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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy but Brilliant
This is the first Rick Wakemen music I have heard so I have no prior loyalties to him to make me review this unfairly. I absolutely love this album. I had just finished reading the book of Journey to the Centre of the Earth and then my Mum asked for this on Mothers Day. I had listened to a bit of Yes so I was interested in hearing it as well. By the end of listening to it...
Published on 18 Mar 2010 by Greg Boyd

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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Adventurous!!!
Rick Wakeman must have been pinching himself regularly in 1974. He had made his name as a session musician and member of The Strawbs before joining Yes and having a string of smash hit albums. He had also ventured into solo work of which 'Journey...' is his second album, after the phenomenal success of the previous year's 'Six Wives Of Henry VIII'.
'Journey...' is in...
Published on 15 Oct 2009 by Stotty


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy but Brilliant, 18 Mar 2010
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This review is from: Journey To The Center Of The Earth (Audio CD)
This is the first Rick Wakemen music I have heard so I have no prior loyalties to him to make me review this unfairly. I absolutely love this album. I had just finished reading the book of Journey to the Centre of the Earth and then my Mum asked for this on Mothers Day. I had listened to a bit of Yes so I was interested in hearing it as well. By the end of listening to it for the first time I was obsessed. I have played this over and over again. It's really easy listening but is still amazing. Quite light hearted as well. If you liked electro music when it was done well you will probably like this album.
Incidentally, if you like this you may like to listen to a bit of Yes's material or Genesis.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A journey worth taking.., 19 Aug 2014
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Journey To The Centre Of The Earth was always a compromise when it was recorded and released back in the 70's. It was a live recording because that was the only way Rick Wakeman could afford to do it. I loved the original LP and it's great to see it and its successor Return To The Centre Of The Earth given such a sumptuous re-recording and release now.
The box contains two double 180g vinyl LP's together with a full colour hardback book in which tells the story of both albums. Mounted on the inside of the books cover is a numbered limited edition Roger Dean print signed by Rick and Roger. Securely mounted in the back cover are the DC versions of both albums.
The recordings sound wonderful. Journey finally has the treatment it always deserved. The only thing missing is the voice of Gary Pickford-Hopkins from the original recording. Sadly, he died long before the new recordings could be made. He was a wonderful singer. I saw him a couple of times fronting Wild Turkey and he was a very gifted vocalist. That said Ashley Holt is present and correct and does a great job on both albums.
If you enjoyed Journey the first time around I can heartily recommend this box set. It's a pity Rick couldn't include a remaster of the original LP but then you can't have everything...
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly what I was looking for., 4 Feb 2009
By 
Mr. A. Rodger "SmallAdMan" (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I bought this album on vynil when it was first released and it was damaged during a house move about 10 years ago. On finding this on Amazon I thought I must get a replacement. After purchasing it, I played it as soon as I received it. Brilliant. It brings back many happy memories. What more can I say, Thank you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably THE only prog rock narrative concept album to own..., 26 April 2014
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This review is from: Journey To The Center Of The Earth (Audio CD)
...from the archaeological waste land of the 'prog rock' back catalogue this nugget of musical fusion has been unearthed.

Journey was one of those albums that rippled the fan base when it was originally released and it remains a guilty pleasure to listen again to the Jules Verne book retold in musical form.

30 years on it is still able to engage new fans with its mix of orchestral and cutting edge keyboard instruments all analogue sounds mixed and presented on the night without pre-programable digital technology.

Mr Wakeman proves that years spent in mastering the art of synth was not wasted.

I have worked with Rick and seen him in action on the modern digital 'keys' where he is equally at home; the only thing he misses, and then not much, are the unexpected moments when local taxis 'breaking through' on the sound system a few seconds before he played the first note or someone setting light to the narrators script, all of which provide content for his touring show and a precursor to the playing of a track or two from this album.

The mix of classical orchestra and rock band as developed by John Lord and Deep Purple was and is carried forward via several extremely expensive and successful concerts by Mr Wakeman. The orchestra gives depth and fill to Rick's soaring surreal keyboard sounds to enhance and reinforce the spoken narrative.

