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Jeff Wayne's Musical Version Of The War Of The Worlds: The New Generation (2CD)

Artist: Jeff Wayne

    (14 customer reviews)  |  Write a review

Customer Reviews

"Average rating (14 reviews)"

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  A Classic Album spawns a New Classical Recording!

| | See all Caramon's reviews (77)

I have been a fan of the original Jeff Wayne recording since its release over thirty years ago, so was looking forward to this re-recording with some mixed feelings.

I need not have worried though, as the music is just as great as in the original, and the extended voice over by Liam Neeson (one of my favourite actors anyway!) is as compelling as ever. Liam Neeson was a superb choice for the dialogue, and creates a commanding presence throughout the music, showing a natural succession to the originals Tim Burton.

The rest of the cast are likewise superb, particularly Ricky Wilson as the Artilleryman (my favourite role of the CD) and Gary Barlow sings Forever Autumn just as well as Justin Haywood did in the original version.

So yes, this is a thumbs up from me, one of the greatest fans of the original recording. Just listen to it expecting some of the sounds to be different - there is no use rerecording a CD if you are going to produce exactly the same thing - and enjoy the extra narration, and you may just enjoy the new recording as much as I do. Well done to all involved, creating a new version of an old classic which will, hopefully, appeal to a whole New Generation of fans!

  Good tribute

| | See all sdh963's reviews (164)

Decent enough tribute to the original. I would have loved to see the same tale told from the point of view of a different protagonist.

Different survivor with a different experience would have made a great sequel.

  What was the point?

| | See all MattK84's reviews (5)

As others have said this rework is so close to the original it wonders why they bothered -cough- money -cough-.

Liam Neeson can't rival Richard Burton's delivery and feel that someone like Patrick Stewart or Ian McKellen would have done a far better job bringing the necessary gravitas.
As for the songs most are so close to the original you don't notice but as for 'The Eve of the War' they seem to have gone with something more akin to the 20 plus year old Ben Liebrand remix.

Enjoyable but if you own the original there really is no need to buy this.


| | See all MSLADYTHOMP's reviews (60)

Somewhere in the spirit of...originality..hmm....hmm and hmmm!
I love the original album, I also love Liam Neeson. But in comparison to the original album it is not as good...which I did expect anyway.
It is ok but there are some parts that are not good at all, like the lead sound on the Artillery man one, it is such a bad sound in my opinion and makes the whole track sound horrible.
I think this album has come about because of the revamps they have done to the stage show. I think it is fine really but doesn't come near to the original album and the voices of the original people..
I liked the stage show where they used Richard Burton's face was a hologram, That was far better than adding Liam Neeson, as I thin it was nice to still kind of include him on the stage.
Although I really do like Liam Neeson I think Jeff Wayens Musical version is far from the same without Burton's voice on it and of course Justin Heyward..such a nice voice, I know whine whine whine...but I suppose it is nice to have is an alternative version of the album..and I suppose I should stop complaining about this one as I still have the original one to listen to anyway.
But I think the problem with Liam Neeson's voice is because I have been listening to the album for years with Richard Burton's voice, always when you hear someone else repeating the same thing your mind is used to hearing a different voice so automatically it doesn't sound so good. Also I am so used to hearing Liam Neeson in so many films now, so it is kind of difficult for my mind to accept him on this album.. maybe after several listens.
I shouldn't really put the album down so much as it is good, it is just some of that class and originality is lost due to some modernized tweaks. But I think there is a phrase that definitely is appropriate here...less is more..as there is addition dialogue, even on the first intro..it sounded overall better with these pieces of dialogue deleted but as a fan of the album, it is nice to hear it this way as well as part of the full album. So although the original is better to is good to have it this way too I suppose.


| | See all Quiggan's reviews (166)

Having been an avid fan of JEFF WAYNE'S MUSICAL VERSION OF THE WAR OF THE WORLDS since the late 1970s, and listening to this classic album many more times than I care to remember (including live on stage a couple of years ago), I was naturally thrilled to hear that it was going to be re-released with an entirely new cast.

Acclaimed Irish actor LIAM NEESON takes over narration duties from Welshman RICHARD BURTON to tell the story of an Alien invasion from Mars in the late nineteenth century. The Martians travel to Earth in huge cylinders and emerge with their terrifying heat ray weaponry and gigantic tripod war machines to wreck havoc and destruction upon Victorian England.

