For better or worse, Andrew Lloyd Webber's adaptation of Gaston Leroux's gothic horror/romance novel has done for stage musicals what Spielberg's Jaws did for fish stories, with worldwide sales of its original cast album approaching 25 million. While director Joel Schumacher's film turns on his typically ambitious visual verve, its new film soundtrack recording has been paradoxically focused in scope, yet beefed up dynamically via the brawny presence of a hundred piece orchestra and The London Boys Choir. This double-disc version showcases all of Phantom's songs, with Gerard Butler imparting a welcome, youthful sensuality to his Phantom, making a fine foil for Emily Rossum's ever-conflicted Christine. Original show orchestrator David Cullen has fashioned compelling new contemporary arrangements to frame Webber's songs–which now conclude with the lilting, upbeat new ballad he wrote for the film, "Learn to Be Lonely," sung by Minnie Driver's Carlotta.
Phantom 5 is the new band featuring singer Claus Lessmann (Bonfire) with guitarists Michael Voss (Casanova, Mad Max), Robby Boebel (Frontline, Evidence One), drummer Axel Kruse (Jaded Heart) and bassist Francis Buchholz (Scorpions, Michael Schencker). Truly a German Hard Rock super group. Highly recommended for all fans of European Melodic Hard Rock!