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JEFF WAYNE

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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Jeff Wayne biography
JEFF WAYNE is a composer who's music displays much direction to the art rock genre. He started off producing albums by David Essex. He also helped his Father Jerry Wayne who was involved in shows such as "Guys and Dolls" and "A Tale of Two Cities". Jeff Wayne eventually started composing his own work, collaborating with Justin Hayward from THE MOODY BLUES and David Essex.

JEFF WAYNE is mostly known for his epic compositions for HG Wells' "The War of the Worlds". This is the greatest of his two works. The other album he made was music for "Sparacus". This album hasn't managed to be as successful as his conceptual masterpiece, "The War of the Worlds".

With the remake of "The War of the Worlds" film starring Tom Cruise, JEFF WAYNE has re-released his classic album to coincide with the film's release. JEFF WAYNE's music will go down well with fans of soundtracks, concept albums and art rock bands, in particular THE MOODY BLUES as their frontman features in JEFF WAYNE's work.

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War of the WorldsWar of the Worlds
Import
Sony UK 2009
Audio CD$11.40
$9.10 (used)
Jeff Wayne's Musical Version Of The War Of The Worlds, The New GenerationJeff Wayne's Musical Version Of The War Of The Worlds, The New Generation
Import
101 DISTRIBUTION 2012
Audio CD$16.67
$11.24 (used)
War of the WorldsWar of the Worlds
Import · Remastered
Sony/Epic 1996
Audio CD$211.13
$31.79 (used)
War of the Worlds (Remixed)War of the Worlds (Remixed)
Import
1999
Audio CD$39.99
$11.99 (used)
Raconteur : Show Biz Stories from the SoulRaconteur : Show Biz Stories from the Soul
UPROAR 2000
Audio CD$14.92
$80.13 (used)
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JEFF WAYNE - THE WAR OF THE WORLDS 2 CD NEW+ USD $24.60 Buy It Now 7h 45m
Vinyl Record LP 12" 12 Inch Highlights from Jeff Wayne Musical War of The Worlds USD $15.60 Buy It Now 12h 12m
AFTER DARK COMPILATION Various LP 14 Track Featuring Reo Speedwagon, Jeff Wayne, USD $13.09 Buy It Now 12h 58m
JEFF WAYNE Highlights From The War Of The Worlds LP 9 Track UK Cbs 1981 USD $14.73 Buy It Now 13h 27m
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JEFF WAYNE The War Of The Worlds Dutch 45PS 1978 Musical Version USD $7.00 Buy It Now 14h 23m
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Jeff Wayne & Ben Liebrand ?- The Eve Of The War (Radio Edit) 7" Vinyl - 655126 7 USD $7.79 Buy It Now 21h 29m
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7"-Single JEFF WAYNE & CHRIS THOMPSON Thunder Child (1978) WL PROMO EARTH BAND USD $39.99 Buy It Now 1 day
7"-Single JEFF WAYNE & CHRIS THOMPSON The Eve Of War (1978) WL PROMO EARTH BAND USD $39.99 Buy It Now 1 day
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JEFF WAYNE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

JEFF WAYNE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.94 | 157 ratings
The War Of The Worlds
1978
1.49 | 12 ratings
Spartacus
1992
2.87 | 4 ratings
Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds: ULLAdubULLA - The Remix Album
2000
3.84 | 15 ratings
Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds - The New Generation
2012

JEFF WAYNE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

JEFF WAYNE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.45 | 8 ratings
Jeff Wayne's Musical Version: The War of the Worlds, Live on stage
2006

JEFF WAYNE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.23 | 9 ratings
Highlights from The War of the Worlds
1993

JEFF WAYNE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

JEFF WAYNE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The War Of The Worlds by WAYNE, JEFF album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.94 | 157 ratings

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The War Of The Worlds
Jeff Wayne Crossover Prog

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 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.

