Jukebox musicals have been lately gaining a lot of strength and credibility in musical theater. A jukebox musical is a stage, film or TV musical that uses previously released popular songs as its musical score. Usually the songs have in common a connection with a particular popular musician or group and are contextualized into a dramatic or comedic plot - most often than not, comedic. These are my top 20 songs from Jukebox Musicals.
1. Glee - Don't Stop Believin'
Glee is a musical comedy-drama television series that focuses on a high school show choir (a modern glee club) called "New Directions", at the fictional William McKinley High School in Lima, Ohio. Originally conceived as a film, the series features numerous song covers sung onscreen by the characters. Musical segments typically take the form of performances, as opposed to the characters singing spontaneously, as the intention is for the series to remain reality-based.
2. Moulin Rouge - Elephant Love Medley
Moulin Rouge! is a 2001 jukebox musical film directed, produced, and co-written by Baz Luhrmann. Following the Red Curtain Cinema principles, the film is based on the Orphean myth and on Giuseppe Verdi's opera, La Traviata. It tells the story of a young, English poet/writer, Christian, who falls in love with the star of the Moulin Rouge, cabaret actress and courtesan Satine.
3. Jersey Boys - Can't Take My Eyes Off You
Jersey Boys is a jukebox musical based on the lives of one of the most successful 1960s rock 'n roll groups, the Four Seasons. The musical opened on Broadway in 2005, and has had a North American National tour, along with productions in the West End, various US cities, Toronto, and Melbourne. Jersey Boys won four 2006 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, making it one of the most successful stage jukebox musicals ever.
4. Mamma Mia! - Voules Vouz
Mamma Mia! is a jukebox musical with a book by British playwright Catherine Johnson, based on the songs of ABBA, composed by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, former members of the band. It was an early example of the jukebox musical genre and helped to popularize the form.
5. Rock of Ages - I Wanna Rock / Don't Stop Believin'
Rock of Ages is a rock/jukebox musical, with a book by Chris D'Arienzo, built around classic rock hits from the 1980s, especially from the famous glam metal bands of the decade. The musical features songs from Styx, Journey, Bon Jovi, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister, Steve Perry, Poison and Asia, among other well-known rock bands.
6. We Will Rock You - Somebody to Love
We Will Rock You (abbreviated as WWRY) is a jukebox musical, based on the songs of Queen and named after their hit single of the same name. The musical was written by British comedian and author Ben Elton in collaboration with Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor. This production has been so successful that not only a film is in the works, but also a sequel.
7. Beauty & the Beast - Be Our Guest
Beauty and the Beast is a musical with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice and a book by Linda Woolverton, based on the 1991 Disney film of the same name. Seven new songs were written for the stage musical. Beauty ran on Broadway for 5,464 performances between 1994 and 2007, becoming Broadway's sixth-longest running production in history, although it has since been pushed to seventh.
8. American Idiot - 21 Guns
American Idiot is a one-act stage musical adapted from rock band Green Day's concept album of the same name. Additional Green Day songs were interpolated from other sources, including the recernt 21st Century Breakdown album.
9. Movin' Out - River of Dreams / Keeping the Faith
Movin' Out is a jukebox musical featuring the songs of Billy Joel. Conceived by Twyla Tharp, the musical tells the story of a generation of American youth growing up on Long Island during the 1960s and their experiences with the Vietnam War. The show is unusual in that, unlike the traditional musical, it essentially is a series of dances linked by a thin plot, and none of the dancers sing. All the vocals are performed by a pianist and band suspended on a platform above the stage while the dancers act out the narrative sans dialogue, making the show, in essence, a rock ballet.
10. Hoy No Me Puedo Levantar - Un Ano Mas
Hoy no me puedo levantar is a Spanish musical, with music and lyrics by Nacho Cano, former member of the band Mecano. Based on 32 of the band's greatest hits and named after their first single, the musical centers on a pair of impoverished musicians trying to be part of La Movida Madrileña, after the fall of Francisco Franco's dictatorship.
