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

THE WAR OF THE WORLDS

Jeff Wayne

 

Crossover Prog

3.93 | 144 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Heptade
Prog Reviewer
3 stars I'm writing this review specifically about the special 7-disk edition. I've enjoyed this album since I was a child, and though I know it's cheese, I can't help but love it. Despite the disco beats, I think there's a real majesty in a lot of Wayne's arrangements, some wonderful melodies, an insanely talented band, and how can you wholly dislike an album featuring Richard Burton, Justin Hayward, Phil Lynott and Chris Thompson? I think not. I find this retelling of the story very compelling, and even though the music was very contemporary (in '78, at least), I think Wayne was true to Wells' meaning. Anyway, on to the special edition, which ain't cheap kids. I was lucky to get a discount, and it was worth every penny. The deluxe hardback book with commentary, reproductions of the stunning original paintings from the original gatefold booklet, and lots of photos of the sessions and of memorabilia, is great. The original two-disk album has been remastered and sounds better than ever. The DVD interview with Jeff Wayne is merely OK, as there was no footage taken in the studio during the original recordings, so it mainly features him recounting his memories. There are no interviews with other cast members or musicians, which is a little disappointing. There are three disks of outtakes, lost songs and demos, which admittedly will only appeal to the JWWW freaks, but those are the only people who will have bought this anyway, and to those people these three disks will be heaven and worth the price of admission. There is even a resurrected lost song about Parson Nathaniel and a version of Thunder Child sung by John Lodge of the Moody Blues. The studio chatter of Burton and Lynott on the vocal outtakes in particular is priceless. The only worthless component is a disk of poorly done dance remixes of the songs, perhaps an attempt to get club kids interested, but ultimately not very interesting. The CD sleeves are also an issue, since I do think in the long term they may end up scratching the disks with prolonged use. But these are small quibbles. For the fan of this album (with some money to burn), this is a purchase you should seriously consider. For me personally, five stars. Considering the cult status of this release and its limited appeal, though, I'll give it a three. At least pick up the two disk album. If you like 70s concept albums, this one is pretty much the king of them all.
Heptade | 3/5 |

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