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I have been revisiting this, and the original album lately as I wait in anticipation for the up and coming Jeff Waynes Musical Version of War of the Worlds - The Next Generation album, which is due out 26th November 2012. I was brought up on the original and have been listening to it since I was 9 years old, when I heard about the remix album I decided to get it without knowing what to expect...
In 1978 Jeff Wayne released an album based on the H.G. Wells story, War of the Worlds. The original album was and still is a best seller and is the 38th best selling album of all time in the UK. The original album tells the story, brilliantly narrated by the late great Richard Burton, of a martian invasion on Horsell Common in Surrey. Along the way he meets various characters; a young artilleryman played by David Essex with his usual cockney charm, a staunch religious parson Nathanial played by Phil Lynott, and the parsons wife Beth played magnificently by the great Julie Covington of Evita fame(even though she only had six minutes on the album before meeting her death at the hands of the martians). Probably due to Richard Burton not being known for his vocal talents, Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues(Nights in White Satin) was chosen to sing the "Sung thoughts of the Journalist", this resulted in the amazingly poignant "Forever Autumn"; the journalists lament for his loved one who is no longer at home and her whereabouts unknown until half way through the song. As a whole the original is an absolutely stunning album and a must for any record/CD collection.
In 2000 this remix album was released containing various remixes of songs from the original album, in no particular running order. Throughout the album crys of "Ulla" are heard to represent the martians and this is where this remix album got the title "ULLAdubULLA" from.
The Journalist - Richard Burton (Actor Cleopatra
The Artilleryman - David Essex (Actor/Singer That'll Be The Day, Eastenders)
Parson Nathaniel - Phil Lynott (Singer/Guitarist Thin Lizzy)
Beth - Julie Covington (Actress/Singer Evita stage play)
The Sung Thoughts of The Journalist - Justin Hayward (Singer/guitarist The Moody Blues)
The Voice of Humanity - Chris Thompson (Singer/Guitarist Manfred Manns Earth Band)
1) Eve of The War (Introduction Mix)
2) The Artilleryman and the Fighting Machine (Max Mondo Remix)
3) ULLAdubULLA (Mix)
4) Eve of The War (Mix)
5) The Spirit of Man (Max Mondo Remix)
6) Horsell Common and the Heat Ray (Max Mondo Remix)
7) Forever Autumn (Mix)
8) Forever Autumn (Dub)
9) Thunderchild (Mister Joyboy Remix)
10) Eve of The War (Max Mondo Remix)
11) The Red Weed (Mix)
12) The Spirit of Man (KCW Remix)
13) Brave New World (Todd Terry Remix)
14) Dead London (Apollo 440 Remix)
15) Dead London (Mister Joyboy Remix)
16) Eve of The War (Mix)
1) The Eve of the War (Hybrids Fire in the Sky Remix)
2) The Eve of the War (Mix)
3) The Eve of the War (Tilt Remix)
4) Dead London (Apollo 440 Mix - Instrumental)
5) Brave New World (Terry Todd Remix)
6) Forever Autumn (Mix)
7) Forever Autumn (Dub)
8) Brave New World (Dario G Remix)
9) The Red Weed (Naughty G Remix)
10) The Eve of the War (Hani Remix 2)
Whilst I loved the original album, and I love some of the remixed tracks on this album, I can't help but think that this could have been a great album had they dealt with it in the right way. The Eve of the War is a fantastic track, but do I really need an album with 8 different versions of it? and with 3 different versions of it in a row on disc 2 it is like listening to the same song over and over, gets on your nerves after a while. I would definitely not recommend this album as an introduction to "War of the Worlds" as it doesn't follow the story at all and that for me takes the whole point of the album away. I mean the music is great on the original but the story is what you are actually listening to, whereas this album is merely a collection of the same songs rehashed in any old order and I wouldn't imagine the hardest of dance music enthusiasts would want to dance to different versions of the same songs over and over. I have tried to put the album in the same order as the original but it still didn't make any sense...oh well, back to the original until the new one comes out next month!
"No one would have believed in the early years of the 21st century that our world was being watched by intelligences greater than our own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns, they observed and studied, the way a man with a microscope might scrutinize the creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. With infinite complacency, men went to and fro about the globe, confident of our empire over this world. Yet across the gulf of space, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic regarded our planet with envious eyes and slowly, and surely, drew their plans against us..."
The War of the Worlds is a 1978 concept album by Jeff Wayne and was (of course) based on the classic science fiction novel by HG Wells. It's a musical version of the famous alien invasion yarn but does feature actors and makes a decent fist of actually telling the story. I have a vague memory of listening to bits of this as a child but have never given it a go as an adult until this Remix Version recently. The album has been jazzed up and made more ambient and electronic I believe but the essential pretentiousness and insanity of the original remains. It is incredibly naff and preposterously overblown but somehow breaks through the sonic cheese barrier to become mildly endearing. It's sort of like watching that seventies Jesus Christ Superstar film at some unearthly hour. Is this a strange dream or are those actually real people wandering around in the desert dancing and bursting into song at the drop of a sandal? The War of the Worlds has some of that strangeness and madness but then I suppose many famous modern musicals do. This is a mixed bag of Prog-Rock pomposity, drippy ballads and beepy strange sound effects but there is undoutedly some catchy stuff and the overall atmosphere of the album - of which the mad sound effects are a vital cog - is fun to immerse yourself in. As if that wasn't enough you also get the mighty thesping skills of, er, David Essex.
