The War of the Worlds [2005 Bonus Track]

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide
Released 40 years after Orson Welles' infamous radio version of the H.G. Wells tale, Jeff Wayne's musical version of War of the Worlds straddles old-style radio drama and contemporary orchestrated narratives by Rick Wakeman and David Bedford. And while it lacks the sophisticated arrangements of, say, Journey to the Centre of the Earth, it does boast an impressively odd cast -- this may be the only time that a member of Thin Lizzy worked with Richard Burton, and the presence of Julie Covington and the Moody Blues' Justin Hayward in very attractive singing roles attest to its pop
ock aspirations. It's Burton's sonorous tones that sustain this work; his frequent solo narrations are ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide
Released 40 years after Orson Welles' infamous radio version of the H.G. Wells tale, Jeff Wayne's musical version of War of the Worlds straddles old-style radio drama and contemporary orchestrated narratives by Rick Wakeman and David Bedford. And while it lacks the sophisticated arrangements of, say, Journey to the Centre of the Earth, it does boast an impressively odd cast -- this may be the only time that a member of Thin Lizzy worked with Richard Burton, and the presence of Julie Covington and the Moody Blues' Justin Hayward in very attractive singing roles attest to its pop
ock aspirations. It's Burton's sonorous tones that sustain this work; his frequent solo narrations are eminently listenable, whereas sections featuring dialogue with other characters often come off as a bit stilted. The music is competent studio rock, and "Horsell Common and the Heat Ray" does strike just the right balance between Burton's narration and an accompaniment built around a buzzsaw guitar riff. Overall, it's pleasant as a period piece, and still a fine way to introduce younger listeners to Wells' classic tale. And if you can find it in a vinyl, it comes with a nicely produced narrative booklet with gloriously lurid illustrations by Geoff Taylor. The album was actually appealing on too many fronts for its own good in many ways -- the Justin Hayward-sung ballad "Forever Autumn," extracted from a much longer piece on the double-LP -- showed some signs of appealing to AM radio listeners and climbed to the Top 40 based on airplay alone, but by the time Columbia Records in America missing this boat entirely got copies of the single into stores so that people could actually buy the record, the song had dropped back down; in the meantime, the record became a favorite of discos and dance clubs in New York and elsewhere, where its extended, highly rhythmic, synthesizer-driven sections delighted deejays and audiences, and Columbia missed another bet by not releasing an instrumental-only assembly of those long passages. In New York, for years after it went out of print on vinyl, the album was sought after by club deejays eager to spin it. [In the summer of 2005, to coincide with Steven Spielberg's remake of the story, The War of the Worlds
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/5/2005
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 827969443460
  • Catalog Number: 94434

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 The Eve of the War - Richard Burton (9:07)
  2. 2 Horsell Common and the Heat Ray - Richard Burton (11:35)
  3. 3 The Artilleryman and the Fighting Machine - Richard Burton (10:36)
  4. 4 Forever Autumn - Richard Burton (7:41)
  5. 5 Thunder Child - Richard Burton (6:06)
Disc 2
  1. 1 The Red Weed, Pt. 1 - Richard Burton (5:53)
  2. 2 The Spirit of Man - Richard Burton (11:37)
  3. 3 The Red Weed, Pt. 2 - Richard Burton (5:24)
  4. 4 The Artilleryman Returns - Richard Burton (1:27)
  5. 5 Brave New World - Richard Burton (12:14)
  6. 6 Dead London - Richard Burton (8:35)
  7. 7 Epilogue, Pt. 1 - Richard Burton (2:31)
  8. 8 Epilogue, Pt. 2 (NASA) (1:50)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Jeff Wayne Primary Artist, Piano, Harpsichord
David Essex Vocals, cast
Justin Hayward Vocals, cast
Chris Spedding Guitar
Julie Covington Vocals, cast
Herbie Flowers Bass Guitar
Billy Lawrie Vocals, Background Vocals
Phil Lynott Vocals, cast
Chris Thompson Vocals, Background Vocals, cast
Richard Burton Vocals
Ray Cooper Percussion
Barry DeSouza Percussion
George Fenton Autoharp, Taragat, Santur, Tar
Ken Freeman Synthesizer
Paul Hart Piano
Barry Morgan Drums
Gary Osborne Vocals, Background Vocals
Jo Partridge Guitar, Vocals, cast
Paul Vigrass Vocals, Background Vocals
Roy Jones Percussion
Technical Credits
Jeff Wayne Composer, Audio Production
Bill Foster Mastering
Gary Osborne Composer
Paul Vigrass Composer
Geoff Young Engineer
John Pasche Art Direction, Logo Design
Brian Aris Images
Peter Goodfellow Paintings
Doreen Wayne Script
Emily Lazar Mastering
Geoff Taylor Paintings
Charles Dubin Direction
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

