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Jeff Wayne - The War Of The Worlds CD (album) cover

THE WAR OF THE WORLDS

Jeff Wayne

 

Crossover Prog

3.95 | 168 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
2 stars It is difficult to form a fair judgement on this album. There surely are some very good pieces of music in here, but the problem is that they are so well hidden behind a wall of overtly dramatic narration, pieces of theatrical dialogue and dated sound effects. The classic story by H.G. Wells is just that - classic. Despite the dated sound effects, I genuinely think that this version of the story is somewhat scary at times, at least the first time I heard it. The biggest problem is that even if the music would deserve repeated listens, the dominance of the story over the music makes it impossible to hear the album several times without getting tired of it. Hearing the whole album is almost like watching a whole movie, and even a great movie gets boring after a small amount of viewings. It doesn't matter how good the soundtrack to the film is, when you have seen/heard a great story a number of times it looses its excitement in a way that great music does not.

The narration by Richard Burton is very good and brings the story on impressively. But the occasional pieces of dialogue are of very low quality. Phil Lynnot of Thin Lizzy is certainly not a great actor. And when he attempts to sing a duet with his female counterpart it becomes truly cringe worthy! True Broadway musical style! Awful.

This album does not know what it wants to be or where it is going. The combination between narration and dialogue is not successful. They should have chosen either narration or dialogue, not both - Is it a radio play? Is it a rock album? Or a rock musical?

Still, there are some very nice moments. Forever Autumn - sung by Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues - is a very good song, and several others are as well. I do indeed recommend a listen to this album; here is what I did (with my girlfriend): We made a print out of the lyrics, we prepared some drinks and snacks and dimmed the lights. The excitement of the story helped to get over some of the dated effects and the cringe worthy vocal duet moments. We had a very good evening, and my girlfriend was quite scarred afterwards!

Good though the evening was, this album has no lasting effect. Therefore, only two stars.

(A funny note: the martians battle cry 'Ulla' is also the name of my girlfriend's mother! As well as a very common female name here in Sweden.)

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |

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