Not being a huge musicologist I probably enjoyed the linking scenes with the actors more than the songs at times but if you are a fan of eccentric seventies music then you'll probably get a kick out of them. The Eve of War is the most famous composition here. It's a piece of music that everyone will recognise and good fun. It always sounds a bit like a title theme for cycling or something to me though! One trump card up Jeff Wayne's sleeve was that he was able to rope in Richard Burton to play the narrator of the story. So you get vast tracts of the novel spoken to you by Burton in his wonderful "I am an ACTOR!" voice. He reminded me a bit of Marlon Brando as Jor-El in Superman. Not sure what I'm doing here but I shall be professional and supply some gravitas. I'm not such a fan of the song Forever Autumn by Justin Hayward (sorry, no idea who he is), which conveys the narrator's feelings about his wife going missing. This is a syrupy song that becomes repetitive and something of an assault on the eardrums. It's a bad day though. His wife has gone missing and Martians are blasting London to smithereens. If he got a splinter now that would just about be the last straw. David Essex plays the "The Artilleryman" here, the soldier that the narrater meets and sort of befriends. I like the scene here where the soldier takes refuge in the narrater's house and tells him how the Martians rose from their pits on the common in huge glittering tripod fighting machines and laid waste to the army with devastating "heat ray" weapons.
Essex is incredibly wooden but he's always likeable anyway. Large parts of the novel survive although it has of course been rather condensed to allow for all the music. The scenes where the narrator meets the soldier later on are again surprisingly enjoyable and capture some of the spirit of the novel. The Martians seem to have won but the soldier dreams of starting a new civilisation for humanity underground where they can plot against the Martians. He's gone doolally of course. I was always fascinated by the pictures that come with the original sleeve here and the ones here are good fun. The red weed creeping around that little hamlet illustration was always very compelling when I was at school. The other notable song here is Thunder Child - sung by Chris Thompson. This song (naturally) tells the story of an ironclad battleship named Thunder Child that goes to the rescue of escaping passengers in a steam liner and engages a couple of Martian fighting machines at sea. This song is simultaneously rubbish and annoyingly catchy. Throughout the album you always sort of admire the chutzpah of all the musicians involved for taking it all so seriously. The Parson that the narrator becomes holed up with is played by Phil Lynott. No idea who Phil Lynott is but he's ok. The Parson is as bonkers as the soldier and is a rather cowardly and selfish character who rants about the Martians being devils. Lynott also sings a duet with Julie Covington on the album. It won't come as a huge surprise to learn that I don't know anything about Julie Covington either!
The War of the Worlds is fun on the whole and a rather nostalgic listen if you have emphemeral memories of listening to it when you were a child. The latter parts are quite atmospheric and haunting although there is a modern coda tacked on that you may find uneccesary. I quite enjoyed it myself. The War of the Worlds is ridiculous nonsense but not without its charms and fans of all things HG Wells (and cheese laden seventies music) will find something to enjoy. It does have a more modern feel in this version that is enjoyably atmospheric at times. I got this particular version out of the library but at the time of writing you can buy this used for around a tenner.
"No one would have believed that in the last years of the nineteenth century, human affairs where being watched......."
If you have not heard that famous line read out before, you are in for a real treat. Richard Burton plays the main character in the soundtrack version of one of HG Wells' most famous books called War of The Worlds. The book and audio musical story tells the terrifying tale of what would happen if Martians invaded England during the late 19th Century.
I would recommend reading the book but the Soundtrack is really great, an added dimension comes from the sounds and songs that bring the true reality to light. I have to admit, I would prefer watching a Film or listening to a story on tape than reading a book anytime.
An astronomer called Ogilvie argues that the chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one, but soon after seeing plumes of green smoke coming from Mars, the first intergalactic traveller arrives. A cylinder lands after a brilliant shooting star trailing green mist, is seen in the sky over southern England.
Soon after, mans curiosity takes over and they pay a visit to the common where the Cylinder lies in the huge crater that it created. The cylinder unscrews and a horrible creature rises and uses a terrifying weapon to turn everything in the locality to flames - the dreaded heat ray. Man has never seen anything like this before.
Richard Burton tells the story as he runs from the Martians and tries to find is beloved girlfriend called Carrie. He meets a number of characters along the way and has a number of near death experiences at the hands of the now tripod riding monsters. He also discovers the reason for the Martians visit.
Does Burton find Carrie, do the Martians take over the world? You will have to read the book or buy the soundtrack on DVD to find out! You won't be disappointed.
My favourite song from the Soundtrack is called Forever Autumn by the Moody Blues.
I remember being terrifed as a young boy listening to the cylinder unscrewing and the Martian appearing for the first time.
The book has been made into a film twice now.
