...But Still They Come
4 Extra Debut. The story behind the recording of Jeff Wayne's musical version of HG Wells's The War of the Worlds. With David Essex. From December 2012.
"...But Still They Come' explores the enormous impact and influence of Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of The World's, telling the story of the recording of the original album, the various incarnations produced in the 35 years since its release and the 2012 version, re-recorded for a new generation.
This programme explains how and why Jeff Wayne began working on a concept album based on H.G. Wells' science fiction masterpiece and the years of hard work it took to realise his vision.
In the summer of 1978, the UK album charts were dominated by Disco and Punk, with the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack firmly entrenched at number one. It was an audacious move and a huge gamble to release a double concept album based on a Victorian science fiction novel. But the compelling blend of progressive rock, classical music, Richard Burton's narration and the fascinating story struck a chord with music fans all over the world and the album became a massive hit, supported by the singles Forever Autumn and Eve of the War.
Guests contributing recollections of the part they played in Jeff's creation include David Essex who voiced The Artilleryman and Justin Hayward who sang Forever Autumn. The programme also contains never-before-heard studio interaction with Richard Burton, David Essex and Jeff Wayne during the original recording sessions.
In the years since its release The War Of The Worlds has morphed in to live stage shows, computer games and apps. Now Jeff has re-interpreted the record for a 21st century audience with a new recording featuring Liam Neeson and Gary Barlow (who both contribute to this programme), and Joss Stone.
Produced by Des Shaw and Chris O'Shaughnessy
A Ten Alps production for BBC Radio 4.