I started listening to the Les Miserables soundtrack a few weeks ago; at first I had it on shuffle because I  just liked the sound. But when I started listening to each track in order, I really pieced the story together and understood what was happening. If you listen to it on shuffle it's like one second Cosstte is all high-pitched and little and dreaming about castles on clouds, and next she's still high-pitched but now she's singing about love, and you're like, wait I thought she was 7?! And then all of a sudden Javert is wailing something about stars and then there's some cockney little boy singing about killing a king and you get really confused. I thought I knew what was happening, but I wanted to be sure, so I rented the movie from my library (Broadway show tickets are expensive!). I had the general storyline down, but there are a few things the soundtrack doesn't give you:
(If you aren't familiar with Les Miserables, this is going to be confusing to you)

  • What You Don't Get From the Les Mis Soundtrack:
    • Everything with the Bishop and Jean Valjean is a bit spotty. 
    • Jean Valjean becomes M'sieur le Mayor and owns a factory. 
    • How Fantine gets fired. 
    • Why Fantine is arrested. 
    • In Who Am I? when Valjean becomes himself again, you don't understand that another man is convicted of being him, just from the soundtrack. 
    • In Fantine's Death you do get the idea that she is imagining Cossette being there, but you don't get Anne Hathaway's wonderful performance of this. 
    • You don't understand that Javert thought Valjean was Valjean before the other man was convicted from the soundtrack. You don't understand how Valjean got away either. 
    • When I watched the movie I learned that Eponine was the inn keeper's daughter. From just the music I figured she was just the bad end of a love triangle, who was never really loved, so it's more like a love line segment and she's a point on her own in the distance. 
    • You do however get that Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter are the cheap, penny-pinching inn keepers, as well as the comic relief of the movie. 
    • I didn't understand that Valjean and Cossette were being chased by Javert and found refuge at the Convent, from the music. 
    • Javert and the stars was really out of place too, just from the soundtrack. 
    • Didn't understand that Marius saw Cossette (and that she's older) and fell in love. 
    • The whole cause of the war I didn't get. 
    • You definitely wouldn't know that the barricade is made out of old furniture tossed out windows just from the music. 
    • I was a bit surprised when I was watching the movie that Eponine dressed as a man and fought, and died. (*spoiler alert*) 
    • How they got to the sewers and why they were there is unsolved in the soundtrack. 
    • You don't understand that Valjean is going to take Cossette away to England to start over when they are discovered, yet again, by Javert. 


  1. I actually haven't listened to this soundtrack yet (#shameonme) but the original 1985 includes all of these things and I highly suggest it. By far, one of the best musicals of all time.