War of the Worlds: Re-Scored

war_of_the_worlds_solid_steel

One of the many vinyl records that I listened to regularly as a child was Jeff Wayne’s “War of the Worlds”. My dad had lots of records from Wayne, all with fantastic artwork and fantastical audio, but War was easily my favourite and has followed me in various incarnations into adulthood.

I recently discovered that a DJ by the name of Ollie Teeba re-worked the score. Using records from his own collection of movie soundtracks and other suitable material, He created this mix specifically for Solid Steel but also as a tribute on the 75th anniversary of Orson Welles’ radio play.



Held together by the weight of Richard Burton’s narrative, this re-score really delivers and is refreshingly new, despite the retro twangs, psychedelic rock and 70’s funk. If you have the hour to spare, this really is worth a listen!

What If The War of the Worlds Musical had Been Animated By Ralph Bakshi?

War of the Worlds - Jeff Wayne

At the insistence of my erstwhile companion of the outré Vic Sage, I am going to share this little nugget of pure awesome uploaded to YouTube by user Jonno71 (who just so happens to own the actual 16mm print)…the original 1978 promo film used to advertise Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds!

This mini opus, highly reminiscent of Ralph Bakshi’s Lord of the Rings adaptation from the same year, only makes one wish that a full on theatrical version of the piece had been produced! So, sit back, turn down the lights, and drift back to the Victorian age as Martian war machines ravage the land while their commanders screams of “ULLA” split asunder skies turned ruddy from the beams of unholy heat rays!

(Editor: Here is a clearer version of the video but the sound quality is poorer)

[Via] Powderworks Records

Jeff Wayne and the Funktastic Invasion of Earth

War of the Worlds - Jeff Wayne
As the world creeps ever forward into its annual Autumnal repose, my mind often turns to the iconic October 1938 War of the Worlds broadcast by Orson Welles and The Mercury Theater. The radio play caused hysteria due to the fact that it was broadcast as news bulletins without commercial interruption, as if the events were actually transpiring just outside of the safety of the audience’s living rooms.

And, while that version is an undeniable fright classic, it of course is not the only adaptation of H.G. Wells’ seminal tale of Victorian science fiction literature. Recently my ol’ pal, master illustrator and sculptor supreme Gabe Perna, reminded me of a version of the tale that some may not be as familiar with, the 1978 musical by Jeff Wayne.

Featuring Richard Burton as the narrator, with guest vocals by Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy, Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues, and Chris Thompson of Manfred Mann (along with other talented singers and musicians), Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds is a swirling phantasmagoria of Victorian dialog, distortion pedals, synthesized harpsichords and porn bass, and while that shouldn’t work, it absolutely does!

So why not give it a listen today…and remember, somewhere in the vastness of space, advanced alien cultures have mastered the art of using threaded screws…and they are coming for us all!