The first Tim Rice / Andrew Lloyd Webber work to be professionally staged was Jesus Christ Superstar. Tim had been fascinated by the short shrift given to the stories of Judas Iscariot and Pontius Pilate in the Bible since his school days, and so the duo chose to examine the last seven days of the life of Christ for their third collaboration. Like Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, the story is told entirely through song.
As no one was willing to back their idea as a stage show, Tim and Andrew produced a concept album of the project with MCA in 1970. Prior to the double album's release, the single "Superstar", sung by Murray Head, was released near the end of 1969.
The success of the concept album created a huge demand for a Broadway production. Jesus Christ Superstar opened on Broadway in 1971 with Ben Vereen as Judas and Yvonne Elliman reprising her role from the concept album as Mary. The U.K. production premiered the following year with Paul Nicholas in the title role.
The songs "Superstar" and "I Don't Know How To Love Him" have topped the charts in various countries, and Jesus Christ Superstar has twice been made into a film as well as having playing around the world.