March Monikers: “Judas’ Death”

Jérôme Pradon in JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR
Jérôme Pradon in Jesus Christ Superstar

March 2022 at Musical Cyberspace is all about songs with people’s names in the title.

One of the most disturbing parts of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s Jesus Christ Superstar, “Judas’ Death” documents Judas’ descent into a suicidal mania following an epiphany of what he has done in betraying Jesus. Featuring reprises of “Damned for All Time”, “Blood Money” and “I Don’t Know How to Tell Him”, the song builds into a frenzy of rock guitars and riffs until Judas hangs himself. After a brief moment of silence, the chorus intones his name profoundly and we are left to experience the outcome of the pact that has been sealed. Chilling stuff.

Like some of the other recent numbers featured in the March Monikers columns, this is a song that relies on the show itself for its power. I imagine that people’s favourite renditions largely fall in line with their favourite Judases. I’d probably go for the Carl Anderson and Jérôme Pradon’s versions respectively, knowing that the former is often lauded as the best ever in the role and that the latter has numerous detractors – but I’m not one of them.

Keen to share your thoughts on “Judas’ Death”? Who interprets the sequence best for you? Head on to the comment box at the end of this post.

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