Best Andrew Lloyd Webber Songs
Andrew Lloyd Webber is one of the most well-known composers in the history of Broadway and the West End. His songs span many genres, from sparse folk tunes to melodramatic opera. More than any other Broadway composer of the past forty years, he has won the world over with his music. Let’s look at the best Andrew Lloyd Webber songs.
‘The Phantom of the Opera’
For all of the fans that The Phantom of the Opera has garnered, it has also received its fair share of criticism – much like Andrew Lloyd Webber himself. Some deride the musical as cheesy, bombastic, or devoid of the spirit of Gaston Leroux’s novel. However, it’s nearly impossible to listen to the opening notes of this song without being overcome with anticipation.
The opening of this song isn’t just an instrumental – it’s a bold announcement that you are about to go beneath the Paris Opera House and see one of the most spectacular musicals in Broadway history. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical was far from the first mainstream adaptation of Leroux’s novel. However, it was one of the first to truly explore the complex relationship between the Phantom and Christine. In this gorgeous duet, we get a taste of the mind games that the Phantom plays with her.
The titular song from from The Phantom of the Opera is one of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s most grandiose songs, whereas “Memory” from Cats is one of his most delicate and haunting. The song is about a faded glamour cat who reminisces about the glory days of her youth.
Based on a poem by T. S. Eliot, the most well-known version of the song was recorded by Barbra Streisand. This song could have been about anything and its haunting melody still would have captivated audiences. Even people who have never seen Cats are familiar with this ballad; that alone is a testament to its power.
‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina’
“Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” has one of the most memorable chord progressions in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s catalogue. It’s no surprise that that chord progression gets reused multiple times over the course of Evita; that’s not a problem, considering how beautiful it is.
Many have commented that some of the lyrics of this song are pure nonsense, however, the nonsense passages of “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” are nonsense of the highest order; Lewis Carroll would be proud. The instrumental swell near the end of the track is one of the highlights of of Evita, as well as Andrew Lloyd Webber’s career.
As one of Webber’s most iconic songs, “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” has been recorded by everyone from Lea Michele and Chris Colfer of Glee to Sinead O’Connor. The most famous version of this track is Madonna’s cover, which became a hit thanks to the film adaptation of the musical.
Although there are numerous covers of this song in different genres, the definitive version is still the original by Julie Covington. Her voice gives the track a rare combination of delicacy and power that perfectly embodies the portrayal of Eva Peron in the musical.