A film was created in the 1950's with the same name, based in America and set during the 50's. However the film does not follow the book very closely, except having a similar outcome. The Aliens don't travel in tripods!
The second film from 2005 starring Tom Cruise is a much better proposition. Although set in modern day USA, the film follows the book pretty closely in parts, in a modern way. It portrays the chilling nature of what may happen if the Earth was invaded by aliens intent on destroying us. The awesome power of the Martian war machine being shown to brilliant effect with computer graphics and animation.
I would have loved to have seen a film following the book closely, being filmed and based in the UK, featuring the excellent audio tracks from the Soundtrack and the best of modern CGI effects. But I guess we cannot have everything.
Either way, the soundtrack is an all time great!
There is also an old Orson Wells radio broadcast from the USA that actually terrified a number of people into committing suicide when it was played over the radio.
People thought that version was for real!
Striking fear into a child is easy. Make loud scary noises, confuse them, tell them Michael Jackson is coming to visit their school. Frightening as these things are, they are certainly overcome when you grow up. War of the Worlds however, still scares me to death.
I was twelve when I first heard Richard Burtons dulcet tones announcing an immanent Martian invasion and from then on, every car journey with my dad involved looking to the sky in fright for a fleet of Martian spacecraft.
War of the Worlds is a timeless orchestral tale of Martians invading the Earth. Narrated by Burton who doubles as the main character, a journalist caught up in the drama, the astonishing power of the music in kick-starting the imagination is far more powerful than any film could ever be. Spielberg and Cruise are not rookies, but the blockbuster they created this summer doesnt come close.
The music is foreboding, sweeping and comes over you in a tidal wave. Beginning with Burtons now seminal spoken intro 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 and slowly, and surely, they drew their plans against us. Cue a cacophony of strings that would have floored Michael Kamen as the pace is set with a thumping rhythm.
Burton is the lynchpin, but the moments during which he is silent allow his tellings to resonate more powerfully. At certain times he does not allude to what is actually going on, the music does that job for him and THIS is the masterstroke of War of the Worlds: The story doesnt need words.
And boy is it frightening. Radiohead understand that quiet is more intimidating than loud and when the tempo slows it becomes behind the sofa listening. A spaceship lands and from within, a deep unscrewing can be heard. A staccato bass line comes in on top and it sounds like the Martians are subtly playing it themselves. By the time the electric guitar emerges sounding like a stealthily aimed ray gun the atmosphere is beyond tense. Even writing this piece in silence I can still see the dark evil of the Martians at work.
Momentum is rarely lost. The alien race take over and envelope Planet Earth in a vile red weed that feeds them and wears down their enemy. Their plan is to eat, exterminate and move on to the next helpless race. Who better to bring in at this point than Phil Lynott from Thin Lizzy. He even refrains from terrorising the Martians by playing The Boys are Back in Town. The narrator stumbles across a preacher (voiced by Lynott) turned insane by the invasion. Cue one of many, edge of your seat moments as the two hide in darkened silence as a Martian roves about looking for them. David Essex crops up as a renegade soldier who having accepted mans predicament, is hell-bent on rebuilding the human race underground. The characters are perfect, the pace relentless, the tension unbearable.
I will not spoil the ending should you not know it, but its the one part of the piece that always leaves me disappointed. The brief epilogue is somewhat satisfying but that wont stop a sceptical rub of the chin once the album concludes.
Musically this broke a lot of boundaries when released in 1976 and still sounds fresh and startling today. There is a heavy debt to 70s rock, specifically prog, but you dont need to be a fan or critic of this genre to appreciate Waynes work.
Here is an experience in sound rather than a record. You may leave the landing light on tonight. I know I will.
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 Waynes 1977 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 everyones 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 Waynes 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 Burtons 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 Essexs artilleryman appears and Chris Thompson of Manfred Manns Earth Band (apparently) puts in a fantastic performance detailing the events of Thunder Child.
This first disc doesnt 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 wont be everyones 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)
Im 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 Lizzys 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 isnt first rate, but its certainly passable; dont expect this to rival any of Lloyd-Webbers musicals in that category. Riichard Burtons 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 its still widely available wherever CDs are sold, but avoid the single CD highlights release; this omits Burtons 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 theyre Pink Floyd.
Jeff Waynes 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.
This recording, originally released in 1978, was bought together by Jeff Wayne and is a C,lassic musical version of the well known War of the Worlds book by H.G Wells. Through the established talents of top music stars including David Essex, Phil Lynott, Julie Covington and Justin Hayward the story of the martian invasion of earth is told through narration (by Richard Burton) and music. This 2 cd set is best listened to in a darkened room and quite loud. This helps build the atmosphere as the story starts.
The story starts with bright lights decending from space. These lights are later found to be spaceships from another planet - Mars. With the martian ships landing across the world panic soon sets in as the worlds military realise that even their best equipment (a battleship called Thuderchild) cannot cope. Whilst all this is going on a further story unfolds as the storyteller searches for his lost love. This story tells of his experiences and his journey to London searching for Carrie.
