Musical version of
"SPARTACUS" (Jeff Wayne)
"ANIMAL & MAN"
01. Destiny [Palene (spoken) & chorus]
02. Animal & Man (Part One) [Spartacus & Marcus Crassus (spoken)]
03. Animal & Man (Part Two)
"THE EAGLE & THE HAWK"
04. For All Time [Palene & chorus]
05. Whispers [Spartacus,
Crixus, Oenomaus & Marcus Crassus (spoken)]
06. The Eagle & the Hawk [Spartacus, Marcus Crassus (spoken), Palene
"THE PARTING OF THE WAYS"
01. Going Home [Palene, solo voice & chorus]
02. The Parting
of the Ways [Crixus, Palene (spoken) & Spartacus]
03. We Carry On [Marcus Crassus (spoken), Spartacus & Chorus of Slave
04. Trust Me [Isoricus, Palene (spoken) & Spartacus]
"THE LAST BATTLE"
05. Two Souls With a Single Dream [Marcus Crassus (spoken), Palene &
06. The Last Battle (leading into) [Marcus Crassus (spoken) & Spartacus]
07. The Eagle & the Hawk [Spartacus]
"THE APPIAN WAY"
08. The Appian Way [Palene (spoken)]
09. Epilogue (Part One) [Marcus Crassus (spoken) & chorus]
10. Epilogue (Part Two) [Marcus Crassus (spoken) & chorus]
EUR: Columbia, Sony Music - 472030 2
Anthony Hopkins - Marcus Crassus (spoken part)
Catherine Zeta Jones - Palene (spoken and sung part)
Ladysmith Black Mambazo - The "voices of Spartacus army"
Incantation - Multi-instrumentalists
Jimmy Helms - Isoricus the Cicilian pirate (from Londonbeat)
Fish - Crixus the Gaul (from Fish, Marillion)
Alan King - Spartacus (from Walk on Fire)
Chris Thompson - Oeomanus (from Manfred Mann, Alan Parsons, etc.)
Bill Fredericks - (from the Drifters)
Jo Partridge - guitar
Danny Campbell & Marwenna Haver - backing vocalists on "For All
Lorna Bannon & Carol Kenyon - Slave Girls on "Trust Me"
Programming: Gaetan Schurrer
Additional programming: Steve McLaughlin
Keyboards: James Cassidy, Jeff Wayne
Guitars and guitar synths: Jo Partridge
Bass guitar, Stick: David Sinclair
Live drums: John Cann
Brass section: "The Parting of the Ways" & "Trust Me"
Script: Brian Sibley, John Spurling
Recording & Mixing Engineer: James Cassidy
Design & Art Direction: Icon
Fish portrays Crixus the Gaul in this Musical, who made 2 appearances:
In Part 2: The Eagle & the Hawk
05. Whispers (spoken part by Fish)
In Part 3: The Parting Of The Ways
The Parting Of The Ways (song by Fish)
Musical was made possible with the aide of ANTHONY HOPKINS
So it took over a decade, but Jeff Wayne has finally returned with a followup
to his classic musical version of "War of the Worlds".
"Spartacus" is a faithful telling
of the story of the rebellious slave who builds an army to challenge
the mighty Romans, but who loses in the end to the forces of senator
and multi-millionaire Marcus Crassus.
Here, the part of Crassus is played grandly by Anthony Hopkins, whose
narrative style is usually commanding but is sometimes forced. British
actress Catherine Zeta Jones plays Spartacus' woman, Palene. The voices
of Spartacus' army are contributed by African band Ladysmith Black Mambazo
(well known for their work with Paul Simon). Fish, from Marillion, sings
as Crixus the Gaul. Jimmy Helms, the lead singer with Londonbeat ("London
Nights") is Isoricus the Cicilian Pirate. The role of Spartacus
is played by Alan King, leader of a band called Walk on Fire. Bill Fredericks,
former lead singer of the Drifter(!), performs, as do two alumni from
"War of the Worlds" -- Chris Thompson and Jo Partridge.
Inevitably, Jeff Wayne's work is compared to two other relevant works:
first, his own "War of the Worlds"; and, second, the 1975
album "Spartacus" by German progressive-rock band Triumvirat.
How does Jeff Wayne sound in the 90s? Much of the music is obviously
synthesized, and seems not as "full" as the orchestrated arrangements
from WOTW. Two of the main "fight" sequences (in "Animal
& Man" and "The Eagle & The Hawk") contain a
mix of driving music and forceful narration that made WOTW so extraordinary,
but there are also many weaker moments... especially the "hit single"
from the album, "For All Time". Jones provides a competent
vocal, but this sappy love song simply doesn't even hold a candle compared
to Justin Hayward's "Forever Autumn".
On the other hand, the Triumvirat interpretation of the Spartacus saga
was musically complete and compelling, if a little short on words.
The feeling of each stage in the saga was often -- but not always --
captured in Wayne's version and, at almost two hours long, is very difficult
to listen to in just one sitting.
In fact, I've found that I've enjoyed Jeff Wayne's "Spartacus"
more when I've used it as a background to some other activity, and listened
at a distance, rather than focusing on the work itself. Perhaps at a
distance, the shallowness of some of the songs doesn't stand out as
Through all of the critical comments about "Spartacus", one
point kept nagging at me. "War of the Worlds" was truly a
story of conquest (at least in the Wayne version, which presupposed
a real Martian invasion).
There was truly something to rejoice about at the end when the humans
killed off the Martian machines. In "Spartacus", however,
the denouement has the wealthy multi-millionaire bloodily crushing the
army of rebellion, restoring the powers-that-be to their self-proclaimed
positions of grandeur. "Spartacus" makes this out to be a
"good" (if not "happy") ending: "I, Marcus
Crassus, broke him and I saved Rome. Today the triumphant shouts of
the crowd are for me alone. The voices of Spartacus and all his followers
are silenced -- forever!"
Depending on one's school of thought, this
may not be a particularly pleasant ending, and Jeff Wayne's typically
grandiose style doesn't seem to completely mesh with this very tragic,
death-ridden event. Is it a fault of the music? Not really; instead,
it's more the choice of subject matter.
When Triumvirat tackled Spartacus 17 years ago, they crafted a state-of-
the-art synthesized production that didn't have much pretentiousness
(at least not much more than did other bands of the day!). They captured
the essence of the story in the music, and still produced an entertainint
In 1992, Jeff Wayne has truly created another
masterwork in his interpreation of the Spartacus story. Even with all
of the difficulties I've mentioned, "Spartacus" still is a
very good album on all fronts. But be warned: it is definitely not of
the same caliber as "War of the Worlds". With all of these
disclaimers, and with reasonable expectations, it's still quite easy
to give some very high marks to this album.