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War of the Worlds

[War of the Worlds] Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds
Jeff Wayne
Columbia, 1978
Amazon.co.uk: CD
Amazon.ca: CD
Amazon.com: CD
Recommended by: Greg Slade

Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds is a free-standing rock opera, rather than a soundtrack from a film (although in my opinion, it just cries out to have a really spiffy animated film made up to match the music and narration.) Originally released in 1978 as a double LP, it was re-released on CD in 1985, and then re-released again in 1996, with some remixed versions of some of the songs tacked onto the end. (This explains why, much to my astonishment, I heard "Forever Autumn" on the radio. Even FM stations tend not to play longer pieces, or stuff which isn't near the top of the charts. I love that song, but it would appear that what put it on the playlists was the remix version, rather than the original.) All up, this is an extremely good piece of work. Richard Burton's voice reading, "No one would have believed, in the last years of the nineteenth century, that human affairs were being watched from the timeless worlds of space...." sends a chill down my spine, and the combination of faithfulness to the story with some excellent music makes it one of my all-time favourite albums. (I put it on our CD/radio alarm when I want to freak out my roommate in the morning. The dramatic flourish of strings at the beginning makes it really hard to keep on sleeping.)

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