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viernes, 12 de junio de 2015

Rick Wakeman - Journey to the Centre of the Earth (1974)


Artista: Rick Wakeman
Álbum: Journey to the Centre of the Earth
Año: 1974
Género: Rock sinfónico
Duración: 60:00
Nacionalidad: Inglaterra


Lista de Temas:
1. The Journey / Recollection
2. The Battle / The Forest

Alineación:
- Rick Wakeman / keyboards, synths, Mellotrons
+ Mike Egan / guitar
- Ashley Holt / lead vocals
- Barney James / drums
- Roger Newell / bass
- Garry Pickford-Hopkins / lead vocals
David Hemmings / narration
The London Symphony Orchestra
The English Chamber Choir




Lo pidió alguien en chat y Alberto, raudo y presuroso, me mandó los links, y yo, lento para publicar cada cosa, lo hice dormir hasta el viernes. Sobre el disco, voy a comentar poco, porque para eso está el señor Wikipedia:

Journey to the Centre of the Earth —en español: Viaje al centro de la Tierra— es el segundo álbum del tecladista y compositor inglés Rick Wakeman, lanzado en 1974 a través de A&M Records. El álbum es una grabación en vivo de su segundo de los dos conciertos que dio el 18 de enero de 1974 en el Royal Festival Hall de Londres. Su concepto está basado en la novela homónima de ciencia ficción del escritor Julio Verne, la cual narra la historia del profesor Lidenbrok, su sobrino Axel, y su guía Hans, que siguen un pasaje al centro de la tierra originalmente descubierto por Arne Saknussemm, un alquimista islandés. Wakeman toca junto con la London Symphony Orchestra, la English Chamber Choir y un grupo de músicos escogido para su banda, que más tarde se convirtió en The English Rock Ensemble. El actor David Hemmings provee la narración de la historia.
Como el costo de la grabación del álbum en un estudio era demasiado alto, la música fue en cambio grabada en vivo en concierto. Después de una serie de problemas que se resolvieron durante la mezcla del álbum, Journey to the Centre of the Earth fue en general bien recibido por los críticos musicales. El registro encabezó el UK Albums Chart, el primer álbum de A&M Records en hacerlo y alcanzó el número 3 en el Billboard 200. Fue certificado disco de oro por la RIAA en octubre de 1974 y Wakeman obtuvo un Premio Ivor Novello y una nominación para un Premio Grammy. Un total de 14 millones de copias del álbum se han vendido en todo el mundo. En 1999, Wakeman publicó una secuela titulada Return to the Centre of the Earth.
Wikipedia

Un disco con virtudes y defectos, que desde mi punto de vista paso a enumerar:

Defectos: pomposo, majestuoso, con todo el ego del capo rubio de los teclados y la capa junto con todas sus pretensiones y su talento tratando de cagar más algo de lo que le da el culo y de su capacidad compositiva.

Virtudes: pomposo, majestuoso, con todo el ego del capo rubio de los teclados y la capa junto con todas sus pretensiones y su talento tratando de cagar más algo de lo que le da el culo y de su capacidad compositiva.

O sea, podemos tomar las características de este disco y muchos de los de Rick tanto como defectos o virtudes, depende de lo queramos ver... y con referencia a la flojera compositiva, que digamos aquí no se nota para nada, es que de verdad creo que (y a diferencia de su super e inigualable calidad instrumental) no es mucha y así lo demuestra su obra completa, llena de discos sumamente flojos. Pero aquí está en su punto creativo máximo y despliega un gran disco, obviamente con todas las características musicales y personales de Rick.

Igual, el que se lleve este disco ya saben de quien estamos hablando, así que no sé para qué escribo al pedo.
Vamos con algunos comentarios en inglés y veo que otra cosa puedo compartir.

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. Broken into four parts, the album's most riveting segment, entitled "The Battle," involves Wakeman's most furious synthesized attack, churning and swirling the keyboards into a mass instrumental hysteria. With both "The Journey" and "The Forest," it's the effective use of the strings and percussion section of the London Symphony Orchestra that causes the elements of fantasy and myth to emerge from the album's depths. The gorgeous voice of Ashley Holt is effectively prominent, and some interesting guitar work via Mike Egan arises occasionally but meritoriously amidst the keyboard fervor. The whole of Journey to the Centre of the Earth still stands as one of the most interesting conglomerations of orchestral and synthesized music, and it is truly one of Wakeman's most flamboyant projects.
Mike DeGagne

The same consideration as for the above "Six Wives of Henry VIII", even though - unlike this latter - it has never been performed live with YES. It never minds, this work is quite essential and anyway recommended!!
Lorenzo

