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War of the Worlds

29 June 2005

The best thing about the crappy Tom Cruise-vehicle "War of the Worlds" that has just been released? The fact that we get to hear the beautifully remastered "soundtrack" by Jeff Wayne.

Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of "The War Of The Worlds" was released June 9, 1978, entered the official UK Album charts, and stayed there for over 6 years. The re-release has just entered the charts at no.8 and is set to go to no.1 again.

I had only ever really heard the song "Eve of the War" with the catchy keyboards and the phrase "The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one," he said."The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one - but still they come!"

But BBC Radio 2 is obviously very happy with the new release of the entire soundtrack as they play different tracks for it every day. So now I have the whole album to listen to and it is fascinating stuff. Well worth listening to. Fascinating to find out that Wayne had simlpy been looking for a book to turn into a concept album. He apparently also thought about Aldous Huxley's "Brave new world".

Of course this album is based on the book by H.G. Wells and when I was studying journalism & masscommunication, Orson Wells's radio play was used an an example whenever we discussed mass hysteria caused by media. I am just about to finish downloading an MP3 of the original broadcast from 1938. I can't believe it has taken me so long to fully explore the story behind this work of art. it has so many facinating sides to it. I suppose the final step is to actually read the book that started it all off.

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