Jukebox musical

A jukebox musical is a musical film or stage presentation featuring the songs of popular music acts. The term is used to describe films starring famous popular music acts showcasing their own recorded songs, not necessarily as part of a traditional musical score, though they are sometimes augmented with scored background music. Use of the term has also grown to encompass musical films and theatrical presentations that celebrate past or present music acts or personalities, usually played by professional actors singing new renditions of the real artists' previously-recorded songs and other material, done in a manner more akin to a typical Broadway musical, where songs are incorporated into a formal musical score and accompanied by choreography. The songs in jukebox musicals (of both kinds) are often contextualized into a dramatic plot, and particularly in the case of the later kind, a biographical story about the featured performer(s). In some instances plots do not revolve around the musical act(s) making appearances.

Jukebox musical films of the first kind often feature famous pop stars and rock groups playing themselves, such as the Beatles in their narrative films, or in other cases playing as alter egos. Some films star one well-known act, but others include a variety of acts. Some jukebox musicals include previously recorded songs, but others introduce unreleased material, such the Beatles' did in their first film, A Hard Day's Night, which Andrew Sarris described as "the Citizen Kane of jukebox musicals", as well as in their second and third features, Help! and Magical Mystery Tour (their fourth film, the animated Yellow Submarine, featured mostly previously released songs). Prior to the Beatles, Elvis Presley's movies sometimes contained previously unreleased music. In the 1980s, Prince's Purple Rain, in which he played a fictional character called the Kid, also featured new songs.

Other films described as jukebox musicals take all their songs from a single concept album featuring an integrated song cycle with a story arc, sometimes labeled a rock opera. Both the movies of The Who's Tommy and of Pink Floyd's The Wall adapted the entire song cycle of a single album which already revolved around a fictional character.

Although jukebox musicals had achieved success for years (for instance Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story, the musical about the life of Buddy Holly which ran in the West End for 13 years from 1989 to 2003), a surge in popularity was led by the success of Mamma Mia!, built around the music of ABBA.[1]

Reception of jukebox musicals has been divided, with the most common criticism being that there is too much focus on how many songs can be fit into the musical. Some jukebox musicals, like Lennon and Good Vibrations have been critical and financial flops. Others, like Jersey Boys and All Shook Up have been popular with both fans and critics.

The term "jukebox musical" dates at least to 1962,[2] following Jukebox (1939), though the general genre—motion pictures consisting largely of hit recordings—dates to the 1940s and 1950s. Examples are Jam Session, An American in Paris (1951), Rock, Rock, Rock (1956); Rock Around the Clock (1956) and Juke Box Rhythm (1959).

List of stage jukebox musicals


Year Title Based on the music of
1975 The Night That Made America Famous Harry Chapin
1977 Beatlemania (revue) The Beatles
1977 Elvis Elvis Presley
1978 Ain't Misbehavin' the Harlem Renaissance/Fats Waller


Year Title Based on the music of
1983 Abbacadabra ABBA
1984 Leader of the Pack Ellie Greenwich, Jeff Barry, and Phil Spector
1988 Always ... Patsy Cline Patsy Cline
1989 Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story Buddy Holly, including many early rock "standards"
1989 Return to the Forbidden Planet 1960s rock and roll


Year Title Based on the music of
1990 Forever Plaid male vocal harmony groups of the 1950s
1990 Five Guys Named Moe Louis Jordan
1995 Smokey Joe's Cafe Leiber and Stoller
1997 Boogie Nights the 70s
1998 Saturday Night Fever Bee Gees
1999 Disco Inferno 1970s disco
1999 Mamma Mia! ABBA
1999 The Marvelous Wonderettes female vocal harmony groups of the 1950s and 1960s
1999 It Ain't Nothin' but the Blues 5 Tony Nominations


