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Jeff Wayne / War Of The Worlds (Highlights)

Julie Covington, Jeff Wayne, Richard Burton, Justin Hayward, David Essex, Phil LynottVinyl
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (295 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Vinyl
  • Original Release Date: January 1, 1981
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: CBS
  • ASIN: B004G767SC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (295 customer reviews)

Editorial Reviews

Highlights From The Musical

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the extra money for the collector's edition August 16, 2005
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I hesitated before spending over a hundred bucks on the collector's edition of Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds. There's a two-disc version of the CD that's a whole lot less; surely I could put the "collectors" money into something else?

But as they say, you never regret your luxuries.

I should state up front that this music has special meaning for me. In 1979, when I met my husband, he had a tape of this album in the car -- back in the days when we all took the time to tape our vinyl albums! -- so I strongly associate it with our first days together, driving around Clearwater Florida and getting to know one another. I think I'd love the album anyway, as I'm a sucker for melodic versions of spoken-word stories, such as Rick Wakeman's Journey to the Center of the Earth.

If you're new to the music, and are trying to get a sense of its value from Amazon's little 30-second previews, I'll simply summarize by saying that the album is very true to the original novel. One friend of mine disliked the WotW movies (all of them) because he feels the story needs to be told in Victorian England; if you feel as he does, you'll be well pleased by this version.

But you'd get that with the $20 version, which Amazon also sells. Is it worth it for the extra stuff?

Yes and No. The Yes-reasons strongly over-power the Noes, so I'm still quite happy I sprung for the expensive version.

Let's get the negatives out of the way first. I've no real interest in the "club mix" CD (in fact I haven't even listened to it yet); to me, this album is about melodies and story-telling, not dancing. The two CDs of out-takes and variations (such as some of the narration from a German version) are interesting, but they're inherently "listen once" items.
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67 of 73 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I never saw this coming! July 28, 2005
By Rykre
Format:Audio CD
I bought this CD on a whim back in the late 80's. In my early days of buying CD's, truly unique sound projects were very scarce. Only the most popular albums were being transfered to compact disc at the time.

I read a review many years earlier about a "progressive rock concept" from England. H. G. Well's classic story, "War of the Worlds" on a double LP. When I saw it on CD years later, I thought that I would go ahead and buy it. It was a brave move because a double CD of something I never heard before, was a big expense.

When I brought it home, I started to play it during the dusk of the coming evening. I remember pouring a glass of wine, sitting in the "sweet spot" of my sound room. I turned on the CD, and kicked back:

It opened with Sir Richard Burton (who is the journalist and the main narrator of the whole CD). His chilling, opening words to this H. G. Wells classic, truly set the stage for the impending doom and terror of my next 90 minutes.

The first CD really is just fantastic! The guitar licks, and the ambient, but nerving, incidental music that played in the background as Richard Burton describes what's happening before him. He puts you right there with him. You feel as if you should get up and run because the horror is unfolding right in front of you. Although, it's all just psychological, you might actually feel the heat of the space ship in the commons. Good narration can compell terror quite well. (Just like Rod Serling with the "Twilight Zone" and Robert Stack narrating the stories of "Unsolved Mysteries". A commanding voice, and the effective use of dramatic pause, can inspire terror).

For the longest time, I thought that I was the only one (in America) that has ever heard of this album.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling and Beautiful... September 20, 2000
Format:Audio CD
I first discovered this masterpiece over 20 years ago in a record store and thought its cover was quite unique. Started playing it and my family sat in and listened as well. The music was quite haunting especially "Forever Autumn". Needless to say WOTW was played a great deal. Fast forward to this past July, I again found the CD in a Book/Record store and immediately purchased it. The young man who worked at the cash register was quite impressed with the names behind WOTW's production. I encouraged him to buy a copy and listen seriously. Two days later my sister, her seven-year-old daughter and I were on a 2-hour road trip to participate a 5K race. What better way to pump ourselves up than to "imagine" the Martians chasing us!
Hearing the opening lines of "Thunder Child" brought tears to my eyes. You cannot help but imagine seeing the tripod figures striding through the Thames bearing down upon a lone ironclad vessel which had no hope of winning such an ill balanced battle. This is a wonderful CD. I highly recommend it to everyone.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Of Rock's Greatest Concept Albums July 5, 2005
Format:Audio CD
A double album *rock musical* version of H.G. Wells' sci-fi classic, "The War Of The Worlds"? Many people would laugh at such an idea. But in 1978, musician/songwriter/producer Jeff Wayne actually did it, and created one of rock's most supreme concept albums. Although the album has always been much more popular in Britain and other parts of Europe (even having a multi-year UK album-chart run rivaling Pink Floyd's "Dark Side Of The Moon"), it nonetheless has a strong cult following here in North America, myself proudly included. I first became aware of the "War Of The Worlds" album sometime in the late 80's, when I discovered that Justin Hayward, the lead singer for The Moody Blues (one of my all-time favorite bands) was singing on it. Curious, I picked up a vinyl copy of the album at a used record store, dropped the needle on Side One, and I was instantly hooked. I'd never heard anything like it before. The way the Martian-invasion narrative is brilliantly sustained from beginning to end, and, of course, Jeff Wayne's incredible music score that matches it. And, completing the "War Of The Worlds" package, there's the elaborate artwork that accompanies & illustrates the album---simply marvelous to look at. No question about it, "The War Of The Worlds" is quite an acheivement. Nearly three decades later after it's initial release, the album still sounds just as fresh & exciting now as it did back then. Besides the legendary, commanding voice of Richard Burton as the album's narrator, Jeff Wayne's stunning music rocks ("Horsell Common & The Heat Ray"), rouses ("Brave New World"), has incredible beauty ("Forever Autumn"), and, at turns, is effectively eerie ("The Red Weed"). Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Musical War Of The Worlds
Good story and music and sound effects. Richard Burton is great as the reporter.
Published 2 days ago by Robert Gray
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it, is pretty dated now though but as ...
Love it, is pretty dated now though but as a whole it is one of the greatest concept albums ever made
Published 1 month ago by chebwanderer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
The best
Published 1 month ago by Kenneth F Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by chris smart
2.0 out of 5 stars Beware Digital Remasters
For those who want a five-word summary of my following rant: A 'GREEDO SHOT FIRST' ALBUM.

For those who want the detailed review, here goes... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Ethan Ireland
5.0 out of 5 stars War of the Worlds
This exquisite piece of musical storytelling should be on the top 10 all-time rock albums ever made. Read more
Published 2 months ago by greg roberts
5.0 out of 5 stars Jeff Wayne Still Blows Me away!
This project was done before technology ruled over artistry. Richard Burton does an awesome job narrating this HG Wells classic. The music captivates me! Read more
Published 2 months ago by Van Hamlin
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect gift!
I bought this for my Dad as a birthday present and he loved it. He said it was one of the best gifts he'd ever received and listened to it immediately in the car. :D
Published 3 months ago by Lauren
5.0 out of 5 stars Music lover
I had this music a long time ago and somehow it got lost. Now I have it again and will not lose it.
Published 3 months ago by Martin Nelthorpe
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for Reminiscing, this is a Product for a Very Targeted Audience
I had this item on a Christmas list, and someone eventually bought it for me. Their comment was,"You know it's not a movie right, just music?". Well, yes I do. Read more
Published 3 months ago by kold_one
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