Búsqueda cabezona

martes, 7 de abril de 2015

Jeff Waynes - Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds (1978)


Artista: Jeff Waynes
Álbum: Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds
Año: 1978
Género: Crossover Prg
Duración: 95:12
Nacionalidad: Inglaterra


Lista de Temas:
Disc 1:
1. The Eve of the War
2. Horsell Common and the Heat Ray
3. The Artilleryman and the Fighting Machine
4. Forever Autumn
5. Thunder Child
Disc 2:
6. The Red Weed
7. The Spirit of Man
8. The Red Weed (part 2)
9. Brave New World
10. Dead London
11. Epilogue (Part 1)
12. Epilogue (Part 2) (NASA)

Alineación:
- Jeff Wayne / synthesizer, keyboards, voices, director, conductor, executive producer, performer, orchestration
- David Essex / vocals, performer
- Justin Hayward / vocals, performer
- Chris Spedding / guitar
- Julie Covington / vocals, performer
- Herbie Flowers / guitar (bass)
- Billy Lawrie / vocals (background)
- Phil Lynott / vocals, performer
- Chris Thompson / vocals, performer
- Richard Burton / vocals, performer
- Ray Cooper / percussion
- George Fenton / zither, taragat, santur
- Ken Freeman / synthesizer, keyboards
- Barry Morgan / drums
- Gary Osborne / vocals (background)
- Jo Partridge / guitar, vocals, performer
- Paul Vigrass / vocals (background)
- Roy Jones / percussion
- Barry Da Souza / percussion




Vamos con otro disco que nos trae Alberto, un disco bastante conocido en su momento en su país de origen pero no por ello alejado de la calidad musical... un disco que en realidad se llama "Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds", veamos lo que nos dice el señor Wikipedia para empezar:


Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds – The New Generation is a 2012 concept album by Jeff Wayne and is a re-imagining of his 1978 concept album, retelling the story of The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells. As before, its format is progressive rock and string orchestra, using narration and leitmotifs to carry the story via rhyming melodic lyrics that express the feelings of the various characters. Due to the consistent popularity of the original album, Wayne decided to return to his score and re-create it for a new generation of audiences, as well as re-launch a live tour throughout the United Kingdom and Europe.
Wikipedia





Traducido dice más o menos que es la versión musical de Jeff Wayne sobre "La Guerra de los Mundos", un álbum conceptual de 1978 producido por el propio Jeff Wayne, y cuenta la historia de "La Guerra de los Mundos" de H. G. Wells en formato de rock progresivo secundado por una orquesta de cuerdas, con la narración y el leitmotiv para llevar a la historia a través de rimas melódicas y letras que expresan los sentimientos de los personajes.
Eso es lo que nos dice Wikipedia, pero acá vale lo que dice el que trae y comparte el disco, vamos entonces con el comentario de Alberto que es el que pesa:

Corria el año 1978 cuando salía al mundo la edición discográfica de War of The Worlds, creada y adaptada musicalmente por Jeff Wayne, un álbum doble que incluía un booklet completísimo con ilustraciones y la narración escrita de la famosísima historia creada por H. G. Wells en 1897 (si! leiste bien! 1897).
Siempre desde todas las épocas dieron mucha tela para cortar el tema de los alienígenas, invasiones a la Tierra, exterminio y fin del mundo, ahora bien, si nos detenemos por un momento a analizar el tema, el ser humano siempre, casi naturalmente, reaccionó violentamente ante cualquier tipo de invasión o llegada intempestiva de alguna raza, y la historia nos muestra hasta nuestros días que hay una corriente mental que nos marca y delata la inseguridad que manifestamos ante lo extraño, hablamos de invasión de chinos, de bolivianos, de peruanos, paraguayos, ingleses, eso en nuestro pais, y ni hablar de la xenofobia europea o norteamericana. Y en todos los casos justificamos esas "invasiones" anteponiendo usurpacion de derechos, tierras y hasta alimentos. Que nos queda para los aliens!!.
Un análisis sociológico nos situaría en el caso alienigena de supuestas naves extraterrestres manejadas por seres de otros mundos. El planteo común del hombre sitúa a la nave con sus integrantes, ajenos a nuestra vida terrestre, y aqui la primer barrera, en todo caso esas naves son universales por lo tanto comparten la misma situación de vida.
El análisis nos lleva a la planificación de un supuesto viaje, y como todo viaje hay una partida y una llegada, si una nave extraterrestre viaja por el inmenso universo cubriendo distancias de millones de años luz, o a traves del tiempo desde un futuro lejano, podemos inferir que la logística y la estructura invertida en cuaquiera de las variantes del viaje, está destinada a la exploración, contacto, protocolo y desarrollo del mismísimo viaje. Pero e aquí una segunda barrera, suponemos y teorizamos que esas visitas son esporádicas, con poco contacto, cero protocolo y cero desarrollo. O sea, el alien compró seguramente un paquete turístico para dar una vueltita por el Uritorco o por la China y regresó inmediatamente a su lugar de origen, seguramente un oscuro planeta de algun sistema solar a millones de años luz repleta de hombrecitos verdes con ojos saltones, y una tecnología muy superior a la nuestra. Mierda, en todos los casos es carísimo viajar hasta La Tierra una bolita celeste perdida en una de las millones y millones de estrellas de nuestra galaxia, sólo para dar una vueltita y mostrarse un poquito.
Sigamos teorizando, ahora el mismo análisis nos lleva al "contacto", nuestra limitada razón nos ubica siempre en una perspectiva donde si baja una nave repleta de turistas extraterrestres, va a ser recibida con honores por el presidente de turno, con mucha fuerza militar alrededor y mucha seguridad (por si las moscas) y unos hombrecitos nos enseñaran sus evolucionadas costumbres y en el caso de un contacto en nuestro país, los medios especularían hasta con el primer Alien en el "Bailando" de Tinelli. Ah... y no nos olvidemos del trámite de migraciones y pasaportes al dia. E aquí otra potente barrera.
Si desde tiempos inmemoriales hay vestigios en nuestro planeta de OVNIs y tecnología superdesarrollada, por qué siempre, para dar consuelo y una explicación racional a esos monumentos y señales nos situamos "ajenos" a los mismos, un buen ejercicio sería incorporarlos como un apéndice más de nuestra evolución, quizás vestigios de otras humanidades que evolucionaron hace miles de años y dejaron sus huellas, hoy lo hacemos desde nuestro mundo cibernético, dejando para la posteridad la torre Eiffel, la Gran Muralla China, y otras maravillas también.
Cubriendo más el análisis podríamos agregar que todos los fenómenos que abarca la Ufologia suceden diariamente en diferentes partes del mundo y siempre con un patrón similar, la pregunta es ¿dónde suceden?, la respuesta es:
- en nuestro planeta... ¿desde cuando suceden?
- la respuesta es: - desde hace cientos de años.
Por qué entonces ubicamos estos fenómenos como EXTRATERRESTRES?. La respuesta es:
- son de acá, de nuestro planeta!!!.

Lo ponemos en la estantería de lo desconocido por no saber de otras fuerzas de propulsión, por no conocer suficiente de fuerzas antigravitacionales, entonces nos quedamos con la seguridad de nuestro hogar y nuestra familia, de nuestro entorno social, del clásico del domingo, y razonando el mundo con la tutela de alguna religión o algun cuelgue que nos importó, algun autor trasnochado que nos da cierta seguridad con el desarrollo de alguna hipótesis sobre "esos fenomenos inexplicables", o en los documentales del History Channel.
Particularmente creo más en los INTRATERRESTRES; en otras formas de vida desarrolladas en el fondo de nuestros océanos, y de las cuales conocemos muy poco, es decir direccionamos mal nuestra busqueda de explicaciones, miramos al cielo cuando en realidad tenemos que mirar hacia las profundidades. Creo muchísimo más en la teoría de Stephen Hawking de que este universo no fue creado, sino que siempre ESTUVO y es eterno, y que esos fenómenos inexplicables de la Ufologia son producidos por esos organismos que aún no conocemos con certeza, pero que comparten este mundo con nosotros desde el origen de los tiempos, y habitan nuestras profundidades oceánicas, claro, la pregunta es la siguiente; ¿porqué no se manifiestan y establecen contacto?, la respuesta sería: - ¿cómo le explicamos a un chimpance como funciona un Boeing 737???!. Y quizás para redondear aún más esta idea, quizás sólo seamos un experimento más de estas criaturas, otra humanidad que algún día desaparecera y dejará para la posteridad sus propios Ooparts.

