Jeff Wayne’s musical version of The War of the Worlds is one of the biggest blockbusters of all time.
But who would have thought that one of its best-known songs, Forever Autumn, began life as a Lego advert?
Since the original double album was released in 1978 it has sold over 15m copies and spent more than 330 weeks in the UK album charts.
And its latest arena tour comes to the south coast this month, starring Jason Donovan, Brian McFadden, Shayne Ward, Carrie Hope Fletcher, Joseph Whelan and, in 3D holography, Liam Neeson.
However, the show’s creator told The Guide about his famous song’s humble beginnings from his days as a jobbing musician – which included composing pieces for commercials.
Jeff explains: ‘It’s one of those quirks of life. I composed a piece for Lego, it was a simple acoustic piece, it was like the first verse – not that I knew at the time that it was going to become a song, let alone part of The War of the Worlds.
‘The two guys that sang the “doo-doos” on the Lego commercial, Gary Osborne and Paul Vigrass, became a duo. I produced and wrote all the music for them and they wrote the lyrics. We thought that Lego music is getting a lot of people writing in asking about it, so let’s do something with that, and that became Forever Autumn.
‘It became a hit in Japan, where it got to two or three, and that was about five or six years before War of the Worlds.
‘When it came to composing War of the Worlds, I realised that it was perfect – but I kept fighting myself, because I thought I had to come up with something new, until I realised it’s perfect for that point in the plot.’
The show promises to be a spectacular – boasting the incredible three-tonne, 35-foot tall Martian Fighting Machine firing real flames into the arena, a 100ft-wide animation wall with two hours of cutting edge CGI, the incineration of a cast member in front of the audience’s eyes, and a ground-breaking levitation effect.
The show is at Bournemouth BIC on December 10 and 11, and Brighton Centre on December 14 and 15.
Tickets are from £38.50. Go to livenation.co.uk