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Album Falls From Internet
June 8, 2011 10:47 AM   Subscribe

The Original Cast Recording for Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark is currently available for a free listen thanks to MSN. (approx 51 minutes) The track listing shows that it's not only the cast members performing the songs.

Album description from Amazon:
The album, featuring 14 new tracks, is composed of songs co-authored by Bono and The Edge of U2 and was produced by frequent U2 collaborator Steve Lillywhite. Recorded by the talented cast of the Broadway production, this long player also features a single version from the musical entitled, "Rise Above." This track showcases Reeve Carney who plays the role of Spider-Man in the Broadway production. The track also features performances by its composers Bono and The Edge.
The Original Cast Recording will be released on the same day the show officially opens on Broadway, June 14th, 2011 at the Foxwoods Theatre in New York City.
posted by hippybear (40 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
The first couple of minutes sound kind of like TSO with more The Edge and an attention span problem.
posted by Wolfdog at 10:50 AM on June 8, 2011


...this is nothing but the sound of thuds, echoed screams and snapping bones.
posted by griphus at 10:52 AM on June 8, 2011 [12 favorites]


(Does anyone else imagine Bono addressing The Edge like Strong Bad addressing The Cheat?)
posted by Wolfdog at 10:52 AM on June 8, 2011 [15 favorites]


Wolfdog: Yeah, the first track has a pretty disjointed Overture-ish nature to it. It settles down into something a bit more concrete after that.
posted by hippybear at 10:54 AM on June 8, 2011


(Does anyone else imagine Bono addressing The Edge like Strong Bad addressing The Cheat?)

Bono got mad at The Edge for screwing up the Jumble caper.
posted by inturnaround at 10:55 AM on June 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


They're also performing at the Tony Awards in a season that they didn't open.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:56 AM on June 8, 2011


Listening now, and it's pretty good so far. Now if somebody would just find a way for me to watch "The Book of Mormon" online.

(Also, if you like the main singer, we had his band Carney at our outdoor concert series last year, and the crowd LOVED him.)
posted by jbickers at 10:58 AM on June 8, 2011


Given the Turn of the Dark disaster curse, isn't listening to this kind of like watching the tape from The Ring?
posted by Artw at 11:02 AM on June 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


*ring ring*
*ring ring*
H-hello?
[breathing]
Hello, is someone—
In seven days...
Who is this?
[breathing]
WHO IS THIS
...in seven days, you will still be annoyed by this...
JULIE TAYMOR, PLEASE STOP CALLING MY HOUSE

posted by cortex at 11:07 AM on June 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


Oh man, this is about as awful as everybody said it was. So this is what Mr The Edge had under his funny little hat.
posted by koeselitz at 11:15 AM on June 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm afraid I must second koeselitz - some of the least supple beats I've heard in a while (clicktrack, anyone), and uninteresting melodically or lyrically. Maybe the visual spectacle is entertaining (without the frisson of potential maiming), but this is generic and ain't worth listening to.
posted by twsf at 11:21 AM on June 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm about 30 seconds in and my ability to enjoy U2 ever again has already plummeted by at least 60%.
posted by The World Famous at 11:22 AM on June 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


NHL player picks up hitchhiking Bono.
posted by kmz at 11:24 AM on June 8, 2011


[+] for the tag line. . .
posted by Danf at 11:27 AM on June 8, 2011


Spider-Man
Spider-Man
Friendly neighborhood Spider-Man
Spins a web
Any size
Catches thieves
Just like flies

Look out!
Here comes the Spider-Man!




Wait, there's some other sort of Spider-Man music?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:30 AM on June 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Among many useful tricks I have learned from I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue, singing those words to the tune of Brahms' Lullaby has to be one of the best.
posted by Wolfdog at 11:34 AM on June 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


SPIDER PIG

SPIDER PIG

Does whatever a SPIDER PIG does

Can he swing

From a web

No he cant

He's a pig

LOOK OOOUUUTTT!!!!

He is a SPIDER PIG!!
posted by kmz at 11:34 AM on June 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


The Antidote
posted by benzenedream at 11:36 AM on June 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Antidote

No, that doesn't heal me of thinking the Edge's guitar style has become the subject of self-parody. All that does is make me like the Ramones less.
posted by The World Famous at 11:37 AM on June 8, 2011


I couldn't find the link again, but I saw an article recently where B & E acknowledge that they knew the Taymor production was shite - but nevertheless express their confidence that they can revise it into a fine show.

Good luck with that.
posted by Trurl at 11:41 AM on June 8, 2011


The best Spider-Man music is, of course, from the 1967 cartoon.
posted by Trurl at 11:48 AM on June 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


kmz,

Touché.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:56 AM on June 8, 2011


Like all my reviews of The Edge's work, I just put one thought through a reverb pedal and walk away.
posted by Dark Messiah at 12:04 PM on June 8, 2011


Julie Taymor owed six figures by Bring On The Night producers

"Julie was paid $125,000 five years ago. For nine years of work on this project that is all she has been paid," says Laura Penn, the executive director of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. "It's startling. People assume it's an $85 million production and she made $10 million or walked away with a settlement in the six figures. And it's just not true."
posted by Mike Mongo at 12:21 PM on June 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


^Dark
posted by Mike Mongo at 12:22 PM on June 8, 2011


Also, ^Turn and ^Off.
posted by Wolfdog at 12:24 PM on June 8, 2011


Hey, one word out of four... that's a passing grade, right? 25%?
posted by hippybear at 12:27 PM on June 8, 2011


I think it's worth more when your one word is "the," since that's The Edge's first name.
posted by koeselitz at 12:45 PM on June 8, 2011


So I was in NYC back in April, realized Spider-Man was about to close while they attempted to salvage the mess they've made (it went on hiatus while they made improvements), and scooped up a ticket to see it for the night before the last show. Yes, it is as bad as everyone says. Worse even. And yet I can honestly say that I am completely satisfied with the fact that I spent $100 to see an unmitigated disaster of a musical. It was so comically laugh-out-loud bad that I am truly glad I got to see it.

I do hear the show has improved somewhat, but I can't say I saw much worth salvaging in the previews. Musically, there was essentially nothing memorable apart from a single guitar riff (repeated endlessly), and it didn't exactly have you tapping your feet. More problematically, for an action story about a superhero, very little actually happens in the show; an enormous amount of the time was spent watching a single character, or, occasionally, a duet, singing a soliloquy on a dark stage. Fortunately, the reworked version did reduce the emphasis on Arachne, the wailing spider who would wallow on incessantly–usually alone on a dark stage–about some mythology no one was bothering to try to follow.

But for me, the biggest disappointment was actually what is supposed to be the show's greatest strength (and greatest danger): the flying effects. I've seen productions like various Cirque shows and even Starlight Express (the London revival) that involve different types of aerial effects, but Spider-Man's flying pales in comparison. There's also the matter of a certain high school production of Iolanthe I saw in which a flying fairy's costume got caught in the rope apparatus, causing her to be stuck in the air in front of an audience full of grandparents–"Marge, I think she's stuck up there!" one grandfather loudly commented to his neighbor), but that's neither here nor there. In Spider-Man, the flying effects basically consist of a hapless masked actor attempting to avoid serious injury as he is swung around the theater by a gantry of metal beams and cables. It's pretty technically impressive the first time, sort of neat the second time, and pretty uninteresting the third, fourth, and fifth times. No one is performing any impressive physical feats of strength or talent here; it's a piece of living moving scenery being whipped around over your head, and it's just not that interesting to watch. I hear they've added yet more flying sequences in the reworked version, so the audience will get even more chances to observe this.

Economically, the show poses a considerable challenge too. Because of the flying effects, the show basically can't ever tour, so it pretty much has to make its money in New York. If it's a hit, the producers could establish it as a permanent fixture in Vegas, but that would require a pretty large outlay of new capital to construct a purpose-built theater. They've sunk over $70 million into making it, but the production also has enormous running costs, well over a million dollars a week. While I'm sure that cost will go down a bit after the show opens, that's still an enormous figure. A Bloomberg columnist ran the numbers and concluded that the show will have to basically fill the 1,900 Foxwoods Theatre (the biggest on Broadway) at every performance in order to be financially successful. At that rate, the show would have to be so successful that it sustains six to twelve years of sellouts at sky-high ticket prices before the investors recoup. In other words, they set themselves up so that if the show is anything but phenomenally successful, they lose pretty much all of their investment. That's a bet with a ton of risk and little reward. Actually making a profit on what would be their 15+ year investment is even more unthinkable, and watching them make a giant bonfire out of $70 million in cash would be far more entertaining.

You'd expect a show like this to be rather family friendly, but it really wasn't at all. It's not that there was anything inappropriate for children, but it simply had nothing that would appeal to kids any more than a trip to see the Rite of Spring. It was a very dark show with a lot of emoting, and kids seemed to quickly lose interest. I saw a number of families leaving at intermission or in the middle of the performance.

So if this Spider-Man 2.0 turns out to be a pretty good show, it might just be able to salvage a run through summer and only be $60 million in the hole, but I really can't see it becoming any sort of artistic, or financial, success at this point.

The simplest and most honest review of the original show came from a girl, around nine years old, who was sitting near me. When the house lights came up at intermission, she was sound asleep.
posted by zachlipton at 1:44 PM on June 8, 2011 [17 favorites]


A Bloomberg columnist ran the numbers and concluded that the show will have to basically fill the 1,900 Foxwoods Theatre (the biggest on Broadway) at every performance in order to be financially successful. At that rate, the show would have to be so successful that it sustains six to twelve years of sellouts at sky-high ticket prices before the investors recoup. In other words, they set themselves up so that if the show is anything but phenomenally successful, they lose pretty much all of their investment. That's a bet with a ton of risk and little reward.

Action is his reward.
posted by Smart Dalek at 2:18 PM on June 8, 2011 [12 favorites]


I'm about 30 seconds in and my ability to enjoy U2 ever again has already plummeted by at least 60%.

Yup, I'd say that's about right.
posted by ob at 2:38 PM on June 8, 2011


If you have mplayer and prefer listening to it on your own terms to streaming...

mplayer mms://a922.v87252.c8725.g.vc.akamaistream.net/7/922/8725/v0001/msnent.download.akamai.com/8725/DBA90618/published/Audio/Interview/High/Spiderman_Album_wDrops.wma -dumpstream -dumpfile Spiderman_Album_wDrops.wma
posted by Zed at 2:55 PM on June 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm up to track four, "Picture This," and apart from that terrible overture that sounded like playing five U2 songs at the same time (which I suppose it was), I think this is pretty okay. Okay on the level of interest of something like the Million Dollar Hotel soundtrack or not quite as good as Passengers. But as it's sort of reading as a collection of U2 b-sides up to the point I've listened, I'm not sure it can support audience interest at the level a musical would need. For non-U2 obsessives (I was one for 20+ years but am no longer; No Line on the Horizon just didn't capture my interest), I think only the trainwreck factor will make this appealing. And I said from when this project was announced (when I was still a U2 obsessive) that it was going to be a disaster.

Okay, now I'm up to "Bouncing off the Walls," and this one sucks. Downgrading this to below Million Dollar Hotel.
posted by jocelmeow at 3:12 PM on June 8, 2011


And I studied drama at NYU, so I have not only U2-affinity, but higher-than-usual affection for musical theatre.
posted by jocelmeow at 3:13 PM on June 8, 2011


Ick. there is very little here light-switch rave-worthy...
posted by pupdog at 3:24 PM on June 8, 2011


The Edge is grounded.
posted by Wolfdog at 3:25 PM on June 8, 2011


When I was a kid I listened to Spider-Man: Rock Reflections of A Superhero CONSTANTLY. That album got me through some strange times.
Is this as good?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 3:46 PM on June 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I regret having posted having only gotten through the first half. There were some stinkers as things went on.

"Sinistereo" is Edgeish in a bad way. Like trying to do his guitar effects with voices. "A Freak Like Me Needs Company" is aggressively bad. Like somebody doing a Bono caricature with all his worst ideas that've made it to albums. "Rise Above 2" was a reasonable palate-cleanser after the awful "Freak." "Turn Off the Dark" just sort of wandered off...not really what I think of as a closing number. Maybe the running order is not the order of the show?

I had to keep the volume quite low on this because of the noise sensitivity that my neurological illness causes, and I found that I had a hard time telling Bono and Reeve Carney's voices apart. They definitely requested the showbiz trope of a Young Bono.
posted by jocelmeow at 3:50 PM on June 8, 2011


Wow, this is some pretty boring music. The first song sounded like Mannheim Steamroller and it got worse from there. I'm up to Bouncing off the Walls, not sure I can listen much longer.
posted by octothorpe at 4:10 PM on June 8, 2011


haters gotta hate!
posted by every_one_needs_a_hug_sometimes at 11:37 PM on June 13, 2011


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