Monday, June 17, 2024

Rick Wakeman: Journey To The Center Of The Earth 1974 (2012 Reissue) + The Myths And Legends Of King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table 1975 (2016 Reissue)


One of the premier rock keyboardists of the progressive era, Rick Wakeman cut his teeth as a London

session musician at the tail-end of the 1960s before earning star status as a member of prog rock superstars Yes in 1971.

He left the band in 1973 to concentrate on his burgeoning solo career and within a few years had

released a trio of ambitious, classical rock albums that proved highly successful: The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Journey to the Centre of the Earth, and The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.

Wakeman briefly rejoined Yes in the late '70s, and during the next decade produced the film score for

Ken Russell's Lisztomania;
he also co-wrote a musical version of George Orwell's 1984 with lyricist Tim Rice. He subsequently recorded a series of acclaimed new age albums, recorded and toured intermittently with Yes, and maintained a prodigious recording and touring schedule, balancing his rock, new age, religious, and solo piano work.

In the 21st century, albums like 2000's Preludes to a Century and 2017's Piano Portraits earned

Wakeman critical acclaim and even a return to chart success, especially on his prog-heavy 2020 outing The Red Planet.



Journey to the Centre of the Earth is one of progressive rock's crowning achievements. With the help of the London Symphony Orchestra and the English Chamber Choir, Rick Wakeman turns this classic Jules Verne tale into an exciting and suspenseful instrumental narrative. The story is told by David

Hemmings in between the use of Wakeman's keyboards, especially the powerful Hammond organ and the innovative Moog synthesizer, and when coupled with the prestigious sound of the orchestra, creates the album's fairy tale-like climate. Recorded at London's Royal Festival Hall, the tale of a group of explorers who wander into the fantastic living world that exists in the Earth's core is told musically through Wakeman's synthesized theatrics and enriched by the haunting vocals of a chamber choir.

Rick Wakeman - Journey To The Center Of The Earth
Label: Wasabi Records 4571136377923
Format: CD Reissue 2012
Released: 1974
Genere: Rock
Style: Progressive Rock, Symphonic Rock, Classic Rock



01. The Preface (1:10)
-The Journey
02. The Journey Overture (2:25)
03. Journey's Dawn (3:39)
04. Crystals (0:34)
05. The Gothic Cathedral (1:07)
06. A Quest For Water (1:18)
07. The Hansbach (2:55)
- ...
08. Fervent Prayer (0:41)
09. The Recollection (2:32)
10. Lost & Found (0:44)
11. Echoes (3:49)
-The Battle
12. Miles (0:18)
13. The Reunion (2:42)
14. A New Vista (0:50)
15. A World Within A World (2:14)
16. The Raft (1:07)
17. The Battle (5:55)
-The Elements
18. Cumulus Clouds (0:38)
19. The Storm (2:02)
-The Discovery
20. The Cemetery (1:28)
21. Quaternary Man (4:50)
22. Mastodons (0:54)
-The Forest
23. The Forest (2:31)
24. Ages Of Man (1:56)
25. The Tunnel (1:53)
- ...
26. Hall Of The Mountain King (0:53)
27. Mount Etna (3:17)

Total time 54:22



Rick Wakeman - keyboards, additional choir arrangements, co-producer



Hayley Sanderson - vocals
Ashley Holt - vocals
Dave Colquhoun - guitars
Lee Pomeroy - bass
Tony Fernandez - drums
Orion Symphony Orchestra
Danny Beckerman - original orchestrations
Wil Malone - original orchestrations
Ann Manly - additional orchestrations
English Chamber Choir
Guy Protheroe - additional orchestrations, choir conductor
Peter Egan - narrator

Flac Size: 341 MB



Rick Wakeman's third solo album is among his best, as he employs his vast array of keyboards to their full extent, musically describing the characters pertaining to the days of King Arthur's reign. With

orchestra and choir included, although a little less prevalent than on Journey, he musically addresses the importance and distinguishing characteristics of each figure through the use of multiple synthesizers and accompanying instruments. "Lady of the Lake" is given a mystical, enchanted feel, perpetrated by a more subtle use of piano and synthesizer, while the battle of "Sir Lancelot and the Black Knight" is made up of a barrage of feuding keyboard runs and staccato riffs, musically recounting the intensity of the duel.

But it's on "Merlin the Magician" where Wakeman truly shines, as the whimsy and peculiarity of this

fabled figure is wonderfully conjured up through the frenzy of the synthesizer. As one of Wakeman's most famous pieces, it is here that his astounding musicianship is laid out for all to hear, a marvelous bisque of keyboard artistry. The album's entirety is a sensational execution of Wakeman's adroitness, and with vocals from Ashley Holt and Gary Pickford Hopkins, it still stands along with Journey to the Center of the Earth and The Six Wives of Henry VIII as one of his most astute pieces.

Rick Wakeman – The Myths And Legends Of King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table
Label: Rick Wakeman – MFGZ017CD
Format: 2 x CD, Album, Stereo, Reissue 2016
Country: UK
Released: 1975    
Genre: Rock
Style: Prog Rock, Symphonic Rock

CD 1.


01. The Choice Of King    0:10
02. King Arthur    7:30
03. Morgan Le Fay    7:20
04. Lady Of The Lake    0:45
05. Arthur's Queen    0:35
06. Guinevere    6:00
07. Lancelot & The Black Knight    5:50
08. Princess Elaine    6:40
09. Camelot    5:50

Flac Size: 259 MB

CD 2.


01. The King Of Merlins    0:45
02. A Wizard's Potion    0:35
03. Merlin The Magician    7:35
04. The Chalice    0:45
05. The Holy Grail    6:05
06. The Best Knight    0:45
07. The Contest    0:35
08. Sir Galahad    5:00
09. Percival The Knight    9:25
10. Excalibur    0:30
11. The Last Battle    9:50

Flac Size: 253 MB


Rick Wakeman - Piano, Keyboards, Lyrics By, Music By, Arranged By [Choir Arrangements - New Compositions]


Baritone Vocals – Allan Grant, Val Williams
Bass – Matt Pegg
Bass Vocals – Bob Hunter, John Parry
Choir – The Nottingham Festival Male Choir
Drums, Percussion – Tony Fernandez
Ensemble [Musicians] – The English Rock Ensemble
Guitar [Guitars], Banjo – Dave Colquhoun
Narrator – Ian Lavender
Painting, Illustration [Sketches], Typography [Cover Lettering] – Roger Dean
Tenor Vocals – Carey Wilson, Freddie Williams, Michael Pearn
Tenor Vocals [High Tenor] – Eric Gethin
Vocals – Ashley Holt, Hayley Sanderson
Written-By [Choir Parts - 1975 Pieces] – Wil Malone

Rick Wakeman on Urban Aspirines HERE


  1. I only know the name.
    Thank you for your many & beautiful work.

  2. Do you know Then Jerico ?
    A box 84-89 with 4 cds will be rel. soon.

    1. Yes I know them. Nothing special for me.

    2. I've now read that it's music for teenies, that's enough.

    3. Right! Music for the Duran Duran fans.