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Broadway Bigwig: Ranking the Top 50 Musical Theater Songs of Andrew Lloyd Webber

Broadway Bigwig: Ranking the Top 50 Musical Theater Songs of Andrew Lloyd Webber
Andrew Lloyd Webber
(Photo: Emilio Madrid-Kuser)
So much memorable music of the night!

With The Phantom of the Opera, School of Rock, Cats and now Sunset Boulevard on the boards, Andrew Lloyd Webber has made history, tying with Rodgers and Hammerstein's record of having four shows running at once on Broadway. The spotlight is on the British bigwig, so it seems fitting to look back on his incredible career and rank his 50 best musical theater songs (we did the same for R&H and Lloyd Webber's birthday buddy Stephen Sondheim in 2015). His catalog presents unique challenges; although there's a very recognizable "Andrew Lloyd Webber sound," which mostly indicates lush romantic ballads, the composer is actually a master of many musical sounds, and his scores include a wide range of atmospheres and tones. There have been many musical partners to name since his early successes with lyricist Tim Rice. To make our list, we simply highlighted the show songs that have stayed with us the most through his fruitful career. Sorry, fans of lesser-known Lloyd Webber shows like The Likes of Us, By Jeeves and The Beautiful Game—although they all contain gems, the competition was too tough to make the top 50!

50. "Seeing Is Believing" from Aspects of Love
(Lyrics by Don Black and Charles Hart) In this lush duet, actress Rose and young fan Alex fall in love during a sleepy train ride. Performed by Michael Ball and Ann Crumb.


49. "Starlight Express: Megamix" from Starlight Express
(Lyrics by Richard Stilgoe) Finding a spot for Lloyd Webber's tuneful but lightweight choo-choo-sical, which has delighted countless kids around the world for over 30 years, on the list is tough, but we'll give a nod to the joyful megamix. Performed by the West End cast.


48. "Macavity: The Mystery Cat" from Cats
(Lyrics by T. S. Eliot) The sexiest song about a cat ever written. Performed by Carmen Cusack.


47. "Whistle Down the Wind" from Whistle Down the Wind
(Lyrics by Jim Steinman) The haunting title song from the London hit, still never seen on Broadway. Premiered here by Sarah Brightman with ALW on the keys. 


46. "Hand Me the Wine and the Dice" from Aspects of Love
(Lyrics by Don Black and Charles Hart) A rousing funeral song about living life to the fullest. Performed by Kathleen Rowe McAllen. 


45. "Everything's Alright" from Jesus Christ Superstar
(Lyrics by Tim Rice) Mary Magdelene is so chill. Performed by Ben Forster, Melanie C. and Tim Minchin.


44. "The Rum Tum Tugger" from Cats
(Lyrics by T. S. Eliot) Go on, try to resist the sexy kitty rock star. Performed by Terrence Mann. 


43. "Evermore Without You" from The Woman in White
(Lyrics by David Zippel) In Victorian England, Walter thinks the love of his life, Laura, is dead. (Spoiler: she's not). Performed by Martin Crewes.  


42. "Rainbow High" from Evita
(Lyrics by Tim Rice) Christian Dior her! Eva Peron is ready to hit the road! Performed by Patti LuPone.


41. "Masquerade" from The Phantom of the Opera
(Lyrics by Charles Hart) A dazzling party sequence that manages to be fabulous and terrifying all at once. Performed by the original London cast. 

40. "The Perfect Year" from Sunset Boulevard
(Lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton) Norma Desmond gets all dolled up to sing this pretty New Year's eve toast to her hot new friend. Performed by Glenn Close and Alan Campbell. 


39. "Mr. Mistoffelees" from Cats
(Lyrics by T. S. Eliot) Another great cat jam that we dare you to get out of your head. Performed by Terrence Mann, Timothy Scott and the original Broadway cast.


38. "Once Upon Another Time" from Love Never Dies
(Lyrics by Glenn Slater) One of several gorgeous duets from the Phantom sequel, here stripped down with original stars Ramin Karimloo and Sierra Boggess.


37. "You're In the Band" from School of Rock
(Lyrics by Glenn Slater) Yes, the Lord can still rock out! Performed by Alex Brightman and the original Broadway cast.


36. "Close Every Door" from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
(Lyrics by Tim Rice) A stirring ballad for Joseph, locked up for a crime he didn't commit. Performed by Bill Hutton.


35. "Superstar" from Jesus Christ Superstar
(Lyrics by Tim Rice) Judas' recap rocker. Performed by Keith Burns and the 20th Anniversary London cast.


34. "The Point of No Return" from The Phantom of the Opera
(Lyrics by Charles Hart) Have the Phantom and Christine ever been hotter together? Performed by Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum.


33. "All for Laura" from The Woman in White
(Lyrics by David Zippel) Never underestimate a sister's devotion. Performed by Maria Friedman.


32. "Where Did the Rock Go" from School of Rock
(Lyrics by Glenn Slater) Rosalie Mullins finally lets her hair down. Performed by Sierra Boggess.


31. "A New Argentina" from Evita
(Lyrics by Tim Rice) The epic torch- and sign-waving Act One finale. Performed by Bob Gunton, Patti LuPone, Mandy Patinkin and the original Broadway cast.


30. "Any Dream Will Do" from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
(Lyrics by Tim Rice) This chart-topper is one of ALW's most recognizable tunes. Performed by Donny Osmond. 


29. "Nothing Like You've Ever Known" from Song & Dance/Tell Me on a Sunday
(Lyrics by Don Black) The ultimate breaking-up-with-a-married-man moment. Performed by Bernadette Peters.


28. "Stick It to the Man" from School of Rock
(Lyrics by Glenn Slater) A rabble-rousing anthem. Performed by Alex Brightman and the original Broadway cast.


