Jeff Wayne’s musical version of War of the worlds

This record still sounds every bit as impressive as the first time I heard it. Of course when I found it in the library, it had all that fascinated me: aliens and spaceships. What can you expect, I must have been 13 and spaceships were all the rage. We just had the space shuttle!

Before the War of the Worlds, Jeff was mainly producing commercial jingles. He made a staggering 3000 of them in the seventies! And then, in 1978, he produced his magnum opus. The story was from a novel written by H. G. Wells at the turn of the century, and featuring the sci-fi of that time. In a forgotten time it was already put into a radio show by Orson Welles in 1938, supposedly leading to countrywide panic. People were thinking it was really happening.

No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s and yet as mortal as his own… Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us.

the book from 1897

No one would have believed, in the last years of the nineteenth century, that human affairs were being watched from the timeless worlds of space. No one could have dreamed we were being scrutinized, as someone with a microscope studies creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. Few men even considered the possibility of life on other planets and yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this Earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely, they drew their plans against us.

Jeff Wayne in 1978

The record is accompanied by a nice booklet, in huge format. This is a good example of the advantage of having records!

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