The First Ever Review
Sunday 19 May 1968 The Sunday Times
'Pop Goes Joseph'
'Give us food', the brothers said, 'dieting is for the birds'
Joseph gave them all they wanted, second helpings, even thirds...
Even on paper the happy bounce of lyrics like these comes through. They are exactly right for singing by several hundred boy's voices. With two organs, guitars, drums and a large orchestra the effect is irresistable.
The quicksilver vitality of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, the new pop oratorio heard at Central Hall, Westminster, last Sunday, is attractive indeed. On this evidence the pop idiom - beat rhythms and Bacharachian melodies - ismost enjoyably capable of being used in extended form.
Musically, Joseph is not all gold. It needs more light and shade. Avery beautiful melody 'Close Every Door To Me', is one of the few points where the hectic pace slows down. The snap and crackle of the rest of the work tends to be too insistant, masking the impact of the words, which unlike many in pop, are important.
But such reservations seem pedantic when matched againist Joseph's infectious overall character. Throughout it's twenty minute duration it bristles with wonderfully singable tunes. It entertains. It communicates instantly as all good pop should. And it is a considerable piece of barrier-breaking by it's creators, two men in their early twenties - Tim Rice, the lyricist and Andrew Lloyd Webber, who wrote the music.
The performers laast Sunday were the choir, school and orchestra of Colet Court, the St. Paul's junior school, with three solo singers and a pop group called the Mixed Bag. It was an adventurous experiment for a school, yet Alan Doggett, who conducted, produced a crisp, exciting and undraggy performance which emphasized the rich expansiveness of pop rather than the limitations of it's frontiers.
Review by Derek Jewell
'Considering this was written after the second ever performance of
Joseph which was only 22 minutes long, this review was quite good!!'
Joseph - David Daltry
Pharaoh - Tim Rice
Narrators and Brothers - The Choir
Narrative pieces by Malcolm and Terry from Mixed Bag
Piano - Andrew Lloyd Webber
Organ - Dr W.S. Lloyd Webber
Cello - Julian Lloyd Webber
Piano - John Lill
Also help from:-
The Colet Court Orchestra
The Mixed Bag Group
Conductor - Alan Doggett
All information here was taken from The Autobiography of Tim Rice.
© copyright to Tim Rice and Hodder and Stoughton Publishers.