The album stands up well after 30 years and if you only have one prog rock concept album you should make sure it is this one.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The No. 1 keyborder of the world !, 18 Oct 2000
By A Customer
The first time I heard Wakeman was when I listened to YESSONGS by YES. He tells the story written by Jule Verne with a narrator and . . . music. Who else is able to paint pictures with his keyboards? The Journey to the centre of the earth is and will be the best Wakeman you will find. Gerry Campbell
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A brilliantly grandiose piece of work from a master., 19 Dec 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Journey To The Center Of The Earth (Audio CD)
This classic album recorded quite some years ago live in concert, captures the classic essence that truly defines Rick Wakeman as more than your average pianist. While many people seem to be infuriated by the choice of vocals for this particular album, I think if they can look beyond that fact, they will find an exquisite work, which does well to encapsulate the feelings of not only 70s prog rock, but also the story of The Journey To The Centre Of The Earth.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rick Wakeman at his best, 18 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Journey To The Center Of The Earth (Audio CD)
only bought this because as a boy i was first introduced to this and had fond memories, did not disappoint second time around although couple of strange glances of my kids :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Journey to the Centre of Prog Rock, 23 Mar 2012
By 
Mrs. P. BROOKSBANK (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Back in the very early seventies a friend lent me some Bowie Albums, Tubular Bells and the Yes songs triple album. I was into the Beatles mainly but also liked other bands such as Family and Black Sabbath. I liked all of the albums that my friend had loaned me but for different reasons. One section of music I played over and over again. Rick Wakeman's excerpt for the six wife's of Henry the 8th. Naturally I bought it and I was blown away. Ok, the album didn't have any lyrics so really Rick could have called the tracks by any name although he claimed that they where his interpretation of their character. This wetted my appetite, so it was with some excitement that I clutched my copy of 'Journey to the Centre of the Earth" as I went home on the bus. It didn't fail me then and it still dosent after nearly forty years. From those opening dramatic strains to the narration and the telling of the story through Ashley Holts vocals it is a wonderful enchanting tale, a true journey. The rousing sections are juxtaposed by Ricks melodic keyboards. Yes there are some dodgy notes here and there and occasionally the vocals are a little out but I knew this at the time and it adds to the live feel, taking nothing away from the experience. The personalisation of the characters adds to the whole experience and you care about what happens to them in away that is unfortunately not present in the 1999 CD "Return to the Centre of the Earth." I was not fortunate enough to see the original production of Journey but I have seen Rick Wakeman perform many times and have heard various other renditions of it. Always nostalgic and always moving. There are a couple of negative reviews on here, pay no heed. Thrill to the battle between the Pterodactyl and Ichthyosaurs, marvel at the chambers lit by crystals and wonder as you are spat out via Mount Etna back from your Journey to the Centre of the Earth. I am going to see Rick Wakeman at Carnglaze Caverns in Cornwall this Saturday, apt really. I hope he plays an Excerpt from Journey.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rick Wakeman, 18 Jan 2011
By 
Craig Savage - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Journey To The Center Of The Earth (Audio CD)
Bought to replace the ageing vinyl copy I have had for years.
Music sounds as good as always.
Disappointments, well the leaflet with it no longer has the photos of David Hemmings the narator or the sea monsters from the battle,just one sheet giving scant information on who played,but this is a minor quibble.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Adventurous!!!, 15 Oct 2009
By 
Stotty (Bolton, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Journey To The Center Of The Earth (Audio CD)
Rick Wakeman must have been pinching himself regularly in 1974. He had made his name as a session musician and member of The Strawbs before joining Yes and having a string of smash hit albums. He had also ventured into solo work of which 'Journey...' is his second album, after the phenomenal success of the previous year's 'Six Wives Of Henry VIII'.
'Journey...' is in fact a live recording, taken from Wakeman's ground breaking show at London's Festival Hall. To record the material in a studio would have been too costly, so what we have is an edited version of the concert.
To attempt a project of this scale and pull it off was quite something when you consider that one or two bands including Deep Purple had already attempted mixing rock band and orchestra with pretty poor results. What Wakeman managed to do was take a sci-fi/adventure novel and put music to it with a progressive rock band, two singers, orchestra, choir and narrator and then throw it into a live setting. It's an amazing feat.
The music itself is actually quite patchy. Listening to the album, the orchestral parts, narration, songs and instrumental passages are thrown together somewhat with no real direction. The second half of the record is much more fluid than the first whch seems to stutter a bit, with 'The Battle' being a catchy highlight. Some of the lyrics are a bit ropey and the overall recording needs polishing a bit to eradicate one or two bum notes. I also think that Wakeman's keyboard lines need to be more dominant in the mix.
Having said all that, the sheer boldness of someone to attempt something like this in 1974 is a credit to Wakeman's abilities and ambition. 'Journey...' also shifted several million copies and made number 1 in the UK charts at the time. It also heralded Wakeman's departure from Yes, with which he'd already had a UK number 1 the same year, making him the unprecendented keyboard king.
'Journey...' is certainly not as good a record as it's chart placings and sales suggest, especially compared to the sheer brilliance of the next album ('The Myths And Legends Of King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table') but it's certainly a bit of a guilty pleasure and worth looking at.
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