24 January 2013

Jeff Wayne - The War of The Worlds

Stories have a way of staying with us; the idea of Martians has been around for an awful long time and seems to grip us every now and then.  This is the 1978 musical version of The War of The Worlds - based on the story by H.G. Wells and which is currently 38th in the best selling albums in the UK ever. Not bad for a prog album.

As timeless as it is dated, no other musical decade other than the 70's, the rich sounds, the keyboards, the vocals, the guitar work, the keyboards, everything about the album just scream retro. It was probably retro even then. The story is done over two discs & just shy of 95 minutes it tells the tale of Victorian England and a Martian invasion.  The first disc is the story of the beginning of the war, and the second disc is about the oppression of the human race and the eventual defeat of the Martins due to the fact they get a cold.

Featuring the talents of Richard Burton, David Essex, Phil Lynott, Julie Covington and Justin Hayward it is a very long and brilliant album. "The Eve of War" is my favourite of the whole thing, it was made into a remix in the early 90's (which is on most versions that is released of this album). However, as much as I love this album, I find it hard to mark. I have never met a person who upon hearing it has just said 'yeah, that was alright....' - it is either love or hate. The new version is a different story, but this one divides like a court case regarding some sort of civil liberty.

I was toying with the idea of giving it the Chaney mark, but I think it is one I can mark, instead of one that a mark makes no difference for - please see my review of Frank Zappa's Civilization Phase III for details. It is sci-fi fun, very much of its era and perfect for a little trip outside of the norm.

7 out of 10 - This is good and well worth a check

You can purchase from here

You can listen to it on Spotify here

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