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Product: Audio CD
Title: Win This Record
Label: Elektra
Artist: David Lindley and El Rayo-X
Rating: 5/5
Customer rating - 5 out of 5
Buy this .... Buy Everything Mr. Dave Does

He may be rock-n-roll's biggest clown .... but's he's no fool. Frolicking & rollicking good time music.... Dave is a musician's musician with a huge following of true blue fans...

Product: Audio CD
Title: Believe
Label: Warner Brothers
Artist: Cher
Rating: 4/5
Customer rating - 4 out of 5
Great CD for power walking

Don't look for messages. This is pure entertainment, kinda cheesy, and Cher's voice is limited, to say the least. But I defy you to keep from tapping your toes or singing along.

Product: Audio CD
Title: Invincible
Label: Sony
Artist: Michael Jackson, Michael Jackson
Rating: 2/5
Customer rating - 2 out of 5
Time to go back to the roots

I don't care what people are saying about Michael Jackson. This album is the bomb diggy!!!! I really vibed off of the first six tracks. It almost took me back to the "Thriller" days. It's not Thriller...but it's darn close!

Product: Audio CD
Title: Highlights From The Phantom Of The Opera: The Original Cast Recording (1986 London Cast)
Label: Decca U.S.
Rating: 4/5
Customer rating - 4 out of 5
This is what you're looking for

First off: I'll cut to the point - the Original London "Highlights" CD is great.

Second off: I have never been to a musical or an opera before this summer and have no claim to understanding the music beyond any Joe on the street. Nor am I an audiophile - I don't have any awesome home or car stereo, no surround-sound anything.

That said: Some friends, my wife and I saw Phantom for the first time recently (2004 US Tour, Gary Mauer as the Phantom). We all loved it. I wanted the music on CD - so I came shopping at Amazon after first trying to find it with this 2004 US Tour cast (nonexistent). So I read into the reviews of all the Phantom CDs here (there are quite a few CDs).

After reading what seemed like hundreds of reviews and listening to the samples:

1 - I ruled out the 2-disc London CD (I don't need the screeching, etc. I want music.)

2 - I couldn't decide between the Original London Cast "Highlights" CD and the Original Canadian Cast CD. People seemed to love both for all kinds of reasons.

Well, I ended up buying both (London Highlights + Canadian).

Hands down, the London cut is better. It all comes down to the quality of the recording. The London CD sounds like a CD, the Canadian sounds like a cassette tape or LP. It just isn't clear, crisp, etc. The various performers of the Canadian cast might have been better in real life, but the recording does not allow an even comparison. It sounds a little better than your home recording of your kid's elementary school play in the auditorium compared to the London cut.

Buy one CD - the Original London "Highlights" CD instead of the Canadian one. We never even listen to it.

As a sidenote: I think Gary Mauer was WAY better than either Phantom on these CDs. I know nothing of technique, but his voice was FAR more convincing as the Phantom. If that's blasphemy, so be it. I would be happy to buy one with him on it.