Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds – The New Generation
|Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds – The New Generation|
|Studio album by Jeff Wayne|
|Released||26 November 2012|
|Recorded||June 2011–October 2012|
|Genre||Progressive rock, String orchestra|
|Label||Sony Music Entertainment|
|Jeff Wayne chronology|
|Singles from The New Generation|
Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds – The New Generation is a 2012 concept album by Jeff Wayne and is a follow-up to his 1978 concept album, retelling the story of The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells. As before, its format is progressive rock and string orchestra, using narration and leitmotifs to carry the story via rhyming melodic lyrics that express the feelings of the various characters. Due to the consistent popularity of the original album, Wayne decided to return to his score and re-create it for a new generation of audiences, as well as re-launch a live tour throughout the United Kingdom and Europe.
- Liam Neeson – spoken words (The Journalist: the narrator-protagonist)
- Gary Barlow – vocals (The Sung Thoughts of the Journalist)
- Ricky Wilson – spoken words and vocals (The Artilleryman)
- Maverick Sabre – spoken words and vocals (Parson Nathaniel)
- Joss Stone – spoken words and vocals (Beth)
- Alex Clare – vocals (The Voice of Humanity)
- Jerry Wayne – spoken words (The Voice of NASA)
- Lewis MacLeod – spoken words (Voice of the Martians)
- Liam Neeson – spoken words (The Journalist) (via holographic projection)
- Marti Pellow – vocals (The Sung Thoughts of the Journalist)
- Ricky Wilson – spoken words and vocals (The Artilleryman)
- Jason Donovan – spoken words and vocals (Parson Nathaniel)
- Kerry Ellis – spoken words and vocals (Beth)
- Will Stapleton – vocals (The Voice of Humanity)
- Anna-Marie Wayne – spoken words (Carrie: The Journalist's Fiancee) (via holographic projection)
- Michael Falzon – spoken words (William Rowland, Jerome Marvin Krauth of NASA, Male Understudy)
- Lilly Osborne – spoken words (Vera May, Female Understudy)
Black Smoke Band
- Jeff Wayne – composer, arranger, keyboards, synthesizers
- Chris Spedding – guitars
- Herbie Flowers – bass guitar
- Ken Freeman – synthesizers
- George Fenton – santur, zither, tar
- Gordy Marshall – drums
- Ray Cooper – percussion
- Jo Partridge – guitars (The Heat Ray), vocals ('Ulla's)
- Tom Woodstock – guitars (The Heat Ray), additional keyboards, backing vocals, dulcimer
- Laurie Wisefield – mandolin, guitars, dulcimer
- Gaetan Schurrer – programming, keyboards, additional drum production
- Jeff Wayne – conductor, composer,
- Chris Spedding – electric guitar, acoustic guitar
- Herbie Flowers – bass guitar
- Tom Woodstock – guitars, keyboards
- Laurie Wisefield – guitars, mandolin, autoharp, tar
- Accy Yeats – drums
- Julia Thornton – percussion, harp, keyboards
- Steve Turner – keyboards
- Neil Angilley – keyboards
- Kennedy Aitchison – keyboards
- Littlechap Strings
On 18 November 2011, Jeff Wayne announced at a press conference in London that there was to be a new release of his musical version of H. G. Wells 1898 novel, titled Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds – The New Generation. Wayne explained that the idea was to return to the original album and explore H. G. Wells' characters in more detail, as well as develop the love story between the story's main character, George Herbert (the Journalist), and his fiancée Carrie. Wayne also explained that it would allow him to re-interpret his compositions with the new production techniques of today. The album was released on 26 November 2012 on both CD and Vinyl.
The New Generation features Academy Award nominated actor Liam Neeson as the Narrator, formerly played by Richard Burton. Neeson revealed he was impressed and intimidated by the prospect of narrating and starring in Wayne's project. Gary Barlow (lead singer and songwriter of the British vocal pop group Take That) is the Sung Thoughts of the Journalist, formerly voiced by Justin Hayward. British singer-songwriter Alex Clare is the Voice of Humanity. Maverick Sabre, Irish-English singer-songwriter and rapper, appears on the album as Parson Nathaniel, and English soul singer, songwriter, and actress Joss Stone is his wife Beth. Kaiser Chiefs front man Ricky Wilson took on the role of the Artilleryman. The Black Smoke Band once again includes Bassist Herbie Flowers and Guitarist Chris Spedding, both from the original 1978 album.
Throughout mid to late 2012, tracks from The New Generation were released through various radio shows, which included all the guest artists tracks and a premier of "The Eve of the War". The new Liam Neeson hologram planned for the tour was demonstrated at the press conference with Neeson and Wayne and was also shown on The Alan Titchmarsh Show, on which an "Eve of the War" and "Forever Autumn" medley was performed with Wayne conducting. In January 2013, a music video was released for the song "Forever Autumn", performed by Gary Barlow, however Barlow does not appear in the video. It stars Anna-Marie Wayne as Carrie and Liam Neeson as the Journalist George Herbert and looks further into the story of Carrie, rather than from the Journalist's point of view as heard on the album. It features both all new footage as well as footage seen on the CGI 100-foot wide screen used during the live shows. The New Generation album was produced by Jeff Wayne and Damian Collier and was recorded at Olliewood Recording Studios in Hertfordshire by Gaetan Schurrer and Tom Woodstock.
