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Rick Wakeman - Journey To The Centre Of The Earth CD (album) cover


Rick Wakeman


Symphonic Prog

3.68 | 85 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
2 stars Recollection

A trend of recent years has been for bands to re-record some of their classic albums. A successful example of this is Camel's re-recording of The Snow Goose which actually improved on the original version. The present album is a re-recorded version of Rick Wakeman's Journey To The Centre Of The Earth (not to be confused with the 1999 album Return To The Centre Of The Earth which was a sequel, not a re-make like the present disc).

While the original 1974 album was recorded live, this 2012 album is the long overdue studio version. There are some differences and expansions here and there but it mostly stays true to the original arrangements. I would say that the original version is the better of these two, but I much prefer the rockier versions of Journey that Rick have performed live more recently with various incarnations of his "English Rock Ensemble". My #1 favourite Rick Wakeman release is the live disc Out Of The Blue which features a brilliant 17 minute version of Journey which loses the narration, the choirs, and the symphony orchestra, and features lead vocals by the great Damian Wilson. Other versions of the piece with similar length and structure are featured on other live releases such as the very good Made In Cuba DVD with original vocalist Ashley Holt. This 2012 studio version recreates the narration and is as overblown and bombastic as the 1974 version.

The original Journey To The Centre Of The Earth was never my favourite of the classic Rick Wakeman albums and this re-make has done nothing to change that. It is interesting to listen to this once, and it is not badly made, but it adds little of value to the original. 1999's Return To The Centre Of The Earth (featuring guest performances by Trevor Rabin, Ozzy Osbourne, and others) was a better tribute to the classic than this re-make is.

Primarily for fans and collectors.

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |


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