Songs You May Have Missed #500

Justin Hayward: “Forever Autumn” (1978)

war 2Jeff Wayne’s 1978 musical version of H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds is relatively unknown in the U.S. But the two album set has sold millions of copies around the world and is the 38th best-selling album of all time in the UK, where live tours, video games and DVDs have all resulted from its status as a perennial bestseller. Recently a “New Generation” CD has appeared featuring a contemporary cast of singers reprising the roles played in the original by notables such as Phil Lynott (of Thin Lizzy), David Essex, Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues, and Richard Burton, who narrated the story.

Hayward’s performance of Wayne’s “Forever Autumn” placed at number 47 on the American singles chart, but performed much better in his native UK (#5)

As a die-hard Moody Blues fan in ’78 I was a proud owner of a copy of this 45, which my older brother, who’d instilled the love of the band, had passed on. Thank goodness for CD reissues, since the 45 is long gone, lent to a friend and never returned if I’m not mistaken (the friend has a different story).

JEFF WAYNE'S MUSICAL VERSION OF WAR OF THE WORLDS.The song occasionally crops up in live performance, either on Hayward’s rare solo tours or even in a Moodies set. Numerous fans have set the evocative song to beautiful pictorial settings on YouTube.

Despite Hayward’s initial reluctance to participate in the War of the Worlds project, it spawned a true perennial in “Forever Autumn”, and a song Hayward seems to have been born to sing–as is mentioned by NYC DJ Ken Dashow in the video below, in which he also points out that the it was a perfect and poignant song with which to ease back into music (and life) after the horrible events of 911.

See also:

See also:

See also:

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