Year Title Based on the music of
2001 Love, Janis Janis Joplin
2001 Shout! The Legend of The Wild One Johnny O'Keefe
2002 We Will Rock You Queen
2002 Our House Madness
2002 Movin' Out Billy Joel
2003 The Boy from Oz Peter Allen
2003 Hank Williams: Lost Highway Hank Williams
2003 Tonight's The Night Rod Stewart
2003 Belles belles belles Claude François
2003 Winter Wonderettes holiday music, 1960s
2004 On the Record the Walt Disney Company
2004 Beyond the Sea a biopic of Bobby Darin
2005 Back to the 80's! various 80s pop artists
2005 Lennon John Lennon
2005 Good Vibrations The Beach Boys
2005 All Shook Up Elvis Presley
2005 Honky Tonk Laundry country music made famous by female country stars
2005 Jersey Boys Frankie Valli and Four Seasons
2005 Hoy no me puedo levantar Spanish group Mecano
2005 Bésame Mucho Mexican and Cuba Boleros Various Artists
2006 Dusty – The Original Pop Diva Dusty Springfield
2006 Hot Feet Earth, Wind & Fire
2006 Priscilla Queen of the Desert – the Musical Various Artists, based on the movie, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
2006 Daddy Cool Boney M
2006 Ring of Fire Johnny Cash
2006 Rock of Ages Glam metal of the 1980s
2006 Thriller - Live Michael Jackson
2006 The Times They Are A-Changin' Bob Dylan
2006 The Onion Cellar The Dresden Dolls
2006 Why Do Fools Fall in Love? Hits of the 1960s in various artists
2007 Desperately Seeking Susan Blondie
2007 Never Forget Take That
2007 Ich war noch niemals in New York Udo Jürgens
2007 Xanadu Electric Light Orchestra and Olivia Newton-John
2007 Sunshine on Leith The Proclaimers
2007 The Slide The Beautiful South
2008 All the Fun of the Fair David Essex
2008 Je m'voyais déjà : Le musical Charles Aznavour
2009 Dreamboats and Petticoats based on the album featuring music of the 1960s
2009 Mentiras el musical Mexican songs from 1980s era Various Artists
2009 Fela! Fela Kuti
2009 Life Could Be a Dream Doo-wop music circa 1960


Year Title Based on the music of
2010 Perfect Harmony Various Artists (ranging from The Jackson 5, to Pat Benatar)
2010 Everyday Rapture Various Artists (ranging from Judy Garland and The Supremes, to Mr. Rogers)
2010 Come Fly Away Frank Sinatra
2010 Million Dollar Quartet Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash
2010 American Idiot Green Day
2010 Padam Padam : Le spectacle musical Norbert Glanzberg
2011 Waiting for a Train Jimmie Rodgers
2011 Baby It's You! The Shirelles
2011 Si nos dejan Mexican songs from 1930s-1950s era Various Artists
2011 Hinterm Horizont Udo Lindenberg
2012 I Dreamed a Dream various artists, songs covered by Susan Boyle
2012 Raiding the Rock Vault[3] Various classic rock songs
2012 Viva Forever! Spice Girls
2012 Soul Sister Tina Turner
2012 Disaster! Popular songs from the 1970s
2012 Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots The Flaming Lips
2013 Beautiful: The Carole King Musical Carole King
2013 Soul Doctor Shlomo Carlebach and Nina Simone
2013 Sunshine on Leith The Proclaimers
2013 After Midnight Duke Ellington
2013 Motown: The Musical Motown
2014 Holler If Ya Hear Me Tupac Shakur
2014 Cyrano De Burger Shack Various Artists (ranging from Carly Rae Jepsen, to Smash Mouth)
2014 Sunny Afternoon The Kinks
2015 On Your Feet! Emilio Estefan and Gloria Estefan
2015 Résiste France Gall
2015 Cruel Intentions: The Musical Popular songs from the 1990s, based on the movie Cruel Intentions
2016 Lazarus David Bowie
2016 Dream Lover: The Bobby Darin Musical Bobby Darin
2017 Bat Out of Hell The Musical Jim Steinman
2017 The Band Take That
2017 Part of the Plan Dan Fogelberg
2017 Girl from the North Country Bob Dylan
2017 Hit Parade : Le Musical Claude François, Dalida, Mike Brant and Sacha Distel
2017 Summer: The Donna Summer Musical Donna Summer
2018 Jukebox Hero Foreigner
2018 Escape to Margaritaville Jimmy Buffett
2018 Tina: The Musical Tina Turner
2018 Jagged Little Pill Alanis Morissette
2018 Head Over Heels The Go-Go's
2018 The Cher Show Cher
2018 Clueless, The Musical Popular songs from the 1990s, based on the movie Clueless
2018 All Out of Love: The Musical[4][5][6][7][8] Air Supply
2018 Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations The Temptations
2019 Standing At The Sky's Edge (musical) Richard Hawley

