So this Phantom, with just as lush music and vastly superior lyrics…best of all, it’s refreshing to hear a Phantom that is musically satisfying and not lyrically pinheaded. (Marc Miller, The Theatermania Guide To Musical Theater Recordings)
Of all the arguments I’ve heard explaining why, contrary to all evidence, the obscure alternate version of Phantom by Maury Yeston is artistically superior to the Andrew Lloyd-Webber version, this is probably the worst, and certainly the funniest. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, here are some sampled lyrics from the Yeston Phantom:
“Where every English horn/makes me feel glad I’m born” (“Home”)
“From every toilet bowl/to every leading role” (“This Place Is Mine”)
And of course, the ever popular:
“Phantom/the opera’s been invaded by a Phantom/the opera’s been invaded by a Phantom/the opera’s been invaded by a ghost (by a ghost!)/if you follow him, you’re following a Phantom (a Phantom!)/the opera’s been invaded by a Phantom (a Phantom!)” (This goes on for two more choruses, by the way.)
The Yeston Phantom does have some lovely music, but trying to pass it off as some bastion of lyrical integrity is just absurd. The lyrics in the Webber Phantom, while admittedly rather underwhelming, were a damn sight better than this.