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Album Review

Ex-husband Andrew Lloyd Webber's Really Useful Records can be accused of scraping the bottom of the barrel in its second compilation of old Sarah Brightman tracks released to take advantage of the singer's international popularity due to her albums Time to Say Goodbye, Eden, and La Luna, all recorded for a different company. Happily, even the bottom of the barrel contains some excellent material, even after the cream was skimmed off with The Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection. During and after her marriage to Lloyd Webber, Brightman performed on the Original London Cast recording of The Phantom of the Opera and recorded the albums The Songs That Got Away (1989) and Surrender (1995), and that's the material sampled here, that is, the remaining tracks that weren't used on The Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection. There are four songs recorded for those album sessions that were not released — Lloyd Webber's "Whistle Down the Wind," Burton Lane and Alan Jay Lerner's "One More Walk Around the Garden," Stephen Sondheim's "What More Do I Need," and George and Ira Gershwin's "In the Mandarin's Orchid Garden." The last three, fairly obscure songs by well-known show-music songwriters, are typical of the non-Lloyd Webber choices found on The Songs That Got Away and Surrender. Also typical are the Lloyd Webber oddities, such as Italian-language versions of "With One Look" from Sunset Boulevard and "Memory" from Cats. If the mixed bag of material works, it's because of the unflappable Brightman, who doesn't only gamely undertake the selections, but throws herself into them, making "Piano" (as "Memory" somehow comes out in Italian) sound like an opera selection. "What More Do I Need," a comic celebration of love in dirty old New York, is beyond her, but not much else is.

Biography

Born: 14 August 1960 in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire

Genre: Vocal

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Broadway star Sarah Brightman was the inspiration behind such stage hits as Phantom of the Opera and Requiem, written in her honor by ex-husband Andrew Lloyd Webber. Born August 14, 1960, in Berkhampstead, England, Brightman began dancing at the age of three, and ten years later made her London theatrical debut in Charles Strouse's I and Albert. By 1976, she was a dancer on the television series Pan's People, and later led the pop group Hot Gossip, which in 1978 scored a U.K. number one hit with...
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Encore, Sarah Brightman
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