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 The War Of The Worlds by WAYNE, JEFF album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.94 | 157 ratings

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The War Of The Worlds
Jeff Wayne Crossover Prog

Review by Alucard
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Jeff Wayne's War of the World's Musical version got a lot of airplay when it came out in 1978 and was hard to ignore. It was in the long row of Double LP concept records appearing in the 70's going from Jesus Christ Superstar, Tommy, Quadrophenia to the Disco version of Sergeant Pepper and has some of the same flaws as the records mentioned, the main ones : being too long and too pompous. I didn't bought the record back then and I didn't remember having listened to the whole record also I quite liked what I heard, especially the great narrator's voice of Richard Burton. So the other day I came upon the vinyl on a flew market in near mint condition (including the booklet) and real cheap and it would have been a crime not to take it. So I listened for the first time to the entire record and it was quite fun. Most of you have got the story so far. It's a musical adaption of H.G. Wells's famous novel, having become even more famous due to Orson Welles radio play. What you basically got here is a greater part of narration, alternating with instrumental passages and a few songs, a couple in form of a duet and/or a choir vs. solo voice. The cast came mainly from the rock field Phil Lynnot (Thin Lizzy), Justin Hayward (Moody Blues), Chris Thompson (Manfred Mann) David Essex, Julie Covington (Evita) plus some musicians equally from rock and/or studio background. Now, the overall atmosphere is a bit pompous and cheesy with a typical late 70's disco beat on the bottom, but it works and together with the narration and songs the record has aged rather well. Apart from the orchestral arrangements and the conceptual story there is not much prog in it so, the instrumental passages tend to be a bit overlong , redundant and not very daring. The melodic material is good, so not outstanding, Forever Autumn (sung by Justin Hayward) and Thunder Child (sung by Chris Thompson) are among the better songs. There are some leitmotivs appearing, the most famous one the Martian war cry "ULLA", made with a guitar talk box or a vocoder (?)And the Martian heat wave impersonated by Jo Partridge's guitar, plus a couple of synth sweeps linked to the aliens. All in all a pleasant listen with a nice retro touch eventually diminished by your acceptance or not of an ongoing disco beat.

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 Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds - The New Generation by WAYNE, JEFF album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.84 | 15 ratings

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Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds - The New Generation
Jeff Wayne Crossover Prog

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars "Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of the War of the Worlds - The New Generation" (WOTWTNG), came as an unexpected pleasure for me as I have been a mega fan of the original since I bought it on vinyl in my teens, one of my first vinyl purchases in 1978. It is a huge leap in time from the jawbone to the satellite, and this album with the New Generation of artists and remastering comes 34 years later. I really went out of my way to see the live show a couple of years ago and bought the 3D program and the DVD so that I could remember it, and I read the comic and devoured the novel and watched every movie and TV version available. I guess I felt that this had genuine nostalgia value as I lived and breathed every song lyric and musical note for over 30 years.

As soon as I saw the album cover of this new Jeff Wayne project I could not help but be excited and to be honest quite a degree of scepticism crept in. I wondered how on earth anyone could replace the likes of the incomparable Justin Hayward, or Julie Covington, or for that matter Phil Lynott and David Essex. Undoubtedly Richard Burton is irreplaceable, his golden tones make the original such a piece of art. However I had to indulge and what I received from this new reimagining was a delightfully compelling and new experience.

I reasoned that WOTWTNG would never replace the original but rather would enhance the experience and reinvigorate what has been engrained in my conscious for so many years. As Liam Neeson's voice sounded out over the airwaves, "No one would have believed" I was surprised at how well his voice translated the HGWells classic. When the ominous 3 chord strings hammered forth, I was hooked immediately; perhaps transfixed because it was noticeably different, not a cheap rip off or a money grabber but this had genuine passion and was played in the right spirit. There is a deep bass synth pulsating and some swishing effects that are markedly unique to this recording. As the martians arise from their craft with "their clumsy bodies" that "heaved and pulsated, glistening like wet leather" it was a new interpretation both in musical textures and Neeson's acting skills. He is no Burton but he is a man of earnestness, with a sense of urgency, not as dead pan or Shakespearean as Burton but with golden tones of his own. The martians begin to plough their way across Horsell Common in their tripod war machines,and the music becomes very dark and majestic; triumphant in the war cry of "Ulla!" the same war cry heard on the original version.

