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RICK WAKEMAN

Symphonic Prog • United Kingdom


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Rick Wakeman biography
Rick WAKEMAN is one of the best known progressive musicians and a pioneer in the use of electronic keyboards in rock music. He's also been extremely prolific: in addition to his work as a member of The STRAWBS* (folk-rock band), YES* (post-psychedelic hard rock band), and YES offshoot Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe (ABWH)*, he has a huge number of session credits, including work with David Bowie, Elton John, BLACK SABBATH, Al Stewart, and Lou Reed. And he's released more solo albums than anyone this side of FRANK ZAPPA. The list below includes 100 titles, including a best-of anthology, a CD EP, and six albums Rick did in collaboration with his son Adam (WwW)*. He also remained associated with YES into the '90s.


YES*: - Fragile, 1972 (expanded and remastered, 2003) / Close to the Edge, 1972 / Yessongs, 1973 / Tales from Topographic Oceans, 1973 / Yesterdays, 1974 / Going for the One, 1977 / Tormato, 1978 / Yesshows, 1980 / Classic Yes, 1981 / Union, 1991 / YesYears, 1991 / Yesstory, 1992 / Highlights - The Very Best of Yes, 1993 / Keys to Ascension, 1996 / Keys to Ascension 2, 1997 / Keys to Ascension Volume 1 & 2, 1997 / Keystudio, 2001 / In a Word: Yes (1969 - ...), 2002
(ABWH)* Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe: - (ABWH) Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe, 1989 / (ABWH) An Evening of Yes Music Plus, 1993
The STRAWBS*: - Just a Collection of Antiques and Curios, 1970 / From the Witchwood, 1971 / 30 Years in Rock, 2001 / Wakeman & Cousins: Hummingbird, 2002
(WwW)* Wakeman with Wakeman: - Wakeman with Wakeman, 1993 / No Expense Shared, 1993 / Wakeman with Wakeman Live, The Official Bootleg, 1994 / Romance of the Victorian Age, 1994 / Tapestries, 1995 / Vignettes, 1996 / Yes, Friends and Relatives, 1998

"THE BEST" & "THE NEXT BEST" (12 CDs):
Reaction to WAKEMAN's music is mixed: his catalog represents the best and worst aspects of progressive rock, but there's no denying that more than a few gems exist in his massive catalog. And, of course, everything is just in y humble opinion - yours may differ.

"THE BEST" : His earliest recordings are generally regarded his best, both commercially and artistically.
1- The Six Wives of Henry VIII - 1973
During the making of "Close to the Edge" in 1972, WAKEMAN also recorded his first solo album, an instrumental work entitled "The Six Wives of Henry VIII", which consisted of his musical interpretations of the lives and personalities of the said six royal spouses. The focus of each son...
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5 Classic Albums5 Classic Albums
Box set · Import
Imports 2016
Audio CD$10.59
$13.99 (used)
The Myths & Legends Of King Arthur & The Knights Of The Round TableThe Myths & Legends Of King Arthur & The Knights Of The Round Table
A&M 1988
Audio CD$4.99
$0.63 (used)
Piano PortraitsPiano Portraits
UMe 2017
Audio CD$13.98
The Six Wives of Henry VIIIThe Six Wives of Henry VIII
A&M Records 1987
Audio CD$3.88
$0.01 (used)
Starship TrooperStarship Trooper
Purple Pyramid 2016
Audio CD$7.22
$9.39 (used)
Journey to the Centre of the EarthJourney to the Centre of the Earth
A&M Records 1988
Audio CD$4.89
$2.00 (used)
Christmas VariationsChristmas Variations
Music Fusion 2011
Audio CD$15.99
$23.99 (used)
StarmusStarmus
Import
Imports 2016
DVD$9.58
$9.57 (used)
RhapsodiesRhapsodies
Real Gone Music 2015
Audio CD$7.80
$12.06 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
RICK WAKEMAN (YES) BIRDMAN OF ALCATRAZ A&M RECORDS UK 7" VINYL SINGLE RECORD YES USD $4.39 [0 bids]
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RICK WAKEMAN: The Myths & Legends Of King Arthur LP A&M SP4515 U S1975 NM- USD $11.04 Buy It Now
Journey To The Centre Of The Earth Rick Wakeman Audio CD USD $10.53 Buy It Now
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RICK WAKEMAN Myths & Legends of King Arthur LP A&M SP-4515 US 1975 Storybook USD $3.50 [0 bids]
4m 5s
RICK WAKEMAN : The Family Album President 1987 RWCD 4 15-track CD album, YES USD $12.56 Buy It Now 9m 36s
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1h 37m
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3h 35m
Rick Wakeman - Rhapsodies (2009 Japanese SHM Mini-LP UICY-94248) USD $18.59 [0 bids]
4h 15m
Rick Wakeman - Criminal Record (2009 Japanese SHM Mini-LP UICY-94241) USD $16.95 [0 bids]
4h 15m
RICK WAKEMAN "The Six Wives of Henry VIII" 1973 A&M LP SP-4361 EX/VG+ USD $3.99 Buy It Now 4h 35m
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9h 42m
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9h 56m
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13h 26m
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14h 6m
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14h 22m
RICK WAKEMAN - THE SIX WIVES OF HENRY THE VIII USD $5.00 Buy It Now 14h 24m
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15h 24m
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Rick Wakeman 2000 Tour Concert Programme - An Evening with Rick Wakeman - Yes USD $25.13 Buy It Now 16h 10m
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18h 27m
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RICK WAKEMAN RHAPSODIES A&M C40Y3134 Japan OBI Promo Vinyl 2LP USD $0.99 [1 bids]
18h 57m
RICK WAKEMAN SIX WIVES OF HENRY 8 A&M C25Y3124 Japan OBI Promo Vinyl LP USD $0.99 [1 bids]
18h 58m
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19h 38m
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21h
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21h 30m
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21h 48m
RICK WAKEMAN, (YES) THE SIX WIVES OF HENRY V111, 1973, VERY GOOD+ CONDITION USD $11.30 [0 bids]
21h 53m

