Rick Wakeman

Journey to the Centre of the Earth [Video]

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Remember the laughable, overindulgent hard rock epic "Stonehenge" from the classic comedy movie This Is Spinal Tap? Well, most seasoned rock music fans will know that such overindulgent conceptual works as Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman's 1974 piece, Journey to the Centre of the Earth, served as primary inspiration for the fellows in Tap. While touring in support of the album in Melbourne, Australia, in 1975, Wakeman and his solo band (guitarists Jeffrey Crampton and Roger Newell, drummer Barney James, percussionist John Hodgson, plus vocalists Ashley Holt and Gary Pickford Hopkins) were joined by the Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra and the Melbourne Chamber Choir (in addition to a narrator!), for a show at the Sydney Myer Music Bowl. The show was recorded for a TV special that aired around shortly thereafter, and in 2001, the filmed concert was reissued as a DVD. In addition to performing Journey in its entirety, the group also plays a handful of other solo Wakeman favorites ("Guinevere," "Anne Boleyn," etc.). Longtime Wakeman and prog rock fans will find great delight in Journey finally making its way to DVD, but by the same token, it also serves as a prime example of the kind of bloated music that made the punk rock movement quite necessary.

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