Nonesuch Records released the cast recording of David Byrne’s Here Lies Love on May 6, 2014 (internationally on May 12). The recording features music by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim as performed by the original 2013 Public Theater cast of the Here Lies Love musical starring Ruthie Ann Miles and Jose Llana as Imelda and Ferdinand Marcos. Here Lies Love is available digitally and as a two CD set.
The physical copy of the recording includes a 80-page full color book with lyrics, credits, an introduction by Public Theater director Oskar Eustis and two essays about the creation of the piece by Byrne.
Here Lies Love premiered at New York’s Public Theater in April of last year and was extended four times. It won an Obie Award for music and lyrics; an Outer Critics Circle Award; Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Music, Lighting Design, and Projection Design; and two Theatre World Awards. The Public’s production was hailed by the New York Observer as “the must-see event of the season” and by Vogue as “a life-giving, roof-raising, booty-shaking blast of joy.”
Marcos’s love for disco and club music served as the inspiration for the musical, telling the story of Filipina First Lady Imelda Marcos, retracing her meteoric rise to power and subsequent descent into infamy and disgrace at the end of the People Power Revolution.
Here Lies Love, which draws its name from Imelda’s requested tombstone epitaph, was originally released in 2010 as an album with multiple singers performing the lead roles, including Santigold, Florence Welch (Florence + The Machine), Sia, Steve Earle, St. Vincent, Natalie Merchant, Tori Amos, Sharon Jones, Nicole Atkins, and many others.
The cast recording of Here Lies Love features seven new songs written specifically for the musical including “Child of the Philippines,” “The Fabulous One,” based on Ninoy Aquino’s famous speech “A Pantheon for Imelda,” and “God Draws Straight,” based on the book People Power: An Eyewitness History. Of the new songs written for the musical, Byrne says “I was thrilled with the result—I’d been gently nudged by my collaborators to write something that I’d never tried before.”
Byrne collaborated with director Alex Timbers (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson) to bring the music to the stage. Ruthie Ann Miles’ starring performance was praised as “striking” by New York magazine, “magnetic, sexy and poignant” by the New York Post, and “vivid and haunting” by the New York Daily News. Entertainment Weekly declares “not only does [Miles] have a lovely, dynamic set of pipes, but she also infuses the first lady with just the right amount of strength and sensitivity.” Miles earned a Theatre World Award for her performance. The cast recording of Here Lies Love also features Renee Albulario, Melody Butiu, Natalie Cortez, Debralee Daco, Joshua Dela Cruz, Kelvin Moon Loh, Jeigh Madjus, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Conrad Ricamora, Trevor Salter, and Janelle Velasquez.