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Journey To The Centre Of The Earth

music reviewmusic review  out of 4 Music Review: Journey To The Centre Of The Earth

Artist: Rick Wakeman
Genre: Rock/Pop
Release Date: October 1990

Review by Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
2½ stars out of 4

In 1975, Rick Wakeman made history by taking the classic science fiction novel "Journey to the Centre of the Earth" by Jules Verne and set it to music with a lavish production including a full band, orchestra, and choir. This DVD and CD set capture the end of that first tour in Australia.

Keeping in mind that this was 1975, it put the proper spin on things for me while watching this performance. You cannot compare today's lighting and stage effects to what they had back then, and the difference is obvious. At times, I noticed that the narrator's voice was not in synchronization with his lips, and I noticed how poor the lighting was and how the camera was taking shots from behind the crowd with people milling about, it was very unprofessional. Wakeman spent most of the performance a putrid shade of orange, so the lighting was not much better. They also used the kaleidoscope effect several times with the filming, which was a little tough on the eyes.

The music on the other hand is vintage Wakeman pioneering a progressive rock classic as well as featuring songs from his albums "The Six Wives of Henry VIII" and "King Arthur and the Knights of the Roundtable." Take away all of the inadequacies on the technical side and you have one outstanding and memorable performance. I do remember watching it on TV when it first came out. For that time, it was a big deal, and it set the stage for all of theatrics and stage shows that you see today.

Wakeman took a huge risk and invested a lot of time and money in an unproven commodity. He came out the winner with a fabulous production that you will witness documented on the DVD/CD set.

Track Listing:

Catherine Parr
Journey to the Centre of the Earth
1) The journey
2) The recollection
3) The battle
4) The forest

Catherine Howard
1) Merlin

Anne Boleyn
Reprise from the Forest


Rick Wakeman-Keyboards
Jeffrey Crampton-Guitars
Roger Newell-Guitars
Barney James-Drums
Ashley Holt-Vocals
Gary Pickford-Vocals
John Hodgson-Percussion



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