Culture Comforts: Jeff Wayne’s Musical Adaptation of War of the Worlds

“No-one would’ve believed, in the last years of the nineteenth century, that human affairs were being watched from the timeless worlds of space” – so begins Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of War of the Worlds.

Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds is a progressive rock concept album, telling the story of The War of the Worlds (late Victorian novel by H.G. Wells, the first ever alien-invasion story). It has a mix of the key parts of the book (read by the dulcet tones of Richard Burton) and pieces of music, which stand where description does in the novel through a use of leitmotifs and fantastic composition.

I love H.G. Wells, and the book is fantastic, it has intense hope, despair, and (no joke) the perfect ending. Jeff Wayne improves this tenfold. The music builds the story to heights a single medium could never approach, the words leave the horror to the music and your own imagination. Hearing an electric guitar rage as the heat-ray, or the monotonous thump of the base as the Martians encroaching; makes everything acutely intimate and alive.

For just over 1 & 1/2 , you really are transported far away from the present.

-Kiera Riordan

Featured Image Source: Pexels

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