The music is superb throughout and has stood the test of time, as have all the stars involved in the recording. I would explain each track, however, this would spoil your enjoyment. Well, writing this has made me think, OK LIGHTS DOWN VOLUME UP PLAY
PLEASE DO NOT PASS UP THE OPPORTUNITY TO LISTEN TO THIS CD SET ,ESPECIALLY THE END WHICH IS VERY THOUGHT PROVOKING.
I just hope the film being released on 1 July 2005 is just as good
-A Little History-
War of the Worlds was originally written by H.G Wells back in 1898 and was later aired on the radio by Orson Wells on 30th October 1938; Orson Wells could not comprehend what mass hysteria his play would cause to the people in America. People who tuned into the show after it had begun actually believed that Earth was at war with Mars and that the human race was set for destruction.
In 1953, a film adaptation was released, directed by Byron Haskin.
In 1978, Jeff Wayne's musical version of the classic thriller was released to the unsuspecting public and instantly became a hit with multi-millions sales of the double album as well as two hit singles 'The Eve of The War' and 'Forever Autumn'.
29th June 2005 - A modern day version of the film is to be released in cinemas, Director Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Cruise.
Jeff Wayne was born and raised in New York and moved to London when his father Jerry Wayne created the part of Guy Masterson in 'Guy's and Dolls' and later returned to New York.
Jeff Wayne has had a successful career writing and composing various soundtracks and television themes such as TV-AM's 'Good Morning Britain' as well as shamefully producing Catherine Zeta Jones's debut solo album that was released in 1995.
I first heard War of the Worlds when I was 10 years old and always being into old movies and such like I squirreled the double record version that my parents owned upstairs one evening and set it going and was instantly a fan.
I have since bought my own record copy of this musical as well as having bought an up to date double CD version.
There has been several remixes and highlights released over the years but in my mind these cannot and will not compete with the proper version and as such I haven't taken the time to buy such things.
The CD album is split into two separate pieces as the record version was. Part One on CD 1 is titled 'The Coming of the Martians' and Part Two on CD 2 is titled 'The Earth under the Martians'.
~The Coming of the Martians - Part One~
This sets the scene and captures your imagination about what is about to happen and the tracks reflect this.
-The Eve of the War-
This track starts of with the classic narration '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. No one could have dreamed we were being scrutinized as someone with a microscope studies creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water'.
This statement automatically captures the listener, with the eerie sense of foreboding as the narrator/Journalist describes what is happening to his part of the country over the next ten nights.
-Horsell Common and the Heat Ray-
The narrator/Journalist describes how many people have gathered on the common where a cylinder landed. He states 'Next morning, a crowd gathered on the common, hypnotised by the unscrewing of the cylinder. Two feet of shining screw projected when, suddenly, the lid fell off!
This track catapults the listener to the common. You can hear the lid slowly turning before it falls with an almighty crash on the ground.
The narrator/Journalist describes how a tall funnel rose from the cylinder and launched a heat ray at some of the men turning them into fire and how people ran in terror from the common and how the next day he saw soldiers turn up at the common and how he realises that he is in danger as his home is in range of the Martians heat ray.
-The Artillery Man and the Fighting Machine-
The narrator/Journalist hears someone or something creeping into his house and you can hear the relief in his voice when he realises that it is a young artillery man; as the man is describing the nights events they realise that they have to get moving, the narrator had to save his beloved in London and the artillery man had to report to headquarters.
It is on this track that we get to hear the Martians chilling cry 'ULLA! ULLA!'
-Forever Autumn and The Thunder Child-
Here the narrator/Journalist describes that as he reaches his sweethearts house in London she is gone and as such he now feels the only safe thing to do is to head to the ocean and get a boat out of England.
The song Forever Autumn is on this CD and it describes how life isn't the same without the love of his life.
As the narrator/Journalist reaches the dockyard he sees his beloved on a steamer and as she fights to get off, the gangplank is lifted and he's swept away from her by the crowds. He goes on to describe how the nation is pinning its hopes on a war ship which tries valiantly to defeat the Martians only to be fatally hit by the Heat Ray and sunk.
The narrator/Journalist realises that the Earth now belongs to the Martians.
~The Earth under the Martians - Part Two~
This part has several tracks to it and at the end of Part One, the listener is under the impression that all is not well and that the future seems bleak.
-The Red Weed and Parson Nathaniel-
The narrator/Journalist stumbles across the body of a Parson in a ruined churchyard and decides to bury him, just as he wakes up; the Parson is very delirious and believes that Satan has claimed the souls of the living and feels that he's the only one to stop them. The Parson is even under the impression that his wife's one of them until she drags him into a house that's still standing.
-The Spirit of Man-
A cylinder lands on the house where they are hiding, killing the Parson's wife and as the Parson who is still delirious believes that he has been given a sign and must cast out the devil. Just then the narrator/Journalist knocks him unconscious but it's too late, the Martians' have heard the commotion and take the Pastor away.
As the narrator/Journalist leaves the ruins of the house and makes his way across the country he meets the artillery man again.
-Brave New World and Dead London-
The artillery man has a plan, civilisation must rebuild but not above ground; the narrator/Journalist feels that the man is a dreamer and must leave him behind.
