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Journey to the Centre of the Earth Live


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Audio CD, Live, October 25, 1990
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Frequently Bought Together

Journey to the Centre of the Earth + Myth & Legend of King Arthur & The & The Knights + Six Wives of Henry VIII: Deluxe Edition
Price for all three: $56.77

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Editorial Reviews


1. The Journey/Recollection - Rick Wakeman
2. The Battle/The Forest - Rick Wakeman

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Original Release Date: 1974
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live
  • Label: A&M Records
  • ASIN: B000002GA8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,868 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Had to replace the cd.
Harla P. Maxfield Maxfield
If you are still unsure whether you would like this, borrow a copy or download a portion from someone and give it a listen.
Alessandro M. R. Mor
Regardless, the music still retains its appeal.
Lonnie E. Holder

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

94 of 96 people found the following review helpful By Henry R. Kujawa on January 17, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Having left YES behind, Rick Wakeman's follow-up to THE SIX WIVES OF HENRY VIII proved less abstract and far more ambitious: adapting Jules Verne's classic novel to music in a mere 40 minutes! And while originally intended as a studio recording, it was instead performed LIVE, with the London Symphony Orchestra and The English Chamber Choir, and David Hemmings along for the ride as narrator. It blows my mind to think of all those musicians getting it perfect in ONE take! --but they did. I love to play this late at night with the lights turned down to simulate being underground. Amazingly the brief summary of the story is told more accurately here than in several film versions over the years. Rick has redone this at least 6 times (both live and in studio) but none has touched the original-- not the least reason being only this one has the narration. I wish Hemmings had returned on subsequent such ventures. Out of the 60-some solo projects he's done (so far! ) this remains my #1 favorite Rick Wakeman album.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Lonnie E. Holder HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 30, 2002
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It's easy to look down your nose at the Model T when you have a Transam or a Corvette, or an SUV or truck for that matter. However, in the day of the Model T, it was something to which everyone aspired.
So too we have an entire class of album that was more common and popular in the 70s than before or since, the story theme album. Epitomized by Jeff Wayne's outstanding "War of the Worlds", the story album is the concept album taken taken to an extreme, setting a story in a music framework. Rick Wakeman tried several variants on this style of album, with probably "Journey to the Centre of the Earth" and "Return to the Centre of the Earth" being the most story-like.
With so few entries in this genre, by definition the few that are there are the best. How fortunate that "Journey to the Centre of the Earth" really is good. I recall listening to a vinyl version of this album often in the mid-70s, along with a large group of nerdy electronics technicians because the structure and uniqueness of the music appealed to us. The synthesizers Rick Wakeman used were state-of-the-art at the time, and his skill was phenomenal.
As I listen to the music now, you could readily guess it is 70s music. The riffs and arrangement have that 70s flavor. Regardless, the music still retains its appeal. There are so many influences in this music that it would be difficult to point out half of them. Certainly Rick brought his Yes influences. You could perrhaps feel a bit of Hendrix in spots, maybe some Moody Blues, perhaps even a bit of Isaac Hayes. Throw that in with an orchestra and you have something that at that time was very progressive.
Okay, the lyrics are nothing to write home about. They are simple, almost juvenile.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Bartels on December 29, 2003
Format: Audio CD
If Rick Wakeman could be remembered for one piece of music only, I reckon this should be it. Simply taking on the idea of translating Verne's classic into symphonic rock was audacious enough but to succeed as well as Wakeman does is pretty extraordinary, considering his age (24) and that he did it solo - with some help from orchestrators.
Apparently this was recorded live because it was cheaper than carting an orchestra and instruments into a studio for a week. The record company was not convinced, but I think the live 'special event' feel really makes the album, and the performances are pretty good from all involved.
Musically, it's brilliant - the main theme is very strong, very simple and very classic but soon the trademark Wakeman synths make their presence felt and thereafter it's a great mix of Moog, electric piano, clavinet, Hammond and orchestra and choir. If there is a letdown it's the choice of vocalists - I keep reading that Ashley Holt is a brilliant singer, but I've yet to hear it. He sounds better suited to this album than others he has collaborated on but he still irritates the pip out of me.
The other downside to the album is the lyrics - sorry, Rick but you should have done an Elton and got yourself a lyricist early on. Rick even invents a new word, stupefication. However the cheesy lyrics don't really take much away from the album. The narration is excellent, not only David Hemmings' elocution but the script really brings out Verne's sense of wonder and the pioneering aspect of this very early travel narrative - after all in the 1800s nobody could say you COULDN'T find a vast sea inside the Earth, complete with sea monsters. In fact this narration seems to be one of the better interpretations of Verne's Journey, better than some of the films, anyway.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Hodges on January 23, 2002
Format: Audio CD
One of my earliest musical memories is of listening to my parent's copy of this album. At the age I was listening to this, I also had a several "learn-to-read" comic books that had an accompanying 45 that characterized the words in the book. I treated "Journey to the Centre of the Earth" and its full-sized LP liner notes (sadly missing from CD release) like one of those books, and read along. During the instrumental sections, I fantasized about the feelings and interactions of the characters as the narrator unfolded the plot.
As I grew older, I stopped listening to it, and I don't think it ever really registered that the album was by a guy named Rick Wakeman. How strange is it then, that a decade later I would be exposed Yes' catalog, and consequently Wakeman, by way of "90125"? There's probably a paper in there somewhere about exposure to music and how it shapes the musical tastes of young minds, but it should be written and printed elsewhere.
The immediately relevant point is that I have a unique perspective on "Journey to the Centre of the Earth". At such a young age, I had no problem digesting the lyrics to this album. It's easily digestible, all-visual lyric approach was fertile ground for my young imagination. However, when I rediscovered it in High School, I found myself needing to forgive a lot of the lyrics and the vocal performances. I think I had outgrown them. In addition, vocalists Garry Pickford-Hopkins and Ashley Holt epitomize long-haired, post-hippie, Uriah Heep-sounding, '70's sensitive-macho-male vocal stylings. By today's standards, they come off as embarrassing. In fact, when backed by musical atmosphere, I think Jules Verne's narrative s more convincing than the sung lyrics.
However, Rick Wakeman became my favorite keyboardist of all time.
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