Jeffry "Jeff" Wayne
(born in July 1, 1943) is a musician. In 1978 he released Jeff Wayne's
Musical Version of The War of the Worlds, his musical adaptation of H.
G. Wells' science-fiction novel The War of the Worlds. Wayne wrote
approximately 3,000 advertising jingles in the 1970s which appeared on
television in the United Kingdom, notably a Gordon's Gin commercial
which was covered by The Human League. Wayne also composed numerous
well-known television themes, including Good Morning Britain (TV-am),
ITV's The Big Match and The World of Sport, BBC's 60 Minutes, and for 24
years, the UK's first news radio station, LBC. Wayne wrote feature film
and documentary film scores and was musical director for various
artists. Wayne published a book called The Book of Tennis and created,
produced and scored eight thirty-minute episodes of The Book of Tennis
Chronicles that was distributed by Fox Sports in approximately twenty
countries, and was broadcast in the US on The Tennis Channel between
2005 and 2008.
Jeff Wayne was born on 1 July 1943 in Forest Hills, Queens. His father,
Jerry Wayne, was an actor, singer and theatre producer who had a
profound influence on Jeff's life, inspiring his love of music and
tennis, and introducing him to H. G. Wells' book The War of the Worlds.
Wayne studied classical piano from the age of five, learnt jazz piano
and was taught tennis by his father. He spent four years of his
childhood in the UK when his father played romantic gambler Sky
Masterson in the original West End musical production of Guys and Dolls.
Four years later they returned to New York. Wayne graduated from
Stephen Halsey Jr. High and attended Forest Hills High School for one
year, and played for its tennis team, before moving to California. Wayne
graduated from Grant High School, then from Los Angeles Valley College
with a journalism degree. He played keyboards in local bands and coached
tennis to support himself. After completing his journalism degree he
switched to music, playing keyboards briefly with The Sandpipers.
In 1966, Wayne composed the score for his father's West End musical Two
Cities based on Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities which ran at
London's Palace Theatre. The musical was successful, winning for Edward
Woodward the Evening Standard Award for Best Male Performance in a
Musical for 1968–69. Returning to the UK, Wayne became a record producer
and helped produce David Essex's album Rock On. Essex was a voice actor
in The War of the Worlds, playing the part of The Artilleryman.
In 1978, Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds was
released, achieving international success. Wayne's two-disc composition
sold millions of copies around the world and was the 40th best selling
album of all time in the UK by 2009. It included worldwide hit singles:
"The Eve of the War" and "Forever Autumn" with vocals performed by
Justin Hayward in both, and included narration throughout by Richard
Burton. It won two Ivor Novello Awards and The Best Recording in Science
Fiction and Fantasy (the judges included Steven Spielberg, George
Lucas, and Alfred Hitchcock). "The Eve of the War" was used by the
offshore radio station Radio Delmare as its theme tune. The album was
re-released on SACD in 2005 audio CD; five tracks were remastered and
placed on the second disc (mostly without Wayne's input). A Limited
Edition 7-disc Collector's Edition CD and DVD box set, which included
remixes, outtakes, and documentary, was issued in 2005. Jeff Wayne
announced a new Musical Version of The War of the Worlds album to be
released in June 2012 entitled Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War
of the Worlds – The New Generation. The album was released in November
After The War of the Worlds, Wayne continued to compose and produce
music, such as the music for The Who's movie McVicar, released in 1980.
Wayne composed music for the Fry's Turkish Delight advertisement in
1981, the theme for Good Morning Britain in 1982 on TV-am, and music for
the 1984 album Beyond the Planets, Kevin Peek and Rick Wakeman's
progressive rock recording of Holst's orchestral suite.
In 1992 Jeff Wayne released Spartacus, his first major release since The
War of the Worlds. Its cast included Anthony Hopkins, Catherine
Zeta-Jones, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and Marillion's Fish. It featured a
libretto by Gary Osborne and a story combining powerful themes of
oppression, desperation, love and death
In 1998, Jeff Wayne was involved in producing Jeff Wayne's The War of
the Worlds, a computer game that included 45 minutes of music from his
Musical Version of The War of the Worlds, re-scored and remixed in an
electronica style with techno beats. The game also featured the first
computer-generated visualisations of numerous scenes from the album – an
idea Wayne would later revisit. In 1999, a related game, also titled
Jeff Wayne's The War of the Worlds, was released for the Sony
In 2004, Jeff Wayne and Ollie Record Productions began work on a
feature-length animated CGI film based on his War of the Worlds album,
with a $48 million budget and a planned release date in 2007. However,
the project was shelved and has yet to enter production.
In the summer of 2005, The War of The Worlds was re-released. It spent
ten consecutive weeks in the Top 10 of the UK Album charts. Including
this re-release, the album achieved sales to 3 million in the UK, and
approximately 14 million worldwide.
Also in 2005, it was announced that the musical would be going on a UK
tour in April 2006. The live show was taken to Australia and New Zealand
and returned the UK during December 2007. The show, produced by Damian
Collier, used a ten-piece band and a 48-piece string orchestra, voice
actors, screen-projected images and animatronics. Universal Pictures
released a DVD of the show, filmed at Wembley Arena using 23 high
definition cameras and directed by David Mallet.
Wayne's first television series, The Book of Tennis Chronicles, was
broadcast worldwide in 2005 and distributed by Fox Sports. It features
well-known tennis players and events, set against events in world
history from 1877 to 2005. Wayne created and produced eight half-hour
episodes and scored its music. The series' executive producer was Damian
Wayne is currently working on a musical adaptation of Jack London's
novel The Call of the Wild, but has said that it is unlikely that he
will complete it until the War of the Worlds live stage production has
Jeff and Geraldine live in Hertfordshire, England, and have two
daughters— Anna-Marie (an actress) and Jemma—and two sons—Zeb (a DJ) and
Joab (a junior tennis player).