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The War Of The Worlds (1978 Studio Cast)

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★★★★½
(147 Reviews)

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  • By pure chance I first heard the song “Eve of the War” some 20 years ago on German television where they happen to use it as background music to the testcard at some time during the day. It was nothing but a coincidence. Since then, I have never managed to rid myself of the enchanting music and lyrics. When I finally bought the album (in the good old ddays of vinyl) friends and I often gathered just to listen to it over a couple of bottles of wine. Although to those who know the original book by H G Wells, Jeff Wayne’s adaptation may be a little disappointing, one has to bear in mind that, after all, it is an “adaptation” and that Jeff Wayne did superbly well. Not only do the lyrics catch the main and most important aspects of the original book but the accompanying music underlines the moods of the respective parts of the story extremely well. The best example is the music of “The Eve of the War” which, with its upbeat tone, almost ensures that there is hardly any possibility at all of live on Mars. This, of course, is contrasted by the almost surreal “The Red Weed” when Earth is under the rule of the Martians. It can honestly said that it is one of the best musical adaptations of literature I have ever come across which is of course helped by the fact that no other than the late but unforgotten Richard Burton reads the part of the journalists. David Essex, Justin Hayward, Phil Lynott, Chris Thompson, Julie Covington provide the voices to the songs and are extremely good. Once you have listened to it and then read the book (again?) you will always have the music in your ear. Unforgettable!

    Posted on February 1, 2010