The album is a sequel to his concept album Journey to the Centre of the Earthitself based on the same-titled science fiction novel by Jules Verne. Wakeman wrote a new story of three unnamed travellers who attempt to follow the original journey two hundred years later, including the music which features guest performances from Ozzy OsbourneBonnie TylerTony MitchellTrevor RabinJustin Haywardand Katrina Leskanich.
The story is narrated by Patrick Stewart. Recording was delayed after Wakeman was hospitalised with a life threatening case of double pneumonia and pleurisyand needed time to recover. Upon release, the album reached number 34 on the UK Albums Chart. InWakeman released his second solo album Journey to the Centre of the Eartha concept album based on the same-titled science fiction novel by Jules Verne.
It tells the story of Professor Lidenbrook, his nephew Axel, and their guide Hans who follow a passage to the Earth's centre originally discovered by Arne Saknussemm, an Icelandic alchemist. The idea to produce a sequel album first came to Wakeman in Malleus Maleficarum - Taedium Vitae a solo tour of Italy, when a journalist suggested to record a new and extended version of Journey with new technology.
Several weeks later, during the Union Tour with YesWakeman set up the tentative plan of re-recording the album live in concert with added music in time for its twentieth anniversary in Wakeman recalled, "He said Now if you do it again, is different because you would not be pushing anything".
After the meeting at Arista, Wakeman went on to pursue other projects and forgot about the idea until it was revisited inwhen he received telephone calls from four record companies within a period of two months, willing to fund and release a new "epic" album from him.
Wakeman began the search for its story which started with Verne's other famous novel Around the World in Eighty Daysand proceeded to write music for it. He scrapped the idea soon after, partly due to The Fixx - Deeper And Deeper Branson 's world record attempts to Ride Of Your Life - Rick Wakeman - Return To The Centre Of The Earth the Earth by hot air balloon and thinking people will relate his music to the event.
Wakeman's new idea was well received by the three record companies, and he was asked to produce a demo tape of some songs, narration, and orchestral parts. However, a problem arose when Wakeman was asked about his backing band as he wished for them and the orchestra not to be restricted to one style, and in his mind saw each group perform a variety of styles, playing "rock things, heavy metal I want the band playing a classical thing".
A synopsis of the album was sent to Dereiter, who liked it and forwarded it to the European office of EMI Classicsthe label's classical music division, as he thought they would understand it better. Recording began in March and took place in six different locations, including Wakeman's home studio named Bajonor on the Isle of Man. The result, Wakeman said, resulted in a more "direct" album. Adam assisted in the choir arrangements.
Lyttelton wanted Wakeman to record the album with a group of musicians that he had never worked with before in order to push Wakeman and the album to "new limits". Wakeman was aware of the higher cost of booking Stewart, but Lyttelton liked the suggestion and agreed. However, Stewart enjoyed the experience so much he allowed the session to continue for the entire Ride Of Your Life - Rick Wakeman - Return To The Centre Of The Earth at no extra cost, cancelling the other arrangements he had scheduled.
Recording was disrupted midway through the recording process by Wakeman's failing health. For three months, he worked hour days on the album which took a toll on him mentally and physically.
At one point, his doctors gave him just 48 hours to live. For the orchestra, Wakeman originally suggested to use a symphony orchestra and choir from Belgrade with an unknown narrator in order to keep the album's budget at a minimum, The Love Game - John Paul Young - 1974-1979 Lyttelton felt happy to use a more well known one and was later glad he "resisted the temptation" to go Incapaz - Barouh - Barouh Wakeman's idea as he wanted to make the album "to the fullest".
Shortly before the orchestra played, he recalled: "I will hear for the very first time whether at all the arrangements I have done will work, will sound perfect or whether it'll sound terrible, as if the LSO was a third rate brass band.
I asked myself what these EMI directors would've done if it had sounded terrible. Those final twenty seconds have been the most silent twenty seconds of my life. As if in slow motion I saw the baton going up and even when I only heard a rough mix in the control Bind Your Love - Cher Lloyd - Sorry Im Late it was as if thick clouds were making way for the sun to emerge.
That moment all stress left my body as I turned around and only saw laughing faces. If I still had doubts, they all left that same All Jacks - Oktober vs. Madvillain - Madvandal. EMI set a goal of sellingcopies of the album worldwide, but sales had only reachedcopies two years after its release.
Targets were met in each Is Squeaky Afraid Ov Death? - Various - 23 Drifts To Guestling except the United States, where just 25, copies were sold which Wakeman felt disappointed about. The album received mixed reviews from music critics. The Birmingham Evening Mail wrote the album is "twice as long and equally as ambitious" as the original and rates Stewart's "precise narration".
The orchestra and choir "enter into the spirit of things with gusto", but the review Thats Right - Last Call - Time To Move with "expect a punk Ride Of Your Life - Rick Wakeman - Return To The Centre Of The Earth backlash in the year ". Convey gave the album 1-and-a-half stars out of five, saying Wakeman "hasn't lost his touch" and that the sequel "is every bit as pompous and bombastic as the original", which contained a "thoroughly silly script" for its narration and "risible" lyrics.
Convey concluded: "Those who love Journey probably will enjoy this as well. Others may want to find more creative Mobile Alabama / School Leaving Hullabaloo - Cliff Richard - Time Machine Tour : 50th Anniversary Li to give themselves a headache". Perry thought Wakeman's keyboards sound "seemingly shrouded From then on, Perry thought the album takes an "ethereal tone Perry concluded that the album acts as a "self-fulfilling aspiration" for Wakeman, and thought the audience lack the patience to sit through the album.
The concert was accompanied by giant screens and a light and firework display. Wakeman has stated that this show was the highlight of his career. All music, narration, and lyrics written and produced by Rick Wakeman ; all odd-numbered tracks narrated by Patrick Stewart. Credits are adapted from the album's CD liner notes. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Rick Wakeman. Various locations. Retrieved 14 December Return to the Centre of the Earth Media notes. EMI Classics. Mixdown Monthly, Beat Magazine.
Retrieved 30 January Retrieved 6 February Vintage Rock About. Birmingham Evening Mail. Retrieved 30 January — via Highbeam Research. The Boston Herald. Archived from the original on 20 November Return to the Centre of the Earth review Retrieved on Coventry Evening Telegraph. Archived from the original on 2 February The Scotsman.
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