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RICK WAKEMAN discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

RICK WAKEMAN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.07 | 685 ratings
The Six Wives of Henry VIII
1973
3.56 | 428 ratings
The Myths And Legends Of King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table
1975
2.59 | 106 ratings
Lisztomania
1975
3.73 | 194 ratings
No Earthly Connection
1976
3.14 | 125 ratings
White Rock
1977
3.75 | 221 ratings
Criminal Record
1977
2.39 | 114 ratings
Rhapsodies
1979
3.34 | 115 ratings
1984
1981
2.56 | 29 ratings
The Burning (Film Soundtrack)
1981
1.44 | 40 ratings
Rock N Roll Prophet
1982
2.53 | 32 ratings
G'ol O.S.T.
1983
2.59 | 39 ratings
Cost of Living
1983
2.33 | 35 ratings
Silent Nights
1985
3.04 | 17 ratings
Beyond The Planets
1985
3.23 | 31 ratings
Country Airs - Piano Solos
1986
2.55 | 22 ratings
Crimes of Passion O.S.T.
1986
3.20 | 23 ratings
The Gospels
1987
1.68 | 19 ratings
The Family Album
1987
3.36 | 37 ratings
A Suite of Gods
1988
2.15 | 27 ratings
Zodiaque
1988
2.58 | 33 ratings
Time Machine
1988
3.57 | 23 ratings
Sea Airs
1989
2.68 | 31 ratings
Black Knights at the Court of Ferdinand IV
1989
3.23 | 22 ratings
Night Airs
1990
2.18 | 15 ratings
In the Beginning
1990
2.36 | 14 ratings
Phantom Power
1990
2.44 | 17 ratings
Aspirant Sunrise
1991
1.88 | 22 ratings
Aspirant Sunset
1991
3.27 | 15 ratings
Aspirant Sunshadows
1991
3.18 | 25 ratings
Softsword
1991
2.35 | 27 ratings
2000 A.D. into the Future
1991
2.48 | 20 ratings
African Bach
1991
3.50 | 16 ratings
The Classical Connection
1991
2.50 | 4 ratings
A World of Wisdom
1991
3.55 | 20 ratings
Country Airs
1992
2.98 | 13 ratings
The Classical Connection 2
1992
2.88 | 17 ratings
Heritage Suite
1993
3.67 | 15 ratings
Prayers
1993
2.77 | 27 ratings
Wakeman with Wakeman
1993
2.49 | 15 ratings
No Expense Spared
1993
3.07 | 10 ratings
Lure of the Wild
1994
3.23 | 26 ratings
The Seven Wonders of the World
1995
2.14 | 9 ratings
Visions
1995
3.06 | 19 ratings
Cirque Surreal
1995
3.59 | 18 ratings
Romance of the Victorian Age
1995
2.00 | 9 ratings
Vignettes
1996
3.18 | 11 ratings
Tapestries
1996
3.05 | 13 ratings
The New Gospels
1996
2.93 | 17 ratings
Fields Of Green
1996
1.17 | 8 ratings
The Word and Music
1996
2.71 | 8 ratings
Orisons
1996
3.71 | 15 ratings
Can You Hear Me?
1996
4.00 | 8 ratings
Simply Acoustic - The Music
1997
2.62 | 21 ratings
Tribute
1997
3.43 | 14 ratings
Themes
1998
3.51 | 128 ratings
Return To The Centre Of The Earth
1999
3.69 | 24 ratings
Stella Bianca alla corte de Re Ferdinando
1999
2.89 | 9 ratings
Art in Music Trilogy
1999
3.18 | 11 ratings
The Natural World Trilogy
1999
2.21 | 19 ratings
White Rock II
1999
3.93 | 18 ratings
Preludes To A Century
2000
3.92 | 12 ratings
Chronicles of Man
2000
2.97 | 11 ratings
Christmas Variations
2000
3.10 | 11 ratings
Morning Has Broken
2000
3.27 | 11 ratings
Classical Variations
2001
3.77 | 37 ratings
Two Sides of Yes
2001
3.06 | 12 ratings
Tales Of Future And Past
2001
3.13 | 11 ratings
Treasure Chest Volume 1 - The Real Lisztomania
2002
4.30 | 10 ratings
Treasure Chest Volume 4 - Almost Classical
2002
3.14 | 7 ratings
Treasure Chest Volume 5 - The Mixture
2002
3.71 | 7 ratings
Treasure Chest Volume 6 - Medium Rare
2002
3.50 | 8 ratings
Treasure Chest Volume 7 - Journey to the Centre of the Earth +
2002
2.17 | 6 ratings
Treasure Chest Volume 8 - Stories
2002
3.81 | 21 ratings
Two Sides of Yes - Volume 2
2002
2.60 | 17 ratings
Wakeman & Cousins - Hummingbird
2002
3.71 | 15 ratings
The Wizard And The Forest Of All Dreams
2002
2.63 | 34 ratings
Songs Of Middle Earth
2002
3.83 | 87 ratings
Out There
2003
2.69 | 11 ratings
Revisited
2004
3.04 | 46 ratings
Retro
2006
3.21 | 24 ratings
Retro 2
2007
3.00 | 20 ratings
Always With You
2010
3.67 | 74 ratings
Journey To The Centre Of The Earth
2012
5.00 | 1 ratings
Journey to the Centre of the Earth
2014
3.89 | 18 ratings
The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table
2016