The songs on WOTWTNG are of course all delivered by new artists, Gary Barlow sings the Thoughts of the Journalist; nowhere near Justin Hayward but sufficient and the chorus backs him up beautifully, a solid start to the album. Ricky Wilson is the spoken words and vocals of the rather articulate The Artilleryman, but here I really missed David Essex, and I was surprised at this as I never really considered him to be that great an artist (listen to 'Hold Me Close' and you will understand). Maverick Sabre is the spoken words and vocals of Parson Nathaniel, and he cannot replace Phil Lynott but again is effective enough; in fact I really like his interpretation but the demonic voice that comes and goes I can do without. Joss Stone is the spoken words and vocals of Beth, and I enjoyed her sweet performance here; she really sounds flustered and so passionate as she sings lines like "there must be something worth living for? even something worth dying for" and "people loved you and trusted you, came to you for help". I have seen many Beths in the stage shows and they all have their own moments, as Joss does here and fulfils the role admirably. Alex Clare is the The Voice of Humanity, singing 'Thunder Child' which is a surprisingly difficult song to sing; really it has to be heard by Chris Thompson.

The music is actually improved given a more up to date treatment and in places is darker and more forced, certainly the added sections are incredible and surprising to those who know the original. There are familiar sections of music and they are often extended into new motifs and repeated segments, emphasising the drama. The Black Smoke Band consists of the amazing work of Chris Spedding's guitars, the brilliant Herbie Flowers on bass guitar, visionary Jeff Wayne, and Paul Hart who deliver The Red Weed atmospherics as well as keyboards, guitars, including The Heat Ray, mandolin, santur, zither, and tar. The drums are well handled by Gordy Marshall, and the percussion and backing vocals are from Ray Cooper. Spedding, Flowers and Wayne are all reprising their musical talents from the original version and it is great to have them onboard. The quasi-disco beat sections are gone which is a good thing in this day and age as it would sound too dated. Yet the spirit of the production is still present despite the omission of disco rhythms. The music itself with Chris Spedding's stirring lead guitar and full orchestration is as ingenious as the original. In places the music is virtually identical such as on the first section of 'Horsell Common and The Heat Ray', but hearing Spedding's extended lead break in this section is a sheer delight. Jeff Wayne's arrangements are nothing short of mind bending, with powerful violin sweeps and science fiction effects used to maximum effect, including some new moments wth aliens muttering and also the infamous unscrewing of the cylinder, searing heat rays, cylinders falling on a house, and the martian death howls.

The special effects on WOTWTNG are new and improved with disturbing alien voices, swooshing meteors, massive explosions, screams, and the unforgettable war cry of the martians as they victoriously unleash their fury upon the helpless humans, "Ulla! Ulla!" There are some nice new moments such as where the Journalist jumps in the water and the sound is muffled as though we are underwater, and the extended conversation between the Journalist and the Parson,and indeed the Artillery Man has a lot more to say about his master plan and how he feels about us being "breeded like cattle." The script is virtually the same otherwise but it has been revamped for a new generation of listeners. I would hope that this version would not replace the original but already the stage show has been performed with this new batch of artists and the new extended sections. This new album should be looked at as an added extra rather than a replacement as it does not hold the firepower of the original, but having said that it is still excellent music and thoroughly enjoyable.

As I mentioned in my review for the original, 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 the Parson spars off Beth'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 musicianship. 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 into their own veins. Eventually the narrator meets another character that would try and coerce him in to a foolhardy plan. 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.

The twist to the story that was so unique to the original version of "The War of the Worlds" is on this new version as well and has some added dimensions that you can discover for yourselves. I like how the album includes little anecdotes and musical figures that jump put as they are completely different; for example the paper boy yelling out about the "Men From Mars!" is a brand new section, and 'Brave New World' is very different indeed with layered musicianship and a ton of extra effects worth hearing, though is really studio trickery to be honest. These extra details kept me enthralled more than I had anticipated. It is not just a rehash but in some places an improvement. It is in the actual songs however where the album offers no genuine improvement as the originals are far superior, apart from the wonderful 'Spirit of Man' that is very moving and powerful, and I found this to be the case in the live stage shows as well.

