‘It was an event': Rick Wakeman on the lavish new reissue of Journey to the Centre of the Earth

Rick Wakeman will kick off a flurry of activity in November with a private play-back event this week for all of those who worked on a lavish new fanpack reissue of his 1974 solo recording Journey to the Centre of the Earth.

The album is set for release on November 20, 2012. Included is a 132-page booklet with tons of information, photographs and narratives on the making of the album, which was based on the science-fiction novel of the same name by Jules Verne and recorded live during two January 18, 1974 shows at London’s Royal Festival Hall.

This new reissue was mastered by at the legendary Abbey Road studios by Steve Rooke, who also oversaw the Beatles’ Let It Be … Naked and the stereo version of Love. The playback session is set for November 7.

There follows then for Wakeman some seven shows in South America with the English Rock Ensemble, beginning on November 20. They will appear in Porto Alegre, San Paulo, Santiago and Rosario, then put on a pair of shows in Buenos Aires focusing first on Journey on November 28, 2012 and then the next night on The Six Wives of Henry VII — the former Yes keyboardist’s gold-selling 1973 solo album.

Additional dates could also be added, Wakeman says.

This weekend, he is attending an exhibit of works by Roger Dean — creator of so many of the iconic album images for Yes — in Sussex. Dean, Wakeman says, will also create a special new cover for a general reissue of Journey to the Centre of the Earth, to appear after the fan-pack edition.

As for the fanpack, Wakeman says in a new online posting at his web site: “Future Publishing who have done an absolutely magnificent job and it has reminded me of the excitement that I used to feel when you held a new vinyl record in your hand back in the ’70s, when you could put it on and read the cover information and in fact, it was an event.”

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