RICK WAKEMAN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.73 | 314 ratings
Journey To The Centre Of The Earth
1974
4.29 | 14 ratings
"The King Arthur" Concert
1976
3.57 | 23 ratings
Live At Hammersmith
1985
3.00 | 7 ratings
Unleashing the Tethered One - The 1974 North American Tour
1994
2.86 | 7 ratings
Live on the Test (1976)
1994
3.08 | 5 ratings
Wakeman with Wakeman Live
1994
3.94 | 15 ratings
Rick Wakeman In Concert KBFH
1995
2.14 | 3 ratings
Almost Live in Europe
1995
3.94 | 11 ratings
The Piano Album - Live
1995
4.00 | 3 ratings
Rock & Pop Legends
1995
2.80 | 5 ratings
The Best Of Rick Wakeman (original live recordings/ 1998 Wise Buy)
1998
3.71 | 6 ratings
Live in Buenos Aires. Official Live Bootleg
1999
3.77 | 13 ratings
The Legend - Live in Concert 2000
2000
4.47 | 19 ratings
Out Of The Blue
2001
3.94 | 7 ratings
Treasure Chest Volume 2 - The Oscar Concert
2002
2.50 | 7 ratings
Treasure Chest Volume 3 - The Missing Half
2002
4.00 | 4 ratings
Banda Sinfonica Jovem Do Estado De So Paulo
2004
3.70 | 10 ratings
Rick Wakeman At Lincoln Cathedral
2005
3.89 | 10 ratings
Live At The BBC
2007
4.19 | 45 ratings
The Six Wives Of Henry VIII - Live At Hampton Court Palace
2009
4.23 | 12 ratings
In The Nick of Time - Live In 2003
2012
4.00 | 3 ratings
Access All Areas
2015