The original is a masterpiece album without a doubt, whereas this new version feels like an after thought at times. It is still worth going on the journey but it simply does not measure up to the original. Hearing it again as a reimagined version is a bizarre experience for me, but it is nevertheless excellent music and a compelling story despite the moments that left me pondering. I am pleased that Jeff Wayne continues to create in such an innovative manner; he is a modern day genious when it comes to creating music that fires the imagination.

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 Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds - The New Generation by WAYNE, JEFF album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.84 | 15 ratings

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Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds - The New Generation
Jeff Wayne Crossover Prog

Review by Ajay

4 stars Serendipitously, 2012 saw the release of two re-recorded albums inspired by Victorian literature: Rick Wakeman's Journey to the Centre of the Earth, and Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of the War of the Worlds - The New Generation. (Right, that's it for me for titles of more than 30 characters. As of now they're "Wakeman's Journey" and "Wayne's War.")

Both albums are essentially faithful reproductions of the originals. Both insert a little additional material. Both are the bases of concert tours. Whereas Wakeman's Journey makes no concession to the under-35s in the audience, however, Wayne's War adds details which, I assume it was hoped, would make today's younger listeners feel at home.

As with Wakeman's Journey, Wayne's War was always going to be a hard sell for me. As with Journey, I stayed awake in bed with a transistor radio to listen to my local rock radio station's midnight broadcast of the original album. When I received the album as a Christmas gift, I spent a good portion of my school holidays, and subsequent holidays for years to come, with my headphones on, poring over the details of the gatefold cover and its bound-in booklet as the music pounded.

So when I heard that Jeff Wayne was re-recording the album ahead of a new stadium tour, replete with tripods, "holograms," and singers trying to act, I was prepared to hate it.

Turns out I was wrong.

The re-recorded version is essentially the same as the original, except for a few details - and those, I'm not purist enough to balk at. Yes, the sound gets a polish with the addition of contemporary dancey beats, swooshes, and synth patches. Yes, the narration is longer. Yes, the cast is new, young, and pretty. It doesn't matter. They're just the icing. The cake remains intact. There are plenty of moments when I could swear I'm listening to the original, cleaned up.

It took me a few moments to get used to Liam Neeson as the narrator simply because I'm so used to hearing those lines spoken by his predecessor, Richard Burton. Once I settled in, though, I found Liam Neeson's performance as exciting and as satisfying as Burton's.

Likewise, the other vocalists - Gary Barlow, Ricky Wilson, Maverick Sabre - approach so closely the performances of their respective predecessors that it makes little difference. I think I might even enjoy the performance of Joss Stone (as Beth, the parson's wife) in her soul-inflected idiom a little more than I did Julie Covington in the original.

On the instrumental side, I'm glad to see so many of the original musicians returning - Chris Spedding, Herbie Flowers, Ken Freeman, George Fenton, Ray Cooper, Jo Partridge. Age has not wearied them.

The first time I played this album, my eight-year-old called from his bath, "What is that? It sounds great!" After a second listen he asked me to add it to his playlist. (Welcome to the 21st century, folks. Eight-year-olds have playlists.) He goes about the house singing the instrumental motifs. When a few of his schoolmates dropped by this afternoon, he put the album on and told them it was his favourite music. They listened without complaint. The new generation does indeed get this music.

Well done, Jeff Wayne. Although I thought I'd never hear myself say this, when your show tours, I'll buy tickets for the family so I can enjoy my son's enjoyment of your work - and not a little of my own. Long may you run.

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 Jeff Wayne's Musical Version: The War of the Worlds, Live on stage by WAYNE, JEFF album cover DVD/Video, 2006
3.45 | 8 ratings

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Jeff Wayne's Musical Version: The War of the Worlds, Live on stage
Jeff Wayne Crossover Prog

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars "Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds Musical Stage Show" is a sheer delight from start to finish. I bought this DVD after being treated to the stage show in Australia. I enjoyed seeing this phenomenal performance live in Melbourne and especially seeing Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues was a spine tingling moment. It was terrific to see and hear original album vocalist Chris Thompson singing 'Thunder Child' also. He sounds as powerful as on the album. When Hayward sings "the chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one" I think it took me way back to my childhood when I used to listen to this album repeatedly on vinyl. The DVD captures the essence of the live show though it is missing the elements of the dazzling light show and that massive war machine that descends to the stage.

