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


Rick Wakeman


Symphonic Prog

3.46 | 29 ratings

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4 stars I remember clearly the day I got this DVD, it was the same afternoon I bought my first home theater, I had the money and went to the store to see what if there was enough material to justify the price of a DVD player, and there it was one lonely copy of "Journey to the Centre of the Earth" (2001 UK Collectors Edition with it's characteristic logo in double triangle shape), shining in the top shelve so I bought it a few minutes before searching for a DVD player able to read PAL system, something not usual in Lima on the early 2000's.

On my way home while driving with one hand and reading the song list with the other, I was simply impressed, it was something I had only dreamed of watching when I was a kid but after installing the DVD I was a bit disappointed because of the quality of the image and the sound , but anybody who buys a video material recorded. In 1975, shouldn't expect the best picture an sound because the value is in the music and the show and I had to own it.

The first two tracks are Catherine Parr from "Six Wives of Henry the VIII" and Guinivere from "Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table" (Not released yet in those days), but my attention and expectation was placed in "Journey to the Centre of the Earth", so when it was announced I forgot all the flaws and concentrated in a show for which I had waited almost three decades.

The narration is absolutely poor, Terry Taplin's accent and vocal range is distasteful, a caricature of the perfect English and cult voice of David Hemmings, this poor guy shouted with the same pronunciation as a man who is selling fresh fish in the harbor market and not as an educated narrator telling an amazing adventure, horrendous is too good to describe it.

But then the music starts, the first thing you notice is the difference between The London Symphony Orchestra and The Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra which is evident, but still the performance is excellent, Rick gives a very solid show, even the usually terrible voices of Gary Pickford and Ashley Holt are appropriate for the story, if it wasn't for the repulsive narration would have been almost perfect, despite the sound problems and the not so perfect image.

After the central piece Rick gives two more excellent performances from "The Six Wives of Henry the VIII (Catherine Howard and the unforgettable Anne Boleyn), simply delightful plus a good version of "Merlin" despite a few wrong keys that must be understood because the song requires an amazing speed and it was new stuff for him on this days.

The show ends with a reprise of "The Forest" as an encore, making evident that in those early stages of his career, RICK WAKEMAN didn't had enough material for such a long concert.

If you're a perfectionist obsessed with excellent image and sound forget it because this is not the case, but you would be missing a unique experience that only a few lucky guys witnessed in the early/mid 70's, if you ask me, I don't regret for a second.

Not a 5 stars DVD because of all the problems already mentioned but without doubts 4 solid stars being that the historical value of this concert and the chance to watch RICK WAKEMAN with full orchestra is something hard to find..

Ivan_Melgar_M | 4/5 |


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