and time signatures. Many feel that this is the definitive version of this musical.”

But what else was happening in the 80’s? Well there was:-

  • Queen
  • George Michael
  • Gerry Rafferty
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Bob Seger
  • U2
  • R.E.M.
  • The Cars
  • The Police
  • The Lightning Seeds

More bands starting with THE!


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