It’s weddun’ day and this is my last official workout as a “Bachelor”. Thankfully, it’s also recovery week so I don’t have too far to go (12k) before needing to be back to start tending to the rest of the day’s preparation and ceremony. Right now though, it’s just me, the pavement, and my thoughts all set to this ‘Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of the War of the Worlds‘.
It’s a concept album released in 1978 by Jeff Wayne, that retells the story of ‘The War of the Worlds‘ by H. G. Wells. It’s format is progressive rock and string orchestra, using narration and leitmotifs to carry the story via rhyming melodic lyrics that express the feelings of the various characters. The two-disc album remains a bestseller, having sold millions of records around the world, and is the 39th best selling album of all time in the UK. It has since spawned multiple versions of the album, video games, DVDs, and live tours. Oh, and there’s a very interesting look at how the album was actually made HERE.
In a nutshell, the double album was released 40 years after Orson Welles’ infamous radio version of the H.G. Wells tale, ‘Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of War of the Worlds‘ straddles old-style radio drama and contemporary orchestrated narratives by Rick Wakeman and David Bedford. It boasts an impressively odd cast – this may be the only time that a member of Thin Lizzy worked with Richard Burton, and the presence of Julie Covington and the Moody Blues’ Justin Hayward in very attractive singing roles attest to its pop/rock aspirations; it’s basically the prog rock equivalent of ‘The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper Feast‘.
The music is competent studio rock, and ‘Horsell Common and the Heat Ray‘ does strike just the right balance between Burton’s narration and an accompaniment built around a buzzsaw guitar riff. Overall, it’s pleasant as a period piece, and still a fine way to introduce younger listeners to Wells’ classic tale. I might just have to put this on HRH‘s radar in the near future. Anyway, let’s just say that for this morning’s hot and gross 12k, it’s as pleasant as anything else to get lost in while jogging down Erie Rd. and back up Point Abino and home along Michener Rd.’s to begin the rest of my life as this guy:
Hopefully, this new life will also not involve any marauding alien forces, heat rays or red weeds (at least not in my back yard anyway).