Top positive review
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A feast for both eyes and ears
on 29 December 2013
I think my Mum described it best - this recording of the new live WOTW show is an entertainment feast. The New Generation version is an augmentation, rather than a wholesale revision, of the original - so fans of the latter need not worry. The likes of Richard Burton, Phil Lynott and Justin Hayward are irreplaceable but the new cast performs gamely. As Jeff Wayne himself says in one of the interviews, the aim was for new interpretations, rather than attempts to copy the original vocals. The accompaniment of visual scenes and stage props (including the impressive Martian fighting machine) adds considerably to the audio narrative and is frequently integrated into the progression of the story with a high degree of artistry and cleverness. The centerpiece, however, remains the music and it is as joyous as ever. The band and orchestra (including veterans of the original album Herbie Flowers and Chris Spedding) are on fine form and hold you transfixed right from the opening bars of Eve of the War. It would particularly reward the use of a proper sound system, as the rich, multi-layered sonic complexity is inevitably truncated when heard through standard TV speakers.
DVDs that offer, pound-for-pound, this much enjoyment for the money are rare. I would strongly recommend it to both fans of the original and those who have yet to experience Jeff Wayne's masterpiece. Stunning.