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Alien Intelligence Speaks
You're gonna laugh out loud when hearing this ringtone. It's really cool. Get it now into your phone.
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Submitted by:  KleenerProgamer
Total Downloads:  8819
Release Date:  Jul 1st, 2007
File Size:  471KB
Rating:  Good (3) | 18 rate(s)

Tags: alien  intelligence  speaking  voice 
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allien (by david, Aug 14th, 2009)
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A new theatre of operations

Today, most people’s idea of the science-fiction classic is second- or third-hand, and takes the shape of the iconic images of Martian tripod fighting machines in cinema adaptations. (The most recent was Steven Spielberg’s 2005 blockbuster, following which Wayne’s album soared up the charts once more.) But The War of the Worlds is not so much a novel as a meditation on the era of empire. Civilisation’s strengths and weaknesses are exposed as it is put under pressure by seemingly unstoppable alien colonists.

Though music fans of a certain age may remember Wayne’s prog-rock folly as a fabulously overblown piece of kitsch, where Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott did battle with Martian invaders in a duet with Julie Covington, and David Essex argued with Richard Burton about a Nietzschean notion of mankind’s manifest destiny, it was, in fact, not insensible to the peculiar strengths of Wells’s original.

Abetted by various big names of the day that punk was about to consign to oblivion, Wayne attempted to render Wells’s terrifying vision as best he could. And he pulled it off. The album is sincere in its intentions, genuinely gripping and ceaselessly inventive, given the technological limitations of the time. Unlike Ben Elton’s Queen musical, Jeff Wayne’s The War of the Worlds was not performed ironically by its participants, as if in some pre-emptive act of damage limitation. Everyone gave their all. And you’d have to have a heart of stone not to be moved by Justin Hayward’s Forever Autumn, the journalist character’s lament for his lost love, even thought it began life as a Lego commercial.

At 62, Wayne, also a former tennis pro, exudes a healthy glow. And he loves Wells’s The War of the Worlds. “There’s no doubt that, when I approached it, my dream was to write honestly and passionately. What made me want to attempt making the album wasn’t the sci-fi ‘shoot ’em up and knock ’em down’ part of it, but the fact that HG was writing about Martians not as some freaky aliens, but as an analogy for good and evil. It resonates today, because it doesn’t matter which side of the coin of democracy or religion you are on, it’s all about conquering or being conquered.”

Wayne’s enthusiasm drove the project along. “Two-thirds of the money in the album was my life savings, so I did it my way.” Wayne’s stepmother, Doreen Wayne, author of the 1968 romantic bestseller Love Is a Well-Raped Word, streamlined and scripted the story, softening some of its more unforgiving philosophical aspects, but with such economy that her opening line, as intoned by Richard Burton on the album, now sounds definitive: “No one would have believed, in the last years of the 19th century, that human affairs were being watched from the timeless worlds of space.” Cue the music.

In the autumn of last year, Wayne was to be found in his country pile, towering over models of the War of the Worlds live experience like some insane Titan. “There are two types of production planned. This production,” he says, pointing at miniature Martian fighting machines stomping through a stadium, “is not the Wembley touring one. This is giant scale, for audiences of 25,000 up. We want to start it off in Beijing, just before the Olympic Games, then tour very selective venues.”

Wayne turns his attention to a different model. “The tour that I am doing now is this arena-sized tour, going to Wembley Arena, the Manchester Evening News Arena, places like that. I’m conducting a 10-piece band and a 48-piece string section. There’ll be a 40ft Martian fighting machine, and this will be very impressive for the audience, and it will fire a heat ray, and the hull swivels and tilts and telescopes up and down. We are using projections of animations and still images and lights and surround sound, so hopefully we’ll entertain the audience.”

So far, so good. But Wayne continues. “Anybody who knows the album knows there are certain parts that are performed as characters, and those are being performed live. The one exception is Richard Burton. He’s coming to life as a three-dimensional head that is suspended over the audience.” Dave Clark, of the Dave Clark Five, directed a hologram of Laurence Olivier’s head in his 1986 West End musical, Time. It was not well received. The windswept desert of large-scale commercial theatre is littered with enormous, abandoned holographic heads, serving as a terrible warning to ambitious producers. But, of course, technology has moved on.

“We are digitising images that Richard Burton’s late wife, Sally, provided for us,” explains Wayne, who now has the air of Dr Frankenstein. “The whole process is that there is a gentleman who is an uncanny Richard Burton look-alike, and with make-up and bits and pieces, he really becomes a very much genuine-looking look-alike of Burton. He is filmed, and the digitised images go over him, then he sits for a sculpture of his head, which gets projected onto this 3-D head, and it becomes Richard Burton.” Ironically, Wells’s novel addresses man’s hubris and his arrogant belief that science can make him a god. Perhaps Wayne needs to read it again.

Still, if anyone is equipped to bring Wells’s novel into the unlikely form of a stadium-sized rock circus it is Wayne. He has a fanatical enthusiasm for the book and, having secured the rights to it in all media except film in 1975, has a paternal, protective relationship with the text. Whether Wells would approve, however, of the mobile-phone ring tones available with the new edition of the album is debatable.

Wayne’s album has survived for 30 years, with its legend unblemished. Why would Wayne risk puncturing the hermetically sealed bubble that surrounds its mid- 1970s genesis and compromising its integrity by staging it? “Why don’t you ask me that at the end of the tour, and let’s see if we haven’t blown it,” he laughs. You can’t help but wish him well.

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