Les Misérables: Highlights from the Motion Picture Soundtrack

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Les Misérables: Highlights from the Motion Picture Soundtrack
Les Miserables soundtrack (2012).jpg
Soundtrack album by various artists
Released December 21, 2012 (2012-12-21)
Genre Film soundtrack
Length 65:20
Label Universal Republic
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone 1/5 stars[2]

Les Misérables: Highlights from the Motion Picture Soundtrack is the film soundtrack for the Universal Pictures film Les Misérables, performed by Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, Samantha Barks, Aaron Tveit, Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen and other artists. It was released on December 21, 2012.[3] The music is written by Claude-Michel Schönberg; the lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer based on the French text by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel.

Production[edit]

In an interview with BBC Radio 4's Front Row, Tom Hooper the film's director, revealed that Claude-Michel Schönberg will be composing one new song and additional music. The director also expanded on the performers singing live on set, which he felt would eliminate the need to recapture "locked" performances and allow more creative freedom. More details of this were confirmed by Eddie Redmayne in an interview. He stated that the cast would sing to piano tracks (via earpiece) and that the orchestra would be added in post-production.[4]

In February 2012, Cameron Mackintosh announced that the title of the newly created song for the film is "Suddenly" and that it "beautifully explains what happens when Valjean takes Cosette from the inn and looks after her."[5]

The film's vocals were recorded live on set using live piano accompaniments played through earpieces as a guide, with the orchestral accompaniment recorded in post-production, rather than the traditional method where the film's musical soundtracks are usually pre-recorded and played back on set for actors to lip-sync to. Although this unique live recording method has been claimed as "a world's-first" by the creative team, several film musicals have utilized this method before, including the 1975 20th Century Fox production of At Long Last Love and most recently in the 1995 film of The Fantasticks and the 2007 film Across the Universe. On 27 August 2012, it was announced that recording sessions for Les Misérables would begin in London on 10 October and will feature a 70-piece orchestra. It was also announced that Claude-Michel Schönberg was working on writing additional music to underscore the film.[6] On 9 September 2012, Universal Studios executives were granted a viewing of the rough cut of the film without the orchestra. The cut was greeted with "extreme excitement," and Russell Crowe tweeted that he received many excited emails.[7]

Content[edit]

Unlike most soundtrack albums from stage adaptations, this album doesn't contain all musical numbers in the film, with traditional show highlights such as "Who am I?" and "A Little Fall of Rain" being omitted. The famous anthem "Do You Hear the People Sing?" does not appear on the album, however it does feature in "Epilogue." Songs included on the album are often also incomplete in comparison with the movie itself (for example, At the End of the Day on the album is missing Fantine's explanation.)

On March 19, 2013, a 2-Disc Deluxe Edition soundtrack to Les Misérables was released featuring a total of 42 tracks. Several of the missing songs not featured on the highlights album were included as well as a few instrumental pieces. However, like the highlights album, many of the songs are still cut short due to time.

Commercial performance[edit]

Upon its release, Les Misérables debuted at number thirty-three on the Billboard 200 and at number one on the Billboard Soundtracks chart, selling 43,000 copies in less than three full days of release, according to Nielsen SoundScan.[8] The following week, it sold 136,000 copies to jump to number two on the Billboard 200.[9] The soundtrack topped the Billboard 200 in its third week on the chart, selling 92,000 copies.[10] The total of 178,000 copies sold from the ten days of sales made it the tenth best-selling soundtrack album of 2012.[11] It sold a further 512,000 copies in the United States in 2013, making it the third best-selling soundtrack of 2013.[12] As of January 2014, it had sold a total of 690,000 copies in the US.[12]

The album entered the UK Albums Chart at number five with first-week sales of 13,844 copies,[13] before rising to number one the following week on sales of 55,954 copies.[14] The album spent four non-consecutive weeks atop the chart.[15]

In Japan, the album reached number eleven on the Japanese Albums Chart,[16] and was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ) in March 2013, denoting shipments of 100,000 copies.[17]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Alain Boublil, Herbert Kretzmer, and Jean-Marc Natel, all music composed by Claude-Michel Schönberg.

No. Title Artist(s) Length
1. "Look Down"   Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Convicts 2:21
2. "The Bishop"   Colm Wilkinson 1:34
3. "Valjean's Soliloquy"   Hugh Jackman 3:18
4. "At the End of the Day"   Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Foreman, Factory Girls and Cast of Les Misérables 4:27
5. "I Dreamed a Dream"   Anne Hathaway 4:38
6. "The Confrontation"   Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe 1:55
7. "Castle on a Cloud"   Isabelle Allen 1:11
8. "Master of the House"   Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter and Cast 4:52
9. "Suddenly"   Hugh Jackman 2:32
10. "Stars"   Russell Crowe 3:01
11. "ABC Café / Red and Black"   Eddie Redmayne, Aaron Tveit and Students 4:21
12. "In My Life / A Heart Full of Love"   Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne and Samantha Barks 3:12
13. "On My Own"   Samantha Barks 3:11
14. "One Day More"   Cast of Les Misérables 3:39
15. "Drink with Me"   Eddie Redmayne, Daniel Huttlestone and Students 1:41
16. "Bring Him Home"   Hugh Jackman 3:37
17. "The Final Battle"   Students and Cast of Les Misérables 3:17
18. "Javert's Suicide"   Russell Crowe 3:00
19. "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables"   Eddie Redmayne 3:13
20. "Epilogue"   Cast of Les Misérables 6:20

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[58] Gold 35,000^
Japan (RIAJ)[17] Gold 113,926[52]
New Zealand (RMNZ)[59] Gold 7,500^
United States (RIAA)[60] Gold 690,000[12]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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