The War of the Worlds

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. ~ Paul Collins and Bruce Eder
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/28/2009
  • Label: Sony Uk
  • UPC: 886975248421
  • Catalog Number: 7524842
  • Sales rank: 15,989

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 - Chris Thompson (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, Pt. 1 - Richard Burton (8:35)
  7. 7 Dead London, Pt. 2 - Richard Burton (2:30)
  8. 8 Epilogue, Pt. 1 - Richard Burton (1:50)
  9. 9 Epilogue, Pt. 2: NASA - Jerry Wayne (4:16)
  10. 10 [Untitled] (5:03)
  11. 11 The Spirit Of Man 2009 - Jennifer Ellison
  12. 12 The Eve Of The War & Forever Autumn Medley - Richard Burton
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Jeff Wayne Primary Artist, Piano, Conductor, Harpsichord
David Essex cast
Justin Hayward cast
Chris Spedding Guitar
Julie Covington cast
Herbie Flowers Bass Guitar
Billy Lawrie Vocals, Accompaniment
Phil Lynott cast
Richard Burton cast
Ray Cooper Percussion
George Fenton Autoharp, Santur, Tar
Ken Freeman Synthesizer
Paul Hart Piano
Barry Morgan Drums
Gary Osborne Vocals, Accompaniment
Jo Partridge Guitar, cast
Paul Vigrass Vocals, Accompaniment
Jerry Wayne cast
Roy Jones Percussion
Chris Thompson Vocals, cast, Accompaniment
Barry De Souza Percussion
Technical Credits
Jeff Wayne Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Executive Producer, Orchestration, Video Producer
Michael Bell Booklet Design
Gary Osborne Composer, Lyricist
Paul Vigrass Composer, Lyricist
Jerry Wayne Director
Geoff Young Engineer
John Pasche Art Direction, Logo Design
Brian Aris Images
Peter Goodfellow Paintings
Doreen Wayne Writer, Script
Geoff Taylor Paintings
Charles Dubin Director
H.G. Wells Inspiration
Glyn Stanley Adaptation
Geraldine Wayne Sound Effects
Dan Basnett Video Editor
Michael Trim Paintings
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