I just finished updating my primer post about Cirque du Soleil music CD releases, which is part of my Cirque du Soleil Primer article series (which I also updated and enhanced btw.) Cirque released two new CD’s, which I would like to talk about.
The first release was:
Alegria 25th Anniversary Edition Re-Mastered
That release was a major disappointment to me. I don’t know what the reason for this release is. There are already THREE versions of this soundtrack CD. The original OST from 1994, the extended version from 2001 and the 1994’er “Re-Release” version from 200x, which is virtually identical to this one. Correction! This version has a cheaper CD case, made up entirely out of paper, no plastic, except for the CD itself… oh and this version costs a few Dollars more.
Brief Detour & ECO-Mania Rant
Okay, somebody at YouTube pointed out to me that this packaging is part of the “protect the environment” ecology friendly packaging material program and not because of saving money. “ECO FRIENDLY” and “GREEN” seems to be an excuse for everything nowadays. Did somebody consider that I want the CD and its casing to last for a very very long time, preferable beyond my own lifetime to inherit it to my children, who I might have one day? I do not want it to deteriorate within the next few years and become compost to be fed to plants in my patio.
The current CD case is not able to protect neither the CD nor its booklet from the environment, not even the calm and peaceful one in my own apartment. Some things should be made to last, many others are not; music releases that are dear to my heard fall into the first category. Shopping bags, food wrappings, diapers, product packaging, disposable pens and lighters on the other hand fall into the second one.
I am neither ANTI-Green nor a GREEN-Fanatic. I do care for this planet and are well aware of the problems and danger our world is currently in. Pro-Earth, being Eco-Friendly etc.; I am all for it, but I hate it, if those words and causes are being used to cut back on the quality of a product, where “easily disposable” and “organic decomposition” are contradicting the purpose of the product itself. It does not help nature either, because I probably need to buy an even worse offender on the ECO-scale, which also comes with packaging and all that crap, in order to protect the original product and ensure is long longevity.
Back to the Soundtrack itself again / Conclusion
I compared this version to the other three (which I also own) and don’t know what they “re-mastered”. The audio is the same. The music is great, but you are better off with the previous release of the album (Alegría) or better, the extended version from 2001, which has two additional tracks and the same audio quality and a real CD Case (Alegria + Manipulation & Flying Man).
Here is the video version of my review, without the ECO rant and with the sound comparison between the four different Alegria soundtrack releases at the end.
The second music CD release by Cirque du Soleil was:
“25” – the 25th Anniversary 2-Disc Collection
I won’t start the same rant about the CD case quality again; the one from above should suffice. Yeah, the quality of the case is as bad as for the “Alegria” re-release; all paper, except for the discs itself
The 2-disc special edition collection is worth the money though. You will find 25 songs on two CDs, which each have a name. Disc one is called “Poetique” and disc two is called “Dynamique”. CD #1 has 13 tracks and CD #2 12.
“Poetique” may refer to fact that the tracks on CD #1 are usually “slower” in nature, compared to the songs on the second disc. If I understand it correctly, then the CD contains ONE track for each of the 25 productions that Cirque du Soleil promotes to have created within the past 25 years. 25 years, 25 productions; sounds nice.
I was always puzzled by that count, because no matter how I looked at stuff, I either got more than 25 or less than 25 productions as my own count. Well, the CDs only helped somewhat to solve this mystery.
Tracks on disc 1 “Poetique”
01. Ouverture (Cirque Reinvente) 1:44
02. Le Funambule (La Magie Continue) 3:37
03. Meandres (Fascination) 6:55
04. Havi Vahlia (Nouvelle Experience) 4:40
05. Vai Vedrai (Alegria) 4:33
06. A Tale (La Nouba) 4:19
07. Piece of Heaven (Zumanity) 4:58
08. Volo Volando (Corteo) 4:31
09. Beyond the Clouds (Wintuk) 3:27
10. Sexy Pet (Believe) 2:48
11. The Worlds Meet (Zed) 6:36
12. Banquete (Ovo) 2:47
13. Alegria (Alegria, le film) 4:20
Tracks continued on disc 2 “Dynamique”
14. Le Cirque du Soleil (Cirque du Soleil) 3:22
15. Les Pingouins (Cirque du Soleil) 3:25
16. Barock (Saltimbanco) 3:59
17. Rivage (Quidam) 4:10
18. Birimbau (Mystere) 6:10
19. Svecounia (“O”) 5:00
20. Ravendhi (Dralion) 4:39
21. Lubia Dobarstan (Varekai) 4:29
22. Pursuit (KA) 5:53
23. One Love (Delirium) 3:11
24. Hum Jaisa Na Dekha (Kooza) 3:45
25. Utinam (Zaia) 6:46
12+12 = 25
It obviously includes the Movie production “Alegria, Le Film”; however, it does not include the IMAX production “Journey of Man”, or the TV production “Solstrom”. They included the short tour exclusive to Japan “Fascination” as its own production.
“Cirque du Soleil” must refer to their very first production “Le Grand Tour” from 1984, but there are TWO tracks attributed to “Cirque du Soleil” to make the 25 count full. Okay, the “le Grand Tour” had two runs, one in 1984 and a second in 1985 (sometimes referred to as “Le Cirque du Soleil”), but I think that Cirque cheated a little bit here to make the 25 full. But why the hair-splitting and making two shows out of one, if they just could have counted “Solstrom” or “Journey of Man” as a full production like Alegria the Movie and were done with it? It’s beyond me.
Previously Unreleased Tracks
You might noticed Track 10, 11 and 12 on disc ONE. Track 10 is another track (after “Rabbits”) from the new resident Cirque du Soleil show at the Luxor in Las Vegas, “Criss Angel’s Believe“. Track 11 is the first complete track released for the Cirque show “ZED“, which premiered in October 2008 at Disney World Tokyo (also a resident show) and last but not least track 12 from the 2009 touring show “OVO“. For non of those shows was the official soundtrack CD released yet. This is good news for collectors :).
Final Judgement on “25”
I have to admit that the selected tracks (and some times the version of the selected track) are not the very best of each show, so I won’t consider this release anything like a BEST OF CIRQUE DU SOLEIL album, IT IS NOT.
If you want to get a selection of popular and famous Cirque du Soleil songs, stick to their previously released “Le Best of Cirque du Soleil” album. It has less tracks and not from as many shows, but there you really get the best known and popular songs of Cirque du Soleil shows and will not be disappointed. I would classify this 25th Anniversary collection as a “Fans Only” release, not suitable for the general public.