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  • Jeff Wayne's Musical Version Of The War Of The Worlds - The New Generation
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Jeff Wayne's Musical Version Of The War Of The Worlds - The New Generation

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Jeff Wayne's Musical Version Of The War Of The Worlds - The New Generation + Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds: The New Generation [DVD] + The War Of The Worlds Live : Special Edition [2 disc] [DVD]
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Product details

  • Audio CD (26 Nov. 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Sony CMG
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (386 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,872 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. The Eve Of The War - Jeff Wayne featuring Liam Neeson and Gary Barlow
2. Horsell Common And The Heat Ray - Jeff Wayne featuring Liam Neeson
3. The Artilleryman And The Fighting Machine - Jeff Wayne featuring Liam Neeson and Ricky Wilson
4. Forever Autumn - Jeff Wayne featuring Liam Neeson and Gary Barlow
5. Thunder Child - Jeff Wayne featuring Liam Neeson and Alex Clare
Disc: 2
1. The Red Weed (Part 1) - Jeff Wayne featuring Liam Neeson
2. The Spirit Of Man - Jeff Wayne featuring Liam Neeson, Joss Stone and Maverick Sabre
3. The Red Weed (Part 2) - Jeff Wayne featuring Liam Neeson and Maverick Sabre
4. The Artilleryman Returns - Jeff Wayne featuring Liam Neeson and Ricky Wilson
5. Brave New World - Jeff Wayne featuring Liam Neeson and Ricky Wilson
6. Dead London (Part 1) - Jeff Wayne featuring Liam Neeson
7. Dead London (Part 2) - Jeff Wayne featuring Liam Neeson and Gary Barlow
8. Epilogue (Part 1) - Jeff Wayne featuring Liam Neeson
9. Epilogue (Part 2) (NASA) - Jeff Wayne featuring Jerry Wayne and Lewis MacLeod

Product Description

Product Description

In 2012, an all New Generation of artists guest on a fresh recording of one of the most iconic albums of all time. Originally released in 1978, Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of The Worlds remains an award-winning landmark masterpiece that has continually won new fans. For 2012, Jeff embarked on a new interpretation with guest stars every bit as talented as their illustrious predecessors. He has once again brought HG Wells’ classic novel to life on a new double album.
Two of the modern era's most respected artists, Oscar-nominated actor Liam Neeson and celebrated singer/songwriter/producer and Take That’s main man Gary Barlow play the two key roles of The Journalist and The Sung Thoughts of The Journalist. Gary is the new voice of the singles "The Eve of The War" and "Forever Autumn". A life-long fan of the original album, he was most excited at the chance to appear on the new one. He says: "I've been a huge fan of The War of The Worlds score since I was a kid, so to be asked to work with the legend that is Jeff Wayne was a real privilege."
Thirty-four years on, Liam Neeson inherits his role from Richard Burton, whose voice is an abiding memory for a generation haunted by his album narration. While a hard act to follow, he makes the role his own. Liam says: "I knew and loved the book from when I was a teenager and it was an easy persuasion. And I bought the album in 1979 when I was working in Ireland. I still have that little cassette.”
Ricky, from the Kaiser Chiefs, takes over from David Essex’s classic rendition as The Artilleryman. Ricky commented: “Jeff Wayne’s The War of The Worlds is part of the musical landscape and I have always been a fan. It is daunting to do because people love it so much. I got the email from Jeff Wayne inviting me to be part of it and that is not something you can say ‘No’ to.”
Bringing a fresh sound to the role of Parson Nathaniel is acclaimed new singer Maverick Sabre. Originally performed by Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott, Maverick performs with Joss Stone, the stunning choice to play Parson Nathaniel’s wife; their performances on "The Spirit Of Man" are truly mesmerising. Hot new talent, Alex Clare, following his breakout hit "Too Close", takes over as The Voice of Humanity, originally recorded by Chris Thompson.
This is a limited edition hardback digipack format.

BBC Review

H. G. Wells has long been a popular source of inspiration for film and theatre. Film adaptations of his work, such as The Time Machine and The Shape of Things to Come, have proved hugely influential; while his autobiographical tale Kipps became the hit musical Half a Sixpence for stage and screen.

Jeff Wayne composed and produced his original concept album take on Wells’ 1898 novel The War of the Worlds in 1978. It was issued to coincide with the 40th anniversary of Orson Welles' audacious adaptation of the novel for CBS radio, a broadcast that had some listeners believing that Martians had really arrived on Earth.

In this new, updated version, Wayne rekindles that peculiarly intimate feeling of listening to an old-style radio drama in the Welles manner, albeit with the narrative spoken over a sizeable orchestra overlaid with electronic effects.

In the original 1978 version, the role of the narrator/journalist was played by Richard Burton, who wove his sombre bardic magic around some pretty flat-footed dialogue. Liam Neeson now narrates in a gentler Celtic register, his extended cues somewhat divided by too much repetitive music.

Other star names in the new cast include Gary Barlow singing the plaintive Forever Autumn, Joss Stone in the thoughtful number The Spirit of Man, and best of all, Ricky Wilson from Kaiser Chiefs. The latter sings, with full fervour, Wells' utopian hymn to a Brave New World.

