Billy Elliot (The Original Cast Recording) [Deluxe]
Billy Elliot, a 2000 film adapted as a 2008 Tony award-winning Broadway musical with the help of writer Lee Hall, director Stephen Daldry and musical legend Elton John, features an original cast recording that’s a striking collection of musical theater. It pulls together the story of an 11-year old British boy from a working class family who discovers he prefers ballet over boxing and especially over a predestined future as a coalminer. The cast handles the shifting emotional tides, such as the swelling, epic opener, “The Stars Look Down,” the jazzy stage number (“Shine”), the confrontational, rock-based instrumental “Angry Dance,” and the mercurial mood piece “Grandma’s Song” with equal grace and ease. Dialogue knits its way through the melodies. Elton John fans should be forewarned that this is John immersing himself in the conventions of musical theater — very successfully so — and not his usual singer-songwriter fare. Though, it should be noted, the special edition of the soundtrack includes a bonus of Elton John performing three tracks (the official “tearjerker” note from Elliot’s late mother, “The Letter,” the festive, celebratory and class-warring “Merry Christmas Maggie Thatcher” and the reasons-for-living piano anthem “Electricity”) with John’s trademark piano and vocals leading the charge.