As the narrator/Journalist leaves he sees the tripod figures of the fighting machines and the glowing red weed that gives Mars its colour. He can hear the formidable scream of the Martians' and ready to die he moves towards the figures just as the noise ceases; it is then that he realises that Bacteria won the fight.
Bermuda and Pasadena have landed a spacecraft on Mars unfortunately all is not as it seems when Pasadena see a green flare heading towards Earth.
-The Cast and Crew-
Richard Burton - Journalist/narrator
Julie Covington - Beth (Pastor's Wife)
David Essex - The Artillery Man
Philip Lynott (of Thin Lizzy) - Parson Nathaniel
Jo Partridge - The Heat Ray
Garry Osbourne - Lyricist
Paul Vigrass - Lyricist
Jeff Wayne - Composer, Orchestration, Conductor and Producer
Jerry Wayne - Executive Producer
Doreen Wayne - Script Writer
-Price and Availability-
This album is available from most music shops and I would hazard a guess that you will still be able to pick up a copy of the double record album at from most second hand shops.
I paid £5 for my copy of the record and £24.99 for the double CD album.
You can pick up an audio cassette book, read by Orson Wells for £9.99.
The soundtrack for the newer version of the film is available for £9.99.
The Highlights of Jeff Waynes War of the Worlds album is also available for £9.99.
This is a must have album, whether you get it in its record format or CD format. The insert for the CD is the same as for the record with wonderfully produced paintings and lyrics for each track.
Although I first listened to this when I was ten I doubt that it would be suitable for any child under this age, although you should use your own judgement when it comes to this album.
I remember first hearing this album on vinyl when I was about 12 and it was scary, well anything is scary for a 12 year old. A few years ago I saw the CD version in a shop; it is still as good as I remember it to be. For those of you that are uneducated and do not know what this is about then I will try to enlighten you. The war of the world’s story is set, where all good stories should be set, in England the time is Victorian times so the best technology at hand is the steam engine. One night a flash of green gas is seen erupting from the planet Mars, this is caused by the firing of a huge gun that fires a cylinder containing Martians. This cylinder falls upon sleepy Woking and the people there have no idea of the problems that are about to fall upon them. The story then goes on telling you about the war that is being fought. If you would like to know more about the storyline then read my opinion on the War of the Worlds book by H. G. Wells. The musical version is narrated by Richard Burton with appearances by other people in the roles of other characters in the story. This version copies the storyline of the book with a few differences, these are due to there is no way of putting all of the information across in music as there in text. It comes on 2 CD’s just like the vinyl version, but the CED version comes with 4 re-mastered bonus tracks, well bonus if you like the original tracks being butchered. The way the music is performed really makes the story come alive as if it was not as good as it is this would be nothing, the music contains all of the important parts of the story, E.G. the unscrewing of the cylinder is captured in the music with an actual sound of a cylinder unscrewing, this is just one of the examples of how the music complements the story, the best way that you can find out about it would be to listen to it, if you do then you will not be disappointed. You also get a little booklet
with the CD’s which contains all of the words form the stories and the songs with some nice pictures of key events in the story, the best picture in my opinion is of “Dead London”. There is also some information about the people who played characters in the storyline. CD 1 Track 1: The Eve of the war This track starts the whole story off with the narator opening the story with the background. Track 2: Horsell common and the heat ray This track is the one in which you catch the first glimpse of the Martians and their destructive power, it also contains the unscrewing of the cylinder that I have talked about. Track 3: The artillery man and the fighting machine This track is where the main character meets the artilleryman whom he will take a journey with and who describes what has happened. Track 4: Forever autumn This track is where the main character finds that his love has disappears and decides to leave the country but he does not make it, but his love has. Track 5: Thunder child This is the end of any organised resistance to the Martians as the Martians destroy the ironclad “Thunder child”. CD 2 Track 1: The red weed The vegetation that gives mars its red glow takes root on earth, the main character falls in with the curate. Track 2: The sprit of man The journalist, main character and the parson are trapped as a house that they are in is buried. Track 3: The red weed (pt 2) This shows us how the Martians feed upon; it is also the death of the curate. Track 4: Brave new world The artillery man makes an appearance again and tells us his plan of how to save humanity. Track 5: Dead London This is the most moving track in the whole story at the journalist walks through the streets of London which is totally empty except for a few Martians whom are dieing. Tracks 6 and 7: E
pilogue These track tell us how England comes alive again and also nice touch that is present day, with a Mars landing and a green jet of gas erupting from Mars again. The music is hard to describe but with out it this would be nothing. A good part of the whole story is the ending which leaves it open to a continuation of the storyline. This is probably one of my most listened to CD’s and hopefully you will find it the same if you were to get it.
