Friday, March 29, 2013
R-O-C-K in the KJV, Dept.
For years, some long time ago, I used to listen to Jesus Christ Superstar every Easter. Just as I'd watched Wizard of Oz every Thanksgiving as a child on the one day the networks would air it.
The nuns of the benighted order that endured us for seven hours a day in parochial school thought that this album was a bad thing. Not that they had heard it, of course. It was about Our Lord but drowned in womenish men screaming and rock-and-roll guitars, not the nice folk ones that accompanied "Michael, Row the Boat Ashore" or "Dominique"--that pinnacle of the nunolatry that plagued American popular culture through the '40 and '50s. And JCS was written by Protestants. (If Catholics had written it, it would've been Miriam Genetrix ("who knew that you'd live back out in the sticks.")
But I had loved the hit title track and finally received it after convincing my father that spending that much money on a double album was not the craziest idea I could ever have, or he could ever indulge.
The advantage, in retrospect, of not having very many albums as a child--and those who couldn't afford store-bought would have to lean against the cathedral radio and etch the vibrations with a pin into the hot shellac that our parents made us hold for them--is that one knows the things inside and out. Very few albums of the last 10-15 years that I've heard could I say I know even half as well. But JCS is one of those albums for me.
And if rock opera ain't your thing, there's always Fred Astaire, from Easter Parade, with "Happy Easter," then Judy Garland from the same with the tital track.