Hasta aqui un argumento más, pero vayamos a lo que realmente nos ocupa y es este proyecto denominado "War of The Worlds", un éxito increíble en ventas en los setenta, el álbum se agotó innumerables veces y hoy está descatalogado, la versión que hoy está acá en el blog cabezón es la version original de 1978 con la narrativa a cargo de Richard Burton, en el 2012 apareció otra versión con la narrativa de Liam Neeson y que musicalmente no se aparta ni un ápice de la original, en ambos casos hay que destacar la increíble producción de sonido, esto suena de puta madre!! y contiene todos los clichés progresivos de la época. Y entretiene bastante.
Seguramente Moe le va a agregar mas información al respecto pero este material, si algún desprevenido no lo escuchó, le aseguro que se va a domesticar muy pronto en su oído.
Así que antes de escuchar esta obra, trabe su puerta, tenga a mano su escopeta, y mire por la ventana, sea precavido, no vaya a ser que aparezca un alien y le enquilombe la vida al dope. Como seguramente lo hizo El Cuco, o El Hombre de La Bolsa. Ah... y si por las putas se topa con un OVNI, y baja algún hombrecito verde, no se olvide de sacarse una selfie con el celular, así se lo acerca a Mauro Viale o a Eduardo Feinmann, no perdón, a Feinmann no!!.
Anexo a este post dejo unos videos por demás interesantes.
Alberto








Bien, y para no defraudar a Alberto que dice que voy6 a traer información adicional sobre este trabajo, tenemos la siguiente historia que nos ilustra un poco de que va este disco, cómo fue pero sobretodo cómo continúa la historia:

Diciembre 2012, fechas en las que esta de moda hablar del fin del mundo, guerras y posibles ataques alienígenas, con todo esto que se esta diciendo actualmente nos remontamos a recordar el libro de H.G. Wells The War of the Worlds escrito en 1898 el cual nos habla de una invasión marciana con el fin de aniquilar al ser humano.
Basándose en está gran novela el músico, productor, compositor y director de orquesta Jeff Wayne en 1978 lanza uno de los álbumes más reconocidos de la década de los 70’s y mediados de los 80’s “Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds” en esta grabación se narra en pequeños párrafos la historia de H.G. Wells acompañada de sublimes fondos musicales con tintes orquestrales, psicodélicos y claramente progresivos los cuales definían la época en la que fue grabado el musical. La obra incluye las participaciones de el Actor Richard Burton interpretando al narrador, la gran voz de Justin Hayward de The Moody Blues y a Phil Lynott de Thin Lizzy.
The War of The Worlds dado a su éxito fue grabado en varios idiomas con el fin de darlo a conocer por todo el mundo, la versión latina incluye la voz del Actor Anthony Quinn como el narrador principal.
La Canción de Forever Autumn cantada por Justin Hayward fue la más famosa de este álbum la cual se posicionó durante varias semanas en el top 5 de las listas del Reino Unido, dentro de las grabaciones constantemente se escucha el grito de ¡Ulla! Significando el grito de ataque alienígena.
La versión original de The War of The Worlds incluye ilustraciones hechas por Peter Goodfellow, Geoff Taylor y Michael Trim. En el 2005 se relanzo el exitoso álbum en una edición coleccionable con 7 discos donde se incluían versiones en varios idiomas, algunos rmx, además de incluir todo un libro con ilustraciones inéditas. Con este nuevo lanzamiento Wayne decidió hacer una gira por todo Europa Incluyendo en ella a Juntin Hayward.
2012 El año en el Jeff Wayne decide hacer una nueva versión de su legendaria obra llamándola de The War of The Worlds New Generation, en la cual Liam Neeson actúa como el narrador de la historia al lado de Ricky Wilson Lider de Los Kaiser Chiefs , Jason Donovan y Kerry Ellis. Actualmente se encuentran en un tour por el Reino Unido. Neeson aparece en la gira como holograma de 3d y los demás artistas totalmente en vivo al igual que toda la orquesta de Wayne. La obra no cambio solo incrementaron sonidos haciéndolos un poco mas electrónicos en base a sintetizadores.
Si no han escuchado Jeff Wayne’s the musical versión of “The War of the Worlds”, y son fanáticos del Rock Progresivo hoy es el momento indicado no se arrepentirán de esta gran obra. pueden descargarlo vía iTunes, disfrútenlo!
¡ULLAAAA!!
Emanuel Durán


Sea como sea, la cosa es que el álbum fue un verdadero éxito de ventas en algunos países, habiendo vendido millones de discos en todo el mundo, y fue el 40º álbum más vendido de todos los tiempos en el Reino Unido con unas ventas de 2.561.286 en 2009. Desde entonces, ha dado lugar a múltiples versiones del álbum, juegos de ordenador, DVD y giras en vivo. Y ustedes seguro que no lo conocían! ¿pero para qué se piensan que tenemos en marcha este blog y somos ayudados por especialistas Ufólogos y Rockólogos como Alberto? Para presentarles discazos como éste!


Y al contradio de lo que dice Alberto, mucha información más no voy a agregar porque no tengo tiempo, pero sin embargo dejo muchos otros comentarios que hablan de este disco:

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/rock 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

At 8:00 PM, on the evening of October 30, 1938, six million Americans listened to the controversial broadcast describing the dramatic extraterrestrial invasion of earth as written by HG Wells. In 1977, Jeff WAYNE musically re-visited this world-stunning radio masterpiece with one of greatest epic soundtracks of all time. The music of "The War of the Worlds" was composed, orchestrated, conducted and produced by Jeff WAYNE himself. For this epic production, WAYNE gave the narration role of 'The Journalist' to movie star Richard Burton. Other people who played roles in the story were Julie 'Don't Cry for me Argentina' Covington (BETH), David Essex (The ARTILLERYMAN) and THIN LIZZY's Phil Lynott (Parson Nathaniel). In addition MANFRED MANN's Chris Thompson and Justin Hayward of the MOODY BLUES both also sang on the album. Musically this album is full of orchestration, sound effects and rock genres. Overall a fantastic album and one that needs to be listened to from start to finish like my daughter and I mamange to find time to do.
James Unger

