Jeff Wayne's The War of The Worlds: The Musical Drama

An Audible Original Drama
4.5 out of 5 stars (119 ratings)

Regular price: $21.81

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About This Audible Original

When H. G. Wells first published The War of The Worlds in 1898, the novel quickly became a sci-fi classic. The story of extraterrestrials from Mars invading Earth captured the public’s imagination, inspiring a famed 1938 radio broadcast with Orson Welles, several feature films, countless video games, and a best-selling musical concept album by Jeff Wayne in 1978, among others.

Immersing listeners in a world that is as thrilling as it is desolate, Jeff Wayne’s eerie and pulsating score brings the suspense, drama, and urgency of Wells’s original novel to a fever pitch in this Audible Original Drama. Michael Sheen headlines an ensemble cast of talented performers that also includes Taron Egerton, Adrian Edmondson, Theo James, and Anna-Marie Wayne.

©2018 Music Masters: Sony Music Entertainment

©2018 Existing compositions: Universal Music Publishing Group, Jeff Wayne Music (Publishing) Ltd

©2018 Newly composed music: Jeff Wayne Music (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

Go Behind the Scenes with Michael Sheen, Taron Egerton, and Jeff Wayne

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I never thought that anything could match the original. This is different and stands in its own right but those forty years were suddenly a mere instant in time and I was transported back through the decades to that same feeling of excitement that the younger Simon felt. If you can, just don the headphones, turn off the lights, shut your eyes and crank up the volume! Absolutely superb!

- Simon, Audible listener
.

Our favorite moments from Jeff Wayne's The War of The Worlds: The Musical Drama

The Eve of the War
  • The Eve of the War
Discovery of the Martians
The Eve of the War
  • The Eve of the War
Heat Ray
The Eve of the War
  • The Eve of the War
Opening

  • The Eve of the War
  • Discovery of the Martians
  • The Eve of the War
  • Heat Ray
  • The Eve of the War
  • Opening

About the Creator

Born in Forest Hills, New York, Jeff Wayne is an award-winning composer, arranger, conductor, and producer for stage, film, TV, records, advertising, and interactive projects. His 1978 hit musical interpretation, Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds, continues to be one of the best-selling albums in UK chart history, and has been the basis for countless performances and tours for audiences worldwide. The progressive creation struck a power chord with audiences, selling millions of copies around the world, and inspired a 1999 Play Station video game, a laser light show, and a 2016 stage production on London’s West End.

About the Performer

Michael Sheen spent much of his early career on the stage, with his performances in Amadeus and Look Back in Anger being nominated for Olivier Awards. Michael has become better known as a screen actor, in particular through his roles in various biopics such as Tony Blair in The Queen, as Kenneth Williams in BBC Four's Fantabulosa!, and David Frost in Frost/Nixon. In 2013, he received a Golden Globe nomination for his role in Masters of Sex.

About the Performer

Taron Egerton rose to fame with starring roles in films such as Kingsman: The Secret Service and the sequel Kingsman: The Golden Circle. Taron has played Olympic ski jumper Eddie Edwards in Eddie the Eagle, and showed off his musical prowess in the animated film, Sing. He takes on two iconic roles as Robin of Loxley in the 2018 film, Robin Hood, and as Elton John in the upcoming Rocketman.

H. G. Wells

The son of a professional cricketer and a lady's maid, H. G. Wells is best remembered for his groundbreaking science fiction novels. Here are three of his best known works.

The Time Machine By: H.G. Wells
“Excellent narrative performed artfully by John Banks. A very enjoyable, if all too short, novel told on a fantastic scale.”
The Invisible Man By: H. G. Wells
“Worth the credits, classic science fiction. This story was written in the late 1800s and is timeless in it’s appeal.”
The Island of Dr. Moreau By: H. G. Wells
“H.G. Wells embedded so much meaning and realism in this story that it was hard to set aside. I am still thinking about it. Simon Prebble's narration is extraordinary.”

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Unexpected and Amazing

I grew up in the 80s and 90s listening to the Jeff Wayne musical of War of the World on vinyl as my dad was a fan of it from the very beginning. WotW has been a part of my life practically since I was born, and it is important to me as something I shared with my dad who passed away about 12 years ago. I found out about this shortly after waking up this morning, and I had purchased it before I even had time to realize what I was doing. I do not regret this decision. The story is great (even with the deviations from the original, which I actually quite enjoyed.) The acting is great. The music is great. I just wish my dad was still alive so he could listen to this.

23 of 24 people found this review helpful

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  • Linda
  • Livingston, MT, United States
  • 12-01-18

HG Wells meets Jeff Wayne

A more or less full cast production of the novel set against the backdrop of Jeff Wayne's wonderful musical score. I have the original version of Jeff Wayne's The War of the Worlds Musical Drama, and at first I missed Richard Burton as the Voice of the Narrator, but Michael Sheen did a wonderful job, as did the rest of the cast. I felt I was there in several spots. Very well done, very much enjoyed, very highly recommended if you're looking for a one sitting listen. And even if you're not.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Beautifully Done

First, I have been a huge fan of Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds since the original came out in 1978. I have collected nearly every version and format released since then, including the computer game.

