Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds... on SACD

Discussion in 'Music' started by Steve Tannehill, Jun 26, 2005.

  1. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    Has anyone had a chance to sample this? It was released in the UK two weeks ago, and my copy finally arrived on Friday. Wow! I opted for the album-sized coffee table book, which contains the original recording remastered on 2 hybrid SACD's, 4 CD's of remixes, outtakes, and more, and a DVD with a making-of video.

    The SACD's alone are great, with an excellent 5.1 mix. The CD supplements are sometimes repetitive, but there are still some gems--like the 1969 LEGO commercial with the tune of "Forever Autumn" and the original 1972 single version that did not feature Justin Hayward. There is also a 36-minute segment of all the narration and acting parts. I guess if you ever wanted to conduct your own version of the music, you could mix in Richard Burton, et.al.

    The DVD is PAL, but region 0. It should play on any computer, or on any multi-region DVD player. It's a little tedious watching Jeff Wayne play with the mixing console or talk about individual elements of the recording, but otherwise it is interesting.

    The book is great--80 pages, hardcover, mostly color, including all the illustrations that were in the original release, and (clearly) then some.

    You can get just the 2 SACD set at a significant cost savings, but the coffee table book just looks so much better! Besides, it brings back to mind the heady days of 12-inch vinyl releases.

    Check it out!

    - Steve
     
  2. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

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    For those of us in the US, both the 2 SACD and the collector's edition of "War of the Worlds" are available directly from sonymusicstore.com. If you enter the coupon of JUNESALE, you will save an additional 10%, plus free shipping for orders over $25.00. "WotW" is set to be released in the US on 07/05/2005.
     
  3. Steve Tannehill

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    It's a shame this was not up on Amazon a month ago, when I placed my order. I would have preferred the NTSC version of the DVD. But since I don't see myself watching it a lot, I'll live with the PAL version. Besides, they add sales tax... which in these parts pretty much negates the 10 percent discount.

    - Steve
     
  4. Aaron Silverman

    Aaron Silverman Executive Producer

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    Is there somewhere online where I can sample the tunes? Amazon doesn't have clips. (I dig prog rock, but I'm not the hugest Moody Blues fan, so I'm interested but would like to hear it before I buy it.)
     
  5. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    iTunes Music Store has a partial album. Look for War of the Worlds and drill down to Forever Autumn, The Eve of the War, Thunder Child...

    There is also a website, it appears audio may be there, but I can't get it to work on the Mac:

    http://www.thewaroftheworlds.com

    Edit: I got it to work... there are some good samples there.

    The reissue debuted at #8 in the UK... not too shabby!

    - Steve
     
  6. Andrew Chong

    Andrew Chong Supporting Actor

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    I wonder if it is a 'no-brainer' that Ben Liebrand's remix/remixes is/are in there?

    I loved and still enjoy the main tunes by Jeff Wayne to the point whereby I've in the past had a kick working out the melodies in the War tune on my piano. It was Ben Liebrand's remix that first turned me on to this music and have since bought the War of the Worlds: Ulladubulla remix album, though I have yet to find Ben Liebrand's version available widely on any legal media.
     
  7. Steve Tannehill

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    Although the single-disc Remixes CD does not incorporate everything that was on the original 2-CD Ulladubulla set, it does have Eve of the War: Ben Liebrand Remix. The other 3 CD's are extras--the outtakes, alternate takes, narration sans music, music sans narration--you get the idea.

    - Steve
     
  8. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Yet again, Sony keeps U.S. SA-CD fans confused and in the dark![​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  9. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Can anyone elaborate on the surround mix--i.e. is it aggressive and/or immersive (not the same things), ambient, etc--and the sound quality itself?

    Thanks.
     
  10. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Lance, the mix seems stereo oriented to me. They use the centre channel most of he time but not always. When Richard Burton narates, it's not just in the centre channel. It's all accross the front 3. At times it seems to me that the centre channel is used with a slight delay to accentuate Burton in the L & R channels.

    I cannot describe the mix in terms of aggressive, ambient, or immerssive. Actually, I'm not quite sure what immerssive is. There's music or effects in the rears most of the time. It just varies and varies. I just can't stereotype, pun intended, the mix. It's just all over the road. The only recurring theme seems to be that the centre channel isn't as heavily used as what most folks may have become accustomed to.
     
  11. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    To me........

    * immersive: instruments, vocals, etc in a full circle around the listener. Certain titles that use the actual recorded recording venue reverb also qualify as immersive to me--that added (real) reverb can make orchestras sound huge and much more involving & exciting; or with jazz music it sounds like you are actually in that little club with the players.

    * aggressive: instruments/vocals/etc move around the listener. Speeds vary by title. I think this seems to generate most of the "gimmick" comments by some, and I'll admit myself if it is not done correctly it can get old very quickly.

    For example, to me Donald Fagen's The Nightfly surround track uses an immersive mix. Same with REM's Automatic For The People.

    An immersive and aggressive mix would be the Crystal Method dvd-a, the LTJ Bukem downtempo disc or the DSOTM quad DTS-CD; but the most aggressive by far that I own is Linkin Park's Reanimation. Stuff is moving everywhere much of the time (but thankfully not always). It's really fun to listen to--my guilty pleasure. :b And the three videos are actually worth watching more than once.
     
  12. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    i had no idea there were several versions of this on cd, including remixes and "The other 3 CD's are extras--the outtakes, alternate takes, narration sans music, music sans narration--you get the idea.

    - Steve "

    i have a cd that i bought years ago and the origional vinyl that i bought, well i dont know 20-25 years ago.

    i love this.

    ot, steve when did you become a reviewer here?
    and what will you be reviewing?
     
  13. John Pine

    John Pine Supporting Actor

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    So do you think the big box retailers, ie... B.B. or C.C. might have it on 7/5/05? Hey...I can dream can't I?!
     
  14. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Lance, I'd say a little of everything but agressive. Let's callit a mixed bag, pun intended.[​IMG]
     
  15. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    John, check their websites and see if you can find any mention. I'm doubtful, but who knows???
     
  16. Steve Tannehill

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    It became official about a week ago. I'll be writing periodic reviews of some of the discs that head HTF's way, but do not have an assigned reviewer.

    - Steve
     
  17. John Pine

    John Pine Supporting Actor

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    Thanks Rach, but I couldn't wait and pre-ordered it from the Sony website. And yes...I admit it, this will be the third version of this soundtrack that I have owned. Although, the cassettes bit the dust years ago.

    "Man...I can't believe Sony charged me sales tax, that sux!"
     
  18. John Pine

    John Pine Supporting Actor

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    **UPDATE** I was able to listen to my copy for the first time last night. Just got my Denon 2900 back from the Denon Service Center. I’ve been itching to listen to this MC version. I had my reservations about buying a copy because this would be the third version that I have owned. The SACD engineer made good use of the surround channels, but they didn’t over power the front soundstage. I was very impressed! I was also pleasantly surprised how clean the recording was, considering this was recorded in the late 70’s. This Hi-Res Multi Channel version was worth every penny. Even my ten year old was entertained, he sat down and listened for over an hour. Take my word for it, that’s even higher praise!
     
  19. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    John, maybe you could try some Firesign Theatre on that 10 year old next?[​IMG] "Everything You Know Is Wrong" ...well, if you believe Firesign that the sun is at the centre of the earth, and that aliens who try cheese will choke to death on it...

    It is a facinating SA-CD... and it captivating a 10 year old, without video, is friggin' amaz-innation![​IMG]
     
  20. John Pine

    John Pine Supporting Actor

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    Rach: Wow...I haven't listened to any of their stuff in years.

    Yeah, I was surprised he stayed also. I had the lights down low, as I normally do when watching a movie. We were listening to the 2nd disc which has a few "intense" moments. I expected him to get up after about 5 or 10 minutes. Kids will surprise ya' sometimes, can't make any assumptions.
     

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