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Barlow to feature on War Of The Worlds album

Gary Barlow will be among the contemporary artists drafted in for a remake of the classic War Of The Worlds concept album. Jeff Wayne’s original album sold by the bucketload in the 1970s and Wayne hopes a new version will repeat the success.

The original release, 34 years ago, featured Moody Blues singer Justin Hayward on two tracks, 'Forever Autumn' and 'Eve Of The War'. Barlow will now take the lead vocals on these songs.

Also involved are Joss Stone and Kaiser Chiefs singer Ricky Wilson, who will perform in a new touring version of the musical, reprising the role originally played by David Essex. Wilson said: "I got the email from Jeff Wayne inviting me to be part of it and that is not something you can say no to."

Barlow has long been a fan of the album, based on the HG Wells novel. "I've been a huge fan of The War of The Worlds score since I was a kid," he said, "so to be asked to work with the legend that is Jeff Wayne was a real privilege."

Narration on the album and the new stage show will be provided by Liam Neeson, although his stage appearances will be in the form of a 3D hologram. "I knew and loved the book from when I was a teenager and it was an easy persuasion," Neeson said. "I bought the album in 1979 when I was working in Ireland. I still have that little cassette."

The new album will be released in November as a digtal download and, in a nod to the original, as a vinyl double album.

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