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The War of the Worlds [7-disc Collector's Edition] [Hybrid SACD, Collector's Edition, Import, Box set]

Julie Covington, Jeff Wayne, Richard Burton, Justin Hayward, David Essex, et al. Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (296 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Audio CD (13 Jun 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 7
  • Format: Hybrid SACD, Collector's Edition, Import, Box set
  • Label: Sony/BMG
  • ASIN: B0009MA932
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  Mini-Disc  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (296 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 153,397 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Product Description

Product Description

This is the 7-disc Collector's Edition, which includes remixes, outtakes and a DVD documentary. Released 40 years after Orson Welles' infamous radio version of the HG Wells tale, Jeff Wayne's musical version of War of the Worlds straddles old-style radio drama and contemporary orchestrated narratives by Rick Wakeman and David Bedford. And while it lacks the sophisticated arrangements of, say, Journey to the Centre of the Earth, it does boast an impressively odd cast--this may be the only time that a member of Thin Lizzy worked with Richard Burton. Indeed, it's Burton's sonorous tones that sustain this work; his frequent solo narrations are eminently listenable, whereas sections featuring dialogue with other characters often come off as a bit stilted. The music is competent studio rock, and "Horsell Common and the Heat Ray" does strike just the right balance between Burton's narration and an accompaniment built around a buzzsaw guitar riff. Overall, it's pleasant as a period piece, and still a fine way to introduce younger listeners to Wells' classic tale. (And if you can find it in a vinyl, it comes with a nicely produced narrative booklet with gloriously lurid illustrations by Geoff Taylor.) --Paul Collins, All Music Guide