List of jukebox musical films

List of jukebox musical TV shows


  1. ^ "Mamma Mia! and the Rise of the Jukebox Musical". Cheap Theater Tickets. Retrieved 11 October 2015.
  2. ^ Guide to the Performing Arts: 3460, Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1962, p. 204, "—Kanin, Garson; his jukebox musical with Phil Silvers, Nancy Walker".
  3. ^ Jeff Giles (October 21, 2016). "Cheap Trick, Journey and Foreigner vets lead new 'Rock Pack' concert experience". Ultimate Classic Rock. Townsquare Media. Retrieved 2018-10-18.
  4. ^ "All Out of Love: The Musical". Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  5. ^ Gans, Andrew (28 February 2018). "All Out of Love, New Air Supply Musical, Will Debut in Manila". Playbill. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  6. ^ "Photo Flash: First Look At The Air Supply Musical ALL OUT OF LOVE in Manila". Broadway World. Wisdom Digital Media. 19 October 2018. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  7. ^ Katigbak, Fran (23 June 2018). "All Out of Love: Here it is, an Air Supply jukebox musical!". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  8. ^ Lo, Ricky (October 25, 2018). "Air Supply takes a bow with cast at gala show". The Philippine Star. Retrieved October 25, 2018.

External links

Across the Universe (film)

Across the Universe is a 2007 British-American jukebox musical romantic drama film directed by Julie Taymor, centered on songs by the English rock band the Beatles. The script is based on an original story credited to Taymor, Dick Clement, and Ian La Frenais. It incorporates 34 compositions originally written by members of the Beatles. The film stars Jim Sturgess, Evan Rachel Wood, Joe Anderson and T.V. Carpio, and introduces Dana Fuchs and Martin Luther McCoy as actors. Cameo appearances are made by Bono, Eddie Izzard, Joe Cocker, and Salma Hayek, among others.

Across the Universe premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 14, 2007 and was theatrically released in the United States on October 12 by Columbia Pictures. The film received mixed reviews from critics, with many praising the visuals, cast and singing performances, though criticised the plot and direction. The film received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and an Academy Award nomination for Best Costume Design. Two members of the supporting cast, Carol Woods and Timothy T. Mitchum, performed as part of a special Beatles tribute at the 50th Grammy Awards.

All That Jazz (film)

All That Jazz is a 1979 American musical drama film directed by Bob Fosse. The screenplay, by Robert Alan Aurthur and Fosse, is a semi-autobiographical fantasy based on aspects of Fosse's life and career as a dancer, choreographer and director. The film was inspired by Fosse's manic effort to edit his film Lenny while simultaneously staging the 1975 Broadway musical Chicago. It borrows its title from the Kander and Ebb tune "All That Jazz" in that production. The film won the Palme d'Or at the 1980 Cannes Film Festival.

In 2001, All That Jazz was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

Blues Brothers 2000

Blues Brothers 2000 is a 1998 American musical comedy film that is a sequel to the 1980 film The Blues Brothers, written and produced by John Landis and Dan Aykroyd. Directed by Landis, the film stars Aykroyd and John Goodman, with cameo appearances by various musicians. The film is dedicated to John Belushi, Cab Calloway, and John Candy, cast members from the original film who had died prior to the sequel's production, as well as Junior Wells, who died one month before it was released.

Everyone Says I Love You

Everyone Says I Love You is a 1996 American musical comedy film written and directed by Woody Allen, who also stars alongside Julia Roberts, Alan Alda, Edward Norton, Drew Barrymore, Gaby Hoffmann, Tim Roth, Goldie Hawn, Natasha Lyonne and Natalie Portman. Set in New York City, Venice and Paris, the film features singing by actors not usually known for their singing.