RICK WAKEMAN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.05 | 3 ratings
Simply Acoustic (VHS)
1996
3.67 | 13 ratings
The Legend Live In Concert 2000 (aka An Evening With Rick Wakeman) (DVD)
2000
4.02 | 16 ratings
Rick Wakeman And The English Rock Ensemble: Live in Buenos Aires (DVD)
2001
3.18 | 3 ratings
Classic Rock Legends (DVD)
2001
3.48 | 26 ratings
Journey To The Centre Of The Earth (DVD)
2002
3.00 | 14 ratings
Out There (DVD)
2004
3.98 | 11 ratings
Made In Cuba (DVD)
2005
3.29 | 5 ratings
Amazing Grace
2007
4.33 | 3 ratings
The Otherside of Rick Wakeman
2007
4.33 | 8 ratings
Swedish Television Special 1980
2008
3.06 | 8 ratings
Rick Wakeman's Grumpy Old Picture Show
2008
3.79 | 52 ratings
The Six Wives Of Henry VIII - Live At Hampton Court Palace (DVD)
2009
5.00 | 4 ratings
Classical Wakeman Volume 1 - Live In Lugano
2010

RICK WAKEMAN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.17 | 32 ratings
Piano Vibrations
1971
5.00 | 4 ratings
20th Anniversary Limited Edition
1989
1.09 | 4 ratings
Chronicles - The Very Best Of Rick Wakeman
1992
3.33 | 3 ratings
Best Works Collection
1992
3.24 | 14 ratings
The Classic Tracks
1993
2.09 | 17 ratings
Rick Wakeman's Greatest Hits
1994
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Stage Collection
1994
3.00 | 4 ratings
The Private Collection
1995
4.21 | 16 ratings
Voyage: the Very Best of Rick Wakeman
1996
3.00 | 4 ratings
Master Series
1998
2.60 | 5 ratings
The Masters
1999
3.78 | 9 ratings
Recollections: The Very Best Of Rick Wakeman
2000
3.00 | 2 ratings
The Caped Collection
2000
3.10 | 2 ratings
The Definitive Music of Rick Wakeman
2001
3.09 | 3 ratings
My Inspiration
2001
2.33 | 11 ratings
Frost In Space
2001
4.00 | 5 ratings
Journey To The Center Of The Earth (2CD compilation)
2005
4.11 | 9 ratings
Starship Trooper
2016

RICK WAKEMAN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Catherine
1973
0.00 | 0 ratings
Love's Dream (with Roger Daltrey)
1975
0.00 | 0 ratings
Animal Showdown
1979
0.00 | 0 ratings
Birdman Of Alcatraz
1979
1.46 | 11 ratings
I'm So Straight I'm A Weirdo
1980
0.00 | 0 ratings
Spider
1980
5.00 | 1 ratings
Julia
1981
0.00 | 0 ratings
Glory Boys
1984
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Theme From Lytton's Diary
1985
2.40 | 7 ratings
Custers Last Stand / Ocean City
1988
4.33 | 6 ratings
Don't Fly Away/After Prayers
1991
3.50 | 2 ratings
Special Sampler
1991
2.75 | 4 ratings
Light Up The Sky
1994
5.00 | 3 ratings
Welcome a Star
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
Fields of Green
1997
5.00 | 1 ratings
Buried Alive feat. Ozzy Osbourne
1999
0.00 | 0 ratings
Amazing Grace
2007
0.00 | 0 ratings
Welcome A Star
2015
2.40 | 6 ratings
Life on Mars
2016

RICK WAKEMAN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Return To The Centre Of The Earth by WAKEMAN, RICK album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.51 | 128 ratings

BUY
Return To The Centre Of The Earth
Rick Wakeman Symphonic Prog

Review by VianaProghead

4 stars Review N 89

"Return To The Centre Of The Earth" is the fifty-sixth studio album of Rick Wakeman and was released in 1999. The line up on the album is Rick Wakeman, Justin Hayward, Katrina Leskanich, Tony Mitchell, Ozzy Osbourne, Trevor Rabin, Bonnie Tyler, Fraser Thornrycroft-Smith, Phil Williams, Simon Hanson, Patrick Stewart, the London Symphonic Orchestra conducted by David Snell and the English Chamber Choir conducted by Guy Protheroe.

For almost 30 years, Wakeman has been slogging it out as one of the preeminent keyboardists in rock, notably as an off and on member of Yes. Along with ELP's Keith Emerson and Deep Purple's Jon Lord, Wakeman brought the keyboards to the frontline of the band. Emerson and Lord barely strayed away from the confines of their respective group situations, but Wakeman has continually forged ahead, composing full conceptual pieces in which his keyboard navigates makeshift ensembles of rock players around full blown orchestras and choirs. During the early 70's, Wakeman lodged these musical experimentations with classic allegory. With historical accuracy, he boldly released "The Six Wives Of Henry VIII" and "The Myths And Legends Of King Arthur and The Knights Of The Round Table".

