It follows by several weeks the release of the single, "You Must Love Me," which was written specifically for Madonna and the film by Webber and his Evita collaborator Tim Rice, who reunited for the project after not working together for more than 16 years.
The film is scheduled for release Dec. 25. If successful, it could rekindle public interest in film musicals.
MTV devoted the day to repeated playings of the music video for "You Must Love Me," which includes clips from the film. The Virgin megastore in Times Square will stay open late Monday, Nov. 11, and has said it will begin selling the soundtrack at midnight.
A devoted diva lover sent the following item, which I thought you'd be interested to read. In the October 4 issue of London's The Sun, celebrities, including Elaine Paige, were asked their opinion about the song, "You Must Love Me." Here are their responses and ratings:
Andy Coulson (column writer)
The material girl is dead and buried. With this track Madonna kisses
goodbye to her pop star image and emerges as a genuine diva. YMLM is a classic ALW sung to perfection by the new Evita. At first I hardly recognized her voice. Could it really be the same women who belted out "Like A Virgin"? There is no catchy chorus here but the track reeks with sophistication. I predict Evita will go straight to #1 just as the original soundtrack did in 1976. But unlike Julie Covington who sang the original DCFMA only to later disappear from showbiz, I predict Madonna will achieve the impossible with her performance and become an even bigger star.
Rating 8 out of 10 Phillip Schofield (TV presenter)
This is certainly a new song for the 30-somethings. It is positive and sophisticated from what promises to be a great film and equally exciting soundtrack. Perhaps Madonna is now finally growing up and is in search of a little respectability. This could achieve it for her. There is no disputing her quality vocals, but I don't think the track stretched her capabilities. It's a great song, sung well, but I did feel it lacked a final explosive climax. But then again she's going to be a mum and has given up on that sort of thing.
To release this track is a mistake by the record company. They should put out DCFMA instead. If Madonna had done that as a single I reckon she could have a Christmas N#1 on her hands. But then maybe they are planning to put that one out next. It's the wrong choice recorded far too slow. Madonna sounds OK but not as good as Elaine Paige. Madonna is a capable singer; Elaine is a great singer. But it will be interesting to see how it fares. It's another change for Madonna.
Ruthie Henshall (ex star of Oliver)
This is a stunning piece of music performed with real quality by Madonna. I have several friends who worked on the movie with her, and they were all completely knocked out by her performance. YMLM proves them right. There is nothing fancy about it--no drum machines or gadgets usually associated with a Madonna record. I wouldn't be surprised if she picks up an Oscar for this one. This record will surprise a lot of her fans because it's totally different for her.
It's a very pretty song. Evita is something that works incredibly well already, and the score is so brilliant I'm not sure it needed any additions. I do think she sounds very vulnerable, which is an element of Evita's character that went unexplored previously. The song may come at a time where she is ill and a bit weaker. Since it's Madonna and Evita, I think it will probably be a huge hit and so will the movie. I wish her much success with it.
* Madonna also graces the cover of the current issues of Vogue and Vanity Fair. The latter includes some stunning photos of the star of the upcoming film of Evita as well as the diary she kept during her stay in Argentina. For both fans of Madonna and fans of Evita, it is a very interesting read, detailing her thoughts, fears, and experiences in Argentina. Here are some very brief excerpts, from the over 20-pages devoted to this star.
Saturday, January 20
"It's morning and I've just arrived in my hotel. It's grand in a shabby way. High ceilings, big windows, and a lovely balcony. My only complaint is that my room is on the second floor and my fans are outside chanting "Eva/Madonna" and singing the words to my songs. This is very flattering during the day, but not so great at night when I'll be trying to sleep. . ."
Tuesday, January 23
". . .I went to Recoleta, the cemetery where Evita is buried. I have never seen such a beautiful, decadent, haunted place. There were hundreds of wild cats everywhere and each mausoleum was more grand and exquisite than the last little tiny mansions with windows to view the caskets, which are surrounded by gargoyles and statues and religious paintings and plaques and wreaths and framed photographs. The dead live in style. . ."
Friday, January 26
"Went to dinner with the cinematographer of the movie. His name is Darius Khondji and he's incredibly talented and completely lovable. We had a long discussion about how there needs to be more unity on the film and how people have to stop being negative and complaining about being here. Of course, that's easy for him to say--people don't jump him and attempt to rip off his clothes and strangle him every time he tries to go outside. Still, he has a good point in that there needs to be more positivity and togetherness among the people making this film or we will never survive the shoot. . ."
Saturday, January 27
". . .Later on I had drinks with Placido Domingo, who was very charming and said he had turned down Alan Parker's offer to play Peron. After speaking to me for 20 minutes he said he regretted saying no. Latin men were put on this earth to charm women.
And torture them!"
Thursday, February 1
". . .All through my fittings and my rehearsals I felt like the homely girl at the dance with whom nobody wanted to dance with. Darius came over to have dinner with me and he was depressed, too. A friend of his was killed in a car accident. We tried to cheer each other up. He calls me Lola Spaghetti and I call him Mr. Basmati. He makes me laugh."
Sunday, February 4
". . .P.S. The President has agreed to meet with me Wednesday evening on an island off the coast. Apparently we can go only by boat or helicopter. It's all very hush-hush."
Thursday, February 8
"Last night I dreamed of Evita. I was not outside watching her. I was her. I felt her sadness and her restlessness. I felt hungry and unsatisfied and in a hurry. Just as I had earlier in the helicopter, suspended over the earth, on the way to meet President Menem. . ."
-- By Andrew Gans