An iconic album gets the kiss of life this month as Jeff Wayne’s classic The War of the Worlds is handed over to some of today’s biggest musical stars ahead of a UK tour which hosts a collection of stars from stage and screen.
The science fiction novel, written by H.G Wells back in 1898, has gone through many transformations over the years. Countless films, television series and stage shows have paid tribute to one of the greatest pieces of science fiction literature in history. In 1978 musical veteran Jeff Wayne took on the biggest task of his career. Enlisting the help of actor Richard Burton and musician David Essex to voice characters for the record, Wayne created a concept album unlike any other. Using an orchestral landscape of strings and progressive rock he was able to retell the classic through music, allowing people into a menacing tale of alien invasion. Captivating, emotive, scary – the record is truly iconic. Almost 35 years after its release, it currently holds the title of 38th best-selling album of all time in the UK and has, since its release, sold in excess of 15 million copies worldwide – 2.5 million in the UK alone.
A new stage show is set to tour Europe and will see some of the biggest names in music including Marti Pallow of Wet Wet Wet fame, Eighties heartthrob Jason Donovan and Kaiser Chiefs front man Ricky Wilson all joining the casting ranks and is set to be a memorable show.
To coincide with the stage show performances which see dates at London’s Wembley Arena on Dec 6th and the O2 Arena on December 15th , Wayne has produced a brand new recording of his 1978 masterpiece. With the tagline ‘New Generation’, War of the Worlds is pushed into modern day once again and finds its place easily into our hearts with an outstanding return down memory lane as it takes us on a journey through one of the most haunting stories in literature history. Notable artists provide key performances on the new recording with Gary Barlow, Joss Stone and Ricky Wilson all adding their talents to the record. Hollywood A-lister Liam Neeson also joins the line-up, taking over Richard Burton’s role of The Journalist and providing the casting centerpiece to both the record and the touring stage show.
Wayne’s new interpretation of the H.G Wells classic pairs Neeson with Barlow on tracks like the story’s signature synth heavy piece The Eve of The War as well as Forever Autumn. On the former, Neeson adds a heavy narration, helping the story toward its fatal beginning while Barlow’s vocals ring throughout the latter half of the track.
Ricky Wilson takes over the role originally played by David Essex, lending his distinctive vocals to 3 additions to the track listing; The Artilleryman Returns, The Artilleryman and the Fighting Machine and the closing The Brave New World while songstress Joss Stone joins Neeson and rising talent Maverick Sabre who portrays the character of Parson Nathaniel on The Spirit of Man.
Recreating such a musical legacy can be both challenging and risky but Wayne’s new interpretation of a musical masterpiece has been given every ounce of detail it deserves and offers a whole new generation of science fiction aficionado’s something fresh to wrap their ears around while the recording allows the world to adore this iconic story of alien invasion once again.
::: RenownedForSound.com’s Editor and Founder –
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