"The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one.. But still they come"
Jeff Wayne is not so much the performer as such; his role here is to bring together many highly talented musicians to perform his masterpiece. To be fair, he does contribute keyboards and backing vocals. While Wayne is indeed the main composer and producer, credit is due Garry Osbourne who writes virtually all the lyrics. "The War of the worlds" could perhaps be seen as a follow up to Lou Reizner's excellent symphonic version of "Tommy", with which it has more than passing similarities (although admittedly Reizner was not involved in the composition in that case).
The album is of course based on the HG Wells novel of the same name, with narration by the late Richard Burton. Burton's distinguished voice is ideal for the music. While his interjections playing the part of a journalist tell the story perfectly, there is never any danger of this becoming a talking book. The music at times has an almost dance like beat as on the opening track ("The eve of the war"), but it is diverse with strong orchestration, and some first class instrumental work (especially from Chris Spedding on guitar). There are also moody, ambient phases ("Dead London"), and Rice/Lloyd-Webber like stage show pieces ("The spirit of man").
The most familiar tracks will be the two that feature Justin Hayward (MOODY BLUES). While "Eve of the war" is largely an instrumental, it opens with a brief introductory narration from Burton, before the now so familiar orchestral theme crashes in. It is almost like the theme to a documentary or newsreel, where you just know what's coming is not going to be good news. Hayward is the first singer to appear on the album as he reminds us, "The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one, but still they come".
The tracks on the album are all lengthy, each side of the double LP only holding two or three songs. Side one is completed by "Horsell Common and the Heat Ray". The sound effects can be a bit too literal in this section, with what appears to be a tin can being slowly unscrewed, then the lid dropping to the ground, to simulate the Martian heat ray being unveiled. It's all a bit too BBC sound effects department!
The track distinctions and names are largely irrelevant, as the album flows as a continuous and complete piece. There are many excellent performances throughout the album. Phil Lynott (THIN LIZZY) as the manic and delusional preacher, Julie Covington as his devoted wife, and David Essex as the naive young artillery man who is going to build a whole new world from scratch, underground. The distinctive voiced Chris Thompson (MANFRED MANN'S EARTH BAND) tells the tale of the "Thunder child" warship, on which all hope for the future is resting, with his customary excellence.
Above all these however comes Justin Hayward's performance on "Forever autumn". If you have only ever heard the single version of this song, the full-length version included here will be a pleasant surprise. The lush orchestration, instrumental breaks, and narration interludes by Burton all go towards making this an absolute epic of a track. Lyrically (other than the narration), it doesn't really add anything to the story, apart from painting a picture of the emotional devastation felt by the "journalist" with both his personal, and indeed the world's predicament. Musically however, it is the highlight of the album, and one of the best pieces of music Hayward has contributed to (and he has been involved in many fine pieces).
Of course, there is the happy ending to the story to conclude, with a final sting in the tail added by Wayne(!).
"War of the worlds" is a quite stunning album, full of strong melodies, inspired song-writing, and excellent performances. I would recommend going for the full double LP/CD version, rather than the budget label "highlights". While the latter contains a good selection of extracts, it also has some extremely dodgy editing, and some unnecessary remixes.
Watch out also for the dub remix version of the whole album, which contains various dance remixes of the tracks, but detracts from, rather than enhances the original performances. Finally, avoid also Wayne's follow up album "Spartacus", which had a similar structure to "War of the worlds", but is devoid of inspired song writing or performances.
Bob McBeath

There is nothing that progheads hated more in the 70's than Disco. This dance genre was the antithesis of what Progressive Rock means for us, but Jeff Wayne did the unthinkable, a pompous symphonic progressive conceptual album with a touch of Disco Music in the rhythm section which was loved by most progheads..
Probably we were so happy to listen something so majestic in those years when prog' was getting weaker, that didn't noticed (or if we did, never cared) this almost pagan influence, which as a fact doesn't affect the quality of the Music.
But the main question that we asked after listening this album was: Who in the hell is this guy Jeff Wayne? The answer was not easily found among the progressive fans, probably any Broadway Musical fan would know about him because his job is mainly the one of a producer and composer with enough contacts to recruit an impressive cast that included actors like Richard Burton as The Narrator, Broadway stars as Julie Covington and Rock musicians like Chris Thompson from Manfred Mann's Earth Band, Justin Hayward from The Moody Blues, the great Philippe Lynnot from Thin Lizzy, the one hit wonder David Essex and many others.
The album is divided in two parts the first CD is about 'The Coming of the Martians', while the second CD covers 'The Earth Under the Martians', being the first one stronger than the second one.
The first CD opens with the sober and appropriate narration by Richard Burton, which gives credibility to the album and works as an introduction for one of the most pompous and spectacular pieces of music ever released, not a masterpiece but really impressive and shocking, Jeff Wayne captures the spirit of other progressive keyboardists like Rick Wakeman.
In this point is where Jeff mixes the spirit of prog with the percussion of Disco Music, something strange when the drummer is Barry Da Souza who played with Rick Wakeman in some albums.
The Disco sound is so clear that this first track was used during the late 70's and 80's by the DJ's in clubs as part of their mixes, of course avoiding narration and the efficient vocals by Justin Hayward.
The next two tracks are more narrative and it's importance lies in the history, but then comes the best-known track of this album, Forever Autumn, a beautiful but simple ballad with the excellent vocals of Justin Hayward, later the Moody Blues would take off the sound effects of this track and include it as a hit single present in some compilations of this band.
The highest point of CD 2 is Brave New World, a track that plays in the border of rock and Broadway Musical, but the interpretations of Phil Lynott and Julie Covington are impeccable, and the music keeps the listener in suspense because it's absolutely breathtaking.
The orchestration and conduction deserve a special mention as well as the production, all simply impeccable. The original LP version had an excellent booklet that included amazing drawings, something that's sadly been lost in the CD re issues.
The War of the Worlds is probably the best adaptation of a literature piece and one of the most faithful, except for the second Epilogue (the one about NASA), which IMO is out of place.
Not the best album ever released but almost a masterpiece, every prog' fan should have a copy of it, imagine what other chance will you have to listen the legendary bassist of Thin Lizzy with an Ex Manfred Mann member and the vocalist of the Moody Blues sharing credits with Richard Burton.
Ivan Melgar

I can hardly wait for the premier of "War of the Worlds" at the end of this month. This is a movie with a lot of history behind it. Who can forget Orson Welles' famous radiobroadcast that people actually believed. You have to hand it to Welles for being such an extraordinary actor. Today he would never get away with it but on Halloween Oct. 30, 1938 he shocked a nation. If this had transpired in the present day, he would have ended up in court with a pending jail term in front of him. I remember watching the original movie when I was a child and being in total awe. I can only imagine how good the new version will be with the special effects.
Well not only is there a new version of the movie, the 1978 classic recording Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of "The War of the Worlds" is available in a stunning 2 CD SACD set. The sound is spellbinding on a surround sound system.
This is a magnificent collection of music and drama. Richard Burton performs the narration very eloquently. Burton's voice was very refined, Shakespearian if you will. While his inflection is very magnetic, it was at the same terrifying as he told the story and exchanged parts with other actors on this soundtrack. The music is superb featuring such luminaries as Justin Hayward (The MOODY BLUES) and Phil Lynott (THIN LIZZY) including orchestration of the narratives by Rick Wakeman and David Beford. It seems Mr. Wayne got the very best for this captivating production.
Science fiction and progressive rock fans will gobble this up. I know it was not hard for me to enjoy.
Keith Hannaleck

This is an album I discovered not long ago, and ranks up there with the most enjoyable concept albums that I have heard. It is of course based on the novel 'War of the Worlds' and has structure style very similar to Wakeman's Journey to the Center of The Earth. This one is very different to Wakeman's. This album is very strange and psychedelic in moments, and it usually has a Disco Rhythm (danceable prog rock!!). It has a huge and impressive line-up of talented musicians, and some unusual musical instruments.
CD 1:
The CD begins with a narration and the classic riff (with its symphony melding with an uptempo keyboard riff) that later will appear at various points of the album. The song is very strong instrumentally, and it is very easy to like at first listen. The following song is an epic focused on psychedelia and sound effects, and it is very well done. The next epic sounds like Journey to the center of the Earth (narrations) but of course with the danceable prog-disco rhythms. Forever Autumn is the most melodic song of the album, and has a slight moody blues style to it. Thunder Child is a solid disco-prog song with distorted vocals, and excellent musicianship which closes the first disc.
1. The Eve of the War (8.5/10) 2. Horsell Common and the Heat Ra (7.5/10) 3. The Artilleryman and the Fight (8/10) 4. Forever Autumn (8.5/10) 5. Thunder Child (7/10)
CD 2 :
It begins with the REd Weed which is darker and scarier than any of the music heard on Disc One. The Spirit of Man alternates Male and female singers, and sounds like an impressive song to play live. The Red Weed 2 is similar to the first part, and it is scary. The Brave New World is probably the strongest track of the album. It combines all elements of this album together into a long brilliant epic. Dead London is an ambient slow piece that gives imagery of pain, sadness, and loss. The album concludes with a very out of place epilogue.
6. The Red Weed (7/10) 7. The Spirit of Man (8/10) 8. The Red Weed (part 2) (6.5/10) 9. Brave New World (9/10) 10. Dead London (7.5/10) 11. Epilogue (Part 1) (6/10) 12. Epilogue (Part 2) (NASA) (4/10)
This album is not a masterpiece, but a very well done concept album with consistent quality (regardless of the long length), good musicianship, interesting rhythms, and full of powerful moments. If you like Rock Operas, you will like this
Zitro

