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Wayne, Jeff

Entry updated 25 October 2021. Tagged: Music, People.

(1943-    ) US composer and musician, best known for his lengthy concept-album adaptation of H G Wells's The War of the Worlds (April-December 1897 Pearson's; 1898), released as Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds (1978). This work, narrated rather grumpily by Richard Burton, retells the whole of Wells's story through songs sung by David Essex, Justin Hayward (of The Moody Blues), Phil Lynott and others. The music is lively and varied and the album has remained popular since its release. It was turned into a Real Time Strategy computer game in 1998, and is has since enjoyed a renewed surge of interest due a touring stage show which has played before large arena audiences. The impressively mounted stage production featured a large articulated Martian Tripod and slightly disturbingly, a disembodied head upon which a computer-generated facsimile of Richard Burton's features were projected. The stage show will tour again in 2012, with the addition of Liam Neeson to the cast, though as with Burton his role will be digitally integrated into the narrative. Plans for a CGI animated War of the Worlds movie based on the record were briefly announced in 1998; owing to the success of the stage tour, this was put on hold. [AR/JDG]

Jeffrey Wayne

born New York: 1 July 1943


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