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(5)

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(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    JUST GET THIS WHILE YOU CAN

    One of my alltime favorites

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Couldn't Sony/Legacy have done better for the North American Audience?

    I'll begin with the excellent marks: The entire album seems to have been remastered as a whole, rather than in segments. This prevents the segmentalization which I have seen in projects of this sort. However, here are the poor notes: None of the songs proper have been included in their edited form, which means that "Forever Autumn" in particular is missed. Why, with so much space left on both CDs, the producers refused to include the single mixes of "Forever Autumn" and "The Spirit of Man", is beyond me, unless they want you to ante up for another album. Also, the packaging is as bad as Sony/Legacy have come up with: The booklet which contains the lyrics and artwork is glued into the third panel of the digipak package, which makes reading it unwieldy at best. I can only recommend this to a devoted fan who needs a copy now. Considering that CDs are on their way out, this may be the only format in which you can get WotW easily. If so, get it. Just be prepared for the shortcomings.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    welcome back

    I'm so glad it's on CD with better sound quality because I wore out 2 8-track versions in the late 70's.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    THIS IS AWSOME

    I love the rock opra it's so cool to here these clasic tunes restord on cd and mp3!! this is somthing my dad gave to me and i love it. Im 14 y/o and i love classics like springstien,kiss,steve miller band,bto,dion, all of these are a great colection! thank you god bless

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Excellent

    This has been one of my favorites for a long time. I have owned two sets of the album version and wore them out. Now I'm glad it's come out in this great set. It sounds amazing. The music and narraration completely draw the listener in. I have to say that unlike the previous reviewer, I do think it is better than the recent movie. But I like all the other adaptations. For anyone who is a War of the Worlds fan, of either the play, movies or whatever, this is a must have. You won't regret owning it. The only hard part is trying to get others to take the time to listen to it in this age of instant gratification. But those that have, really enjoyed it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Dusty One from the Vaults Returns!

    What a pleasant surprise to find this on CD. I have not been able to listen to this for quite some time since I received the 8 track version (!) for Christmas in 1978 and I have not had a working 8 track player for at least 20 years. This sure brought back a lot of memories and it is best appreciated if one keeps in mind that it is a product of the time in which it was released. Richard Burton's narration is the highlight of this disc and when combined with Jeff Wayne's original score it creates a chilling, at times, hypnotic effect. Justin Hayward's haunting ballad, "Forever Autumn," the hit single that never was in US, is a bona fide lost classic that sounds good to hear on CD at last. The late Phil Lynnott, of Thin Lizzy, turns in his finest vocal performance ever as the deranged parson on the sweeping duet, "The Spirit of Man" with Julie Covington. David Essex shines on "Brave New World" which also, surprisingly, was not a hit in US. Listening to Essex's performance hear, one wonders why Essex never became the worldwide superstar he seemed destined to become. The musical tracks are especially effective at setting the mood and drawing the listener into the narrative, particularly "The Eve of the War," Horsel Common & the Heat Ray," and "The Red Weed." While this is in no way superior to H.G. Well's novel, Orson Welles's brilliant radio adaptation, or even Stephen Spielberg's recent motion picture version, it is a classic nevertheless and as a period piece it definitely stands alone. If you want to relive the glory days of the late 70s, this is a must have for your collection.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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