I don't know, perhaps I exaggerate by saying this or I'm having a panic of euphoria (which usually happens when great albums face a review from me), but I consider this album a kind of special treat for the progressive rock (since it was adopted under this branch). What Jeff Wayne does here is by nothing common and, more than that, is a curios event, for this is the sole fantastic reference of his music (don't have Spartacus, but references say it's a disaster). Anyway, going a little off-subject too, this was my childhood euphoria. Listening to this thing over and over again, night after night, was something memorable. Back then I was listening only to few "such" albums, but this one was a boom and stayed like that since then (hardly think I'll change my opinion regarding it). It's a masterpiece of concept, a brilliant maneuver and a very strong interpretation of one of the world's greatest, most intelligent, most artistically (and more innocent) trick (slightly joking, of course - or?). I love it, I am enchanted and dazzled, I am thrilled and very content given all aspects. This should be a great reflection for you and an experience very, like I said, far from the common of music and of interpretation.
Jeff Wayne gathers great voices and great souls of music, acting and so for this very demanding project, whose result is nothing but rewarding. In a double-powered shape, it brings upon the listener a massive exciting story, garnished (yes, I'm of the belief that the story settles prior to the music or at least they're equally of challenge and of perspective) with music that speaks out in terms of dynamics, of emotions, of correlation with the narration nucleus, with artistically effects that are one of a kind and with an excitement within it that speaks for itself. Burton is an "art voice" I worship and some moments of him in this album are a constant echo in my inner self whenever the subject of the album is even brought as an allusion or as a thought. About the other vocalists I'll talk in my succinctly description. Music is great, supported by a style and a mirific view and by a window that opens perception to great heights. Only my own limitation of words stops me from and euphorically description of what lies in this gem of an album and in its significance.
First part, The Coming Of The Martians, is a demonstration of force from beginning to end. Four brilliant constructions, plus an intermezzo (Forever Autumn) which is mainly just a moment of repaus, make an luminous characterization of the disastrous attack, of the panic that settles around, of the shock that carries everyone in a delirium of voices and of echoes and of the disaster state in which London finally ends, without hope, without sense, lifeless and damaged. This is the strongest part of the album, with a presentation of main themes, of great imaginative interpretations of the subject's course, with beautiful line of dynamics, of rhythms and of tense pinpoints. Mind-blowing, invigorating, stunning. Special.
Second part, The Earth Under The Martians, is somewhat less of the captivating strings that define the first moment of the album. By critic, observations can be made regarding the instrumental slight collapse, highlighting preeminently the vocals. But neither these one go unchanged, as the main feature of the speech is mainly moments of a one-form singing (Parson Nathaniel, The Spirit of Man, Brave New World). Then again, if Thunder Child from disc 1 went okay, why should these be a point of deny? Still second part is a prevalent vocal description, instrumental flows being intermezzos. One more thing I would like to add is the fact that Lynott and Essex's moments here aren't that good. Personal thought. Apart from that, things are going just as good. We are offered a reflection upon horrific days after the shockwave, upon the disillusion and the wondering of the main character, of the encounter with people either going blind and mad, either standing against a hope without realism in it. Finally comes a beautiful, symbolic moment, when the main character, survivor and witness of everything, loses hope in himself exactly when hope has just arrived (off-topic: I'm not for happy-endings, normally, but the finale is rather well-done and rewarding in contrast.). Disc two sets a new dimension, a different mood, a different value with the main genuine scent.
That's about all. Splendid accomplishment, as far as my standards and my preferences go. Yet I strongly consider this a good success to a general auditory and an overall context. The kind of album that goes masterful in the first place through its nature and its message, then through music enchantment , through quality and so on.Do enjoy!
Victor