But, perhaps his most well received album, however, was based and titled after the classic Jules Verne tale, "Journey To The Centre Of The Earth". As you can recall, "Journey To The Centre Of The Earth" is a conceptual album based on Verne's eponymous science fiction novel with the same name. "Journey To The Centre Of The Earth" tells us the story of professor Lidenbrock, his nephew Axel, and their guide Hans. As the music is dotted by telling the story based on Verne's novel, there was need to have a narrator in a prominent position. Wakeman performed "Journey To The Centre Of The Earth" with the London Symphony Orchestra, the English Chamber Choir and a hand full of musicians.

"Return To The Centre Of The Earth" apparently took three years to plan and tells the story of three explorers seeking the retrace the steps of Verne's intrepid voyager, professor Lidenbrock. He got into trouble trying to follow the path, after read the manuscript by Arne Saknussemm. These three guys, two centuries forward from that discovery, coming back to the path of the original expedition and embark on another fantastic adventure. As with "Journey To The Centre Of The Earth", the music is also endowed with a narrator in a very prominent position, by telling the story based on Verne's novel. Wakeman also performs "Return To The Centre Of The Earth" with the London Symphony Orchestra and the English Chamber Choir, beyond a handful of musicians and singers, "The Dream Team" as he called it.

Despite "Return To The Centre Of The Earth" be a sequel of "Journey To The Centre Of The Earth", it doesn't completely follow the same structure of it. This time we are in presence of a studio recording instead of a live album. It features a large number of separate songs performed by several guest vocalists. The original "Journey" took about thirty-six minutes and the "Return" take more than the twice of that. While on "Journey" the narration was brief, on "Return" the narration is present on the tracks to explain the adventure as if we were hearing a talking book.

"Return To The Centre Of The Earth" isn't an effort on Wakeman's part to become a classical composer. He is here with what he has been all along. Although, I will say that Wakeman's personal playing on "Return" is a bit less over the top than his 70's work. Some people will appreciate this, and others will be marginally disappointed. I found that the blending of all the elements here are different than what Wakeman achieved in the 70's, primarily because his playing is slightly less grandiose and less of a focal point. Maybe he blends it a bit better. There are plenty of grand flourishes and rising crescendos that are part of the symphonic rock oeuvre. The story is very cinematic and the music matches the excitement and drama much as you would expect from a movie score, only here there is no movie to distract you from the scenes your mind creates, as you hear the narration and listen to the music. But, I like it anyway a lot. I always had a soft spot for grandiose combinations of rock and symphony. Throw in a choir and things get even better.

Conclusion: "Return To The Centre Of The Earth", is a great achievement. Together with other gifted musicians, Rick has proven the world that good quality music will never die. EMI gave Rick the possibility to do this project. With a visualizing and breathtaking narration, this album takes you all the way to the "centre of the earth". Every song is very well balanced between the relaxed and heavy rock songs. The solos are pure ecstasy and Rick plays the good old Moog like no one. This album is a great blend between classical and rock music, the melodies are complex, the recording is of the best quality and the singers are all great. Let's all hope that he will from now on get more opportunities to do projects like these. If you don't own this album you're missing a big part of Rick's best working.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Journey To The Centre Of The Earth by WAKEMAN, RICK album cover Live, 1974
3.73 | 314 ratings

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Journey To The Centre Of The Earth
Rick Wakeman Symphonic Prog

Review by VianaProghead

5 stars Review N 88

"Journey To The Centre Of The Earth" is the debut solo live album of Rick Wakeman and was released in 1974. Chronologically, it's his third solo album and it was recorded between his debut studio album "The Six Wives Of Henry VIII" and his second studio album "The Myths And Legends Of King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table".

"Journey To The Centre Of The Earth" is a different live album because is a new musical work which was never released as a studio album. The album is a live recording from his second of two sold out concerts, in 18 January 1974 at the Royal Festival Hall, in London. Wakeman decided to hold a live recording of this album, due to its high cost. He couldn't totally afford the production involving an orchestra and a choir with so many elements. The solution was to do it as a show paid. At the time, his record label A&M, English business, didn't agree to pay all the production, and so, it was necessary to convince A&M, American business to do so, and Wakeman was very well succeeded with that.

