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"One Rock 'n' Roll Too Many" is a downtempo rock shuffle in Act 2 of Starlight Express. It comes immediately after the final race, in which Greaseball, Electra, and Caboose lose to Rusty and Dustin.


Context

During the final race, Greaseball and Electra spend more time fighting and cheating than racing, with Caboose between them causing chaos. All three get their payback when they crash just before reaching the finish line, giving victory to Rusty and Dustin. Rather than receive any congratulations, Rusty leaves to find Pearl.

The gathered ensemble are about to follow Rusty, when out from the tunnel rolls the mangled wrecks of Greaseball, Caboose, and Electra.

History

In the original London production, "One Rock 'n' Roll Too Many" was performed by Greaseball and Caboose, after Electra sings "No Comeback". However with the Broadway transfer cutting "No Comeback", Electra instead became the third performer in this number.  In the later London show, Caboose was cut, so it was a duet between Electra and Greaseball, restoring the original two-person choreography.

Generally this number is staged with the ensemble watching the once-proud antagonists getting their comeuppance. The German production, however, has the ensemble leave before the number begins, then return at the end, so the characters are performing only for the audience.

Sometimes this song is staged with comedy, such as in the late 1990's-Early 2000's sparks came out of Caboose's back, the trio groaning and occasionally yelling lyrics, and the number used to end until 2018, with the trio falling to the ground when the last note is played, leading to "Where's Rusty Gone?"

Where's Rusty Gone?

"One Rock 'n' Roll Too Many" is followed by a short section entitled "Where's Rusty Gone?", in which Poppa/Momma demands to know where Rusty has gone following the race.

Dustin tells Poppa/Momma that Rusty has gone looking for Pearl. The crashed trains are dragged to their feet to help find Pearl and Rusty.

In 2018 onwards, Poppa and Dustin were replaced by Coco saving Pearl, angry at the fact the races seemed to be a conflict over who gets the first class car. Thus, she spread lies to Pearl, stating Rusty lost because of her (probably to fit the mid-section dialogue of "I Do" more).

COCO:: Why did you ruin the race?! No wonder Rusty didn't win!

Lyrics

Original London Lyrics - 1984

BOTH (GREASEBALL & CABOOSE): One Rock 'n' Roll too many,
One night's sleep too few.
Too much ringing that bell
Takes its toll out of you.
CABOOSE: The sound's too loud.
The light's too bright.
GREASEBALL: My chains are too heavy and my shoes are too tight.
BOTH: One Rock 'n' Roll too many,
Takes its toll... out of you.
One Rock 'n' Roll too many,
One more joint put out.
One more twist of the wrist
Makes you twist,
Twist and shout.
GREASEBALL: My rug is cut.
My dig is dug.
CABOOSE: My grooves are too deep.
GREASEBALL: And my frig is frug!
BOTH: One Rock 'n' Roll too many,
Takes it's toll... out of you.
One Rock 'n' Roll too many,
I can't hear no more.
GREASEBALL: What did you say?
CABOOSE: I can't hear nothing.
GREASEBALL: What did you say?
CABOOSE: I can't hear nothing.
GREASEBALL: I can't hear nothing.
CABOOSE: What did you say?
GREASEBALL: I can't hear nothing
CABOOSE: What did you say?
BOTH: I said one Rock 'n' Roll too many
Takes its toll...
And the soul...
Out of you!

Revised London Lyrics - 1988

BOTH (GREASEBALL & CABOOSE): One Rock 'n' Roll too many
And you've got... no chance.
(next two lines yet to be figured out)
CABOOSE: My breakdance is broken and my bumper have stopped.
GREASEBALL: My mojo's not working
CABOOSE: And my body's popped.
One Rock 'n' Roll too many
Takes it's toll... out of you.

