This Rick Wakeman’s 1974 album Journey To The Centre Of The Earth re-release is brought as a 4-disc box set.
The package includes the original album with the bonus track The Pearl And Dean Piano Concerto, recorded at the Royal Festival Hall, London, in 1974.
In addition, the set also features a live performance of the album recorded in Boston in 74, Live In Buenos Aires from 1993, and an audio DVD featuring a quad surround sound mix.
Wakeman says: “The wonderful thing about live recordings is they are a true time capsule of the music of the moment. Recording was fraught with problems and so when the finished album was finally mixed with no corrections, in spite of the mistakes there was so much energy, life and spine-tingling moments that would have been lost had we tried to ‘repair’ certain areas.
“Mastering was also at a pretty basic stage back in 1974 compared to now – and the new mastering that has been done is quite magnificent and is chalk and cheese compared to the original.”
The box set features an update of the original album artwork by Roger Dean.
A nice qoute from Rick Wakeman about the original release back is 1974:
Little known fact but I had to mortgage and sell nearly everything I owned in order to make this album as I only had £4,000 from A&M to pay towards it. In fact that is one of the reasons it was recorded live as I just couldn't afford to record it in the studio. On the day of the live concert I received a writ for non payment of my milk bill by the Express Dairy.
The original music was written to be much longer as well, but had to be severely edited to make it shorter to perform live so that it would fit on two sides of the album!!! And what happened to the edited music? Well suffice to say that throughout three divorces much has been lost!
The concert was recorded on 16 track tape and basically there was spillage onto all the tracks from everything. The Battle suffered the most as some terrible wrong notes, bad playing and a horrendous buzz made quite a substantial section completely unusable. It was not possible to re-record either and match sounds and so a chunk of the piece was copied and used twice, hence for the astute listener, there is a verse section of completely wrong lyrics
This release is for those who are deeply into orchestral keyboardplaying and symphonic rock.
Personally i would have loved it a bit more if this release would have been a collection of more different albums instead of 4 albums bringing the same songs.
Although the audio dvd bring us some extra songs.