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War of the Worlds

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Artist: Various
Title: Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds
Genre: Soundtrack-Progressive Rock
Format: SACD
Label: Columbia/Legacy

I can hardly wait for the premier of War of the Worlds at the end of this month. This is a movie with a lot of history behind it. Who can forget Orson Welles’ famous radiobroadcast that people actually believed. You have to hand it to Welles for being such an extraordinary actor. Today he would never get away with it but on Halloween Oct. 30, 1938 he shocked a nation. If this had transpired in the present day, he would have ended up in court with a pending jail term in front of him. I remember watching the original movie when I was a child and being in total awe. I can only imagine how good the new version will be with the special effects.

Well not only is there a new version of the movie, the 1978 classic recording Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds is available in a stunning 2 CD SACD set. The sound is spellbinding on a surround sound system.

This is a magnificent collection of music and drama. Richard Burton performs the narration very eloquently. Burton’s voice was very refined, Shakespearian if you will. While his inflection is very magnetic, it was at the same terrifying as he told the story and exchanged parts with other actors on this soundtrack. The music is superb featuring such luminaries as Justin Hayward (The Moody Blues) and Phil Lynott (Thin Lizzy) including orchestration of the narratives by Rick Wakeman and David Beford. It seems Mr. Wayne got the very best for this captivating production.

Science fiction and progressive rock fans will gobble this up. I know it was not hard for me to enjoy.

© Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck

June 22, 2005


Disc: 1

1. Eve of the War (9:07)
2. Horsell Common and the Heat Ray (11:36)
3. Artilleryman and the Fighting Machine (10:36)
4. Forever Autumn (7:42)
5. Thunder Child (6:07)

Disc: 2

1. Red Weed, Pt. 1 (5:53)
2. Spirit of Man (11:38)
3. Red Weed, Pt. 2 (5:25)
4. Brave New World (12:15)
5. Dead London (8:35)
6. Epilogue, Pt. 1 (2:31)
7. Epilogue, Pt. 2 (1:50)

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  • John Gosling

    You can find lots on the various versions of War Of The Worlds over the years at the War Of The Worlds invasion site (, including movies that reference or relate in so way to the book, radio play or movie. Oh, and Jeff Wayne is gearing up for an all CGI reworking of his musical for release next year.