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This review is from: Jeff Wayne's Musical Version Of The War Of The Worlds - The New Generation (Audio CD)
I'm a big fan of the original 1978 version of "The War Of The Worlds" - it was the first album I ever bought, I loved it at the time and it still stands up to listening today - one of progressive rock's milestone recordings, with superb performances from such luminaries as Richard Burton and Phil Lynott.
So I approached this new version with a degree of trepidation, and a lot of curiosity - what would an update of the original 35 years on actually be? Well, after a thorough listen, I'm afraid the answer is "an inferior carbon copy". The differences between this and the original are tiny - some small changes to instrumentation, a few extra paragraphs of narration and some extra sound effects. That's it - that's the sum total of what has changed. Even the vocalists are all quite clearly imitating the delivery of the artists on the original recording - Maverick Sabre seems to be openly aping Phil Lynott's manner of speaking, and Liam Neeson is doing his best Burton impression, albeit with a slight Irish burr as opposed to Welsh. I'll admit that, for me, Rickie Wilson (of The Kaiser Chiefs) slightly improves on David Essex's original version of Brave New World, but that alone isn't enough to justify this album.
Really, it's a pointless attempt to bolster Jeff Wayne's pension pot. He might sell a few copies to fans of Joss Stone, Maverick Sabre and the Kaiser Chiefs, but it isn't really a style of music that will actually appeal to said fans, and fans of the original will surely just wonder why they should listen to this when they have the original anyway.
The original "War Of The Worlds" has stood the test of time, as the ongoing interest in it (tour, re-releases etc) shows - 35 years on, people still remember it. I'm prepared to bet that in 35 more years, the original will still be fondly thought of - this version, however, will be completely (and quite rightly) forgotten about. If you don't have the original, buy it instead of this version - if you do have the original, there's nothing here worth bothering with.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 28 Nov 2012 14:03:49 GMT
Leigh Booker says:
I totally agree. I love the original and have seen the tour twice. Gary Barlow is okayish and so is Alex Clare, though not a patch on Justin Haywood and Chris Thompson.
I liked Ricky Wilson but Maverick Sabre is just awful. I cringed when I listened to him. I was not impressed with Joss Stone either. I see that Kerry Ellis is doing the tour and feel that she would have been a better choice.
In reply to an earlier post on 1 Dec 2012 11:09:34 GMT
S. Miller says:
Posted on 1 Dec 2012 12:15:16 GMT
J. D. Sims says:
Sorry, but I don't agree at all. I have been a huge fan of the original since it's launch, and enjoyed the shows. I have tickets for this tour aswell. I am enjoying the sutble changes in this new version, and I find I have stopped trying to compare them. As I see it, I now have a choice of two great versions to listen to. If only someone would put the same amount of love and effort into making a movie that reflects the original story, ie Victorian England, with an orchestrated soundtrack version of this album, I would be in pure H G Heaven. Well done Mr Wayne, I salute your vision. Now give Danny Boyle or J J Abrams the script.....
In reply to an earlier post on 23 Dec 2012 18:54:45 GMT
A. Simmons says:
I agree wholeheartedly with this review particularly the last bit. It's like the Band Aid song - everybody remembers the original version but how many people remember Band Aid 2's version?
Incidentally I saw the show of WOTW at the O2 in London last weekend and thought it was great, particularly Jason Donovan as the Parson. I wish they'd used this tour cast for the new version of the album as the tour is also called 'The New Generation'.
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