The stage show and album incorporate one original recording from the 1978 album: Jeff Wayne's father, Jerry Wayne, who died in the 1990s and who conceived the original production, provided the voice of the NASA controller in the second epilogue, and this performance is used again in the 2012 version; the elder Wayne is also credited as executive producer on the album.
A live tour based on the album began on 29 November 2012 and began playing across the UK and Europe. The live show, titled Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of The Worlds The New Generation – Alive on Stage!, includes a holographic performance of Liam Neeson, interacting with the other performers. Ricky Wilson retains his role as the Artilleryman from the album version. Marti Pellow (lead singer of the Scottish pop group Wet Wet Wet) is the Sung Thoughts of the Journalist. British rock band Jettblack's lead vocalist Will Stapleton is the Voice of Humanity. The touring cast includes Jason Donovan (who previously played the Artilleryman on tour) as the Parson Nathaniel and West End theatre star Kerry Ellis as Beth, as well as Michael Falzon and Lily Osborne as new characters William Rowland and Vera May respectively, both appearing in a new prologue, and who were introduced on the tour in 2009. Falzon also played the small role of NASA controller Jerome Marvin Krauth (voiced by Jerry Wayne) in the Epilogue Part 2, in which he is blasted upon by the fighting machine onstage behind him (the original version of Epilogue Part 2 had an abrupt ending) which concludes the show.
Alive on Stage! also includes new content not featured on The New Generation album, such as the new prologue. A new scene opens Act 2 between The Journalist (Liam Neeson) and Carrie, his fiancee (Anna-Marie Wayne). This new piece, entitled "Distant Shores", is an exchange between the two after they have been separated and is seen onstage via holographic projections of both characters in which they express hope they may one day see each other again, speaking as though to each other, from distant shores. The show also includes effects used previously on tours including the use of pyrotechnics, now much improved, in which the audience is blasted by real heat rays, leaves fall upon the audience during Forever Autumn, and a levitation trick is used after Beth is killed during the Spirit of Man.
Bassist Herbie Flowers and Guitarist Chris Spedding, both part of the original album and later the original live tour, again tour as members of the Black Smoke Band for Alive on Stage! The rest of band remain relatively unchanged from the album and previous tours, with the exception of Gordy Marshall from the album is replaced by Accy Yeats on drums. Jeff Wayne conducts the Black Smoke Band and the ULLAdubULLA Strings as he has done on tours before. On 15 December Michael Falzon announced on Facebook, as did Kerry Ellis and Will Stapleton on Twitter, that the sold out show at the O2 Arena in London was to be filmed for DVD release. This was confirmed by the official website.
Farewell Thunderchild Tour 2014
In November 2013, it was confirmed that Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds – The New Generation would tour arenas again in late November through December 2014 for a final tour, named the Farewell Thunderchild Tour. Tickets went on general sale on 22 November 2013. The tour takes place across the UK as well as one date in the Netherlands before coming to a close on 16 December 2014. Three of the guest performers were confirmed at the time of the tour announcement. Westlife's Brian McFadden will be playing the role of the Sung Thoughts of the Journalist (previously played by Marti Pellow on the previous tour), Les Misérables' Carrie Hope Fletcher will be playing Beth (Played by Kerry Ellis on the 2012 tour), and Jason Donovan would reprise his role of the Parson Nathaniel. Jeff Wayne also announced that another guest had been confirmed but was yet to be announced. The ULLAdubULLA string orchestra will once again be conducted by Jeff Wayne as will the nine-piece Black Smoke Band, but the members of the band have yet to be confirmed.
DVD and cinema
Alive on Stage! at the O2 Arena was recorded and released across cinemas in the UK and Europe in April 2013. The War of the Worlds team worked with the distribution company More2Screen, a company that brings special events to cinema with tickets going on sale in February 2013. The recorded show was well received in a series of platform digital screenings in the UK before it transitioned to home entertainment; it was released on DVD in November 2013.
All songs written and composed by Jeff Wayne.
|1.||"The Eve of the War"||Liam Neeson and Gary Barlow||10:13|
|2.||"Horsell Common and The Heat Ray"||Liam Neeson||12:14|
|3.||"The Artilleryman and The Fighting Machine"||Liam Neeson and Ricky Wilson||12:05|
|4.||"Forever Autumn"||Liam Neeson and Gary Barlow||7:54|
|5.||"Thunder Child"||Liam Neeson and Alex Clare||6:13|
|1.||"The Red Weed (Part 1)"||Liam Neeson||6:57|
|2.||"The Spirit of Man"||Liam Neeson, Maverick Sabre, and Joss Stone||12:06|
|3.||"The Red Weed (Part 2)"||Liam Neeson and Maverick Sabre||5:19|
|4.||"The Artilleryman Returns"||Liam Neeson and Ricky Wilson||3:20|
|5.||"Brave New World"||Liam Neeson and Ricky Wilson||12:14|
|6.||"Dead London (Part 1)"||Liam Neeson||5:26|
|7.||"Dead London (Part 2)"||Liam Neeson||3:47|
|8.||"Epilogue (Part 1)"||Liam Neeson||3:21|
|9.||"Epilogue (Part 2) (NASA)"||Jerry Wayne and Lewis MacLeod||1:57|
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