This version is amazing. It focuses more on the drama instead of the music, but the music is still there and sounds as great as it ever did. This is a good thing as this is a drama and the music is the focus on all of the previous albums and concerts.

The performances are all top-notch.

This version really adds some great new elements to the story, as well as keeping of the best parts of the original.

As a huge fan of the original I absolutely loved this. If you have not ever heard the original, I would suggest that you should listen to it first. I believe that you might enjoy this more if you did. This is just a suggestion though; I think you will love this either way.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Arin
  • DOWNERS GROVE, IL, United States
  • 12-04-18

Updated War of the Worlds

A very interesting remix. I have long been a fan of Jeff Wayne’s musical and having his additions on music to the book was striking. Michael Sheen as the journalist was fantastic as was Taron Edgerton.

My biggest complaint was that the songs weren’t in this version, just the background and symphonic stuff. I kept breaking out into song when I expected the music to lead that way.

Weird to see the heat ray shifted away from the Ulla that I am familiar with, but I understand the change.

All told, well done!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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A radio style drama is very fitting

Since this is based off of the musical, it finds a very natural home as a radio drama. Imagine the musical, but with the story fleshed out, foley sounds and instrumental music added and that is what you get. The cast performs brilliantly in telling the story with the music and sound effects. The music itself is very recognizable to fans of the musical- there are classic themes such as the Eve of the War, Forever Autumn and the Spirit of Man woven throughout. There is a slight update/difference to the music, for instance- Thunder Child's theme now includes some subtle (?!) dub-step, which actually fits very well and tastefully within the music, the Spirit of Man has a brass horn rendition that is very emotional, and many other classic themes have wonderful additions/differences, and yet still remain very recognizable.

All in all this is an excellent rendition of the story with Jeff Wayne's oversight keeping it on track. I think it would work on it's it's own without prior knowledge of the musical, as it is very fittingly told as a radio style drama, but I will be interested to see the reviews of people who have no experience with the musical.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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What a performance!

It is not what expected at all, but also what I was hoping for and so...so much more.
The voice acting, background sounds and sound effects, it was all so effortlessly easy to immerse yourself into.
Good job audible, this is beyond perfection.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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It's different...

Less music and more story make for something different with plenty of callbacks. Still great.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Jeff Wayne’s War Of The Worlds, Great!

This was an amazing listen, Best dramatized book Audible has ever done. We want more of this, the music and dialogue went great together. This had a real sense of drama & emotion to it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Rob
  • NM
  • 12-18-18

Strange and wonderful

Let me preface my review by saying that I have always been an avid fan of nineteenth century European literature, especially British. Wells' War of the Worlds is along my favorites, I've read it several times. Also, I've never heard of Wayne's musical from the eighties, until I read about it in a review here a few days ago, nor am I a big fan of musicals.

I almost stopped listening to this in the first chapter, but pressed on, and I'm so happy that I did, because I very much enjoyed this musical. My first impression was that the music did not match the story, in my mind I was expecting the music to match the period. The music is a strange mix of mostly eighties arcade video game music, with occasional eighties rock and disco-like music, and even a few hints of dubstep. While I was initially appalled that one of my favorite classics would be defiled in this way, it really grew on me and, strangely, I came to like it.

The sound effects were incredible, they did a fantastic job of painting a mental picture of the details of the story and creating mood...dread, hope, wonder, etc. The acting was excellent, and although the story deviated from the original by using the protagonist's wife as a major character, it worked very well.

One thing that I did very much dislike about this musical was the addition of things and ideas from the wrong century. For example, the use of a gender-neutral pronoun (a 21st century concept) and a mosque in Victorian London (which did not exist until the 20th century). These details may seem minor, but they distract the listener from the story and show that the writer did not do any homework before altering the original story.

Overall, this was amazing and I would highly recommend it, but with a warning not to expect the original Victorian version, but rather a Rocky Horror Picture Show version.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic Artistry

What a delight to find this production. I stumbled across it accidentally and immediately had my curiosity piqued. I liked Wayne's original production, although it hasn't aged especially well, so I wondered how this version would sound. The update is magnificent. The production quality, sound effects, and narration are all top-notch, and the music feels urgent and contemporary. It's as though Wayne has spent the intervening years considering all the things he could do to perfect his original vision, and he took full advantage of the opportunity. I'm so pleased and impressed.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Simon
  • 11-29-18

Stunning Interpretation of Jeff Wayne's Classic!

If like me you still get a small frisson thinking of the words, No-one would have believed . . . they drew their plans against us, then put this right on your wish list! I can still remember the sheer awe I felt as a young lad when I started to listen to the cassette tapes I had received for my birthday and Burton's chilling opening words came out of the speakers like it was yesterday. Forty years on and this new version had me absolutely captivated from start to finish.

