Stage Door Records are pleased to announce the ‘Blondel’ Original London Cast Recording will be released on May 26th, 2017.
‘Blondel’ was the first musical Tim Rice wrote with a composer other than Andrew Lloyd Webber. The music for ‘Blondel’ was instead provided by opera composer Stephen Oliver, who penned a lively score that was not at all operatic.
The musical follows the trials and triumphs of Blondel, an ambitious minstrel in King Richard The Lionheart’s court, desperately trying for a chart-topping song. Blondel and his long-suffering girlfriend Fiona undertake a multi-nation search when King Richard is taken captive during the Crusades. They rescue him and return to England just in time to prevent the coronation of his brother Prince John. A quartet of Monks provide plot commentary between scenes, also putting in appearances are Blondel’s backing group, The Blondettes, and a hapless Assassin who does not enjoy international travel.
‘Blondel’ starred Paul Nicholas in the title role alongside Sharon Lee Hill as Fiona, Stephan Tate as Richard, David Burt as John, Chris Langham as the Assassin and vocal quartet Cantabile as The Monks. The show opened at the Theatre Royal Bath on September 12th 1983 followed by a two week run at Manchester’s Palace Theatre before opening the newly refurbished Old Vic on November 2nd. ‘Blondel’ subsequently transferred to the West End’s Aldwych Theatre opening on January 21st 1984, running for 278 performances.
The complete original London cast album of ‘Blondel’, originally issued as a 2LP set, now makes a welcome return to CD having been out of print for nearly 20 years. The album, produced by its creators Tim Rice and Stephen Oliver, represents the complete production including the songs ‘Running Back For More’, ‘The Least Of My Troubles’, ‘I’m A Monarchist’ and ‘No Rhyme For Richard’.
Ahead of the ‘Blondel’ cast album reissue, lyricist Tim Rice commented: “More than thirty years after its creation, I still enjoy listening to Stephen Oliver’s marvellous score for ‘Blondel’, which was this great classical composer’s one foray into commercial musical theatre (perhaps “commercial” is the wrong word as Blondel’s first staging only ran for a year in London). However there have been quite a few further productions around the world since 1983, primarily amateur and school versions, and there are ambitious plans for a relaunch of Blondel in 2017-18. While waiting for this to happen I hope this re-release of the Original West End Cast recording will stir a few memories and/or help to create fresh interest in the show“.
DISC ONE – ACT I
01. MONKS’ INTRODUCTION – Cantabile
02. BLONDEL AND FIONA – Paul Nicholas, Sharon Lee Hill, Blondettes
(a). THE CREATIVE PROCESS
(b). HOW LONG CAN SOMEONE WAIT
(c). I’M A MONARCHIST
(d). ARTISTS ARE TRAGIC AND SENSITIVE SOULS
03. THE MINISTRY OF FEUDAL AFFAIRS
– Cantabile, Sharon Lee Hill, David Burt, Stephen Tate, Company
(a). OPENING ENSEMBLE
(b). FIONA’S PLEA TO JOHN
(c). RICHARD’S INTERVENTION
(d). ECONOMIC ACROSTIC
(e). CRUSADE RALLY
04. THE LEAST OF MY TROUBLES – Paul Nicholas, Sharon Lee Hill
05. LIONHEART – Cantabile, Stephen Tate, David Burt, Paul Nicholas
06. NO RHYME FOR RICHARD – David Burt, Sharon Lee Hill
07. TRIO – David Burt, Paul Nicholas, Sharon Lee Hill
08. ASSASSIN’S SONG – David Burt, Chris Langham
09. RUNNING BACK FOR MORE – Cantabile, Blondettes, Sharon Lee Hill
DISC TWO – ACT II
01. BLONDEL IN EUROPE – Chris Langham, Paul Nicholas, Blondettes, Cantabile, Sharon Lee Hill
02. SALADIN DAYS / I CAN’T WAIT TO BE KING – Cantabile, Stephen Tate, David Burt
03. THE INN AT SALZBURG / BLONDEL’S SEARCH
– Cantabile, Chris Langham, Paul Nicholas, Sharon Lee Hill
04. THE DUKE OF AUSTRIA’S QUARTERS – Kevin Williams, Tracy Booth, Sharon Lee Hill
05. THE CELL – Paul Nicholas, Stephen Tate, Kevin Williams, Sharon Lee Hill
(b). DEATH OF A STATESMAN
(c). TRIBUTE TO A STATESMAN/A ROYAL PARDON
(d). THE WRONG TRAIN
06. WESTMINSTER ABBEY – Cantabile, David Burt, Stephen Tate
(a). JOHN’S CORONATION
(c). RICHARD’S RETURN
07. I’M A MONARCHIST (Reprise) – Paul Nicholas, Blondettes
08. RUNNING BACK FOR MORE (Reprise) – Paul Nicholas, Sharon Lee Hill
09. RUNNING BACK FOR MORE (Single Version) – Sharon Lee Hill
10. THE LEAST OF MY TROUBLES – Colm Wilkinson
11. RUNNING BACK FOR MORE – Murray