(Don't read if planning to buy album)
(Note: I haven't read the book by H.G. Wells written in 1898) Its funny but I find this, "Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds" to be a more gripping adventure than both movie versions. This interpretation of the story keeps many details I find most interesting in the story. Most prominently the fact that it is still set in the original location, England opposed to the US as in the 2005 movie version. I also like the fact that it is set in the 19th centaury instead of the 21st century. Last of all I like the whole idea of the world underground and the war ship Thunder Child. I also prefer to think that it makes more sense to have the Martians come from space in capsules with their fighting machines as opposed to them being pre-buried underground for future use. This is one thing that puzzled me with Spielberg's version of events.
What? Why would they have been buried 4million years ago?
Moving on. the fact that the narrator is English (played by the all-powerful Richard Burton to be accurate) gives the story a very genuine element. Also, this version is set in England (as previously mentioned) where the story makes more sense to me. Come to think of it must have been very challenging for Jeff Wayne to undertake a musical adaptation of such a famous and well-known story. The pressure to make something of a quality befitting the film (heheh, well.not so much), radio broadcast and novel would have been present in his mind I would think.
It is a strange time to have released the album too, the alleged 'classic' prog era was basically over, and not only did he incorporate prog elements but also disco and some pop also. Jeff Wayne seemed unmoved by the current shift in musical popularity of the time I suppose it is a good thing though. I have to be honest thought that I did not know that there was any disco at all in this album. I have decided that I don't want to know what disco is allegedly supposed to sound like so as not to spoil this great album. Many people apparently have a great dislike of this genre so I'll steer clear of it thankee very much (Whistler.)
The most noticeable thing about "Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds" is that there is a hell of a lot of repetition, all through out the album. A series of themes are repeated many, many times. The great thing about said themes is that they are so awesome that one can't get enough of them. So this 'problem' is levelled out well. I love the sound effect for the heat-ray/ Martian cry, heheheh. In addition to repetitious, cool themes and sounds the use of synthesizers is extensive in this work. Also guitar solos are thrown in the album, as is a string orchestra. There is not only narration but also vocals as well!! Pretty sweet hu? There's a little bit of everything in this album.
The vinyl version is amazing, and it is just so authentic and the artwork is spectacular in its detail and quality. Seriously if you at all can grab a copy of this on vinyl, you won't be displeased its as good as the "Olias of Sunhillow" (Jon Anderson) vinyl version. The vinyl artwork depicts the Martian fighting machines melting the Thunder Child.
The album begins with the fantastically musically themed, "The Eve of War" which begins with narration from Richard Burton (the main character) as he reports to us about the beginning of the invasion by the Martians. It starts with this line "No one would have believed in the dying days of the 19th centaury that human affairs where being watched from the timeless worlds of space."The first music introduced to us is in the form of an orchestra which serves to almost echo the main melody played on what sounds to be an electric harpsichord and also a synthesizer. In addition a couple of guitars (playing more or less the same thing) are thrown into the mix. This song is, like the entire album quite cheesy and may disgust some people but I love it! Richard Burton goes on to tell us more about the invasion. The famous like "The Chances of anything coming from mars are a million to one he said" (he, of course being the astronomer whose name I have no idea how to spell) emerges in this song.
The next track "Horsell Common and the Heat Ray" begins with narration from Richard Burton backed by a synthesizer and various other sounds. Soon, the new theme is introduced in the form of a thrumming instrument which gains intensity until it is finally played on both a bass and banjo (I think it's a banjo) .with narration included. In this song the first Martians appear and the effects of the heat ray are seen as the Martians start their killing spree. In between the narration odd effects and sounds are thrown in over the repetitious bass line to give the song an eerie effect. Despite the fact that an unknown thing had come down from space and killed many people seemed to have no profound impact on anyone and they continued with their lives as if nothing at all had happened. Later in the song a group of soldiers proceed to the site where the Martians were building their machines, and another group of aliens land.
"The Artillery Men and the Fighting the Machine" begins with a soft thrumming of the main melody of the previous song. Soon more instruments in strings and synthesizers are added to the fray. An Artillery Man walks into Richard Burton's house and he explains to him how they had been defeated by the Martians, together they decide to go to London. Here we discover the love relation in the story, can't go without one. As they proceed to London they see six Artillery Men with guns standing by waiting for the Martians to come. They succeed in killing a machine, before they themselves are killed. The Artillery Man and Richard Burton are separated at this moment as they attempt to escape the Martians. The sound effect for the heat ray/ bellow is repeated several times in this song. Richard Burton narrowly escapes death when trying to flee the Martians.
"Forever Autumn" beings with Richard Burton explaining to us how his wife Carrie and her father had left from their house in London. "Forever Autumn" is Justin Hayward's (of the Moody Blues) major contribution to the album and this is basically the love song of the album. Not a bad song, but is still dictated somewhat by effects and repeated musical and lyrical phrases. Richard Burton proceeds to flee from England by sea and he reports on all the people racing to escape. He states how the Martians destroy all of London's major landmarks. By some fluke Carrie is aboard a steamer, sailing away into the distance.
"Thunder Child" is one of my favourite songs of the album and it begins with an array of sound effects and Richard Burton explains how the Martians move to block the exit of the steamer carrying his wife. The war ship Thunder Child proceeds to steam straight towards the Martians in an effort to allow the steamer to escape. She manages to destroy one machine, but out numbered she is destroyed by the Martians. It's odd, I actually felt sad (I guess I still do.) for the ship when I first listened to this album as she sinks. Apparently this one ship was man's last hope of victory against the Martians and from here on humans just seem to be massacred all the time. As more Martians descend from the heavens the steamer manages to escape.
Farwell Thunder Child.
"The Red Weed, Part 1" begins with spacey synthesizers and quiet, underlying noises. The red weed is of course the vegetation which gives Mars its red appearance, an established fact actually. This weed begins to take over as the people succumb to the Martians, so too does the land succumb to the red weed (not a quote). "The Red Weed Part 1" is a very eerie song and it is evident from the sound of it that not much is left alive by the Martians. The use of both the flute and synthesized flute really help to amplify this feeling of an oddly dead world. One can imagine walking through quiet cities covered with creeping, tentacle-like red weed, with not a living thing in site.
In "The Spirit of Man" Richard Burton discovers the body of a Parson lying dead on the ground and he decides to bury the body when suddenly his eye flutter open and his wife comes rushing to his side. The Parson (Nathaniel) seems to have gone insane as he keeps uttering (and singing) things about how Satan had sent these Martians to punish the people for their sins. He continues to talk about the Martians as being Demons and unearthly horrors. His wife keeps trying to convince him that there is still hope and that these beasts are in fact Martians, not Demons. This continues throughout the rest of the song and at this moment, the album lulls a bit in quality. Just a bit. Eventually a cylinder lands on top of the house they are staying in and The Parson's wife is killed. The Martians build a new machine to catch humans for various reasons.
"The Red Weed, Part 2" harkens back to the eeriness of the first part of "The red Weed" with the creepy melodies, portrayed using synthesizers. The Martians then proceed to drink the blood of all the humans they have captured. The Parson then proceeds to become crazier and keeps ranting on about how he has been chosen to defeat the Martians. There is a thump and the Parson stops speaking mid-sentence. One can only assume that Richard Burton knocked him out so as to stop him from doing anything too rash. "The Red Weed, Part 2" soon dies down and reverts back to the eeriness already mentioned. Richard Burton looks out so see that all the Martians had vanished, but the weed had now covered everything.
"The Artilleryman Returns" begins with very familiar synthesizer sounds and melody. Richard Burton decides to go London again and he walks through silent, dead streets. He also explains that the Martians had eliminated all bacteria on their planet, hold that thought. Richard Burton suddenly meets The Artilleryman again.
In "A Brave New World" The Artilleryman tells Richard Burton his grand new plan, to live underground. It is at this moment that one can tell he had gone a bit kooky. For the rest of the song The Artilleryman makes comparisons between life on the surface and what life will be like underground in their new world. Of course, there are many flaws with his ideas but it is clear that the man is insane. He keeps on ranting about his master plans, and how they would eventually play each other in cricket. After his ranting is over he shows Richard Burton the start he had made, which consisted of a small room-sized hole. It soon becomes clear to Richard Burton that he should leave The Artilleryman to his ideas. "A Brave New World" is one spectacular song, possibly the opus of the album.
In "Dead London" the loneliness of Richard Burton finally results in him charging head long at the Martians, only to discover that they were all dying and emitting a deathly shriek, at which Richard Burton resolved to move towards. As he moves towards the cry he sees the Martian machines standing still, and the cry ends. He becomes so lonely once the crying suddenly ceased that he walks directly at a walker only to find that the machine was covered in crows which were eating the dead Martians. In the end the Martians had been killed by the bacteria in the air. After everything the humans created the might aliens where finally destroyed by harmless bacteria. The melody from "The eve of War: is reintroduced in this song with spectacular effect.
In "Epilogue, part 1" all people scattered across the country proceeded to go to London where they start to rebuild from the damage dealt by the Martians. Richard Burton wonders whether the aliens would attack again. The song is rather joyous as the humans had defeated the invaders, the music suites perfectly.
"Epilogue, part 2" is very perplexing as astronauts are talking to each other over radio when they all notice a green flare erupt from mars. (I wonder what it is? ) Once by one they lose contact with each other. This confuses me, is it implying that they attacked again in the future. If so how could they not know what the green flare was? I mean, had everyone suddenly forgotten about the massacre of man kind which had occurred not 200 years before? Anyway, this concludes the album not very well.but it is an ending.
If you want an insane, cheesy and a very different style of double concept album then this is your man right here. I understand that not a lot of people are like-minded on me on this one but this is an awesome album. The blending of infectious melodies, lyrics and conceptual elements makes this one irresistible prog album. While I wholeheartedly recommend the vinyl version of "The War of the Worlds", the 2005 remaster edition is also awesome and it comes with great packaging as well as and extended booklet. But of course it can't live up to the might of the vinyl. To me The War Of The Worlds seems to have influenced modern prog bands such as Ayreon whose concept albums remind me very greatly of this work.
I'd recommend "Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds" to all 70's prog fanatics as it gives a very different take on a concept album in my opinion. Personally I regard this album very highly and it has quickly become one of my favourite albums I own.
Matt

In 1978, disco was king and prog was a fallen star, beyond salvation. An ambitious project no doubt hatched during better days finally came to fruition and made a huge worldwide splash, although admittedly less so in North America. It did so by blending prog with disco far more convincingly than anything we had ever seen before, and with compositions, melodies, performances, and, of course, a storyline far superior to what either individual genre had been feeding us for some time. This is like an unrestrained ALAN PARSONS PROJECT sprawled out over 2 LPs, with stellar narration, repetitive motifs, and even a few obvious hit singles effortlessly blended into the mix. Filler doesn't really become an issue until side 4, so that it actually contains 50% less of the stuff than most doubles of its day.
Richard Burton, Justin Hayward, Phil Lynott, David Essex, Julie Covington, Chris Thompson, Herbie Glowers and Chris Spedding all deliver performances as if they lived through the ordeal and came out the other side. Highlights are most of the first 3 sides, but particularly Justin Hayward's voices on side 1 and "Forever Autumn", the last great hope and ultimate tragedy of "Thunder Child", and the tortured couple (Covington and Lynott) in "The Spirit of Man". Jeff Wayne handles most of the synthesizers which chillingly approximate the mechanized Martian mumblings and movements.
I recommend you listen to this in its entirety on a dark cozy night and let yourself be carried off like those who heard the original radio broadcast 70+ years ago. Please don't jump out of any windows though - it's just a story....er..just one of the greatest science fiction stories ever, masterfully conveyed in genre-spanning music.
Keneth Levine

