Les Miserables soundtrack tops album chart

The soundtrack to the Oscar-nominated Les Miserables has become the first cast recording to top the UK album chart for 16 years.

Rocketing to the top spot as plaudits and rave reviews continue to pour in for Tom Hooper’s film adaptation, it elbowed Brit-nominated Emeli Sande's Our Version of Events into second-place. The last musical soundtrack to make it to number 1 was Madonna’s Evita in 1997.

Hollywood actress Anne Hathaway also laid down her singing credentials as I Dreamed a Dream entered the top 40 singles chart at a very impressive number 22.

The soundtrack album is a selection of songs from the two-and-a-half hour film, including On My Own, Empty Chairs At Empty Tables and Suddenly, a new song written specifically for the film adaptation. It by no means includes all the music though, with the likes of Lovely Ladies, Who Am I and Do You Hear The People Sing omitted from the compilation. No doubt they felt that modern attention spans would glaze over and it would be best to cherry pick.

Fans have petitioned both Universal Studios and Republic Records for a full audio version while Russell Crowe tweeted: "I know there has been talk of releasing the complete score and 48 tune soundtrack of #LesMis tell @UniversalPics you want it."

The album has split critics though with some wondering if some professional audio treatment anmd engineering for the audio version may not have been in order.

"I think it would have been better if they tweaked the sound a little bit on the voices," mused Elaine Paige on her Radio 2 show. “It's all too naturalistic, overblown, over-acted for my taste".

Helena Bonham Carter, who plays Madame Thenardier in the film also questioned how the songs

had come out.

"I had lots of vocal training for Les Mis but I didn't improve as much as I thought I would," she said. I watched it and I thought I was going to be so much better, I thought my voice was going to be so much bigger. I practised and practised and practised but the thing with Les Mis is that it was real, so that's what we sounded like”

As rising momentum sweeps the film towards the Oscars – how long can it hold on at the top?

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