11. Across the Universe - I am the Walrus
Across the Universe is a musical film directed by Julie Taymor.cThe script is based on an original story credited to Taymor, Dick Clement, and Ian La Frenais. It incorporates 34 compositions originally written by The Beatles. The film's plot and narrative structure interweave the stories of several characters whose lives cross paths during events set against the backdrop of the turbulent middle/late 1960s. The story apparently takes place from about late 1965 to mid 1969.
12. The Lion King - The Circle of Life
The Lion King is a musical based on the 1994 Disney animated film of the same name with music by Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice along with the musical score created by Hans Zimmer with choral arrangements by Lebo M. Directed by Julie Taymor, the musical features actors in animal costumes as well as giant, hollow puppets. The show is produced by Disney Theatrical.
13. Daddy Cool - Wanna Be My Lover / Can't Stand The Rain / Daddy Cool
Daddy Cool is a musical based upon the works of Boney M and other Frank Farian produced artists. It premiered in the West End in 2006, followed by UK and international tours. The musical tells the story of Sunny, a young man who lives for his music. Caught up in local rivalry between East and West London crews, he meets and falls in love with Rose, daughter of the East End’s notorious club owner Ma Baker.
14. Footloose the Musical - Footloose
Footloose is a 1998 musical based on the 1984 film of the same name. The music is by Tom Snow (among others), the lyrics by Dean Pitchford (with additional lyrics by Kenny Loggins), and the book is by Pitchford and Walter Bobbie.
15. Mary Poppins - Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
Mary Poppins is a Walt Disney Theatrical musical based on the similarly-titled series of children's books by P. L. Travers and the Disney 1964 film. The stage musical is a fusion of various elements from the film and the books. Some elements from the Mary Poppins series of children's books that had been omitted from the film were restored, such as the walking statue and the ladders rising to the stars. Others were removed, such as the scene in which Uncle Albert gets caught on the ceiling, laughing.
16. Saturday Night Fever - Stayin' Alive medley
Saturday Night Fever is a musical with a book by Nan Knighton (in collaboration with Arlene Phillips, Paul Nicholas, and Robert Stigwood) and music and lyrics by the Bee Gees. Based on Nik Cohn's 1975 New York Magazine article "Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night" and Norman Wexler's 1977 screenplay it inspired, it focuses on Tony Manero, a Brooklyn youth whose weekend is spent at the local discotheque. There he luxuriates in the admiration of the crowd and a growing relationship with Stephanie Mangano, and can temporarily forget the realities of his life, including a dead-end job in a paint store and his gang of deadbeat friends.
17. Xanadu on Broadway - Don't Walk Away
Xanadu is a musical comedy with a book by Douglas Carter Beane, music and lyrics by Jeff Lynne and John Farrar, based on the 1980 cult classic film of the same name which was, in turn, inspired by the 1947 Rita Hayworth film Down to Earth. The story of the musical focuses on a Greek muse, Clio, who descends from Mt. Olympus to Venice Beach, California in 1980 on a quest to inspire a struggling artist, Sonny, to achieve the greatest creation of his life - a roller disco. But, when Clio, disguised as an Australian roller girl named Kira, falls into forbidden love with the mortal Sonny, her jealous sisters take advantage of the situation, and Clio risks eternal banishment to the underworld.
18. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - Got To Get You Into My Life
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is a musical film released in 1978. Its soundtrack features new versions of songs originally written and performed by The Beatles. It tells the loosely-constructed story of a band as they wrangle with the music industry and battle evil forces bent on stealing their instruments and corrupting their home town of Heartland. The film is presented in a form similar to that of a rock opera with the Beatles' songs providing "dialogue" to carry the story, with only George Burns having spoken lines that act to clarify the plot and provide further narration.
19. Come Fly Away - That's Life
Come Fly Away is a dance revue conceived, directed and choreographed by Twyla Tharp, around the songs of Frank Sinatra. The musical, set in a New York City nightclub, follows four couples as they look for love.
20. Happy Feet
Happy Feet is a 2006 computer-animated comedy-drama film with music, directed and co-written by George Miller.Happy Feet is a jukebox musical, taking previously recorded songs and working them into the film's soundtrack to fit with the mood of the scene or character.