...as the popular refrain goes.
This album is a unique blend of sensible progressiveness, dramatic rock-opera, musical-esque theatrics, and symphonic structures, with smatterings of dance, rock and disco. It's a very ambitous effort with a lot of compositional strong points (i.e. repeating themes, catchy riffs, and designated vocalists). Wayne's time as a producer obviously enabled him to witness and absorb a host of musical ideas and styles, which he showcases here in the form of a popular story, H G Wells' 'War of the Worlds'. The loyalty to the book is phenomenal, and Burton's narration is an essential ingredient to aid the flow of the album; his role as the journalist brings every scene together without disturbing the music itself or becoming like an audio-book. The main significant tracks are all rather lengthy, some to an unneccesary degree but most with the extension working in their favour. The primary 'theme' of the martians crops up again and again, as does some of the other motifs, providing musical cohesion and adding more weight to the narrative. The characters and musicians all play and sing well, even if a little overenthusiastic at times (it is all very theatrical, *David Essex*...) and Wayne himself orchestrates and directs the congregation well.
The symphonic element works well; unlike some other orchestral rock operas I can think of, and the only main issue I have is the disco rhythm section, but given the era I think it's largely forgivable. There is some considerable filler too, but it's often neccesary to the storyline and I guess couldn't have been easily removed. The production can be summed up with one number: 1978 (Bee Gees, anyone?!)
Nobody has ever replicated the weighty style of this well-developed double album, including Jeff himself; it makes for some very interesting listening. There are a wealth of musicians and singers, all of which handle their respective role brilliantly. Including of course, the obligatory Ray Cooper, who is on every album ever.
Matt Hall

"This was no disciplined march, it was a stampede, without order and without a goal, six million people unarmed and unprovisioned, driving headlong. It was the beginning of the rout of civilization, of the massacre of mankind...."
I bought "The War of the Worlds" as a teen in the 80s as it was definitely on my wish list for years. I remember first putting this vinyl album on and I was hooked from the very first deep toned serious words of Richard Burton "No one would have believed" to the ominous 3 chord strings that blasted out of the speakers. The vinyl double album was a treasure and I pored over the cover illustration and of course the lavishly illustrated booklet with full colour gloss paintings of martians creating the "the rout of civilisation" as they ploughed their way across Horsell Common in their tripod war machines. The songs on the album are all masterfully executed, the beauty of Justin Hayward on the captivating 'Forever Autumn', the mesmirising tale of despair of Phil Lynott and Julie Covington's 'The Spirit of Man' and the desperation of the insane Artillery Man in 'Brave New World' voiced wonderfully by David Essex. The quasi- disco beat sections are forgiven as they are shrouded by narration and powerful story telling elements.
The music itself with Chris Spedding's stirring lead guitar and full orchestration is ingeniuous. Jeff Wayne's arrangements are nothing short of mind bending, with powerful violin sweeps and science fiction effects used to maximum effect, including the unscrewing of the cylinder, searing heat rays, screams, cylinders falling on a house, and the martian howls. It is unnerving when Burton speaks of the martians emerging from the cylinder, their scales "glistening like wet leather, as the clumsy body heaved and pulsated." You can hear the disgust in his voice in these moments. He is also able to exude great sorrow and empathy when his beloved Carrie is gone and has an air of excitement as the Thunder Child vessel valiantly steams forward to meet the martian invaders head on. The song 'Thunder Child' is another very powerful composition on the album "Slowly it moved towards shore; then, with a deafening roar and whoosh of spray, it swung about and drove at full speed towards the waiting Martians" and some of the moments on the soundtrack are unforgettable. It is difficult to forget the war cry of the martians as they victoriously unleash their heat rays upon the helpless humans, "Ulla! Ulla!" and then Beth and the Priest fall victim to them. Beth cries out "Dear God help us!" and the Priest shouts "the voice of the devil is heard in our land!"
The lyrics of the songs are compelling and always essential as a driving force of the story. The words to 'Spirit of Man' are inspiring; "there must be something worth living for, even something worth dying for, and if one man can stand tall there must be hope for us all". The way Lynott spars off Covingtons's optimism with his own laudable pessimism is stunning. The album seems to get darker and darker as we near the end where the birds are about to tear at the hoods of the martians. The red weed is captured sonically with very doomy keyboard work. As it crawls across the land turning everything red we are able to picture its slow domination of our lush planet with those meandering synthesizers as they ooze variations of the theme. The piece segues into 'The Spirit of Man' but all hope seems lost as the story continues and the martians inject the blood of humans in to their own veins. This was certainly a creepy album in places but all the better for it as it leaves a strong impression on the listener.
Eventually the narrator meets another character that would try and coerce him in to a foolhardy plan. This becomes side 4 of the vinyl. The meeting with the Artillery Man is quite inspiring at first as the madman dreams of a new empire constructed underground so that the martians can no longer "clap eyes on us." He dreams of a world with hospitals, schools and cricket grounds built right under the martians noses, "right under their feet". He imagines capturing one of their fighting machines and then "wallop! Our turn to fight, woosh with our heat ray! Beating them at their own game. Man on top again!" Of course it is a forlorn idea and there is no way it can be done. As the narrator muses on this and walks off into the empty streets we hear the bone chilling cry of the martian but it sounds elongated and painful; "Uuu-llaa-aaaaaa!" the narrator resolves to give himself over to the martians as he can no longer live without his beloved Carrie and knowing the earth belonged to the martians. But, the martians are doomed, as H G Well's story always boasts, destroyed by the tiniest microscopic life on the planet that we have all become immune to; bacteria.
There is a nice twist to the story that is unique to this version of "The War of the Worlds" and it ends the album on a bleak note, but it is a strong ending that keeps the brain waves sizzling long after the album is over. Everytime the albums ends I always want to hear it again and I know all of the songs and most dialogue so well as it has become injected into my veins in the way the martians used human blood. The album really impacted me during the 80s and I believe it to be an indispensable milestone in conceptual albums.
I must have heard this album hundreds of times on vinyl. I played it morning, noon and night, often allowing it to put me to sleep as I dreamt of martians taking over the planet. I was always into science fiction and this music fuelled my interest. Since then of course, the album became a stage musical and I was privileged to see Justin Hayward reprise his role as Olgivy along with Chris Thompson's 'Thunder Child'. It is a masterpiece album without a doubt and one of my fondest childhood memories. Hearing it again on remastered CD enhances the original experience and this is an absolute treasure in any format.
Scott Tuffnell

One of the greatest aspects of progressive rock is it's ability to be overblown, pompous and out if this world. There is really nothing like it. Sure, there have been other bands and artists in other genres displaying an equal affection for excess. The funk of Parliament or the extravaganza of Liberace, to name a few. But those examples have more to do with the performance, rather than the music. Progressive rock have, historically, always displayed an unrivalled will to exceed any musical expectation, crossing every boundary and act as gods in process of creating a universe of their own. I love that.
And what can better describe this overblown mentality and megalomania than progressive rock and concept albums. Better still, adaptations of classic books. Rick Wakeman's musical version of "Journey to the center of the Earth", for instance. Jeff Wayne did the same with "War of the worlds", an apocalyptic story of extraterrestrial invasion and human struggle in the wake of this most unwelcome visit. As far as prog goes it is an excellent a theme as any when it comes to the world and realms of progressive rock.
There is quite a few masterstrokes to this album when choosing the cast. The narration of Richard Burton is certainly one of them. I could have seen Peter Cushing or Christopher Lee as the narrator but I dare say Burton does it with his usual grace. His timbre and voice really puts the story in a mode of extreme urgency. One is embraced by his serious narration, full of drama and engagement. Absolutely wonderful.
Burton may be the narrator but there are other great vocal contributions by the likes of Phil Lynott, Chris Thompson, Justin Hayward, David Essex and Julie Covington. They all do a great job. Phil Lynott is maybe the most dramatic of them all, displaying quite the desperation and angst. The musicianship as a whole is very good and leaves nothing to complain about.
The music is very spacey, thanks to the abundance of synthesizers, and it should be. The theme is invasion from Space and it works very well. There is, apart from the prog elements, even traces of disco in the first track, "Eve of the war". Remember, this is 1978. The combination of narration, musical tapestries, sung parts and very vivid musical interpretations of the events in the story makes it the perfect audio book to me. Progressive rock and it's pompousness, bound inside this great story of alien invaders. The song "Forever autumn" is also the best song Moody Blues never wrote. Just listen to it.
It took me quite a few years to discover this gem of an album but it is really wonderful. Wayne manages to pull things off as brilliantly as in many a concept album (Jesus Christ Superstar, Journey to the center of the Earth, Peter and the wolf, La Biblia, The image maker I & II etc.) It is an adaptation very personal and holds an uniqueness from a musical point of view. "War of the worlds" is not flawless but it is a brilliant album and released in a time where proggers, supposedly, lived as outcasts. I think it's really worth a listen or more. To me it is full of ambience, passion and even brilliance. And Richard Burton is really the icing on the cake. He alone makes this a pleasant listen. Try it out. I dare say you won't have wasted your time.
Christian Tideman

