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


YearTitleBased on the music of
1975The Night That Made America FamousHarry Chapin
1977Beatlemania (revue)The Beatles
1977ElvisElvis Presley
1978Ain't Misbehavin'the Harlem Renaissance/Fats Waller


YearTitleBased on the music of
1984Leader of the PackEllie Greenwich, Jeff Barry, and Phil Spector
1988Always ... Patsy ClinePatsy Cline
1989Buddy – The Buddy Holly StoryBuddy Holly, including many early rock "standards"
1989Return to the Forbidden Planet1960s rock and roll


YearTitleBased on the music of
1990Forever Plaidmale vocal harmony groups of the 1950s
1990Five Guys Named MoeLouis Jordan
1995Smokey Joe's CafeLeiber and Stoller
1997Boogie Nightsthe 70s
1998Saturday Night FeverBee Gees
1999Disco Inferno1970s disco
1999Mamma Mia!ABBA
1999The Marvelous Wonderettesfemale vocal harmony groups of the 1950s and 1960s
1999It Ain't Nothin' but the Blues5 Tony Nominations


YearTitleBased on the music of
2001Love, JanisJanis Joplin
2001Shout! The Legend of The Wild OneJohnny O'Keefe
2002We Will Rock YouQueen
2002Our HouseMadness
2002Movin' OutBilly Joel
2003The Boy from OzPeter Allen
2003Hank Williams: Lost HighwayHank Williams
2003Tonight's The NightRod Stewart
2003Belles belles bellesClaude François
2003Winter Wonderettesholiday music, 1960s
2004On the Recordthe Walt Disney Company
2004Beyond the Seaa biopic of Bobby Darin
2005Back to the 80's!various 80s pop artists
2005LennonJohn Lennon
2005Good VibrationsThe Beach Boys
2005All Shook UpElvis Presley
2005Honky Tonk Laundrycountry music made famous by female country stars
2005Jersey BoysFrankie Valli and Four Seasons
2005Hoy no me puedo levantarSpanish group Mecano
2005Bésame MuchoMexican and Cuba Boleros Various Artists
2006Dusty – The Original Pop DivaDusty Springfield
2006Hot FeetEarth, Wind & Fire
2006Priscilla Queen of the Desert – the MusicalVarious Artists, based on the movie, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
2006Daddy CoolBoney M
2006Ring of FireJohnny Cash
2006Rock of AgesGlam metal of the 1980s
2006Thriller - LiveMichael Jackson
2006The Times They Are A-Changin'Bob Dylan
2006The Onion CellarThe Dresden Dolls
2006Why Do Fools Fall in Love?Hits of the 1960s in various artists
2007Desperately Seeking SusanBlondie
2007Never ForgetTake That
2007Ich war noch niemals in New YorkUdo Jürgens
2007XanaduElectric Light Orchestra and Olivia Newton-John
2007Sunshine on LeithThe Proclaimers
2007The SlideThe Beautiful South
2008All the Fun of the FairDavid Essex
2008Je m'voyais déjà : Le musicalCharles Aznavour
2009Dreamboats and Petticoatsbased on the album featuring music of the 1960s
2009Mentiras el musicalMexican songs from 1980s era Various Artists
2009Fela!Fela Kuti
2009Life Could Be a DreamDoo-wop music circa 1960


YearTitleBased on the music of
2010Perfect HarmonyVarious Artists (ranging from The Jackson 5, to Pat Benatar)
2010Everyday RaptureVarious Artists (ranging from Judy Garland and The Supremes, to Mr. Rogers)
2010Come Fly AwayFrank Sinatra
2010Million Dollar QuartetElvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash
2010American IdiotGreen Day
2010Padam Padam : Le spectacle musicalNorbert Glanzberg
2011Waiting for a TrainJimmie Rodgers
2011Baby It's You!The Shirelles
2011Si nos dejanMexican songs from 1930s-1950s era Various Artists
2011Hinterm HorizontUdo Lindenberg
2012I Dreamed a Dreamvarious artists, songs covered by Susan Boyle
2012Raiding the Rock Vault[3]Various classic rock songs
2012Viva Forever!Spice Girls
2012 Soul Sister Tina Turner
2012Disaster!Popular songs from the 1970s
2012Yoshimi Battles the Pink RobotsThe Flaming Lips
2013Beautiful: The Carole King MusicalCarole King
2013Soul DoctorShlomo Carlebach and Nina Simone
2013Sunshine on LeithThe Proclaimers
2013After MidnightDuke Ellington
2013Motown: The MusicalMotown
2014A Spoonful of ShermanThe Sherman Family: Sherman Brothers, Al Sherman and Robert J. Sherman
2014Holler If Ya Hear MeTupac Shakur
2014Cyrano De Burger ShackVarious Artists (ranging from Carly Rae Jepsen, to Smash Mouth)
2014Sunny AfternoonThe Kinks
2015On Your Feet!Emilio Estefan and Gloria Estefan
2015RésisteFrance Gall
2015Cruel Intentions: The MusicalPopular songs from the 1990s, based on the movie Cruel Intentions
2016LazarusDavid Bowie
2016Dream Lover: The Bobby Darin MusicalBobby Darin
2017Bat Out of Hell The MusicalJim Steinman
2017The BandTake That
2017Part of the PlanDan Fogelberg
2017 Girl from the North Country Bob Dylan
2017Hit Parade : Le MusicalClaude François, Dalida, Mike Brant and Sacha Distel
2017Summer: The Donna Summer MusicalDonna Summer
2018Jukebox HeroForeigner
2018A Spoonful of ShermanThe Sherman Family: Sherman Brothers, Al Sherman and Robert J. Sherman
2018Escape to MargaritavilleJimmy Buffett
2018Tina: The MusicalTina Turner
2018Jagged Little PillAlanis Morissette
2018Head Over HeelsThe Go-Go's
2018The Cher ShowCher
2018Clueless, The MusicalPopular songs from the 1990s, based on the movie Clueless
2018All Out of Love: The Musical[4][5][6][7][8] Air Supply
2018Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of the TemptationsThe Temptations
2018Moulin Rouge! The MusicalVarious artists
2019Club Tropicana - The MusicalVarious artists from the 1980's
2019Standing at the Sky's Edge (musical)Richard Hawley
2019Once Upon a One More TimeBritney Spears
2019& JulietMax Martin

List of jukebox musical films

List of jukebox musical TV shows

See also


  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.
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