Weekly Vinyl – Journey to the Centre of the Earth

6 Feb

Journey to the Centre of the Earth
Rick Wakeman
(1974)
SONY DSC
This is the album that started punk rock.
What?
Let me explain … This album is so overblown and pompous that it staggers the mind. You have Rick Wakeman with multiple keyboards – playing excellently by the way – although you don’t really hear enough of him at times. The London Symphony Orchestra along with The English Chamber Choir are quite prominent here in the music.
This is Rick Wakeman’s musical adaptation of Jules Verne’s novel by the same name. I should point out that no adaptation of this book has ever ended well. The movies were a pale reflection of the book’s subject matter and plot.
Anyway – there is nothing really subtle here in this album. It is quite melodramatic. It is big. It is large. Where it does shine is when Rick Wakeman gets to play his keyboards out front of the rest of the music. Otherwise it is an example of progressive rock’s overreach.
I can see why a bunch of alienated youth in the UK headed to abandoned flats with guitars and simple tunes to start rocking out in a punk way.

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