Let’s make this a War of the Worlds trilogy of posts by mixing two of my favorite things: prog rock and H.G. Wells.
Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds is, for all its bombast and self-seriousness and disco beats, one of my favorite albums, a stunning mix of rock opera, innovative sound effects work, and theatrical storytelling. To this day, I still hear Richard Burton’s voice whenever I read the opening paragraphs of Wells’ novel, and I still find the “ullas” heard within to be the definitive sound of the Martians.
While we wait for the arrival of Wayne’s updated version, featuring Liam Neeson in the lead role (yes, really), let’s take another listen to the original 1978 recording. The tracks are available online separately, but I prefer to offer you one bold uploader’s choice, which presents the entire album in one complete go, the way prog was intended.
Bonus! Dig this crazy 1978 promo for the album.