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Jesus Christ Superstar is a rock opera with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice. It is loosely based on the Gospels' accounts of the lastJesus Christ Superstar is a rock opera with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice. It is loosely based on the Gospels' accounts of the last week of Jesus's life, beginning with the preparation for the arrival of Jesus and his disciples in Jerusalem and ending with the crucifixion. The work interprets the psychology of Jesus and other characters. Much of the plot centers on Judas, who is dissatisfied with the direction in which Jesus is steering his disciples. Contemporary attitudes, sensibilities and slang pervade the rock opera's lyrics, and ironic allusions to modern life are scattered throughout the depiction of political events. Stage and film productions accordingly contain many intentional anachronisms. Initially unable to get backing for a stage production, the composers released it as a rock opera album musical. The success of the album led to the show's Broadway on-stage debut in 1971. By 1980, the musical had grossed more than $237 million worldwide. Running for over eight years in London between 1972 and 1980 it held the record for longest-running West End musical before it was overtaken by Cats in 1989.