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ULLAdubULLA 2000, COOL!!! This new year 2000 album contains tracks that have been remixed to create newer faster moving music beats. Many of the origional 1978 edition names are still present such as Phil Lynot, Justin Hayward, David Essex and of course the narrator Richard Burton. This album contains tracks that have been remixed and modified to give faster-moving rythyms and an altogether more pulse-racing tempo. DJ's, musicians and artists from around the world have collaborated as one to give an album which genuinely does justice to it's predecessor and even excells it slightly. Todd Terry, N Trance and Dario G are just a few of the names in this albums design and their creativity towards music are sure to have your heart beating and foot tapping like no other. The gaunt eerieness of such tracks as 'The Spirit of Man' and 'Thunderchild' contrast antithetically with the posetive vibes of 'Forever Autumn' and 'The Eve of the War'. My personal favourites of this album have to be Justin Haywards momentous singing against N Trances beautiful remix track of 'Forever Autumn'. Overall this nucleation of global talent and positive skills make 'ULLAdubULLA'one of the best buys of my life. Miss this at your peril!!! Thunderchild
I'm always wary of modern adaptations of old books. It's very easy for the person to get carried away with new technologies, and forget the concepts of the original book, in favour of new and 'better' visual or audible effects and impressive special touches. The original story is lost in a myriad of technological advances and the point is lost. Luckily, this didn't happen with Jeff Wayne's musical version of H.G. Wells' The War Of The Worlds. It did happen in the film version, which I hated, but Jeff Wayne has kept faithful to the original story, inflating the story with atmosphere and imagination. It's a popular album, with quite a cult following now, and with good reason. - The original author The War Of The Worlds is a novel written by early science fiction entrepreneur H.G. Wells. Born in 1866, Wells was one of the first to broach this new genre, years before his time in this kind of story. With books like 'The War Of The Worlds', 'The First Men In The Moon', and another of my favourites, 'The Time Machine' Wells managed to predict some of the great advances of the 20th century like tanks and the atomic bomb. Something of a visionary, Wells never strayed from his 'common man' view in his stories, and maybe it's this that made his so universally popular. He died in 1946 at the age of 80. - The style of the adaptation Jeff Wayne and his father Jerry Wayne put together this adaptation of H.G. Wells' epic novel in 1976 and 1977 after many years of preparation. It's cleverly done, and while the story is a clear part of the production, the music and it's style is ever-present throughout. It's an original style, and while the music isn't Mozart by any stretch of the imagination, it's certainly well styled to the subject matter. The 90 minute production is presented on two CDs, one for each book of the novel (The Coming Of The Martians
and The Earth Under The Martians), with a 30 page booklet containing the words from the CDs, some artwork, and some information about the artists involved in the production. The production itself is told as a voiceover over the music specially created for the purpose. So you'll have a small piece of narrative, and then some instrumental work, and then the music will fade slightly and you'll get more narrative. It's a style that works exceptionally well, and it adds atmosphere to the already tense text. - The story Set at the latter part of the 19th century, the story tells of an invasion by the Martians, travelling to Earth and dominating the frightened people with their three-legged tripod killing machines. It's a wonderful story at the best of times, but Jeff Wayne gives it even more life than it previously had, and so we end up with an epic production that really stands out as a classic of it's time. The music and the narrative combine to give you a vivid mental picture of what is happening, and the accompanying artwork by Geoff Taylor gives you a clear definition in your mind of exactly what everything looks like. It should be noted that this adaptation is not a literal translation of the book. Although most of the chapters are in the book, there are minor changes and omissions, but nothing that takes away from the bulk of the story. The main events and characters are still present, with only a few missing, and the absent parts of the story are just the less significant parts removed so as to reduce the length of the production as a whole. - The production So, you know a little about the whole story now, so what of it piece by piece? Well, the story is told as if from the perspective of a journalist, who provides the narrative that makes up the novel itself. Presented in the booklet as more like a script, the journalist provides a voiceover at some points, while taking part in dialogue at other times. It len
ds itself well to the style of the novel, and Doreen Wayne (the late wife of Jeff Wayne) has done an excellent job in adapting Wells' original work to fit the scenario in the musical version. I'll go through each CD track by track to try and give you an idea of what's happening: - CD1 – The Coming Of The Martians - The Eve Of War The first track is probably the most memorable. It starts with a short prologue based on the opening paragraphs of the book. It forms a brilliant introduction to the main story, and, as read by Richard Burton who plays the journalist, has quite an epic feel to it: "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. 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. Few men even considered the possibility of life on other planets and yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this Earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely, they drew their plans against us." This is the point where the music breaks in, with a certain amount of grandeur applied to the synthesised orchestral sounds, before it is transformed into an altogether more electronic affair, but still managing to maintain an epic feel about it. I suppose it's this strange combination of orchestral and electronica that creates a rather alien feel which remains throughout. The Eve Of War is reprised several times throughout the album, and you'll find yourself recognising strains of it coming into other tracks. This track covers the first few chapters of the book – the gaseous emission from Mars, the crashing of this 'cylinder' onto Horsell Common near the journalists house. The track ends with a rather eerie electronic sound with a heartbeat backing it, reflecting t