During his ordeal to escape the advancing Martians, a young journalist (NEESON) meets various characters including an idealistic Artilleryman (RICKY WILSON), a doubt-ridden Parson (MAVERICK SABRE) and his pragmatic wife (JOSS STONE) while at the same time witnessing key events like the destruction of the mighty Ironclad, Thunderchild.

I was extremely happy with this new recording and pleasantly surprised at how much more additional content had been included to help flesh out the story. A nice touch, too, was the water effect during the first tripod attack!

While perhaps NEESON sounds a little too calm in his narration and there is not quite the same level of intensity in the song SPIRIT OF MAN as previously expressed by JULIE COVINGTON and PHILIP LYNOTT in the original version, these are only mild criticisms in what builds convincingly on an already outstanding body of work.

The two discs come nicely packaged in a little booklet which also includes biographies of the cast, a full transcript of the entire text (with additional content in gold for easy reference) and the original pictures have been redrawn, too.

Consequently some people will hate this NEXT GENERATION edition simply because they love the original version so much, but hopefully they will still give it the chance which it so richly deserves!

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  Hit and Miss

| | See all Fewzzypop's reviews (20)

The original was such a classic, it was always going to be tough to do capture it all again.

First the narration, Liam has a great voice but there is no 'voice acting' and he is the same tone all the way through and is like reading from a book, a real missed opportunity, Burton is irreplaceable here, they should have definetly kept this voice in this version.

This version is both a hit and a miss, you see disc one is spot on, Except for Liams narration, but ok, Gary barlow surprisingly does Forever Autumn really well, Thunderchild is sung good too. Disc one is very good.

Sadly it falls apart with Disc two, the Red Weed still drones and drags on and the missed chance of updating the red Weed has passed by.
Now the real stinker, The Spirit of Man, well Joss Stone does ok really but Nathaniel is laughable, he sounds like a posh schoolboy and does not do this justice one ounce. My favourite track suddenly is my least favourite.
Then you have Brave New World, again this doesnt cut it, very poor.

Also silly special effect sounds, pointless dubbing during the tracks etc are just out of place and sound retarded and desperate to sound new and i hope the original hasnt been cheapened by this version.

Disc one equals very good.
Disc two equals terrible.


| | See all jimHEFF's reviews (1)

What can i say about this that won't be blanked out!!!! i am a massive fan of the original and downloaded this version to see what they have done with it. wow, sat listening to it actually shouting at it saying 'how did they get away with this'!!! i love liam neeson, however this is by far the worst thing he has ever done. the whole album is exactly the same as the original but obviously with new voice overs. you can not simply replace the greats such as richard burton and phil lynot and not expect any criticism. quite frankly, avoid this CD at all costs and buy the original, far superior to this load of rubbish........

  Interesting but not so good...

| | See all MICKEYG's reviews (3)

Have to agree with ptaanderton and londonclnager. The original is truly a masterpiece but Liam Neeson just doesnt quite cut it. The drum track on first track is awful. There are some interesting changes throughout this version that were outtakes from the 5 disc boxset a few yrs ago though. I can understand the New Generation concept and reworking the album but as previously mentioned stick with the original for an amazing example of musicianship, casting and a truly eerie atmosphere.

  Pointless, money-making nonsense.

| | See all Fuzzy70's reviews (2)

I have 3750 characters at my disposal to write this review.

I don't intend to use a fraction of that.

If you already own the original 1978 masterpiece, DO NOT BUY THIS - you WILL be disappointed. There's nothing new to see here, it's a remake, plain and simple, with weaker acting, vocal performances and musical production. Liam Neeson is a fine actor, no doubt, but his performance here is up against Richard Burton, and that's really all I need to say on the matter.

If, on the other hand you don't own the original 1978 masterpiece - DO NOT BUY THIS - buy the original version instead (it's available right here on play.com).

3085 characters left...

  the same but worse

| | See all roytheboy's reviews (5)

sorry but i dont see the point of releasing an album nearly identical to the origanal ,just with different artists,the best example of this is forever autumn by garry barlow,i heard this on the radio and i didnt realise it was a new version,whats the point if your going to rehash a concept album change it radically or whats the point .this is more like glee does war of the worlds pointless ,just a money spinner nothing else,buy the origanal and avoid this,

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