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Load image into Gallery viewer, Journey to the Centre of the Earth: Deluxe Edition
  • Load image into Gallery viewer, Journey to the Centre of the Earth: Deluxe Edition
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Journey to the Centre of the Earth: Deluxe Edition

4.6
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£71.00
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Customer Reviews

Great album from the 70s that still sounds fresh after all these yearsYet another CD I purchased for my wife for a Christmas present. Originally the copy she purchased was on vinyl. A great album that sill sound fresh all these years later.5Experimental Then, Classic NowIt'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. Fortunately they are not the main attraction, the music is. The lyrics do tell part of the story, so you should still understand what the singer is saying.Other than the other story albums of the time, and the more symphonic productions of Yes, the closest album I can think of similar to this in terms of style is The Moody Blues "Days of Future Passed", which is completely different in concept.Given the goal of the album, I think that the music is well-matched to the goal, not over-blown or pretentious. However, recall that much symphonic music is by its nature overblown and pretentious. Consider, as an example, Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture. Definitely overblown and pretentious. And who cares? It's good music well done.As with much of the music I enjoy, this album is not for everyone. It is a niche album for those who like the fusion of rock and classical, with synthesizers and a story thrown in for good measure. There are a variety of styles represented, including Rick Wakeman's unique style. If you are still unsure whether you would like this, borrow a copy or download a portion from someone and give it a listen. If Yes and The Moody Blues are your idea of exciting music, I'm betting this album will soon be on your list of good music.5rick wakemanOkay, the lyrics are nothing to write home about. They are simple, almost juvenile. Fortunately they are not the main attraction, the music is. The lyrics do tell part of the story, so you should still understand what the singer is saying.Other than the other story albums of the time, and the more symphonic productions of Yes, the closest album I can think of similar to this in terms of style is The Moody Blues "Days of Future Passed", which is completely different in concept.Given the goal of the album, I think that the music is well-matched to the goal, not over-blown or pretentious. However, recall that much symphonic music is by its nature overblown and pretentious. Consider, as an example, Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture. Definitely overblown and pretentious. And who cares? It's good music well done.As with much of the music I enjoy, this album is not for everyone. It is a niche album for those who like the fusion of rock and classical, with synthesizers and a story thrown in for good measure. There are a variety of styles represented, including Rick Wakeman's unique style. If you are still unsure whether you would like this, borrow a copy or download a portion from someone and give it a listen. If Yes and The Moody Blues are your idea of exciting music, I'm betting this album will soon be on your list of good music.Help other customers find the most helpful reviewsWas this review helpful to you? Yes NoReport abuse | PermalinkComment Comment (1)20 of 21 people found the following review helpful:5.0 out of 5 stars Landmark in 20th century musical experiences, December 29, 2003ByAmanda Bartels (Eltham, Victoria Australia) - See all my reviews(REAL NAME)This review is from: Journey to the Centre of the Earth (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.5A Rick Wakeman MasterpieceMy mother introduced me to the music of Yes, and subsequently, Rick Wakeman. This album was her first recommendation, so I picked it up. Being a fan of the original Jules Verne book, I looked forward to hearing Rick's musical take on the story. Needless to say, I was not disappointed; each piece of music is well worth the price of admission. The added narration really adds to the overall production. This would certainly be a great album to witness live. One interesting note is that there are actually four tracks on the CD (not two, as the listing indicates).5I won't write a lot other than to say, ...I won't write a lot other than to say, while this is definitely prog rock at the peak of its popularity, what makes this such an exceptional recording is that it was all done live in one take. Phenomenal performances by Rick, choir, orchestra, narrator...Really incredible.5Great set for a Rick Wakeman fan.This review assumes you are a fan of Rick Wakeman music and/or Yes and is not a critique of the music itself. In short though, Rick Wakeman combines classic rock riffs with classical movements to create a progressive fusion of rock and classical music.The star of this set is the DVD-A. As such, I will leave that for last.The main CD of the show is bright and clear. Perhaps a bit too bright for my taste but played at reasonable volume (subjective of course), the music still sounds full and somewhat rich. Most should be satisfied with the sound but the brightness can be harsh at times playing at higher volume levels.The Boston CD presents another version of the show. The story teller is American and just does not rise to the level of the narrator from the main CD. It sounds like a choir and smaller set of symphonic musicians are present but the CD transfer itself is not very good. Though in stereo, it almost sounds bootleg as the music seems to be recorded from afar. In any event this is still worth a listen as it presents another version of the show with variations on the instruments and how they are played.The Buenos Aires CD is a much better produced disc and is basically at the same level as the main CD. This presentation is Rick and his band playing the show, minus a symphony, choir and vocals. Rick's keyboards replaces these. This is a good sounding CD and presents a music only version that shows off the keyboard wizardry of Rick Wakeman. This is a CD that will receive many listens by me.As I said, the star of the set is the DVD-A. This requires a special player and will not work on a regular DVD player. This disc has a much higher resolution and is the preferred disc to listen to. There are two versions, a two channel and quadraphonic (4 channels). The two channel version is a smoother more balanced presentation and not quite as bright as its CD counterpart. This allows the music to be cranked with absolutely no harshness nor ear fatigue and has a much richer sound. The quad disc is interesting presentation which puts the majority of the crowd and choir to the rear speaker while the remainder of the music fills the room all around. I am a big fan of multi channel music, especially when done right. This is somewhat of a mixed bag but overall a pleasant transfer, one I will be going back to from time to time.I still have the original vinyl release of this album by A&M records. A good sounding record that I probably prefer over the CD, but I do prefer the DVD-A over the vinyl.Apparently when this came out 4 years ago, it was rather expensive. But if you are a Wakeman fan, and can play DVD-A, then at 21 dollars this is a no brainer. For others, your mileage may vary.5Wakeman .. Center of the EarthBought this album in vinyl hundreds of years ago ... and it's still a moving work of Wakeman creativity and keyboard skill!5Wakeman and MinimoogI truly enjoyed listening to this again.It has been decades since I had the original vinyl LP, I purchased it in 1975 the year after it was recorded..I won't get into the tired old argument about LP being better then CD or mp3 which is nonsense and relative only to the equipment a person uses to listen to their media of choice but I must take notice that on the original recording there was a narration at the very beginning before any music started that set the stage and atmosphere of the entire piece.Without this intro this recording is incomplete and takes away from the overall enjoyment, especially for those of us who remember it from all those years ago.5Great concept albumRick Wakeman spent his down time from Yes creating concept albums like this one. Spoken words told the storyline, while an orchestra, rock band and Wakeman's keyboards added classical-rock-film score sounds. Wakeman was part of a triple bill when I saw him in Philly, coming on after Larry Coryell's Eleventh House and Gentle Giant. I remember him coming on stage for a second encore at 1:30 a.m., stunned that the crowd was still there. He explained that the band didn't have anything else to play, so they played an encore tune a second time "changing it up a bit," as he said. For those who never heard what classical rock music was, this is a good start, after ELP, Yes and King Crimson.5Awesome undertaking - orchestraAwesome undertaking - orchestra, choir, band, music - and then there are the vocals - yikes! Bought this vinyl when it was first released and have always thought Wakeman had to be drinking or something when he chose the vocalists. After working with Jon Anderson (YES) how could he use such dismal voices? I've always wondered but didn't have the guts to ask him when I met him.4
Journey to the Centre of the Earth: Deluxe Edition

Journey to the Centre of the Earth: Deluxe Edition

4.6
Error You can't add more than 500 quantity.
Regular price
£71.00
Sale price
£71.00
Regular price
£116.00
Sold out
Unit price
per 
Save 39% (£45.00)