Rick Wakeman has announced two special shows where he’ll revisit his epic live album Journey To The Centre Of The Earth. The keyboard maestro recorded the album at London’s Royal Festival Hall in 1974 – and he’ll return to the venue on 13 and 14 July to perform the work for the very last time in the UK.
Wakeman has lined up the shows to mark the work’s 45th anniversary – and also to celebrate his 70th birthday. He said in a statement, “It will be very moving and nostalgic to once again walk out on to the stage where it all began.”
The legendary keyboard wizard will be joined onstage by The Orion Orchestra, The English Chamber Choir and The English Rock Ensemble, with special guest appearances from Alfie Boe and Robert Powell. Tickets for the shows are due to go on general sale from 10am GMT on Wednesday, 13 March.
The much-acclaimed Journey To The Centre Of The Earth has sold 15 million copies over the years and was also shortlisted for an Ivor Novello Award. It was reissued in 2016 as a deluxe four-disc box set which included the bonus track ‘The Pearl And Dean Piano Concerto’.
Speaking at the time, Wakeman said: “The wonderful thing about live recordings is they are a true time capsule of the music of the moment.
“Recording Journey To The Centre Of The Earth was fraught with problems and so when the finished album was finally mixed with no corrections, in spite of the mistakes there was so much energy, life and spine-tingling moments that would have been lost had we tried to ‘repair’ certain areas.
“Mastering was also at a pretty basic stage back in 1974 compared to now – and the new mastering that has been done is quite magnificent and is chalk and cheese compared to the original.”
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