War of the Worlds [2005 Bonus Track]

War of the Worlds [2005 Bonus Track]

4.7 7
by Jeff Wayne
     
 

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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. AndSee more details below

Overview

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:
07/05/2005
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0827969443460
catalogNumber:
94434

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. The Eve of the War  - Richard Burton
  2. Horsell Common and the Heat Ray  - Richard Burton
  3. The Artilleryman and the Fighting Machine  - Richard Burton
  4. Forever Autumn  - Richard Burton
  5. Thunder Child  - Richard Burton

Disc 2

  1. The Red Weed, Pt. 1  - Richard Burton
  2. The Spirit of Man  - Richard Burton
  3. The Red Weed, Pt. 2  - Richard Burton
  4. The Artilleryman Returns  - Richard Burton
  5. Brave New World  - Richard Burton
  6. Dead London  - Richard Burton
  7. Epilogue, Pt. 1  - Richard Burton
  8. Epilogue, Pt. 2 (NASA)

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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
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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