This is one of those albums that absolutely everyone should have in their collection.
I've just introduced my children to it and it has become one of their favourites. At one time the sheet music for this was available but unfortunately I have never been able to track it down. Apparently it is one of the most commonly requested out-of-print scores in British music shops.
Poole

i guess if ever i had a 'guilty pleasure' i have no idea what that means but meh, but it would have to be this, mix of instrumental prog, pop, disco, spoken word passages and pure delight is every bit epic as it sounds, based on the novel of the same name by H.G Wells about what our planet would be like during an alien invasion it has stood the test of time and has become a classic for both prog fans and just music lovers alike, and with a star studded cast featuring Justin Heyward, Phil Lynott, David Essex and Richard Burton you just cant go wrong, the songs themselves are devine, highlights include the beautifuly led balled FOREVER AUTUMN, the Lynott led THE SPIRIT OF MAN and David Esses's brilliant BRAVE NEW WORLD not to mention the musicians are spactacular and just an all round great album;
The Eve of the War - 10/10 Horsell Common and the Heat Ray - 9/10 The Artilleryman and the Fighting Machine - 9/10 Forever Autumn - 10/10 Thunder Child - 10/10 The Red Weed - 9/10 The Spirit of Man- 10/10 The Red Weed (part 2) - 8/10 Brave New World - 10/10 Dead London - 9/10 Epilogue (Part 1) - 8/10 Epilogue (Part 2) (NASA) - 8/10
CONCLUSION; an all out spactacular that you must hear to believe
Matthew

Pure prog delight. A wonderful story with memorable performances by Richard Burton and several other voice actors / singers. The prog is vicious and heavy, relentless and highly emotive. This is a prog masterpiece and additionally got me to read War of The Worlds by H.G. Wells the next week. Many parts are memorable, for instance the introduction, the Hosell Common sequence, the Spirit of Man sequence and the Thunderchild sequence, the last being my favorite, but this is a whole work and should be listened through in one long sitting like a movie. The use of synthesizers seems to be very advanced and heavy for 1978 and the disco influence is surprising but very welcome, giving the album a wholly unique and unforgettable quality. The Mixing is very vibrant and effusive, not at all compressed or quiet, but it is never a muddy sound, but rather rich, loud and clear at the same time. Wonderful stuff! I would appreciate a thousand more albums like this but unfortunately it is the only one of its kind (though Wakeman's Journey to The Center of The Earth is as close as possible).
5 Stars; an obligation for Prog Fans, why is this not more heavily promoted by the Prog community?
RoyFairbank

What ??? Only 35 reviews ? Than it's time for another one, mainly to suggest this magnificent opus magnum to the younger of heart and soul among us.
I remember the first radio broadcast in 1978 by Veronica (Dutch radio station). I held my radio cassette recorder below the blankets to listen and record the 90 minutes broadcast. I was amazed; I'm still amazed. In fact, years later, it was the first CD I bought and played on my Onkyo CD player.
What's on the album is well described by other reviewers. The only thing I can add is that once you come in front of this album ... try it .
But what about the movie ? In my humble opinion the movie is not a good reflection of the music. The original musical versions appeal to a persons imagination. The music enlarges emotion and tension. If you have seen the movie, which is not very strong, one could easily forget the music. Don't do so. Give the album a chance of its own.
No less than 5 stars for this great piece of work.
Dennis Hoogendonk

'No one would have believed, in the last years of the nineteenth century, that human affairs were being watched from the timeless worlds of space.'
H. G. Wells' classic novel continues to be revised and updated for modern audiences, from Orson Welles' unintentionally devastating radio performance in 1938 to the latest Spielberg film, but Jeff Wayne's 1978 rock opera remains the most interesting, unexpected and perhaps loyal adaptation in the public consciousness.
Now re-released on double CD, and available in several different, increasingly dubious forms since its release, 'The War of the Worlds' came at a time between the psychedelia, progressive rock and glam of the previous decade and the subsequent rise of disco. Producer, keyboard player and backing vocalist Jeff Wayne somehow combined all these disparate elements and created an eternal best-seller, aided somewhat by the presence of vocalists from the likes of Justin Hayward, David Essex and Richard Burton as the narrator.
'No one could have dreamed we were being scrutinised, as someone with a microscope studies creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water.'
The War of the Worlds is split across two discs, respectively titled, as was the case with the two parts of Wells' novel, 'The Coming of the Martians' and 'The Earth Under the Martians.' Staying even truer to the source text, there is no attempt to update Wells' Victorian notions for discoing seventies audiences; the story is set in nineteenth century London, the characters and events are related as they appear in the novel, and the sound effects are rendered expertly cheesy and unconvincing. Okay, maybe this is more to do with seventies production values.
'Few men even considered the possibility of life on other planets, and yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded the Earth with envious eyes.'
The War of the Worlds is a brilliantly-devised alternative to a simple radio dramatisation which, while clearly not to everyone's taste, engulfs the listener and creates a real sense of danger and impending doom from the ominous opening.
'And slowly and surely, they drew their plans against us.'
THE COMING OF THE MARTIANS
1. The Eve of the War (9.06) 2. Horsell Common and the Heat Ray (11.36) 3. The Artilleryman and the Fight (10.36) 4. Forever Autumn (7.43) 5. Thunder Child (6.10)
The first disc is composed of five lengthy sections, taking their titles from chapters through the first half of Wells' novel. 'The Eve of the War' and 'Forever Autumn' are the most well-known songs from Wayne's album, released (albeit trimmed down for radio play) as bestselling singles and both featuring vocals from Justin Hayward of Moody Blues.
As with most concept albums, recognisable riffs and melodies, most notably the famous opening orchestration, reappears throughout and forms the basis of the rest of the music. Those unused to such conceptual works may find this irritating and repetitive, but Wayne thankfully manages to keep things interesting by introducing catchy, memorable, uplifting or scary pieces of music with each track.
Richard Burton's narration spans the tracks here, reciting Wells at relevant points but never falling into 'audio book' mode. There is little acting from the rest of the cast in comparison to the more eventful second disc, but David Essex's artilleryman appears and Chris Thompson of Manfred Mann's Earth Band (apparently) puts in a fantastic performance detailing the events of 'Thunder Child.'
This first disc doesn't descend too far into rock opera territory, acting more as a continuous and ever-changing piece of music that relaxes and exhilarates the listener. Track lengths approaching and exceeding ten minutes won't be everyone's cup of tea, and at times the music does tend to drag on, but the heavily edited re-release on a single CD in 2000 demonstrated that this is necessary for the experience.
THE EARTH UNDER THE MARTIANS
6. The Red Weed (5.55) 7. The Spirit of Man (11.41) 8. The Red Weed [Part 2] (6.51) 9. Brave New World (12.13) 10. Dead London (8.37) 11. Epilogue [Part 1] (2.42) 12. Epilogue [Part 2] (2.02)
I'm less fond of the second disc and tend to listen to it less, perhaps because the tracks are more operatic and storyline-based than the driving melodies, riffs and beats of the more spacious first disc. Julie Covington and Thin Lizzy's Phil Lynott put in great performances on this side as a crazy preacher and his caring, ultimately doomed wife, while the musical style that pervaded the first disc continues to evolve, but less impressively.
'Brave New World' is the only track I would single out across the album as lasting for too long, but this is all made up for with the first rousing 'Epilogue,' fading in to great relief after the story seems to have abruptly ended, and the new addition of a second, contemporary epilogue ('Part 2') that provides an extra dimension of fear to Wells' original happy, but somewhat unhopeful finale.
The War of the Worlds falls somewhere between full-blown opera and studio album, disco and prog rock, faithful adaptation and heinous blasphemy. Prog fans love it, while 'The Eve of the War' even seems to be a favourite of Alan Partridge. In adapting a novel to the musical medium, Wayne had to devise the general sound and its evolution and progression through the album from scratch; the popularity and acclaim of this record proves that he excelled.
The acting isn't first rate, but it's certainly passable; don't expect this to rival any of Lloyd-Webber's musicals in that category. Riichard Burton's narrator / journalist sounds oddly out of place when interacting with other characters, while others seem intent on screeching their way through repetitive numbers.
The double-CD has been re-released, meaning it's still widely available wherever CDs are sold, but avoid the single CD 'highlights' release; this omits Burton's narration and cuts down the songs, thereby spoiling the whole experience. After all, without the grandeur that is the storyline concept, many will see this as just a bunch of blokes with synthesisers and guitars pretending they're Pink Floyd.
Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds remains my favourite adaptation of this classic story, and one that benefits greatly from shelving this classic for a while before experiencing it again.
Dave Warburton