The music as a visual feast works on many levels. We can marvel at the images on the massive screen as we watch the orchestra blaze away on note perfect renditions of the album classic. Spedding and Flowers are back to revisit their musicianship. Sadly no David Essex or Phil Lynott. 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. Richard Burton is personified on a huge sculpt with his face projected on to it, cleverly syncing his lips to the original narration with eyes blinking and eye brows raising occasionally. 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 more recent shows ditched the sculpted head and replaced it with laser projected CGI, which is way better.

The song 'Thunder Child' is a very powerful composition on the album and Thompson stands centre stage and belts this out with the same passion and exuberance as on the album. he waves goodbye to the boat that holds Carrie and a swarm of survivors. The next act is certainly not as powerful as the first, with fire and smoke emitting from the war machine. However Act II features a wonderful version of 'Spirit of Man' with Russell Watson as the priest, and Tara Blaise as Beth; "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". She looks and sounds beautiful and very close to the album so good with Julie Covington. I prefer Phil Lynott but Watson is tolerable as the Priest. The version I saw live featured Shannon Noll who has a better voice as the Priest. The red weed is captured sonically with very doomy keyboard work. As it crawls across the land turning everything red we are able to watch on the huge screens the artist's interpretation using CGI and actual artwork inspired on the album. I wish there had been a feature where we could just listen and watch the screen images as they look amazing.

Eventually the narrator meets another character that would try and coerce him in to a foolhardy plan. The meeting with the Artillery Man played with passion and drive by Alexis James, 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. During this song a steel bridge descends on the stage and is used to good effect as the Artillery Man climbs literally up onto his own Empire. He looks out into the crowd and toasts a glass of champagne but hten looks very worried as a martian machine is heard coming towards him. As he leaves the stage he salutes the appreciative audience.

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. The lighting goes greener and redder for a while until we see the images of the crows tearing at the red shred of the martian's hood. There are then images of mankind celebrating freedom and redemption from martian subjugation. All of the main players come out and bow to rapturous applause. The loudest applause of course goes to Mr Wayne himself. He smiles and is generally content wth the response to his master creation. The NASA epilogue follows with creepy effects and images and thus the show comes to a head. A great show in any format this is worth shelling out for. The special features are lengthy docos and how the machine was constructed, as well as interviews and assorted extras.

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 The War Of The Worlds by WAYNE, JEFF album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.94 | 157 ratings

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The War Of The Worlds
Jeff Wayne Crossover Prog

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

5 stars "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.

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 The War Of The Worlds by WAYNE, JEFF album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.94 | 157 ratings

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The War Of The Worlds
Jeff Wayne Crossover Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

4 stars I've never read the original story (though I've read many Jules Verne stories in my childhood), but I remember one occasion, I was perhaps 10 years of age, when I heard radio adaptation of this classic. I was very impressed.

Now, 13 years later, I finally experienced its fusion with music. It was an immerse experience, spoken world, not unlike those of Wakeman's "Journey to the Centre of the Earth" (strangely - by the one I know well - Verney). However, the music featured is a bit different. Rather than symphonic, we get something between Rock, Funky (strong bass) & (almost disco sounds) & Symphonic (orchestra), sci-fi electronic sounds and truly Prog moments, especially those with keyboards and whole feeling. And I am now again very impressed.

4(+), however the impression is bigger than the record's Prog qualities, so as a balanced rating between 5 (how intense this is) and rather 3 of it's Prog.

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 The War Of The Worlds by WAYNE, JEFF album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.94 | 157 ratings

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The War Of The Worlds
Jeff Wayne Crossover Prog

Review by FarBeyondProg

5 stars 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

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 The War Of The Worlds by WAYNE, JEFF album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.94 | 157 ratings

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The War Of The Worlds
Jeff Wayne Crossover Prog

Review by RoyFairbank

5 stars 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?

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 The War Of The Worlds by WAYNE, JEFF album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.94 | 157 ratings

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The War Of The Worlds
Jeff Wayne Crossover Prog

Review by thehallway
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Ulllllllllaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!

...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.

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