Review of Return To The Centre Of The Earth submitted on 30th June 2003
Really one of the greatest contemporary albums, and the saying "the more I listen, the more I like it" suits here well! Recently I was very much into research about the Hollow Earth (which is represented widely and very colourfully on internet sites). You will find it amazing, inspiring or at least tantalizing; satellite pictures showing possible holes on both Earth poles (well, don't be so quick to reject :), inner sun, thoughts on Aurora Borealis, tales from Tibet or Mt. Shasta USA; All the sources have in common the theory about life underground even cities, one of the most "well known" of is Shambala; If it all could be taken at least as a metaphor, you will read positive stories or philosophical gems on peace, love, nature, care and harmonic society, or who knows, maybe you will spark to go to explore the mystery, as Rick Wakeman did, to inspire us, would you let me put it like that. Lying on a carpet with the amount of internet papers and maps all around I was listening to the Music - the first Journey and the Return - and it's like travelling without the body moving... till the words that fells deep inside - "...Time within time, dream within a dream"... While listening I surely wonder to my self how our dear Rick is familiar or interested in Hollow Earth theories today, but it's not the most important because the music speaks for itself. I only know (but have not heard) the other album called Agartha by Miles Davis which is some how connected to this theme (Agartha is the name of the underground kingdom in many myths and legends). I also dare to say that the Return To The Centre Of The Earth is an even more philosophical and poetic album and if someday Rick will open the doors of sound and discover the long lost cities of the ancient wise ones the Agartha kingdom, then that would be a great sequel of the story by the only composer who has spiritual keys to do this! [well, it's not a suggestion, just a personal thought; though if someone has interest in the fields mentioned above I'd be glad to name the websites]. Lukas Devita, Vilnius, Lithuania (Oriental dept. of the National Library)
Review of Journey to the Centre of the Earth submitted on 18th November 2003
There's obviously no doubt about the greatness of the album! Thanks also for sharing with us the exciting Rick Wakeman story about how hard the true masterpiece was born. Trying not to repeat the things told in previous well-written reviews I only would like to add that it was probably the most famous Rick Wakeman recording here in the Baltic states of the former Soviet Union. And was the first I ever heard as a kid back in the 1980s. On this side of the "iron curtain" at the time you could probably find a few real vinyl LPs of "Journey..." in the whole of Lithuania. Many of us would tape it from each other, as I recorded it on mono cassette player from old mono reel-to-reel tape recorder by strong recommendation of my beloved cousin. It's hard to imagine how terrible the quality of sound was in our case. Somehow it didn't restrict the overwhelming impression we received and the feeling of the musical journey. In my opinion, the spirit of perfect melodies and performance is so strong that it breaks through any bad conditions and puts a good mark on the whole our lives.
Review of No Earthly Connection submitted on 24th November 2003
This album is not based on actual book or mythology and presents original concept by Rick Wakeman nicely described here by reviewers.It's also exciting to read Rick's perspective which I would like to share with very much. NEC represents to me one of the outstanding "cosmic records" which seems brave and progressive today as it was decades ago.It's opener is really an example of musical sound as the key to the other dimentions.Yet no one there "screams" about alien existance but takes you to the deeper reveries in melodic and enlighted way. While listening you can realise your self as a part of extraterrestial existance and expand the knowledge about your soul.