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.
Journey to the Centre of the Earth
1) The journey
2) The recollection
3) The battle
4) The forest
Reprise from the Forest