Classic Tracks (1993)
Album Artwork
Track List
Title Length
1 Journey to the Centre of the Earth 31' 55"
2 Catherine Howard 9' 13"
3 Merlin The Magician 6' 45"
Artist List
Name Instrument
Rick Wakeman Keyboards
Jim Gentry Guitars
Michael Franklin Keyboards/Lead Vocal
Paul Parker Drums/Percussion
Tim Franklin Bass/Backing Vocals
Catalogue
Type Cat No. Label Country
CD HTCD 3362 Zazoo UK
Cassette HTCT 3362 Zazoo UK
CD DSB 3145-2 DSB Germany
Miscellaneous Information
Equipment Studio Engineering
Rick's Perspective
Notes
I despise this album in every respect. The master tapes of the back tracks were taken to America and appalling vocals put on them without my approval. The final result was also then sold without my approval and without my receiving a penny. The master tapes were never even returned to me. the album is a disgrace.
Wakey's Verdict
If you buy it, don't expect me ever to autograph it.
Little Known Trivia
When I contacted the original company in America who had illegally purchased it I was threatened with not just violence but that I would "mysteriously disappear" if I interfered any more and I was never to expect one penny or my masters back.

addendum……Even though this album keeps appearing on different labels PLEASE don't buy it I beg of you!!!!!

Reviews

Topper Fralick on 22/02/2002 [Other reviews by Topper Fralick ]

This album should be on everyones want list! Instead of just rehashing songs for another compilation, Rick has rearranged and expanded the tracks to give them new life! 'Journey To The Center Of The Earth' is performed without narration and orchestration, giving space for inspired performance from Rick and the band. 'Catherine Howard' has been extended, allowing some interesting changes from the original version. 'Merlin The Magician' is fun! The new vocal and band arrangement really is ,well, magical! The sound of the recording is excellent as well. Bravo!!

Addendum: My review of this album from 02/22/2002 was written before I ever read Rick's Perspective! Had I known the history and Rick's feelings, I would have never written a review. Even though I still enjoy listening to Rick's playing on the album, I will no longer recommend anyone buying Classic Tracks.


Tim Boudewijn van der Wart on 26/10/2001 [Other reviews by Tim Boudewijn van der Wart ]

This CD is stunning!! Merlin is finally finished - a tremendous vocal version!! This Merlin truly recaptures the thrill the original version gave me when I first heard it! The journey is also excellent, the vocals are perfect and there are beautiful guitar contributions, it is not bad at all that there isn't any choir or orchestra! Catherine Howard is good too. This cd is certainly a must buy for all the fans, but try to find the one with the cover shown on this site, I have the ugly one from prestige records, which looks like it has been designed with some miserable paintbrush (the music is the same of course).


Reniet Ramirez on 12/04/2000 [Other reviews by Reniet Ramirez ]

It is what I call a PERFECT album. The way it was recorded, mixed, etc, is just perfect. Musically is an incredible work from every single instrument. This version of "Journey..." is so wild, powerfull & beautiful that can be considered as another ORIGINAL song, instead of just "another version".


Christian Loebenstein on 10/01/2000 [Other reviews by Christian Loebenstein ]

This Album is a collaboration between Mr. Wakeman and four American musicians and features re-arranged and re-recorded classic Wakeman Tracks, hence the title. Yet, more than six years after buying it, I still think a better title would have been "Classic Tracks Revisited", just to avoid any thought of being 'another compilation'. 'Journey', complete without narration is definitely the highlight. Instrumentation and playing on this piece (and on the whole Album) are both highly professional. Of course critics were moaning about the album's musical style when it came out, but nevertheless (and in my opinion) it stands out as a prime example how Classic- or Progressive Rock, however you might call it, should be handled nowadays.


Greg Kimbrell on 13/02/1999 [Other reviews by Greg Kimbrell ]

Though not a "must" by any means, Classic Tracks has some interesting moments. Track one is an entire performance of "Journey to the Centre of the Earth" without the narrator; however, some of its parts are slowed down a bit too much. It features a traditional rock band and choir as accompaniment, but the mediocre vocalist reminds me of the one from Live at Hammersmith. Look out for the last track; it is a terrifying vocal version of "Merlin."