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Jeff Wayne - Jeff Wayne's Musical Version: The War of the Worlds, Live on stage CD (album) cover

JEFF WAYNE'S MUSICAL VERSION: THE WAR OF THE WORLDS, LIVE ON STAGE

Jeff Wayne

 

Crossover Prog

3.45 | 8 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Heptade
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Who would have believed, in 2005, that across the vast gulfs of time, Jeff Wayne would be able to bring his disco-prog concept album to the stage? Anyway, he did indeed, and to make it work, he came up with the innovative concept of having the full band and string section on stage, with the cast singing in front of them (and acting sparingly), visuals projected on the background, a life size plastic fighting machine and a giant head of Richard Burton hanging to the left! Sort of a pseudo musical slash rock concert atmosphere. It toured the UK to great acclaim and packed arenas, showing that a lot of people have fond memories of the original album.

Positives: The band is cracking, and it's great to watch virtuosos like Herbie Flowers and Chris Spedding at work. The sound is great. The backdrop visuals greatly contribute to the atmosphere. Justin Hayward, Chris Thompson and new cast members Alexis James and Tara Blaise do a great job on their vocals and "acting". Wayne's look of pleasure while conducting is oddly touching. The second disk is packed with revealing interviews and featurettes about the "making of". Not something you'd watch much, but very interesting.

Negatives: Russell "The Voice" Watson butchers Phil Lynott's original role as the Parson with his pseudo- operatic caterwauling, and to make matters worse, comes across as a complete prat in the interviews. Be off, Russell! The giant head of Burton is a little ridiculous to look at, especially since his mouth moves, but the rest of his face remains impossibly immobile! Not lifelike at all. The new animated prequel in which the Martians discuss their plans for conquest is kind of silly too.

With a few small quibbles, I like this DVD. If you love the album, you'll find it very interesting. If you went to the shows, it will bring back happy memories. If you live outside of England, it's the closest you'll come to being there. If you have no idea what this review is about, then you don't need this at all!

Heptade | 3/5 |

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