he alien nature of the landing cylinder, and the peculiarity of the way people continued with their everyday lives despite this bizarre event. - Horsell Common And The Heat Ray The next chapter starts with a strangely distorted plucking sound backed by the unscrewing of the cylinder. Then we have a kind of wah-wah effect giving the aliens life. It's hard to describe the sound of the rest of the track, save it has a very alien sound, with well played guitars and and strange synthesised sounds and strings. The narrative continues throughout this, as the aliens emerge and men are set aflame by the aliens 'Heat Ray'. The Martians building machines in their pit. - The Artilleryman And The Fighting Machine The plucking sound returns to accompany the dialogue which fills this track. The journalist is met by an artilleryman (played by David Essex) who has returned from the common after the other soldiers have been wiped out by the Martians fighting machines. As the two men decide they must head for London, we get a reprise of The Eve Of War with some great guitar solos. It's now that we meet the Martian's 'fighting machines' – mighty tripods armed with the heat rays we were introduced to on the common. And now we get our first taster of the Martian's 'war cry', written in Wells' novel as 'Aloo', but translating much better into Wayne's version as 'Ulla!', quite a chilling sound after you've hear it a few times! As the action picks up the pace a little, the music turns into a wonderful sounding combination of guitars and synthesisers along with the Martian's cry every so often, and it sounds great. - Forever Autumn In an aside from the book, the journalist reaches London to find what he came for – Carrie. We are never told who Carrie actually is, but the style of writing suggests that she is either the journalist's girlfriend or his wife. But when he
reaches London, Carrie and her father are gone, and the music starts for the Justin Hayward classic 'Forever Autumn'. Perhaps the highlight of the album, this is quite haunting beautiful, as many Moody Blues songs were, and this went on to become a hit in it's own right. It's perfect for reflecting the journalist's sense of loss with out his love, and it's the kind of song you can listen to on it's own – which is probably why it was a success. The song is interjected by the narrator, but not intrusively. The journalist decides to head for the coast, and a boat out of England. When the song reaches it's conclusion, we reach yet another reprise of the Eve Of War. It's not a problem – the reprises sound both brilliant and fit in with the rest of the music perfectly. They also help keep the pace of the story, and enhance the atmosphere. Then we have more narration with the journalist being carried along with the stampede towards the coast – just in time to see his Carrie leaving on a steamer. However, as the steamer leaves, a fighting machine appears across the horizon, followed by many more, blocking the exit of the steamer… - Thunder Child Between the steamer and the alien fighting machines lies the warship Thunder Child, ready to take on the Martians. It destroys one of them, before being melted by the Heat Rays of the others, but it buys the little steamer enough time to escape. This section has some more vocals singing of the glory and fall of the Thunder Child, with sections of narrative from the journalist. The guitar sections in this chapter are excellent too, and there are reminders of solos from other parts of the first CD to keep the atmosphere alive. Thunder Child sinks, and takes with it the hopes of man. The Earth belongs to the Martians. - CD2 – The Earth Under The Martians - The Red Weed (Part 1) The Earth is now covered by 'the vegetation which
gives Mars it's red appearance had taken root on Earth'. This is a rather eerie track, with gentle woodwind instruments accompanied by pitch bent and flanged synthesised instruments to add the Martian effect. It's quite slow and creeping, kind of unstoppable and inevitable in it's feel, which is exactly how the Red Weed is portrayed. The Martians have certainly taken hold of the planet now, with even their plants suffocating Earth's great landscape. - The Spirit Of Man On his travels, the journalist noticed the body of a parson is the wreckage of a churchyard. He decides he deserves a decent burial, rather than the unstoppable onslaught of the Red Weed, but as he goes over to the parson, a young woman runs over shouting his name. Parson Nathaniel (played by Philip Lynott of Thin Lizzy) awakens to the journalists surprise, but as his wife Beth (played by Julie Covington) goes to his aid, he shouts to her to keep clear, fearing she is the devil – he thinks that all the Martians and their work is related to the devil, and gets quite delirious with fear and anger. I should point out that this section is quite different to the book, but it works all the same. The start of this track is accompanied by tense choral effects, until we break into the main part which is a argument within a song between the Parson and Beth, where the Parson is despairing and Beth is still hopeful. It's quite a nice play off between the two, and the song is played with guitars and synthesisers in a kind of desperate ballad type style. It's one of the better parts of the production, and the idea to bring in Philip Lynott was an excellent idea, he makes the part come alive. A cylinder lands upon the house they are sheltering in, killing Beth and driving the Parson deeper into despair. The Parson and the journalist are trapped in the Martian's pit under the cylinder and watch them as they create a new machine for collecting up the
humans, and tossing them into a basket on it's back. - The Red Weed (Part 2) Another slow track with gentle drums and synthesisers, with a reprise of the first part of The Red Weed. The journalist and the Parson observe the Martians draining the blood of the people they captured and injecting it into themselves. The Parson becomes convinced that it is his job to 'cast out the demons' with the power of the Cross, and it isn't until the journalist drags him down into the cellar that he shuts up, having alerted the Martians to their presence. The Parson is captured by the Martians, and it isn't until many days later that the journalist escapes. The background music keeps a similar pace as the journalist continues his journey to London. - Brave New World The journalist meets up with the Artilleryman again, quite by accident, and he tells him of his grand plans to build a new world underground, only to discover that the Artilleryman's 'tunnel' is but a few yards long and it took him a week to build. David Essex sings a grand song about his plans with some nice guitar riffs to back it up. Not a bad song, but there's better on the first CD. - Dead London The journalist moves on, wandering through the empty streets of London, listening to the haunting cries of the Martians. His narrative is backed by gentle guitar and a disjointed and empty-feeling piano melody jumping from one note to the other in a despairing rhythm. The journalist decides in mad resolve that he doesn't deserve to live – he runs to the fighting machines to give himself to them. The madness prompts a final reprise of the initial track we heard right at the start, but as the journalist reaches the machine, he notices that there's something wrong. He runs to the Martians camp and finds them all dead. Their killer? The minute bacteria that we live side by side with on Earth – the Martians had no defence against it.
