Jesus Christ Superstar! – Stuff You Like

Jesus Christ, Superstar! Do you think you’re what they say you are?

Well? DO YOU?

In this episode: the music of Jesus Christ Superstar, wistful comparisons to Monty Python, refusing to stan for Lord Webber, and why, if you’re going to create an alt-history for Christianity, you should at least TRY and make sure that it makes some kind of sense? Maybe?

About Sursum Ursa

Ursa presents Stuff You Like, where fangirls + analysis + awesome examples of media = good times for all.


  1. Although I don’t have strong feeling about JCS or anything Lloyd Weber related really I did find this very interesting.
    I think the main problem you described (aside from the music which is really a matter of taste) was hope open-ended this interpretation is. It’s kind of the same problem I’ve noticed some people had with Evita. They seem to what Jesus is made out to be simultaneously ordinary and extraordinary, visionary and madman, miracle worker and overhyped hero and so on. Like they wanted to hedge their bets by trying to appeal to believers and nonbelievers at the same time and the end result does seem a bit incoherent.
    Judas pretty much has the same problem motivation wise, but in all fairness I don’t think the Gospels explain his motives very well either. He seems like more of a plot device for the larger narrative than anything else. How did the High Priest know how to find Jesus? Well…someone was willing to give him away for the right price!?

    • I think it was deliberate attempt to make Jesus questionable. After all title imply “superstar” nature of Jesus. Even if from educated Christian perspective it is total ignoramus approach of someone who didn’t really get teachings outside Sunday school knowledge.

  2. I’m not sure what to think about the suggest that the resurrection in particular and miracles in general are the only reason Jesus was remember. In the earliest copies of Mark (which is generally considered the oldest of the Gospels and the one most likely written by one who Jesus personally) their is no resurrection! At least non the is out right described. They just find his body gone from where they buried him and it’s kind of implied.

    I get that within the context of history the followers of Jesus wouldn’t become this radical sect the continued to shack up the system without their belief in the resurrection, but it sort of bothers me to assume that his teaching and his guidance were somehow less important in the long run than “MIRACLES.” In fact, I though that was kind of the point of the whole scene before Herod (even that does only happen in Luke). That if “you need him to perform miracles just because you want HIM too, than your not ready to truly know HIM.”

    Admittedly, this is just my personal take on this theology than anything and I’m sure that are a lot of people who argue both sides of that question better than I could.
    Sorry if this comes off a bit confused, but this give me some food for though and I just wanted to put it out there. Good show Sursum.

    • Considering that Christianity was offshoot of Ebionites movement (created by John the Baptist) what was huge even before Jesus take place of his deceased cousin. It is safe to presume that miracles weren’t the reason why people fallow him.

      But we should be remember that original rock-opera was from 70’ties, when people revised many “untouchable” ideas and there lack education overall especially related to dogma. And for people who don’t understand teachings that miracle/superstar part is standing out element of this religion. As such I see it as part of that hippie free though monument even if in end is bit naive and ignoramus. Life of Brian was created almost decade later so it has time for improve, and also it was deliberate comedy not a statement.

      • From what little information I’ve been able to find about the Ebionites, it would seem surviving documentation of their existence comes from those who regarded their teachings as heresy. Information is limited, fragmented, and disputed. So your conclusions about their size, source, and time of their existence sound to me more like conjecture than proven fact.

        • What is irrelevant to the topic though. Simple fact is that there are no proves that miracles were main reason for those movements popularity. Way more prominent factors were messianic and apocalyptic believes of that time. Factors what could be illusive for 70’ties movements going over they previous religious indoctrination.

  3. I first found out about JCST from an album of the score. Not helped by the fact that some of the songs were missing from it, I thought it was a proper musical, not a rock opera with no spoken dialogue. This version was the version I eventually saw, and I agree that it feels like there’s a lot left out. But yet, it all looks and sounds so fun I really enjoy it.

  4. I like most musicals but this is one of the only ones I don’t like.

  5. I’m not a fan of everything about the story, but I do like most of the music. My favorite part is “Simon Zealotes/Poor Jerusalem”.

  6. In my opinion, “Love Never Dies” should be seen as a person should see “The Room” don’t take it seriously, and the concept is pretty laughable from certain standpoints.

  7. As an atheist I’m not much into the subject matter either, but the music is awesome. Especially if you listen to the original 1970 concept album the play/film is based off of. The concept album is considered a “must have” by many progressive rock fans. It also has Ian Gillan (lead singer of Deep Purple) as Jesus.

  8. Yeah I agree with you, but still don’t know about you, but Classical Music is my true North. Although though I know it much deeper than that, especially Romanticism or all 19th century Romantic Classical Music among other arts.

  9. Screw or fuck Pop based music, Dead White European Mostly Individual Male Men’s Music Classical Music is my true North and always will be till the day I die.

  10. I’m glad to finally find another person who agrees about how terrible the music is in this movie. There’s no discernible rhythm or melody, and Ted Neeley’s voice is just… wrong for the part.

    On an episode of Mr. Show, there was a brief parody of this starring Jack Black, called “Jeepers Creepers Semi-Star”. It got everything pitch-perfect: the bad costumes, the tuneless warbling, and the paper-thin characters.

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