In the mid '70s, great excess translated into great success, thus the hearty reception that met RICK WAKEMAN's "Journey to the Centre of the Earth". Today, the mix of orchestra, narration and dated songs will be met with a few raised eyebrows. The idea of transforming JULES VERNE's classic into a musical work is unquestionably admirable, but the album itself is an ichthyosaurus, with the head of a GILBERT & SULLIVAN overture and the body of a boring English class. Listeners will need to sit down and absorb this over several sittings before becoming acclimated to the unusual mix of sounds; unlike "Six Wives of Henry VIII", which moved with genuine purpose, this recording changes course with the celerity of a confused hummingbird. Each of the four sections features a song encased in the middle, although the vocals of ASHLEY HOLT and GARRY PICKFORD-HOPKINS give the material a very antideluvian feel. "The Battle" is arguably the most ennervating of the four pieces, yet each has its moments.
Many fans regard this record as Wakeman's magnum opus. It's easily the most ambitious work he ever undertook, performing the work live for this recording, and producing subsequent concerts on ice (thus making escape impossible). It's ironic that he left Yes after the inscrutable "Tales from Topographic Oceans" to create something even more indulgent, but again one needs to remember the times to understand the temptation. As much as I like RICK WAKEMAN, and appreciate his trying to expand the lexicon of modern music with this narrative, "Journey to the Centre of the Earth" is ultimately a quixotic venture.
Dave Connolly

Pompous, pretentious, overrated and egomaniac performance are some of the adjectives I heard over the years by people who describe this album, and they have some reason, but simply I don't care. Only Journey to the Centre of the Earth gives as the chance to listen a the best keyboardist of prog history playing with a competent band, The London Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Chamber Choir.
It's not a secret that Rick Wakeman has an over dimensioned ego, but he has all the right, the guy is a genius, nobody plays all kinds of keyboards with his skill and acts as a front man at the same time, you can love or hate him but everybody knows he's one of the most capable keyboardists ever born.
Simply imagine a 24 years old kid wearing a bright cape surrounded by almost 300 musicians at the stage (most of them twice his age) in a crowded Royal Albert Hall and he's the center of that small universe. Nobody gave him anything for free, he earned it with great courage.
The first track (The Journey/Recollection) starts explosive with an introduction by the complete orchestra and choir, he saves nothing for the end it's simply impressive, the epic follows with many changes, soft passages sung by the normally terrible voices of Gary Pickford and mainly Ashley Holt (who in this case sound adequate for the primitive atmosphere); frantic keyboard sections, aggressive rock & Roll chords and the correct narration by David Hemmings, who with his well educated English takes the responsibility of carrying the weight of the story. A great track that has everything.
The Battle/The Forest is a more complex track, starts with a narration that describes the battle of two sea monsters one with the head of the lizard and the teeth of a crocodile (ictiosaurus), the other a serpent with a turtle head (pleciosaurus), but this detailed description is pale in comparison with the magnificent music and the adequate voices (lyrics are maybe a bit cheesy). Rick's Keyboards and Mike Egan's guitar create a perfect mixture of baroque classical and heavy rock which places the listener in ringside to see not only the big fight but also a huge storm, where Wakeman does his best describing the winds with his Minimoog.
The second section of this track (The Forest) situates us in the moment when the expedition reaches the center of the earth (a plain followed by a forest). The music is extreme beautiful and again the odd voices of Pickford and Holt sound perfect for this track.
From this point, everything leads to the end of the journey, the ascension from the depth to the top of Mount Etna is perfectly pictured with a fragment of Grieg's Peer Gynt, more precisely "In the Hall of the Mountain King" which prepares for the consisting in a softer remembrance of the starting section.
Not as musically perfect as Six Wives of Henry the VIII or lyrical as Myths and Legends, but much stronger than both, this essential album is a demonstration of individual talent, enormous courage and solid arrangements, an absolutely essential musical piece.
Iván Melgar

Impressed as I was with "Six Wives", when this album was released I was initially hesitant to buy it. One album full of solo Wakeman keyboards was unquestionably impressive and worthwhile, but, I thought, quite enough to fulfil my desire for his solo output. When I saw the LP sleeve however, and read of the elaborate performance it contained, it was immediately apparent that this was not by any means, more of the same.
In a slightly strange move, the album was recorded live, nominally preventing Wakeman from inserting studio effects, and leaving it vulnerable to the odd bum note and missed cue (although as Wakeman admits on the sleeve, he did address this to some extent during mixing). I don't believe the work has ever been recorded in the studio in this form, something Wakeman should consider addressing (in the way ELP did with "Pictures at an exhibition" perhaps).
Unlike "Six wives", "Journey.." includes a full orchestra, vocals, and a complete rock combo. The vocals are shared between Ashley Holt and Gary Pickford-Hopkins. There is also brief narration of the Jules Verne story between the tracks, by David Hemmings.
Wakeman's keyboards, while dominant as would be expected, are very much a part of the big picture, with both orchestra and vocalists being afforded plenty of space to enhance the overall sound. The music is pompous and imaginative, complimenting the story perfectly. It is interesting that towards the end, perhaps in a momentary lapse of inspiration, Wakeman calls on the classics in the form of Greig's "Hall of the mountain king" to provide the build up to the finale.
An excellent album, which sounds as good today as it did upon release.
A good way to obtain the album is on the "Voyage (best of Wakeman)" collection, which includes the original album, remastered, in full.
Bob McBeath