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
52 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bloody Fantastic! 29 Nov 2005
Format:Audio CD
First things first. If you`ve read the other reviews that are here and they say that the 5.1 audio track will not play in their DVD players, there is a simple reason for that... They don`t support the Super Audio CD format, that`s all. These DVD players should be able to playback the 2 channel remastered version that is also on the disc. And Blimey is it good! Jeff Wayne is a total Genius and 30 years on this new remix of the album is sounding as fresh as if it was recorded recently. The 5.1 works really well and the story is captured so beautifully on this album.
One major piece of advice, if you can afford it, do order the "Collectors Edition", comes with superb book, the new mix, and a couple of other cds with remixes, and outtakes, there is even a version of Richard Burton`s speech without music, which reads like a talking book. Adding to that, a DVD about the history of the album this represents excellent value for money. A must buy!
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160 of 163 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic piece of the 1970s British music 8 Mar 2003
Format:Audio CD
I love this album! It was the first album I ever bought in about 1979. I'd been badgering people for some money towards it for my eighth birthday and then, when the day finally came, I remember coming back on the bus with it proudly tucked under my arm. The original had a large picture booklet with some fascinating paintings of the Earth under the rule of the martians - I particularly remember the one of the crows picking at the flesh of hoods of the martian tripods and these are faithfully reproduced in the new CD booklet.
This is a very unusual record that is quite unlike anything else before or since. It features superb musicianship with classic thumping 70s basslines from the excellent Herbie Flowers and top vocal performances from the likes of Justin Hayward, Phil Lynott and David Essex. Richard Burton's narration is hypnotic and the words are strangely poetic in a way HG Wells' original book isn't.
The recording still sounds just as good to me today and the CD remastering brings it to life in new ways I hadn't heard before.
If you have never come across this album, I would highly recommend it as a strange and satisfying listening experience. If you had it years ago, why not renew your acquaintance with this 70's classic?
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ULLAH!...indeed! 8 July 2005
Format:Audio CD
I remember this album when I was a kid back in '78 I believe. It captured my imagination then and still does.
Obviously it has been re-released to capitalise on the new movie, however it is not a cheap shot.
This SACD 5.1 re-master and re-mix is one of the best SACD's I've heard.
Many people may not like the rather Prog-Rock music, but to those who do this album has it all.
The 5.1 sound is jaw dropping. I have never heard the music so sharp and clearly defined. Vocals stand out, guitar parts that were once hidden deep in the stereo mix now have more intensity (listen to The Heat-Ray). The synths sound as if they are plugged straight into your amp and whirl around the room. There is a lot of dramatic use of panning, front to back, left to right etc and whilst this would ruin most music in TWotW it is all part of the drama. At times the music thunders through your speakers at others it is soft and rolling (The Red Weed). Maybe my only complaint is that at times the change between soft and loud is quite abrupt. However it adds to the overall effect.
If you own an SACD player and have like this wonderfully eccentric Concept album them you must buy this. Worth every penny!!
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100 of 103 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real, long overdue treat for fans 30 Jun 2005
Format:Audio CD
This is an excellent package for die-hard fans of this epic work. The sound quality is superb when listened to on a conventional cd player, but it is awesome when heard in 5.1 surround sound. It serves to remind us how innovative and powerful this album remains today. Although the musicians were fairly well known, they weren't big name stars and it's amazing to think they produced music and atmospheres of this quality. Imagine some of their equivalents today producing such work. No, I can't either! The real gem is the outtakes disc. It's very interesting to hear Richard Burton working with David Essex and the two of them sharing laughs, although David Essex is clearly nervous due to the presence and sheer charisma of Richard Burton. The Spirit Of Man alternate versions and band run-throughs make fascinating listening too. The lyrics altered considerably before the final version was nailed. The documentary offers a great insight into the making of the album and compliments the info in the book very well. The artwork in the book and the package in general is both beautifully and lavishly presented. The original paintings are here as with the double vinyl release, but they're more vibrant and clean without losing any of their eerie charm. Overall, this is a fascinating, worthwhile package, but I would only recommend it to the dedicated fan. The asking price, from the stand point of a War Of The Worlds fanatic, is quite reasonable, but it could possibly be too great for the casual fan. My only criticism concerns the paper sleeves that the discs are sleeved in. They are flimsy and a bit cheap looking compared to the rest of the package and the artwork that adorns them does not match the quality found elsewhere in the book and cover. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
I originally had the vinyl version and decided to update this with cd. Sound improved and no chance of scratches hopefully.
Published 4 days ago by Wattygadget
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant album that's stood the test of time!
Brilliant is the only word for it! Certainly stood the test of time. Never tire of listening to it. One of my all time favourite albums. Read more
Published 11 days ago by JOHN TAYLOR
5.0 out of 5 stars The War of the Worlds
Bought this CD for my husband. He already has the original Vinyl recording but wanted to play this in the car. Good recording and would buy again.
Published 18 days ago by Surreymaid
4.0 out of 5 stars War Of The Worlds
Still as good as I remember it - even though several of the artists are dead! I really love the song "Thunder Child", although all tracks are good.
Published 22 days ago by sean fegan
5.0 out of 5 stars The War of The World - 30th Anniversary Edition
Great update.
Excellent sonics and of course Richard Burton is incredible.
Even better than the original vinyl version in my opinion.
Published 1 month ago by David
5.0 out of 5 stars What a find
Speedy delivery. Exactly as described. Great value. Bought as a gift, and the recipient just loved it. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Sophocles
5.0 out of 5 stars War of the worlds....
Just as good as I remember it was.
Timeless classic, a must have album, one that will get played again and again.
Published 1 month ago by Craig Priest
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Album
I always wanted to own this album on CD after having it on tape. This is great and the MP£ download meant I could listen to it straight away. The bonus extras are fab too :-)
Published 1 month ago by Katie Pugh
5.0 out of 5 stars An Audio Treat
A balanced combination of music and dialogue to give a good atmosphere. Stimulates the imagination which would be lost if there was video.
Published 1 month ago by A J G
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Really excellent product and the whole transaction was very good. Would recommend this product. Really interesting DVD and well worth the money.
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
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