Broadway Lyrics - 1987

ALL (GREASEBALL, CABOOSE, AND ELECTRA): One Rock 'n' Roll too many
One night's sleep too few.
Too much ringing that bell
Takes it's toll... out of you.
CABOOSE: The sounds too loud.
ELECTRA: And the light's too bright.
GREASEBALL: My chains are too heavy and my shoes are too tight.
ALL: One Rock 'n' Roll too many
Takes it's toll... out of you.
One Rock 'n' Roll too many
One more joint put out.
One more twist of the wrist
Makes you twist
Twist and shout.
CABOOSE: My breakdance is broken and my bumpers have stopped.
GREASEBALL: My mojo isn't working.
ELECTRA: And my body's popped!
ALL: One Rock 'n' Roll too many
Takes its toll... out of you.
One Rock 'n' Roll too many
I can't hear no more.
GREASEBALL: What did you say?
CABOOSE: I can't hear nothing.
ELECTRA: What did you say?
CABOOSE: I can't hear nothing.
ELECTRA: I can't hear nothing!
CABOOSE: What did you say?
GREASEBALL: I can't hear nothing!
CABOOSE: What did you say?
ALL: I said one Rock 'n' Roll too many
Takes its toll
And the soul
Out of you

London Revival Lyrics - 1992

BOTH (GREASEBALL & ELECTRA): One Rock 'n' Roll too many
One night's sleep too few.
Too much ringing that bell
Takes it's toll... out of you.
ELECTRA: The sound's too loud
And the light's too bright
GREASEBALL: My chains are too heavy and my pants are too tight.
BOTH: One Rock 'n' Roll too many
Takes it's toll... out of you.
One Rock 'n' Roll too many
One more... farewell show.
Come on, clap your hands
Are you having a good time?
No!
ELECTRA: Well my rave's been rated
And my hip, just hopped.
GREASEBALL: My mojo ain't working
ELECTRA: And my pill has just popped!
BOTH: One Rock 'n' Roll too many
Takes it's toll... out of you.
One Rock 'n' Roll too many
I can't take no more
GREASEBALL: What did you say?
ELECTRA: I can't hear nothing.
GREASEBALL: What did you say?
ELECTRA: I can't hear nothing!
GREASEBALL: I can't hear nothing!
ELECTRA: What did you say?
GREASEBALL: I can't hear nothing!
ELECTRA: What did you say?
BOTH: I said one Rock 'n' Roll too many
Takes its toll
And the soul
Out of you.

Japan/Australia Tour Lyrics - 1987

ALL (GREASEBALL, CABOOSE, & ELECTRA): One Rock 'n' Roll too many
One night's sleep too few
Too much ringing that bell
Takes its toll, out of you.
CABOOSE: The sound's too loud.
ELECTRA: And the light's too bright.
GREASEBALL: My chains are too heavy, and my pants are too tight.
ALL: One Rock 'n' Roll too many
Takes its toll... out of you.
One Rock 'n' Roll too many
One more farewell show
Come on clap your hands.
CABOOSE: Are you having a good time?
GREASEBALL & ELECTRA: No!
CABOOSE: My breakdance is broken!
My hip has hopped!
GREASEBALL: My mojo ain't working!
ELECTRA: And my pill has just popped!
ALL: One Rock 'n' Roll too many
Takes its toll... out of you!
One Rock 'n' Roll too many
I can't hear no more!
GREASEBALL: What did you say?
CABOOSE: I can't hear nothing.
GREASEBALL: What did you say?
ELECTRA: I can't hear nothing!
GREASEBALL: I can't hear nothing!
ELECTRA: What did you say?
GREASEBALL: I can't hear nothing!
CABOOSE: What did you say?
ALL: I said one Rock 'n' Roll too many
Takes its toll,
And the soul,
Out of you.

Where's Rusty Gone?

POPPA: Where's Rusty gone? Where's Rusty gone?
DUSTIN: Looking for Pearl
POPPA: What happened to Pearl?
ALL: What happened to Pearl?
POPPA (to the the crashed engines): You'll show us, if it takes you all night!

