Our Top 10 Andrew Lloyd Webber Songs
Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber is the legendary composer behind some of the greatest musicals of all time. From heart-wrenching ballads to uplifting up-tempos, his signature brash style and sweeping melodies have captured hearts across the world. In honor of Cameron Mackintosh’s breathtaking new production of The Phantom of the Opera, we’ve compiled a list of our Top 10 Andrew Lloyd Webber tunes.
One of the most poignant numbers in the musical theatre cannon is the song “Memory” (often incorrectly called “Memories”) from Cats. In the midst of a show full of spectacular dancing felines comes this unexpected and touching ballad from an aging cat named Grizabella. The song has been covered may times from artists such as Barbra Streisand, Susan Boyle, and Barry Manilow. “Memory” is also referenced in the movie School of Rock, which Andrew Lloyd Webber recently adapted for the stage.
2. Music of the Night
It’s hard to choose a favorite song from the longest-running Broadway musical phenomenon The Phantom of the Opera… so we chose a few! The first to make our list is a song the title character himself sings to Christine after he has led her to his sanctuary in the opera house. The phantom’s “Music of the Night” transfixes and seduces the young Christine. The song is at once eerie and seductive. It has been covered throughout the years by man and women alike.
3. Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina
The legendary Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote this legendary song for a character based on the legendary First Lady of Argentina Eva Perón, which was originally sung by the legendary Patti Lupone in Evita. She would eventually win a Tony Award for her performance. In other words, “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” is an iconic piece of Broadway music. The sentiment behind what is a musicalized version of a speech made by Evita comes from an epitaph on a plaque at Eva Perón’s grave which translates to, “Don’t cry for me Argentina, I remain quite near to you.”
4. I Don’t Know How to Love Him
“I Don’t Know How to Love Him” is a power ballad from Andrew Lloyd Webber, this time from his spirited musical Jesus Christ Superstar. In it, Mary Magdalene laments her complicated, unrequited love for Jesus. Yvonne Elliman sang the song when she originated the role of Mary. She recorded the number in just one take for the soundtrack.
5. Think of Me
“Think of Me” is a darling, classic ballad from The Phantom of the Opera. After the opera’s star soprano dramatically quits right before opening night, Christine is pulled from the chorus and asked to prove that she can take over the role. She then sings “Think of Me,” a touching ballad of a young woman parting from her lover and wins the role. Christine’s aria at the end of the song is often one of the most beloved moments from the musical.
6. As If We Never Said Goodbye
Many people consider “As If We Never Said Goodbye” to be one of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s greatest song. In Sunset Boulevard, which recently returned to Broadway with Glenn Close reprising her Tony Award-winning performance, Norma Desmond sings of her love of Hollywood and fame. The tune has been covered a handful of times, most famously by Barbra Streisand.
7. Stick It to the Man
While Andrew Lloyd Webber has written many bold, upbeat numbers throughout his career (“Go, Go, Go Joseph,” anyone?), “Stick It to the Man” is the first song of this kind to make our list! In School of Rock, fake substitute teacher Dewey Finn teaches his students about the power of rock and roll. In this tune, Dewey tells his students to use music as a well against rebelling against society’s standards and be themselves. The song is made even more powerful when the students join into Dewey’s song with their own voices and instruments.
8. The Phantom of the Opera
Our list would not be complete without the title song from The Phantom of the Opera. In this haunting number, Christine explains how she has been transfixed by a mysterious phantom who sings to her in her dreams… and maybe while she’s awake as well. The phantom joins into “The Phantom of the Opera,” lamenting of his similar obsession with Christine.
9. All I Ask of You
This lovely tune from The Phantom of the Opera (the last one on our list, we promise) is a popular song for wedding ceremonies. It’s a simple story of two lovers, Christine and Raoul, asking one another for undying love. “All I Ask of You” brings a moment of lightness and pure passion to a musical filled with “talk of darkness.”
10. Jellicle Cats
This song is a the rousing opening number of Webber’s blockbuster musical Cats. The jubilant song introduces all the street felines, or “Jellicle Cats,” through lyrics from a poem from T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. It is hard for listeners of this tune to not want to stand up and dance along with the jellicle cats by the last key change!