"Journey To The Centre Of The Earth" is another Wakeman's conceptual album. This time it's based on the Jules Verne's eponymous science fiction novel. Verne was a famous French writer of the nineteenth century, who pioneered the science fiction literary genre which became best known because his novels "A Journey To The Centre Of The Earth", "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea" and "Around The World In Eighty Days".

"Journey To The Centre Of The Earth" tells us the story of professor Lidenbrock, his nephew Axel, and their guide Hans, who follow a passage to the centre of the Earth, originally discovered by Anne Saknussemm, an Iceland alchemist. They encounter many adventures, including prehistoric animals and natural hazards. As the music is dotted by telling the story based on Verne's novel, there was need to have a narrator in a prominent position in the recording. Then, the actor David Hemmings was the person chosen and so, he provides the narration of the story on the album.

Wakeman performs "Journey To The Centre Of The Earth" with the London Symphony Orchestra, the English Chamber Choir and a hand full of musicians, Gary Pickford-Hopkins (vocals), Ashley Holt (vocals), Mike Egan (electric guitar), Roger Newell (bass guitar) and Barney James (drums). The use of Wakeman's keyboards, perfectly couple with the orchestra, created the ambient needed to the great audio success of the story and of the music on the album.

Recorded at the London's Royal Festival Hall, the tale is broken into four parts. The first and second parts, "The Journey"/"Recollection", take our adventures from the surface of the Earth to the lost world inside it, encountering various difficulties along the way. The music is great, at times peaceful and adventurous and in others with dark moody parts. It starts explosively in a very symphonic way, with the orchestra being the dominant force. The epic has many musical changes, soft passages sung by Pickford and Holt, frantic keyboard sections, aggressive rock & roll chords always supported by the correct narration of Hemmings with his very well educated English accent. The track ends symphonically as it begins. The third and fourth parts, "The Battle"/"The Forest" are much more complex. "The Battle" starts with some more narrative that describes the battle between two sea monsters, which leads to a rock based movement and it has also lyrics and a choir. Wakeman's keyboards and Egan's guitar create a perfect musical mixture of baroque, classical and heavy rock which places the listener in a ringside too see not only the big fight but also a huge storm, where Wakeman does his best, describing the winds with his Minimoog. "The Forest" situates us when the expedition reaches the centre of the earth. Musically, is extremely beautiful and again the voices of Pickford and Holt sound perfect. "The Forest" includes also an excerpt of "In The Hall Of The Mountain King" of Edvard Grieg.

Conclusion: "Journey To The Centre Of The Earth" is a very special album for me. The first Wakeman's albums I knew were "Journey To The Centre Of The Earth", "The Myths And Legends Of King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table", "Lisztomania" and "No Earthly Connection". However, "Journey To The Centre Of The Earth" was my first contact with his solo albums, in the 70's. So, it was a very important album into my musical education. My first version of this album was a cassette tape, which a friend recorded for me. Often I listened to it on a small mono tape recorder. For those who are very young and not lived through those times, imagine the technical and monetary conditions that my generation had in those days. However, our union and solidarity were incredible in our love for music in general and particularly by the progressive rock music genre. Whether or not by this motif, "Journey To The Centre Of The Earth" always had a very special place into my heart. However, besides that, "Journey To The Centre Of The Earth" remains as one of the best and innovative progressive musical projects of the 70's, I think.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 The Myths And Legends Of King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table by WAKEMAN, RICK album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.56 | 428 ratings

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The Myths And Legends Of King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table
Rick Wakeman Symphonic Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Thanks to the bankruptcy-inducing King Arthur On Ice performance which was held to promote it, this album's become a bit of a lightning rod, with people either despising it as an example of the worst sort of vacuous, pretentious faux-artistic pomposity associated with prog rock, and others revering it as example of prog's soaring ambitions.

In fact, I consider it neither, and to be honest if it didn't have Rick Wakeman's name and a deeply misconceived concert surrounding it, nobody would have heard of this. It's rather generic keyboard noodling set against rather generic orchestral pomp without much meat to either, with Rick showboating a lot and generally the whole package being quite, quite forgettable.

There's a bit in the King Arthur stage show where ice skaters taking on the role of Lancelot and the Black Knight do a bit of duelling. They look extremely, extremely serious doing it, despite the fact that it looks extremely silly, partially because you can't actually do a decent fight scene like that on ice so they don't really bother and just fall back on doing generic ice skating moves and occasionally tap their swords together in that "We're deliberately hitting each other's swords and very obviously aren't actually trying to hit each other way" that's indicative of really bad fight choreography - all this whilst dressed as Monty Python and the Holy Grail extras with horribly unconvincing "horses" incorporated into their costume.