Despite adjustments to the instrumentation and some eerie new music for the Martians, this piece remains very much of its time – when grandiose symphonic sound met rock in a battle of wills. Brave New World is a reminder of the early Rice/Lloyd Webber songs and the film music of John Barry is echoed in the scene where the Martians arrive on Horsell Common. But is the incident of the unscrewing of the cylinder releasing the Martians across the Home Counties supposed to raise a laugh?

The recording, as heard through a surround sound system, packs a hefty wallop. And this release is nicely timed, as the show embarks on a UK tour in celebration of the father of science fiction, the very same H. G. Wells.

--Adrian Edwards

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

110 of 116 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin Dover on 26 Nov. 2012
Format: Audio CD
Despite some reservations, I bought this blind on the first day of release since I've always been a fan of the original and have got all the different versions that's been released, the original vinyl of course (bought some 25 years ago), the remastered CD bonus track edition, the 7-disc collector's edition, the ULLAdubULLA remix albums, the live DVD and I've also seen the live show on the first tour in 2006, so I should be well qualified to comment :-)

On the whole I think it's a great addition to all the other versions. The reservation I had was in particular the choice of Gary Barlow to replace Justin Hayward for the sung thoughts of the journalist, however he actually carries himself off without too much embarrassment, but only because he manages to imitate Justin Hayward's performance quite well. Joss Stone makes it her own and her performance as a more gutsy Beth is a nice touch and brings her character up-to-date. Liam Neeson is engaging and in top form throughout, and very brave considering that he knew comparisons to Richard Burton would be inevitable.

The rest of the performances are a bit middle-of-the-road by various youngish talent. Alex Clare steps into Chris Thomspon's shoes as "the voice of humanity", Maverick Sabre takes on Phil Lynott's part as Parson Nathanial and Ricky Wilson (Kaiser Chiefs' frontman) is the artilleryman originally played by David Essex. I wish Jeff Wayne had stuck with the actor Alexis James as the artilleryman from the first tour, he was brilliant, and the powerful vocals of Chris Thompson from the same cast is sorely missed, but I suppose the purpose of this "new generation" version is to appeal to younger listeners by using contemporary pop/rock stars instead, in fact that's exactly what the original did back in the day.
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67 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. Dawson-Butterworth on 3 Dec. 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Having grown up with the original version, and then seen the tour a few years ago, I was looking forward very much to Jeff Wayne's New Generation Version. I realised that I needed to approach the new album without my biased opinion of the album that was a very formative part of my childhood. I was particularly looking forward to the development of the story, which Jeff Wayne had alluded to in the pre-release interviews.

Hence my confusion - where is it? This is basically a re-recording of the original with new singers and actors and new musical interpretation. Albeit there is some updating of the dialogue - the story content is exactly the same. (before anyone has a go at me - yes, I know that it's based on the book!)

So the good points - I think Jeff Wayne has updated the original score very sensitively with 85% of the original musical ideas present. The new additions are well placed and I particularly like the incorporation of dance music styles (even some Dub Step!). Gary Barlow's performance is particularly good - both in keeping with Justin Hayward's original, but also bringing his own unique trademarks.
Liam Neeson's voice is a wise choice to replace Richard Burton and his tonal qualities work well. I can't help feeling though that his dialogue feels slightly rushed, and therefore is a bit lacking in the potential drama that I know he can deliver.

And the bad points: For me, the drama is the main ingredient lacking on the New Generation version. I don't know the process of how Jeff picked the New Gen. recording artists - the singing is on the whole very good, but I'm not convinced by the acting - particularly in the dialogue between the main songs (by the characters - not Liam Neeson).
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jon Near on 12 Dec. 2012
Format: Audio CD
Oh dear! Where do we start with this? At the begining perhaps? I first heard WOTW in 1978, when it was played to me by my Aunt & Uncle. I was instantly captivated by the story and have enjoyed the occasional listen (at least twice a year) over that 34 year period so I know the original version pretty much inside out. So it was with an open mind that I approached this updated version. I think what one needs to remember here is Jeff Wayne probably hasn't tried to 'improve' the original just update or modernise it. Not that it needs modernisiation in my opinion but this isn't about the original its about this. I didn't listen to it to compare it to the original, which was hard but I wanted to try and judge it on its own merit, perhaps trying to be a newcomer to the experience. So whats the veridct. Well the title of my review sums it up. Its like when you where a kid and your Dad was going out on the Razz and wearing something entirely innapropriate, trying to be trendy but failing miserably. I say my dad I'm probably summing myself up here now! The 'updates' to the album consist of the occasional bit of 'techno', which is something I'm not adverse to. I was brought up on House/Disco/techno so have got an ear for it. This album tries too hard, there's random 'electro' noises, echo's and pauses which are entirley unecessary. Its like someones very poor interpretation of how 'this new techno music' should sound. A bit like Richard Madely meets the chemical brothers..

The characters....
Liam Neeson - The Journalist. Awful, drab, dull, dispassionate, think Qui-Gon on tramadol. Again not comparing to Richard Burton, that wouldn't be fair but there's so many better voice actors that could of narrated this.
Gary Barlow - The singing voice of the journalist/Ogilvy.
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