The first time I knew this album was the first period I was introduced to progressive rock world by my brother, Henky, who then was the radio broadcaster for Geronimo radio station based in Yogya, Central Java. That was the time of my "right-placed childhood" (ugh .. what is it? It's an antithesis of Marillion "mis"placed childhood as I was so fortunate that I had a great big brother who forced me to prog .LOL!!!). He just gave me a "naked" cassette with no title at all, sent to me in Madiun, a small town in East Java. I remember that the recording quality was very poor. And at that time I never heard any kind of music with a lot of narration like this album. But the cassette really BLEW me!!! I played it everyday almost 2 or 3 times and not knowing who the artist/band was. I finally realized the artist behind the cassette after I catch a compilation of songs produced by Prambors radio (Jakarta) in which an edited version of "Journey" was listed and . yeah RICK WAKEMAN mannnnn!!! Wow .. no wonder! By that time I only knew RW through his involvement in YESsongs.
I admire on the high quality standard of this recorded live album. It's so fascinating music that has always make my adrenalin EXPLODED when I listen to this album! I mean it, my friend. No joke at all for a man as great as Mr. Wakeman! He's the greatest keyboard player I have ever known in my life. Needless to say that the overall composition of this album is definitely, absolutely top class! By that time I was not aware any inclusion of orchestra in rock music composition (later I knew DEEP PURPLE's Concerto for Groups and Orchestra and JON LORD's Windows).
Track-wise, it has only two but the overall flow of the music has brought me to an experience as if I really one of the members of the team who traveled to the centered of the earth. The narration has played a very important role in articulating the story. Decades after I knew this album the first time (I think it was 1976?) I found a leadership book titled "SERVANT LEADERSHIP" proposed by Robert Greenleaf. (Sorry, I'm an independent consultant by profession, so .. I keep track on any development of management and/or leadership thoughts.) The interesting part is that the book tells a story about a character of "Leo" who served the role of a true leader (not by position) from the book titled as JOURNEY to THE CENTER of THE EARTH. It fits the story of this album hah? I then grabbed RW Journey's CD while reading the book and sipped my coffee . wow . what a wonderful experience! It's an ultimate enjoyment that even Starrbucks coffee could not replace it! LOL.
This album is definitely MASTERPIECE!!! I even have collected various versions of this album: laserdisc of RW live in Australia, vinyl, CD, DVD. Shame on you if you don't have this album in your prog rock collection.
Gatot Widayanto

I have always believed that the best progressive rock albums have orchestral arrangements: it is clearly the case here. The album is very structured: the London Symphony Orchestra provide the classical moods (horns & strings arrangements), while the English Chamber Choir give a solemn touch to the heroic & mythical textures, directly inspired from a fantastic and legendary storytelling. The subtle and delicate mellotron - percussion combinations give a memorable magic & enchanted atmosphere. There is an omnipresent English narrator, having an absolutely noble British accent a la Ian Anderson: this contributes to enhance the grandeur of this album. There are some rock electric guitar and clavinet parts to remind the listener that this record is classical rock oriented. Ashley Holt and Gary Pickford's melodic lead vocals are absolutely appropriate for this kind of music. Compared to the previous album, Wakeman's keyboards here less monopolize the music, giving a perfect balance between all the instruments. Some subtle classical parts remind me the Renaissance's Scheherazade album.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
greenback

Y así, etc. etc., me cansé de copiar. Espero que disfruten el disco en este finde de clásicos progresivos, y aún no terminamos...




8 comentarios:

  1. Download: (Flac + CUE - No Log + M3u + Scans)
    http://pastebin.com/1GzPgJK2

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  2. JAJA me encantó lo de los defectos y virtudes!
    La verdad es que este es el disco de Wakeman que más me gusta, a la mejor porque es la novela de Verne que más me gusta. Lo tenía en vinilo y lo ponía para releerla hasta casi aprendérmelos los dos de memoria.

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  3. Muy bueeeena la explicaciónn.. igual esta roto el link.. y no es para que me digas el culo tenes roto ehh??. jaa!. abrazo..

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    Respuestas
    1. Nunca se me hubiese ocurrido!!!! 80!!!!
      Pero lo resubimos cuando podamos.

      ¿Hay algún culiado que pueda resubir éste disco?

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    2. No es cierto, no lo tengo sino en mp3 :( sorry. Pero si lo consigo lo pongo.

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    3. Cuates, el link está recontraactivo, dénle clic otra vez antes de que lo pase a la biblioteca sonora y lo quite de acá...

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