What more can be said about The War of the Worlds than has already been said? It is a masterpiece of narration, story telling and progressive rock.
I usually sum up the album like this: Everyone, at some stage in their life, should listen to this album all the way through. And when I say listen, I don't mean have it on in the background - actually treat it like an event. Concentrate on it, like reading a book. Let your kids listen to it. And question your prog hating friends about it because more often than not they'll admit to liking this album as a lot of people don't seem to associate it with prog, even though it's an archetypal progressive recording.
really, has anyone not heard this album?
DrWu

As a fan of the Moody Blues, I was very pleased/interested to see Justin Hayward, ( the voice of "Nights in White Satin") achieve success/aclaim outside his band. The beautiful track, 'Forever Autumn' reached no.5 in the UK, and spent 13 weeks on that chart.
This is a story-book album, set to music that is very striking. The guitar work and synthesisers are great, and Richard Burton's mellifluous, rich voice is perfect for the narration.
No collection is complete without this.
broadwilliam

I first heard this album when I was 13 and I loved it straight away, and I still love it now (at 40!). The music & narrative just blend so perfectly. It is 'Prog' for me in the way that it takes a story (obviously in this case a well known novel) and twists it with some fine instrumentation & sounds that never fail to keep you hooked. Many people seem to feel the 2nd disc loses the quality, but I don't feel this at all. The Red Weed maybe slows down the pace but adds to the tension within the story. The only bit I would ditch is the 'Epilogue Part2' which seems a bit surplus to requirements, however, this is just a minor whinge and doesn't stop me giving this a Masterpiece rating. Enjoy....
Chris James

Did n't get turned on to this until a few years ago... Wished someone had turned me on to it much sooner. Very good ablum to have. It flows well, and at times still has the power to keep you in suspense with the story. Some of the effects are a touch cheesy but overall the story flows with ease.
The music is also done extremely well, with several themes that repeat throughout the entire recording such as the heat ray... I forced my wife and son to listen to this on a recent road trip. Neither of them are into prog, but I figured hey it's my turn now huh? Anyway they both had themes from this CD running through their heads the rest of the day. The kid still runs around the house singing/mimicing parts of this CD. Well done I say!
bearsrevil

Look - this has to get 4 stars because the good bits are so good, but the number of people giving this 5 stars just goes to show how over-the-top people can get with the things they love. The opening two tracks on disc 1 are epics / classics - whatever you want to call them - when they are played I get shivers down my spine. Of course, I heard this when I was very young, courtesy of my father and the alien sounds used to scare me alot - it would be hours before the unease left me. And it still is affecting. Richard Burton is marvellous - there is nothing like a well-spoken Englishman to add gravity and emphasis to the fantastic. And the illustrations and booklet - especially in the 2 LP set - are mind-blowing, memorable, sinister and very well conceived. Definitely an excellent addition to any prog collection. But the 5 star rating glosses over the fact that there are some really cheesy tracks here, and not of the highest quality. There are some hilarious passages - 'No Nathaniel' - and some epic, overblown 70s synth, spacey-type fun. A great album, but not 5 stars.
By the way, as well as the Spielberg release, Pendragon Pictures have released a version faithful to HG Wells book in terms of period and country setting (AT LAST!) and Jeff Wayne himself has commissioned UK and European animators to commence work on visuals for a 2007 animated release based around this album - go to www.waroftheworlds.com and check them out - it looks awesome.
auracle1

I not all into musicals and all that but this album is an exception (I'd give it 6 STARS if they had that option), for me the entire album is great, even David Essex and Phil Lynott have had their Prog Moment thank to this great album!!,though I prefer this version of "Forever Autumn", when I was a little kid some mornings on Radio they would play this song in it's Single Version format, that's actually the first time I heard "Forever Autumn" and I thought Wow that is a hell of a tune back in my childhood days. A freind introduced me to this album and I was hooked on the album straight away. I can also tell you nearly every house I've been to virtually has Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds that shows how good it is. I've heard this album on Vinyl and CD. The Musicians and the guests in this album have done a great job, in my view this album is one of a kind, I suggest you BUY IT!!! 100% RECOMMENDED!!
Progman

This is one of my favorite albums of all time. I first heard it when I was given it for my fifth birthday, as a child I was in awe of space, the planets, aliens and sience, (as any kid is). This album perfectly captured my imagination with it's atmospheric melodies and eerie effects, (I was actually affraid of the aliens' cry, and 'Forever Autumn', (I used to HATE Timothy Learing!)). The two most famous tracks are 'Eve of war', and 'Forever Autumn', but there are many other stunners on this album. 'The Red Weed' sends chills down your spine and 'Thunder Child' is really heroic. Though it is true that musically, the second half of the album is weaker. It's not only the music though that makes this so great, but the atmosphere, and the story. Perhaps the best story in any concept album?
Adam Sinicki

Time for us to see long lost friends! First I realized Tangerine Dream, then Vangelis' all time masterpiece 666, and now this one! (Thanks to James Unger's recent review, otherwise I would have pass without noticing it, I didn't have in mind to check it as the previous two...) Now, one thing about this artist is that I thought I missed his works between these one and Spartacus (thank God, I accidentally found an opportunity to listen to that one, too!), but according to the listing here, it seems he virtually did nothing during this period! What was he up to then!?!?!? I believe his music is comparable to that of Wakeman's (my favourite artist from my favourite band), but compare the number of their works!! Coming back to the album, I believe it is indeed a masterpiece, though you might argue for some parts that they are not prog anyway, but seeing the picture as a whole, the album concept and staging makes it an absolute masterpiece... My favorite pieces are the opening song (part of it was used as intro jingle for an actaulity program in Turkey even before I realized there was such an album...), the spirit of man and brave new world from disc two, and I think forever autumn (which is unnecessary to mention as it is album's highlight and known by most moody blues fans...) is much better than any of the versions I have heard. The song finishes at some place (somewhere when the single edtion begins repetition), and after a short interlude it is reprised. You might not find in any MB compilation.
Lastly, the album info featured here should have credited each vocalists on their respective tracks, so that we wouldn't have to follow reviews in order to find out! (Well, it is written on the CD's, but I borrowed them from the library and coped to tape, and it was so long ago that I forgot... I should really buy these!!)
Essential for more straightforward prog lovers, such as Rick Wakeman and, of course, Moody Blues...
Bilek Güler


Por último, los links de descarga de este no van a quedar disponibles abiertamente porque seguramente tendremos problemas, lo que vamos a hacer es que pidan el disco escribiendo a esta dirección de correo y listo...






2 comentarios:

  1. Si viniste a buscar algún link es que no leíste lo de arriba... ¿para qué me gastaré escribiendo digo yo?

    ResponderEliminar

Lo más visitado en el mes

Aclaración...

Este espacio se reserva el derecho de publicar sobre cualquier tema que parezca interesante a su staff, no solamente referidos a la cuestión musical sino también a lo político y social.
Si no estás de acuerdo con lo expresado podrás dejar tu comentario siempre que no sea ofensivo, discriminador o violento...

Y no te confundas, no nos interesa la piratería, lo nuestro es simplemente desobediencia civil y resistencia cultural a favor del libre acceso al conocimiento (nuestra música es, entre otras tantas cosas, conocimiento).