Jeff Wayne

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For the American comedian, see Jeff Wayne (comedian).
Jeff Wayne
Wayne in 2007
Wayne in 2007
Background information
Birth name Jeffry Wayne
Born (1943-07-01) July 1, 1943 (age 71)
Forest Hills, Queens, New York,
Origin London, England
Genres Progressive rock, rock, pop
Occupations Composer, Conductor, Producer
Instruments piano, keyboards
Years active 1966–present
Labels Sony Music Entertainment
Website thewaroftheworlds.com
Notable instruments
piano, percussion, electronic instruments

Jeffry "Jeff" Wayne (July 1, 1943) is a musician. In 1978 he released Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds, his musical adaptation of H. G. Wells' science-fiction novel The War of the Worlds. Wayne wrote approximately 3,000 advertising jingles in the 1970s which appeared on television in the United Kingdom, notably a Gordon's Gin commercial which was covered by The Human League. Wayne also composed numerous well-known television themes, including Good Morning Britain (TV-am), ITV's The Big Match and The World of Sport, BBC's 60 Minutes, and for 24 years, the UK's first news radio station, LBC. Wayne wrote feature film and documentary film scores and was musical director for various artists. Wayne published a book called The Book of Tennis and created, produced and scored eight thirty-minute episodes of The Book of Tennis Chronicles that was distributed by Fox Sports in approximately twenty countries, and was broadcast in the US on The Tennis Channel between 2005 and 2008.

Early life[edit]

Jeff Wayne was born on 1 July 1943 in Forest Hills, Queens.[1] His father, Jerry Wayne, was an actor, singer and theatre producer who had a profound influence on Jeff's life, inspiring his love of music and tennis, and introducing him to H. G. Wells' book The War of the Worlds. Wayne studied classical piano from the age of five, learnt jazz piano and was taught tennis by his father. He spent four years of his childhood in the UK when his father played romantic gambler Sky Masterson in the original West End musical production of Guys and Dolls.

Four years later they returned to New York. Wayne graduated from Stephen Halsey Jr. High and attended Forest Hills High School for one year, and played for its tennis team, before moving to California. Wayne graduated from Grant High School, then from Los Angeles Valley College with a journalism degree. He played keyboards in local bands and coached tennis to support himself. After completing his journalism degree he switched to music, playing keyboards briefly with The Sandpipers.

Musical career[edit]

In 1966, Wayne composed the score for his father's West End musical Two Cities based on Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities which ran at London's Palace Theatre. The musical was successful, winning for Edward Woodward the Evening Standard Award for Best Male Performance in a Musical for 1968–69. Returning to the UK, Wayne became a record producer and helped produce David Essex's album Rock On. Essex was a voice actor in The War of the Worlds, playing the part of The Artilleryman.

The War of the Worlds[edit]

In 1978, Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds was released, achieving international success. Wayne's two-disc composition sold millions of copies around the world[2] and was the 40th best selling album of all time in the UK by 2009.[3] It included worldwide hit singles: "The Eve of the War" and "Forever Autumn" with vocals performed by Justin Hayward in both, and included narration throughout by Richard Burton. It won two Ivor Novello Awards and The Best Recording in Science Fiction and Fantasy (the judges included Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Alfred Hitchcock). "The Eve of the War" was used by the offshore radio station Radio Delmare as its theme tune. The album was re-released on SACD in 2005 audio CD; five tracks were remastered and placed on the second disc (mostly without Wayne's input). A Limited Edition 7-disc Collector's Edition CD and DVD box set, which included remixes, outtakes, and documentary, was issued in 2005.

Jeff Wayne announced a new Musical Version of The War of the Worlds album to be released in June 2012 entitled Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds – The New Generation.[4] The album was released in November 2012.[5]

Later work[edit]

After The War of the Worlds, Wayne continued to compose and produce music, such as the music for The Who's movie McVicar, released in 1980. Wayne composed music for the Fry's Turkish Delight advertisement in 1981, the theme for Good Morning Britain in 1982 on TV-am, and music for the 1984 album Beyond the Planets, Kevin Peek and Rick Wakeman's progressive rock recording of Holst's orchestral suite.

In 1992 Jeff Wayne released Spartacus, his first major release since The War of the Worlds. Its cast included Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and Marillion's Fish. It featured a libretto by Gary Osborne and a story combining powerful themes of oppression, desperation, love and death

In 1998, Jeff Wayne was involved in producing Jeff Wayne's The War of the Worlds, a computer game that included 45 minutes of music from his Musical Version of The War of the Worlds, re-scored and remixed in an electronica style with techno beats. The game also featured the first computer-generated visualisations of numerous scenes from the album – an idea Wayne would later revisit. In 1999, a related game, also titled Jeff Wayne's The War of the Worlds, was released for the Sony PlayStation.

In 2004, Jeff Wayne and Ollie Record Productions began work on a feature-length animated CGI film based on his War of the Worlds album, with a $48 million budget and a planned release date in 2007. However, the project was shelved and has yet to enter production.

In the summer of 2005, The War of The Worlds was re-released. It spent ten consecutive weeks in the Top 10 of the UK Album charts. Including this re-release, the album achieved sales to 3 million in the UK, and approximately 14 million worldwide.

Also in 2005, it was announced that the musical would be going on a UK tour in April 2006. The live show was taken to Australia and New Zealand and returned the UK during December 2007. The show, produced by Damian Collier, used a ten-piece band and a 48-piece string orchestra, voice actors, screen-projected images and animatronics. Universal Pictures released a DVD of the show, filmed at Wembley Arena using 23 high definition cameras and directed by David Mallet.

Wayne's first television series, The Book of Tennis Chronicles, was broadcast worldwide in 2005 and distributed by Fox Sports. It features well-known tennis players and events, set against events in world history from 1877 to 2005. Wayne created and produced eight half-hour episodes and scored its music. The series' executive producer was Damian Collier.

Wayne is currently working on a musical adaptation of Jack London's novel The Call of the Wild, but has said that it is unlikely that he will complete it until the War of the Worlds live stage production has finished.[6]

Tennis[edit]

Wayne has remained involved with tennis; he has won the British National Indoor Veterans singles and doubles titles, and the National Clay Court doubles. In 1992 he partnered former Great Britain No. 1 and Davis Cup captain Roger Taylor at the European Veteran Championships. In 1999, Wayne represented Great Britain in the Austria Cup in Spain, and achieved an ITF world ranking in his age group. In 2008 Wayne was elected into the International Lawn Tennis Club of Great Britain. Wayne has also played many fundraising pro-am tournaments including for: Muscular Dystrophy, Olympic Games and Save the Children.

Personal life[edit]

Jeff and Geraldine live in Hertfordshire, England, and have two daughters— Anna-Marie (an actress) and Jemma—and two sons—Zeb (a DJ) and Joab (a junior tennis player).[7]

Discography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jeff Wayne, Sony Music. Accessed June 18, 2009. "Jeff Wayne was born in Forest Hills, New York and discovered early in his life two passions that have remained with him – music and tennis."
  2. ^ Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds website, The Story, Chap.14.
  3. ^ BPI Top 40 albums
  4. ^ "The War of The Worlds...The New Generation". Official Website. 2011-11-18. 
  5. ^ "Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of The Worlds...The New Generation!". PR Newswire United Business Media. 2012-11-18. 
  6. ^ Wayne, Jeff (June 5, 2009). "War of the Worlds composer talks to the Mail Pt3". YouTube. Retrieved October 24, 2011. 
  7. ^ "The War of the Worlds Official Website". Pages 210-211. Retrieved 13 March 2011. 

External links[edit]