Original Bochum Lyrics - 1988

ALL: Ein Rock'n'Roll zu viel
Und zu wenig Schlaf,
Zu viel Sprit auf die Tour
Macht mich total kaputt.
CABOOSE: Es ist zu laut!
ELECTRA: Und viel zu hell!
GREASEBALL: Mein Körper ist müde,
Alles geht mir zu schnell!
BOTH: Ein Rock'n'Roll zu viel
Macht mich total kaputt.
Ein Rock'n'Roll zu viel
Nimmt dir jede Chance.
Eine Kurve zu viel
Und du bist in Trance.
CABOOSE: Ich kann mich nicht halten,
Denn ich bin blockiert!
GREASEBALL: Mein Motor hat ne Panne,
ELECTRA: Bin electrifiziert!
ALL: Ein Rock'n'Roll zu viel
Macht mich total kaputt.
Ein Rock'n'Roll zu viel,
Ich kann nichts mehr hör'n.
GREASEBALL: Was sagst du?
CABOOSE: Ich kann nichts hören!
ELECTRA: Was sagst du?
CABOOSE: Ich kann nichts hören!
GREASEBALL: Ich kann nichts hören!
CABOOSE: Was sagst du?
ELECTRA: Ich kann nichts hören!
GREASEBALL: Was sagst du?
ALL: Ich sag': ein Rock'n'Roll zu viel
Macht mich toooo-
Macht mich toooo-
tal kaputt!

Updated Bochum Lyrics - 2018

ALL: Ein Rock'n'Roll zu viel
Und zu wenig Schlaf,
Zu viel Sprit auf die Tour
Macht mich total kaputt.
CABOOSE: Es ist zu laut!
ELECTRA: Und viel zu hell!
GREASEBALL: Mein Körper ist müde,
Alles geht mir zu schnell!
ALL: Ein Rock'n'Roll zu viel
Macht mich total kaputt.
Ein Rock'n'Roll zu viel,
Das haut richtig rein.
Na los klatscht alle mit!
CABOOSE: Geht’s euch auch noch gut hier?
GREASEBALL & ELECTRA: Nein!
ELECTRA: Ich hab einen Kurzschluss,
Mein Kabel brennt.
GREASEBALL: Mein Diesel ist giftig
CABOOSE: Meine Achse klemmt
ALL: Ein Rock'n'Roll zu viel
Macht mich total kaputt.
Ein Rock'n'Roll zu viel,
Ich kann nichts mehr hör'n.
GREASEBALL: Was sagst du?
CABOOSE: Ich kann nichts hören!
ELECTRA: Was sagst du?
CABOOSE: Ich kann nichts hören!
GREASEBALL: Ich kann nichts hören!
CABOOSE: Was sagst du?
ELECTRA: Ich kann nichts hören!
GRREASEBALL: Was sagst du?
ALL: Ich sag': ein Rock'n'Roll zu viel
Macht mich toooo-
Macht mich toooo-
tal kaputt!

Rusty is weg!

Original Bochum Lyrics - 1988

CONTROL: Control, Control.
Rusty, sofort melden.
Rusty, sofort melden,
Oder die Ehrenrunde wird gestrichen!
POPPA: Rusty ist weg!
ALL: Rusty ist weg!
DUSTIN: Er sucht nach Pearl.
POPPA: Was ist denn mit Pearl?
ALL: Was ist denn mit Pearl?
POPPA: Wir finden sie gewiss heute Nacht.

Updated Bochum Lyrics - 2018

CONTROL: Control, Control.
Rusty, sofort melden.
Rusty, sofort melden,
Oder die Ehrenrunde wird gestrichen!
COCO (to PEARL): Du spielst immer nur Spielchen.
Sogar Rusty hat was besseres verdient als dich!


Gallery


Covers

In 2008, American Idol contestant Syesha Mercado covered "One Rock 'n' Roll Too Many" as part of an episode with the theme of "Andrew Lloyd Webber". Her performance placed her in the bottom 2 for the week. Mercado reprised the song in the 6abc IKEA Thanksgiving Day Parade on the Philadelphia Phillies (who won the World Series that year), on a green train with people in it (waving banners or clapping to the music) and the team mascot "The Phillie Phanatic".

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