That one visual, for me, sums up what's wrong with the album. You have all the ingredients to produce something amazingly cheesy, if the artists responsible just loosened up a bit and embraced the ridiculousness of it all and trim back the more po-faced bits; alternately, you have all the ingredients needed to make something deep and artistically meaningful, if you just toned down or took out some of the goofier ideas. But as it is, Rick jumbles it all together and it ends up this horrible mash-up of ideas, half of which are sabotaging the other half.

Again, it's not terrible. But it keeps tripping over itself a bit too much to be actually considered good.

 The Six Wives of Henry VIII by WAKEMAN, RICK album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.07 | 685 ratings

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The Six Wives of Henry VIII
Rick Wakeman Symphonic Prog

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja
Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

3 stars Rick Wakeman's most famous solo album is a solid example of classic symphonic prog. Spanning six tracks, each bearing the name of a different wife of that 8th old man named 'Enry (as Herman's Hermits would say), this wholly instrumental album is a consistent, well-composed and well-performed collection of classic keyboard sounds. From a technical standpoint, this checks just about all of the boxes for the 70's English symphonic ideal. The mood ranging from spacey and heavy psychedelic rock in "Anne of Cleves" to the light, pristine, and pastoral "Catherine Howard" and just about everything that can be heard in the discographies of Genesis, ELP or Camel. Unfortunately, though, as well done as the album is, none of the melodies really mesmerize or stick with you for too long. In that sense, I can't give it any more than a "non-essential" 3 star rating, but it is an album that will consistently keep you interested (or at the very least awake) while it's playing.
 Life on Mars by WAKEMAN, RICK album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2016
2.40 | 6 ratings

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Life on Mars
Rick Wakeman Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars Is there life on Mars? Yes!

Rick Wakeman played on the original versions of these two very well-known classic songs of David Bowie: Life On Mars and Space Oddity. Here, Wakeman performs these two songs again as instrumentals as a tribute to his recently departed friend. These piano versions are nice and have been performed in similar arrangement live by Wakeman in the past. It is a fitting tribute to the great Bowie, but it is nothing more than that. This single is worth a listen, but it isn't too exciting, and of course there is nothing progressive here to speak of.

 Aspirant Sunset by WAKEMAN, RICK album cover Studio Album, 1991
1.88 | 22 ratings

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Aspirant Sunset
Rick Wakeman Symphonic Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars Ten years have passed since I wrote the review of Aspirant Sunrise, which is the first of a trilogy of "Aspirant" albums keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman created in a prolific 1991 year. And now I am writing this review because I am having once again a journey through some of his forgotten albums (at least to me) I own and don't really use to play regularly. As you can imagine,, judging by my nickname, I am a huge fan of Rick Wakeman, I love his solo masterpieces, his work with Yes, his customs, his sense of humor and lots of things, however, it is undeniable he has released several regular albums that are far from being memorable, and I don't mean to be harsh, because I do enjoy this trilogy, but I believe his new age explorations are closer to oblivion than to excitement.

Aspirant Sunset is actually a nice new age album, but we all knew him due to his progressive rock works, so it is normal to find these unexpected releases as boring, different, unattractive. In this album he offers almost an hour of solo music (there are no lyrics, no other musicians, just himself and his keyboards) divided on 10 tracks purely fulfilled by new age sounds and atmospheres. All with a soft sound, peaceful and relaxing, so if you are in need of a moment of introspection and peace, you may play this album, sit comfortable, close your eyes and have a deep breath. It will help.

Besides this "therapeutic" use, I find the album difficult to enjoy on a regular basis, it is like one long song divided in 10 chapters, but the sound is practically the same in each track. If you like new age or need a dose of tranquility, I would recommend this to you, otherwise, don't even try to get it because you might be disappointed.

Anyway? enjoy it!

 Wakeman with Wakeman by WAKEMAN, RICK album cover Studio Album, 1993
2.77 | 27 ratings

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Wakeman with Wakeman
Rick Wakeman Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars The father, the son, and the holy ghost

As Rick tells on his official website, this album (aka Lure Of The Wild) was almost completely finished before Adam Wakeman came on board. It was decided at the last minute that this would be released as a "Wakeman with Wakeman" album to go with the already planned tour featuring Rick and his youngest son. I can only assume that the two compositions credited to Adam - Megalomania and Past And Present - where pasted onto to the album during its final stages.

