It makes a certain sense that Lana Del Rey would love show tunes. After all, you could argue that she’s been playing a character on stages for the past seven years now, and her public image is nothing if not glamorous. And given that Del Rey’s contribution to a new Andrew Lloyd Webber compilation is a cover of a Madonna song, it makes even more sense, since Madonna, when you think about it, must be a huge LDR influence. (Coincidentally enough, the last time we heard from Del Rey, it was on a song called “Blue Madonna.”)
“You Must Love Me,” the song that Del Rey sings on the new Andrew Lloyd Webber double-disc set Unmasked: The Platinum Collection, is a song that Webber and Tim Rice wrote specifically for the 1996 movie version of their musical Evita. It wasn’t in the Evita stage play. They wrote it instead so that Evita would have a song that could win a Best Original Song Oscar, which is exactly what happened in 1997.
Madonna’s version of “You Must Love Me” was quietly bombastic, but the Lana Del Rey version is more tender and hushed. The Del Rey version has strings and pianos, but it still sounds somehow spare. It sounds a lot, in fact, like a Lana Del Rey song. It’s one of a few new performances on Unmasked; people like Nicole Scherzinger and Gregory Porter also contribute covers of Webber’s songs. (Don’t worry; we won’t post theirs.) Listen to Del Rey’s version below.
Unmasked is out 3/16 on Verve.