27. "Think of Me" from The Phantom of the Opera
(Lyrics by Charles Hart) Christine Daae takes the spotlight. Performed by Sarah Brightman.


26. "The First Man You Remember" from Aspects of Love
(Lyrics by Don Black and Charles Hart) A sweet ballad, sung from father to daughter. Performed by Kevin Colson and Diana Morrison.


25. "Too Much in Love to Care" from Sunset Boulevard
(Lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton) Friends turn lovers with this sweeping duet, sung here by original Broadway stars Alice Ripley and Alan Campbell.


24. "Heaven on Their Minds" from Jesus Christ Superstar
(Lyrics by Tim Rice) Judas' ultimate betrayal is nicely set up in this early JCS rocker. Performed by Alan Doggett and Murray Head.


23. "No Matter What" from Whistle Down the Wind
(Lyrics by Jim Steinman) This children's song onstage became a smash for the boyband Boyzone, with this music video earning over 16 million YouTube views (and growing!).


22. "Sunset Boulevard" from Sunset Boulevard
(Lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton) With a melody like a grand Hollywood film score, this acerbic Joe Gillis solo is perfection. Performed by Alan Campbell.


21. "Anything But Lonely" from Aspects of Love
(Lyrics by Don Black/Charles Hart) In this 11 o'clock number, Rose promises to always find a body to keep her warm. Performed by Sarah Brightman.


20. "The Phantom of the Opera" from The Phantom of the Opera
(Lyrics by Charles Hart) The synthesized classic that's been rocking Broadway for almost 30 years. Performed by Sarah Brightman and Michael Crawford.


19. "I Don't Know How to Love Him" from Jesus Christ Superstar
(Lyrics by Tim Rice) He scares her so, she wants him so, she loves him so. Performed by Yvonne Elliman. 


18. "Love Changes Everything" from Aspects of Love
(Lyrics by Don Black and Charles Hart) The theme song to perhaps ALW's most romantic show. Performed below by the original Broadway cast below in a special Tony Awards number that brilliantly boils down the bed-bouncing plot in three minutes.


17. "Another Suitcase in Another Hall" from Evita
(Lyrics by Tim Rice) Peron's Mistress gets just five minutes of stage time, but with this song, it's well spent. Performed by Madonna, whose Eva snatched the song in the film, and Antonio Banderas.


16. "Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats" from Cats
(Lyrics by T. S. Eliot, Richard Stilgoe and Trevor Nunn) Never gets old. Performed by the cast of the home video version.


15. "And the Money Kept Rolling In (And Out)" from Evita
(Lyrics by Tim Rice) A rousing showstopper for Che and the people of Argentina. Performed by Mandy Patinkin and the original Broadway cast.


14. "'Til I Hear You Sing" from Love Never Dies
(Lyrics by Glenn Slater) Holed up in Coney Island, the Phantom is missing Christine Daae something bad. Performed by Ramin Karimloo.


13. "All I Ask of You" from The Phantom of the Opera
(Lyrics by Charles Hart) The go-to ALW love duet never disappoints. Performed by Sarah Brightman and Steve Barton.


12. "Unexpected Song" from Song & Dance/Tell Me on a Sunday
(Lyrics by Don Black) No song better captures the dizzy thrill of finding love. Performed by Bernadette Peters.


11. "Beneath A Moonless Sky" from Love Never Dies
(Lyrics by Glenn Slater) Secrets are unveiled in this lush Phantom/Christine reunion from the sequel. Performed by Ramin Kaminloo and Sierra Boggess.


10. "Buenos Aires" from Evita
(Lyrics by Tim Rice) A firecracker of a number, filled with the energy of youth and determination. Performed by Patti LuPone.


9. "Love Never Dies" from Love Never Dies
(Lyrics by Glenn Slater) Christine Daae, in full diva mode. Performed by Sierra Boggess and Andrew Lloyd Webber.


8. "Tell Me on a Sunday" from Song & Dance/Tell Me on a Sunday
(Lyrics by Don Black) Cause if you're gonna break my heart, do it somewhere pretty. Performed by Bernadette Peters.


7. "Gethsemane (I Only Want to Say)" from Jesus Christ Superstar
(Lyrics by Tim Rice) Jesus, in fact, has a lot to say. Performed by Paul Nolan.


6. "The Music of the Night" from The Phantom of the Opera
(Lyrics by Charles Hart) Where "seductive" and "psycho" come together beautifully. Performed by Michael Crawford.


5. "With One Look" from Sunset Boulevard
(Lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton) "All you need to know" about Norma Desmond in one unforgettable solo. Performed by Barbra Streisand.


4. "Don't Cry for Me, Argentina" from Evita
(Lyrics by Tim Rice) Eva on the balcony of the Casa Rosada in the white ballgown. Classic. Performed by Elaine Paige.


3. "Memory" from Cats
(Lyrics by T. S. Eliot and Trevor Nunn) The glamour cat gets her moment in the sun. Performed by Betty Buckley.


2. "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again" from The Phantom of the Opera
(Lyrics by Charles Hart) Christine Daae longs for her dead daddy in this heartbreaker. Performed by Sierra Boggess.


1. "As If We Never Said Goodbye" from Sunset Boulevard
(Lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton) Norma Desmond back at Paramount: the ultimate theatrical moment, the ultimate ALW song. And the perfect showcase for many a stage star in a turban...

Patti LuPone premiered the role in London's West End.

Five months later, Glenn Close opened the show in LA, ultimately bringing it to Broadway.

Betty Buckley replaced both LuPone in London and Close on Broadway.

And finally, ALW regular Elaine Paige, who played the part both in the West End and on Broadway.

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