This album is completely instrumental and it features only the dual keyboards of Rick and Adam and programmed drums by Stuart Sawney. There is however a live album from the following tour which featured also bass and drums by Alan Thompson and Tony Fernandez respectively. Personally, I much prefer the live album where the music really comes alive. This is evident when comparing the studio version of the best track here by far, the opening track Lure Of The Wild, with its live counterpart on the Wakeman With Wakeman Live album (aka The Official Bootleg). While the studio version is very good, the live version of the same is amazing! Also Past And Present and the Rolling Stones cover Paint It Black were performed live and included on the live album.

The rest of the tunes here are a mixed bag, covering a variety of styles. While it is better than many other albums in Rick's vast discography and definitely an enjoyable and pleasant listen in it own right, it never really takes off. I can recommend this album to fans and collectors, but my advice is to start with the aforementioned live album which offers a better introduction to the Wakeman With Wakeman project and hold the ultimate version of the great Lure Of The Wild.

 Wakeman with Wakeman Live by WAKEMAN, RICK album cover Live, 1994
3.08 | 5 ratings

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Wakeman with Wakeman Live
Rick Wakeman Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Like father, like son

Wakeman With Wakeman Live (aka "The Official Bootleg") is a live recording from Argentina 1993. The line-up features Alan Thompson on bass, Tony Fernandez on drums, and Rick Wakeman and his youngest son Adam on keyboards. Hence, there are no vocals or guitars. Medleys of The Myths And Legends Of King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table and Journey To The Centre Of The Earth are performed as instrumentals with the vocal melodies replaced by keyboards and the two Wakemans trading solos on keyboards instead of with a guitar player. Journey is here presented in a longer version than usual which runs for almost 40 minutes and includes lots of extended solos most of which are simply amazing. Enthusiasts of Rick Wakeman live recordings - of which I am certainly one - will love hearing these alternate versions, but they are not the ultimate versions of these classic Wakeman pieces. That prize would go to other live versions with the "full" Rock band line-up with vocals and guitars included.

The two wives Catherine Howard and Catherine Parr are also performed differently from their original studio counterparts but similar to other live versions. One of the best numbers here is the concert opener Lure Of The Wild which sounds even better than its studio version (featured on the Wakeman With Wakeman studio album), due in part to the presence of real drums and bass, but also to the live atmosphere. Past And Present is another track from the Wakeman With Wakeman album, it is a good little piano dominated number. The set list also includes two covers of The Beatles (Eleanor Rigby) and The Rolling Stones (Paint It Black) respectively. Again, on these the vocal lines are played on keyboards which could have been a disaster had it not been the case that the arrangements are highly creative and departs radically from the original versions.

This recording is very interesting and highly enjoyable, but there are several other live releases out there that are even better than this one.

 Access All Areas by WAKEMAN, RICK album cover Live, 2015
4.00 | 3 ratings

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Access All Areas
Rick Wakeman Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars Elizabethan Rock

This CD release contains the same concert as Rick Wakeman's DVD in the Classic Rock Legends series but this time holding the complete show (while the DVD omitted the concert closer Merlin The Magician). In addition to Rick himself, the line-up consists of Ashley Holt on vocals and electronic percussion, David Paton on bass guitar, and Tony Fernandez on drums. There is no guitarist which is a drawback, but on the other hand this makes the other musicians stand out more, and we are treated to both drum and bass guitar solos.

The set list includes Elizabethan Rock/Make Me A Woman from Rick's then current Time Machine album, two selections from Six Wives Of Henry VIII, and a superb version of Journey To The Centre Of The Earth. The latter is the Rock arrangement which omits the narration and the orchestra which I strongly prefer over the original version. Finally, Merlin The Magician - which was not present on the DVD version of this concert for some reason - is included. This is the version with vocals added.

There are many amazing Rick Wakeman live releases out there, my personal favourite being the Out Of The Blue CD. But also DVD's such as Live In Buenos Aires and Made In Cuba are great additions to any Prog collection. Unlike the present live album, these others also feature a guitarist which is added value.

While I gave the Classic Rock Legends DVD featuring material from the same concert three stars, I think that this complete concert is worth four stars.

 Journey To The Centre Of The Earth by WAKEMAN, RICK album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.67 | 74 ratings

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Journey To The Centre Of The Earth
Rick Wakeman Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
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.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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