Pröper Gander

Showtunes and Rock Opera

I stayed up too late again. On the upside, Catherine found a recording of an Andrew Lloyd Webber tribute concert from just before the turn of century. Not that big a deal, but Sarah Brightman was there to show that she could still belt 'em out. She was kind of a MILF back in the day, too.

There was also Bonnie Taylor belting out a number called "Tyre Tracks and Broken Hearts" that sounded like it should have been off a Protomen album. Turns out "Tyre Tracks" is from a collaboration between Andrew Lloyd Webber and Jim Steinman called Whistle Down the Wind.

Now, are these showtunes cheesy? Probably, but I've always had a taste for cheese. Moreover, I'm probably not the only long-haired metalhead with a taste for showtunes. Why do you think so many metal bands end up doing rock operas?

Ayreon's whole schtick is sci-fi rock opera. Tobias Sammett of Edguy apparently abandoned that band to start his own metal opera supergroup, Avantasia—which sounds a hell of a lot like Edguy with guest vocalists. The Protomen took Capcom's old Rockman games and made two epic dystopian scifi rock operas with a third allegedly on the way.

Then there's Streets: a Rock Opera by Savatage, concerning the journey of a drug dealer turned rock star called "D.T. Jesus". No, I'm not making this up.

However, I think the most gonzo project thus far is the 2018 release by Christopher Johnsson's symphonic metal project Therion: Beloved Antichrist. Based on Russian philospher Vladimir Solovyov's novel "A Story of Anti-Christ", this is a three-hour long triple album.

One of these days I'll actually buy the damned thing and try listening to it. Of course, it will most likely be long out of print by the time I get around to it; I wouldn't be surprised if Therion and Nuclear Blast Records only put this out because of contractual obligations. It would also explain the act's previous effort, an album full of covers of French pop songs named after 19th century poet Charles Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du mal.

I could probably keep going, but it's almost 1:00am and it's time I joined Catherine in bed. She might not be the sort of diva I lusted after as a young bachelor, but she's everything I need.