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


Rick Wakeman


Symphonic Prog

3.73 | 343 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
5 stars One of prog rocks most important albums ever. Rick Wakeman dared to prove once and for all rock was not disposable music. With this album he reached not only huge commercial success, but also imense prestige, even among the very demanding classical audience and critics. It is hard nowadays to believe that such elaborated piece of work was such a popular hit. Maybe too popular, for he became later the epitome of what the punks hated about prog rock. It was pehaps too pretentious and bloated affair for many, but its historical importance can not be denied, specially here on PA.

Ok, maybe the music is more classical than really progresive as someone has already pointed out, but it was a giant step forward to popular music. t proved that rock music could blend nicely to classical without distorcing any of them. the musical elements of this album, based on the Jules Verne famous book, with all the narration, choirs and orchestration were very well done and clearly showed Wakeman at his creative peak. Everything works in this record, and some songs are still quite unique, like The Battle (yes, he can rock!). the moogs, the band, teh orchestra and the choir all shine and blend. The recording is absolute fantastic for the time. It was a surprise worldwide hit, including in Brazil, where he was the first major rock figure to play here (with thw Brazilian philarmonic orchestra backing) in 1975.

Unfortunatly it also became the album that was too overplayed, and later labeled as an empty, bloated, self indulgent and pretentious affair. That was not the case, of course, but the label stuck since then. It was a refreshing experience to hear it again after so many years and find it as fresh and exciting as I thought of at the time. A bold work and a damn good one too! For anyone who is interested in prog history, this is a must have. An essential masterpiece that never really got the historical recognition it surely deserves.

A classic in all aspects. 5 stars, no less!

Tarcisio Moura | 5/5 |


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