“You are all I’ll ever want, but this I am denied,/ Sometimes in my darkest thoughts, I wish I’d never learned,/ What it is to love and have that love returned” (Rice and John). “There’s nothing more I can think of to say to you,/ But all you have to do is look at me to know every word is true” (Rice and Webber). Compare the two. They have different writing styles even though they were written by the same person. Tim Rice wrote differently when working with different people.
Timothy Rice was born November 10, 1944, in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, England. He married Jane McIntosh in 1974 and had Eva and Donald. However, Rice’s marriage broke up in the 1980s after he had an affair with Elaine Paige. At Desmond Elliot’s suggestion Rice retired from law and arranged a meeting with Andrew Lloyd Webber about writing lyrics for Webber.
When Rice and Webber were introduced in 1964 they made a good team (Newmark 18). Rice came up with the idea for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The unique material in the story forced Rice to develop his own lyrical style. He created a technique that was conversational and catchy. When Rice composed with Webber he wrote the lyrics after Webber had arranged the music. This restricted Rice’s ability to convey the message he put in the lyrics since they had to fit the tune (Newmark 18). Rice portrayed the “impact of the words” (Jewell), but the music tended to mask their importance.
Rice and Elton John met when composing The Lion King. That show introduced the two and allowed Rice to try a new style of lyrical writing. He wrote the lyrics first and the music was added later. “He is the first composer I’ve known who insists on having the lyrics first,” Rice said. “I’ve spent most shows writing lyrics for music that already exists, but Elton said he couldn’t do that” (Newmark 18). Writing the lyrics without a tune gave Rice a lot more freedom to express the emotions the singers would be feeling.