The invasion is over. - Epilogue (Part 1) With a marching beat and happy victorious synthesiser tunes, the journalist talks of life returning to normal, and speculates on the possibility of a second attack. The synthesisers are once again joined by guitars with rather joyous riffs and it all sounds as light-hearted and happy as it is meant. - Epilogue (Part 2) The second epilogue is a strange one. It takes the form of a NASA control communications, a mission to Mars. Suddenly Pasadena Control looses contact, and green flares start emitting from Mars! It's rather strange, but a nice aside to finish the CD on. So, that's the whole album (phew!). If I haven't convinced you that it's absolutely superb, then I'm sorry – borrow it off someone and you'll see what I mean! The music, artwork and story all intermingle to create a superb story that I can listen to again and again. It's not overly long (unlike this review!), so there's no problem in listening to it all the way through in one sitting, and I recommend you listen to it at least once. It's certainly worth the money, and it's a prized part of my collection. Thank you Jeff Wayne, but most of all – thank you H.G. Wells!
Jeff Waynes War of the Worlds is H.G.Wells classic story narrated by Richard Burton with dramatic music in the background & a few songs. I first bought this album on vinyl, but replaced it with the double CD. The story starts with a spaceship landing at Horsall common & a martian invasion begins. Slowly they came & building fighting machines to take over the earth. They were finaly defeated by the common cold. The story was broadcast on radio in the US in the 50's where the listeners thought the broadcast really was the Martians landing & panic soon spread. David Essex also appears on the album singing a brave new world. This is an album you have to listen to to get the full benefit, it is not background music. Richard Burtons narration is suitably haunting. The title track is one of the most dramatic works of modern music I have heard & sets the tone beautifully. I listen to this album only when I am alone as anyone trying to talk distracts me from the story.
War of the Worlds is an absolute stormer of an album. It belongs up there with 'The Wall' and 'The White Album' as an all time classic; an innovatory idea that I don't believe has ever been topped. Strictly it's not a soundtrack, in that it doesn't accompany anything else. It's a self contained fusion of rock, elctronica and narration which tells the story of H.G. Well's classic novel of the same title. Richard -the Voice- Burton narrates the story of earth's domination by creatures from Mars, composed entirely of brain, and stalking the earth in giant killing machines. There looks to be no hope for mankind, until it turns out that these creatures' immune systems weren't prepared for earthlife, and they all die of common colds or something. The music is absolutely brilliant! The dramatic opening chords have passed into the repertoire of motives that everyone recognizes, but can't place, along with the opening dadadadaaaaa from Beethoven's 5th. And there is endless electronic invention and bizarre sounds. More importantly, the music is very thoughtful, and infinitely varied. Although being often loop-based, repetitions carry subtle variations, so that it never becomes tedious in the way trance can. This album has to be heard to be believed. And if you like it, there is also a double album of remixes from Ulladubulla, which are also fun if a little less innovative.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 The Eve of the War - Introduction (Hybrid Remix)
2 The Artilleryman and the Fighting Machine (Max Mondo mix)
3 ULLAdubULLA (Papa Ootzie mix)
4 Eve of the war (DJ Sakin & Friends mix)
5 Spirit of man (Max Mondo mix)
6 Horsell Common and the heat ray (Max Mondo mix)
7 Forever Autumn (N-Trance mix)
8 Forever Autumn Fredericks & Schurrer dark autumn dub)
9 Thunder child (Mister JoyBoy mix)
10 The Eve of the War (Martian Mix) - Max Mondon Remix
11 The Red Weed (Mister JoyBoy Remix)
12 Spirit of man (KCW mix)
13 Brave new world (Todd Terry mix)
14 Dead London (Apollo 440 mix)
15 Dead London (Mister JoyBoy Remix)
16 Eve of the war (Hani Remix)
Disc #2 Tracklisting
1 The Eve of the War (Hybrid's Fire In The Sky Remix)
2 The Eve of the War (Sakin & Friends Remix)
3 The Eve of the War (Red Dawn Mix: Tilt Remix)
4 Dead London (Instrumental) Apollo 440 Remix
5 Brave New World (Todd Terry Remix)
6 Forever Autumn (N Trance Remix)
7 Forever Autumn (Dark Autumn Dub)
8 Brave New World (Dario G Remix)
9 The Red Weed (Glow In The Dark Mix)
10 The Eve of the War (Hani Remix 2)