Everyone Says I Love You did not do well commercially, but is among the more critically successful of Allen's later films, with Chicago Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert even ranking it as one of Allen's best.

Jersey Boys (film)

Jersey Boys is a 2014 American musical drama film directed and produced by Clint Eastwood, based on the Tony Award-winning jukebox musical of the same name. The film tells the story of the musical group The Four Seasons. Original band members Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudio (who also composed the film's music) serve as executive producers.

Jersey Boys was released in the United States on June 20, 2014. It received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the musical numbers but criticized the narrative and runtime, and grossed $67 million worldwide.

Jolson Sings Again

Jolson Sings Again is a 1949 American musical biographical film directed by Henry Levin, and the sequel to The Jolson Story, both of which cover the life of singer Al Jolson. The film received three Oscar nominations at the 22nd Academy Awards.

Love Me or Leave Me (film)

Love Me or Leave Me is a 1955 biographical romantic musical drama film that tells the life story of Ruth Etting, a singer who rose from dancer to movie star. It stars Doris Day as Etting, James Cagney as gangster Martin "Moe the Gimp" Snyder, her first husband and manager, and Cameron Mitchell as pianist/arranger Myrl Alderman, her second husband. It was written by Daniel Fuchs and Isobel Lennart and directed by Charles Vidor.

Mamma Mia! (film)

Mamma Mia! (promoted as Mamma Mia! The Movie) is a 2008 jukebox musical romantic comedy film directed by Phyllida Lloyd and written by Catherine Johnson based on the 1999 musical of the same name, also written by Johnson, which itself is based on the songs of pop group ABBA, including the title song, with additional music composed by ABBA member Benny Andersson. The film features an ensemble cast, including Christine Baranski, Pierce Brosnan, Dominic Cooper, Colin Firth, Amanda Seyfried, Stellan Skarsgård, Meryl Streep and Julie Walters. The plot follows a young bride-to-be who invites three men to her upcoming wedding, each one with the possibility of being her father. The film was an international co-production between Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and was co-produced by Relativity Media, Playtone and Littlestar Productions.

Principal photography primarily took place on the island of Skopelos, Greece from August to September 2007. The film was distributed by Universal Pictures. Mamma Mia! held its world premiere on June 30, 2008 at Leicester Square in London and premiered on July 4, 2008 in Stockholm, Sweden, with Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Agnetha Fältskog in attendance. The film was released theatrically on July 10 in the United Kingdom, on July 17 in Germany and on July 18 in the United States. It received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the musical numbers and production values, but criticized the plot and casting of inexperienced singers, in particular Brosnan and Skarsgård. Nonetheless, the film was popular with audiences grossed $615 million worldwide on a $52 million budget, becoming the fifth highest-grossing film of 2008. A sequel, titled Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, was released on July 20, 2018 with most of the main cast returning.

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is a 2018 jukebox musical romantic comedy film written and directed by Ol Parker, from a story by Parker, Catherine Johnson, and Richard Curtis. It is a follow-up to the 2008 film Mamma Mia!, which in turn is based on the West End/Broadway musical of the same name using the music of ABBA. The film features an ensemble cast, including Dominic Cooper, Amanda Seyfried, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård, Jeremy Irvine, Josh Dylan, Hugh Skinner, Lily James, Jessica Keenan Wynn, Alexa Davies, Christine Baranski, Julie Walters, Andy García, Meryl Streep, and Cher. Both a prequel and a sequel, the plot is set after the events of Mamma Mia!, and also features flashbacks to 1979, telling the story of Donna Sheridan's arrival on the island of Kalokairi and her first meetings with her daughter Sophie's three possible fathers.

Due to the financial success of the first film, Universal Pictures had long been interested in a sequel. The film was officially announced in May 2017, with Parker hired to write and direct. In June 2017, many of the original cast confirmed their involvement, with James being cast in the role of Young Donna that July. Filming took place from August to December 2017 in Croatia, Bordeaux, Stockholm, Oxford, Hampton and at Shepperton Studios. A British and American joint venture, the film was co-produced by Playtone, Littlestar Productions and Legendary Entertainment.

