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02 May 2017

Jeff Wayne's The War Of The Worlds - The New Generation (2012)

Jeff Wayne's Musical Version Of The War Of The Worlds,
= The New Generation =
A new interpretation of the iconic album featuring a new generation of artists including:
Liam Neeson, Gary Barlow, Joss Stone and Kaiser Chiefs singer Ricky Wilson
© Sony Music Entertainment (UK)
Audio CD (December 14, 2012)
Available in a deluxe 2 CD hardback and special double vinyl with 52 page book and poster.
Original LP issue in 1978
Disc: 1
1-1. The Eve Of The War - Wayne, Jeff / Wayne, Jeff Featuring Liam Neeson And Gary Barlow
1-2. Horsell Common And The Heat Ray - Wayne, Jeff Featuring Liam Neeson
1-3. The Artilleryman And The Fighting Machine - Wayne, Jeff Featuring Liam Neeson And Ricky Wilson
1-4. Forever Autumn - Wayne, Jeff Featuring Liam Neeson And Gary Barlow
1-5. Thunderchild - Wayne, Jeff Featuring Liam Neeson And Alex Clare

Disc: 2
2-1. The Red Weed (Part 1) - Wayne, Jeff Featuring Liam Neeson
2-2. The Spirit Of Man - Wayne, Jeff Featuring Liam Neeson, Joss Stone And Maverick Sabre
2-3. The Red Weed (Part 2) - Wayne, Jeff Featuring Liam Neeson And Maverick Sabre
2-4. The Artilleryman Returns - Wayne, Jeff Featuring Liam Neeson And Ricky Wilson
2-5. Brave New World - Wayne, Jeff Featuring Liam Neeson And Ricky Wilson
2-6. Dead London (Part 1) - Wayne, Jeff Featuring Liam Neeson
2-7. Dead London (Part 2) - Wayne, Jeff Featuring Liam Neeson And Gary Barlow
2-8. Epilogue (Part 1) - Wayne, Jeff Featuring Liam Neeson
2-9. Epilogue (Part 2) (NASA) - Wayne, Jeff Wayne And Featuring Jerry Lewis Macleod

Great CD, but American fans deserve more and better from Jeff Wayne!!!!
If I had never heard the original I probably would have rated this release with five stars.
Liam Neeson's narration is good, but falls short of that of Richard Burton and a few extra lines of dialog fail to improve on the original presentation. I also find some of the additional sound effects simply annoying, especially the bubbling/gurgling/slight pause when the narrator if forced up to breathe....I thought the disk had skipped....
I also liked the second disk slightly better than the first.

Liam Neeson is fantastic throughout. Then the opening arrangement kicked in and my fears seemed founded. Previously the original album was dated by it's late 70's prog/ psuedo disco style. Now, somehow this 2012 recording is mired with 90's techno? For the first two tracks, Justin Hayward is gone and sorely missed. He did make the first album a hit. The Moody Blues Legacy isn't entirely absent as Gordon Marshall is the accoustic drummer on the album. Unfortunately, 50% of the rythm is provided by programmed beats and drum machines.

The new artwork is at least equal to the original, but a small booklet in a CD case cannot adequately be compared to the cover art and booklet enclosed with the original LP record. Don't get me wrong. I love this CD...just prefer the older version for the reasons listed above. Now to the big gripe....Jeff Wayne, I hope you read this.....Where the hell is the DVD of the live performance on an NTSC format disk that can be viewed in the U.S.? Where is the animated feature film that this performance deserves or for that matter a feature film combining live action with animation, such as Avitar????
I have been a fan of this album since its original release. I have in on LP, cassette tape, and both versions of the CD....and somewhere I have an 8-track copy I made from my original album so I could enjoy it on long drives. Are you listening Jeff???

Way back in the 1970's I was introduced to the original at Penn State University. I immediately baught the LP and played the hell out of it.
Between Justin Heywood and Richard Burton this was between amazing and magical.
Jump ahead to the next millennia I also went out and bought a region free DVD player to get jeff's live rendition with the CGI Burton head he created.. and again I was blown away. That live production was just breath taking. I wished I could catch that live show in America. but sadly no.
I saw where Jeff was going to remake this work and my heart fell. remakes seldom exceed the original, and if not? they usually fail miserably.so I resisted.. who could ever match Burtons impressive vocal qualities. truly the largest shoes ever to fill, and Justin Heywood? never going to happen...then the announcement was made, Liam Neeson was to tackle the challenge..so yes I got the CD set. I am in the very beginning and I am loving it. Is Liam Burton's rival? no. no one will ever match his tone, pitch, emotion or delivery.. but Liam does a heroic rendition and it is well worth buying and listening to again and again.


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