Rick Wakeman‘s 1999 album Return To The Centre Of The Earth is to be reissued as a deluxe and super deluxe box set, both available now to pre-order.
Released on March 15, 1999 on EMI Classics, the album was a long-awaited sequel to Wakeman’s 1974 concept album Journey To The Centre Of The Earth, itself based on the same-titled science fiction novel by Jules Verne. Wakeman wrote a new story of three unnamed travellers who attempt to follow the original journey two hundred years later, including the music which features guest performances from Trevor Rabin, Justin Hayward, Ozzy Osbourne, Bonnie Tyler, and more. Narrated by Patrick Stewart. Upon release, the album reached number 34 on the UK Album Chart.
“I am immensely proud of Return To The Centre Of The Earth,” says Wakeman, ” as when I look back it appears to have been almost suicidal to have recorded and released it when prog was at such a low status.
“But thanks to Richard Littlejohn, the President of EMI Classics, who believed so much in the music, it was recorded to the highest standard possible and I can honestly say that without him, the music would not exist today.”
The set includes a signed and numbered certificate, the Return To The Centre Of The Earth CD, a Return To The Centre Of The Earth CD LIVE double CD from Canadian performance (where the narration is in French), a disc of Radio Edits, a DVD featuring a surround sound mix and enhanced stereo by Simon Heyworth and approximately 80-minutes unseen footage filmed in the studio, at the album launch featuring Rick, Justin Hayward and Bonnie Tyler, a preproduction press pack, reproduction Press Photo and reproduction ticket to the album launch and 2 x A3 Posters. The Super Deluxe also includes a 180 gram double vinyl album as well.