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again was premiered at the Hammersmith Apollo in London on July 16, 2018, and was released in the United Kingdom and the United States on July 20, 2018, ten years to the week after its predecessor's release, in both standard and IMAX formats. The film was a box office success, grossing over $394 million worldwide and received generally positive reviews, with critics praising the performances and musical numbers.

Moulin Rouge!

Moulin Rouge! (, from French: [mulɛ̃ ˈʁuʒ]) is a 2001 jukebox musical romantic drama film directed, co-produced, and co-written by Baz Luhrmann. It tells the story of a young English poet/writer, Christian (Ewan McGregor), who falls in love with the star of the Moulin Rouge, cabaret actress and courtesan Satine (Nicole Kidman). It uses the musical setting of the Montmartre Quarter of Paris, France.

At the 74th Academy Awards, the film was nominated for eight Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actress for Nicole Kidman, winning two: for Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design. It was the first musical nominated for Best Picture in 10 years, following Disney's Beauty and the Beast (1991). In BBC's 2016 poll of the greatest films since 2000, Moulin Rouge! ranked 53rd.

Ring of Fire (musical)

Ring of Fire is a jukebox musical based on the music of Johnny Cash.

Rocketman (film)

Rocketman is a 2019 biographical musical film based on the life of musician Elton John. Directed by Dexter Fletcher and written by Lee Hall, it stars Taron Egerton as John, with Jamie Bell, Richard Madden, and Bryce Dallas Howard. The film follows John's early days as a prodigy at the Royal Academy of Music to his musical partnership with Bernie Taupin. The film is titled after John's 1972 song "Rocket Man".

An Elton John biopic had been in development for almost two decades, with the project going through studios including Walt Disney Studios and Focus Features, directors including Michael Gracey, and actors including Tom Hardy and Justin Timberlake. After creative differences with Focus halted an initial production start in 2014, John took the project to Paramount Pictures, with Egerton and Fletcher signing on in April 2018. Principal photography began in August 2018 and was completed later that year.

Rocketman premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on 16 May 2019, and was released in the United Kingdom on 22 May 2019. It is scheduled to be released in the United States on 31 May 2019. The film received positive reviews from critics, with general praise for Egerton's performance. It is the first major Hollywood production to show a gay male sex scene on-screen.

Strange Magic (film)

Strange Magic is a 2015 American computer-animated jukebox musical fantasy romantic comedy film directed by Gary Rydstrom, produced by Lucasfilm, with feature animation by Lucasfilm Animation and Industrial Light & Magic. The film's screenplay was written by Rydstrom, David Berenbaum and Irene Mecchi, from a story by George Lucas inspired by William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. The film stars Alan Cumming, Evan Rachel Wood, Kristin Chenoweth, Maya Rudolph and Alfred Molina. The score was composed by Marius de Vries and includes contemporary songs, such as "Love Is Strange" and "Strange Magic".Lucas had been working on developing the project for 15 years before production began. The first Lucasfilm production to be distributed by Walt Disney Studios, after the parent company's purchase of the studio in 2012, Touchstone Pictures released the film on January 23, 2015. The film received generally negative reviews from critics and was a box office bomb, grossing $13.6 million worldwide and losing around $40–50 million.

Sunshine on Leith (film)

Sunshine on Leith is a 2013 Scottish musical film directed by Dexter Fletcher. It is an adaptation of the stage musical of the same name, a jukebox musical featuring songs by The Proclaimers. It was screened in the Special Presentation section at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.The songs, arranged by musical director Paul Englishby, are performed by the cast. The Proclaimers themselves appear in a brief cameo.

The Singing Detective (film)

The Singing Detective is a 2003 American musical crime comedy film directed by Keith Gordon and loosely based on the BBC serial of the same name, a work by British writer Dennis Potter. It stars Robert Downey Jr. and features a supporting cast that includes Katie Holmes, Adrien Brody, Robin Wright Penn, Mel Gibson and Carla Gugino as well as a number of songs from the 1950s.

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