It's the same story, just completely remixed and with a lot of additional sound and detail. That sound is fantastic, like many of the great bands the bass is high in the mix giving it full expression and the use of stereo is superb. Definitely one to be listened to with quality headphones and preferably not in noisy areas to get the very best out of it. There are great riffs from that glorious score, thunderous explosions and more subtle sounds too. The overall soundscape is the best I have experienced in an Audible production.

The voice acting is top quality. Anna-Marie Wayne, who is Jeff's daughter of course, as Carrie and Michael Sheen as the journalist give outstanding performances and the supporting cast don't let them down by any stretch of the imagination.

I never thought that anything could match the original. This is different and stands in its own right but those forty years were suddenly a mere instant in time and I was transported back through the decades to that same feeling of excitement that the younger Simon felt. If you can, just don the headphones, turn off the lights, shut your eyes and crank up the volume!

Absolutely superb!

64 of 67 people found this review helpful

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  • tony foggin
  • 11-29-18

Brilliant Jeff Wayne does it again!!

I hope Jeff Wayne never gives up with his adaptations of his wonderful classic. What a cast as well. Michael Sheen sounds very much like the late great Richard Burton. Brilliant cast. I wonder if Jeff Wayne had a hand in choosing them also. JUST BRILLIANT!! Highly Recommended

22 of 24 people found this review helpful

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  • Tony Swinton
  • 11-29-18

Just brilliant

I love the classic version with Richard Burton but this is just brilliant with added dialogue it adds so much more to a classic
I downloaded the pre order as soon as it became available and listened in one sitting
I will be sure to listen to this book again
It is in my top 5 audio books

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Dave
  • 11-29-18

Amazing

An amazing array of talent and very well put together. This is War of the Worlds as it should be heard.

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Emma Gib
  • 11-29-18

enjoyable

Thoroughly enjoyed it, listen from beginning to end, made my morning go faster at work

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Ryan
  • 11-29-18

Absolutely Sublime

Finally we have a deeper insight into this classic story. I have loved the War of the Worlds since i was a child and have owned the original album on every new medim as it was released. The story is very well told and the performances are exelant. A fantastic old story told in a brave new way.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • RSLEGION
  • 11-30-18

A Gripping way to listen to H. G. Wells classic

Jeff Wayne's The Musical Version of The War of the Worlds is a classic and must hear musical now this Musical Drama accompanies The Musical Version very well, I found it very gripping and at the end found I wanted more. The Musical Drama has the great instrumental music from Jeff Wayne's Musical Version along with great sound effects and audio acting. A gripping new way to tell the classic H.G. Wells story.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • DHeppell_UK
  • 11-29-18

Oooo Laaaa

If you like the original musical version by Jeff Wayne, then this is a must, the mix of Story, Drama and Music, is Nostalgic and brilliantly retold.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Steven J.
  • 12-02-18

No one would have believed...

Having been introduced to the Jeff Wayne musical version of The War of the Worlds by my dad from a young age, I have always in my head wondered how well it would have been if it was an actual story, as opposed to just a musical version, and this definitely hits the nail on the head.

Michael Sheen's voice is so relaxing to listen to as George/the Journalist, and I honestly think that he deserves to take his place as one of three amazing voice artists to have played the role.

I enjoyed the little diversions from the original musical version, regarding certain parts of the story and I must say, even though I knew how it would end, it still manages to keep me on edge throughout.

Sound design and music both work together tremendously, so much so that I found myself closing my eyes at certain moments and imagining the scenes playing out in front of me.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-01-18

Wow of the worlds!

Absolutely loved this! big fan of Jeff Wayne's WOTW and this just tops it! this needs to be turned into a film! The Cast are mesmerising especially Michael Sheen and Anne Marie Wayne. Got it for free but would had paid double for it!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-08-18

The best of both novel and album

Noone would've believed, in the last years of the 19th century that H.G. Wells would change the existing genre of "Invasion fiction" by adding the terrifying inhuman Martians.
Noone would've dreamed that 80 years later a musical composer Jeff Wayne would use that story to make one of the most dramatic and intense albums of music.
And now the two meet in a stunning audio drama.
The beauty of Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds, An Audio Drama is not only the addition of music but also a reexamination of the characters. In the book the protagonist is unnamed, simply being the author. However this version adds a name George (as H.G Wells himself was called that) and most interestingly his wife Carrie who narrates a portion of the story.
Together with the music and excellent acting this is the best telling of the tale.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-10-19

Perfect

A Masterpiece that takes nothing away from the Album, infact it is so complimentary, to me it seems shocking that this wasn't done along time ago... it's production values should now set a new benchmark for Audiobooks...

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-29-18

Smashing!

Absolutely awesome! A great listen on a long journey over the mountains, enjoyed it immensely

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  • kathleen
  • 01-07-19

cringeworthy

The story itself is obviously a classic and the narrator wasn't awful but the music which I had been excited about was horrendous. It was distracting and annoying, I started to fast forward through the music but in the end just gave up and returned the book.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful