Jesus Christ Superstar
The movie is good, but Neeley's voice is so thin that he can't really carry the part of Jesus. Neeley's characterisation with Ian Gillan's vocals, now THAT would be a good show!
>>By Murph (Thursday, 2 Jan 2003 00:11)
Re: Neeley's thin voice...
But, that was part of the point. Neeley played a vulnerable christ, not the version that had been portrayed by older plays/ movies. His singing in the garden was this great descrepant event with the camera looking down at him with thick neck muscles, but thin- high voice. He was a good choice to play the part opposite judas.
You'd never invade Iraq with that voice, but you might just get people to look away from their zealotry/ righteousness to focus on what is really lasting.
>>By passive_radiator (Thursday, 17 Apr 2003 20:11)
Many criticize the work for leaving out the resurrection. However, in the movie, we see both Christ and Judas dressed in radiant white at the end, Judas singing the "Superstar" theme and Jesus beatifically receiving the apparent indictment. This, to me, indicates a nod to resurrection and afterlife (at least in the Jewison version). I always found that very satisfactory, perhaps an ambiguous way to hint at what none of us is certain about, but a reality for which many have faith.
>>By crichar3 (Sunday, 20 Apr 2003 05:51)
There has been a lot of talk on the weakness of Neely's voice. I just bought the DVD and watched the movie for the 1st time.
Yes, it is true that Neely's voice is somewhat thin but I feel that this is a good thing. In his human nature, Jesus was weak and
was rejected. He allowed himself to be crucified. Neely gives us a weak and vulnerable Christ that I believe is true to the
Gospel. I was very impressed by Carl Anderson's portrayal of Judas Iscariot. I felt so much sympathy for his tortured soul.
Yvonne Elliman as Mary Magdalene sang some very beautiful songs. The scene with King Herod and his ragtime song had
my wife cracking up! The movie did end on a down note but we all know what happened afterward.
>>By Poiboy1964 (Monday, 28 Apr 2003 14:03)
I have just recently passed on my love of Jesus Christ Superstar to my three year-old daughter and two year-old son. We rent the video on a weekly basis, and listen to my variety of cds daily. I'm thrilled.
I've been searching for information about Ted Neeley, to satisfy my own curiosity. Does anyone know what brought him to this role? What I love about Ted Neeley, more than the other "Jesuses" is the fact he truly takes on the "rock" sound--at least until Sebastian Bach took on the role. Was he in a rock band prior to his Broadway debut, or had he been pursuing a career as an actor?
It's a rock musical, and therefore he fits the voice and look perfectly, better than Sebastian Bach or any other. Thin-voiced or not, he and Carl Anderson are incomparable and unmatchable. I think we'll be buying the video for my daughter's next birthday.
>>By mkaysato (Thursday, 22 May 2003 03:47)
Ted Neeley's voice..... weak?
I've heard many different versions of vocalists playing Christ in this amazing musical, as far as I am concerned, no-one gets anywhere remotely close to the power of Ted Neeley's voice/emotion/passion. In all the other versions of, shall we say, the song 'Gethsemane', the lyrics 'can you show me now that I would not be killed in vain, show me just a little of your omnipresent brain' - are always sung in a lame, half hearted, rhythmic way by other artists. Ted Neeley, on the other hand, screams these words with such passion and inner anger that it makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up every time I hear this song.
Ted Neeley, in my opinion, injects himself vocally*, with heart felt passion, giving Tim Rice's lyrics the emotion they deserve.
*I added an asterix after the word 'vocally' because, even though I believe Ted Neeley to be a charismatic actor in this movie, I am aware that white American should not play the image of Jesus. We know Jesus was neither white nor American.
>>By WHAT? (Thursday, 24 Jul 2003 00:59)
I think Ted Neeley was brilliant in this role. I've never heard anyone else sing Gethsemane with half as much passion, and usually they screw it up and really turn it into an overblown heavy metal mess. Ian Gillan and Sebastian Bach are both great singers also, but I really think Neeley was perfect for this role and sang with feeling and conviction. I've heard at least a dozen really good singers in this part, but Neeley is still my top JCS.
Carl Anderson also did an amazing job. It's a real shame that both of them never did turn into "superstars".
>>By Noah (Monday, 28 Jul 2003 10:53)
This is for mkaysato. When Ted Neeley tried out for the musical, he was trying out for the part of Judas and never even consider playing the part of Jesus. The director had asked him if he would just try the part of Jesus and that is how he got the part. I got to see and hear Ted live when the tour was going on back in 1991 and if you thought that he did a wonderful job on Gethsemane back in 1973, it was incredible back in 1991 to watch him walk out onstage and start singing. If any of you ever get a chance to meet him, like I did, he is a very down to earth person and you will enjoy taling with him. I am a big Jesus Christ Superstar and Ted Neeley fan and I can't get enough of his voice. You people that are saying that Ted has a weak voice, it might not seen that he has a strong voice but he really does have a strong and powerful voice.
As far as Ian Gillan's vocals go, he is OK but Ted blow'[s him away in singing Gethsemane and the rest of the songs in the movie. I completely agree with what," What " had said about his voice. Hearing him sing, give's me the chill's!
Whoever is criticizing his voice, listen closely again and just hear how powerful his voice is really.
>>By ketchumbass (Thursday, 21 Aug 2003 04:58)
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