No Earthly Connection (1976)

No Earthly Connection

Listen on Spotify

#Track TitleLength
1Music Reincarnate - The Warning08:17
2Music Reincarnate - The Maker03:40
3Music Reincarnate - The Spaceman04:07
4Music Reincarnate - The Realisation08:02
5Music Reincarnate - The Reaper08:02
6The Prisoner07:08
7The Lost Cycle07:05
Artist Name Instrument Track (where known)
Rick WakemanKeyboardsAll
Ashley HoltVocalsAll
John DunstervilleGuitars/MandolinAll
Martyn ShieldsBrassAll
Reg BrooksBrassAll
Roger NewellBass/VocalsAll
Tony FernandezDrumsAll
Type Cat No. Label Country Other Title
Vinyl LPAMLK 64583A&MUK
CassetteCKM 64583A&MUK
Vinyl LPSP4583A&MUSA
Vinyl LP27 373 XOTA&MGermany
CD MiniUICY-9295A&MJapan
Equipment Studio Engineering
  • Mander Pipe Organ
  • Hammond C3 Organ
  • Steinway 9' Grand Piano
  • RMI Electric Piano
  • Hohner Clavinet
  • Moog Synthesizers
  • Harpsichord
  • Baldwin Electric Harpsichord
  • Upright Honky Tonk Piano
  • Fender Rhodes 88 Electric Piano
  • Mellotrons
  • Godwin Organ with Sisme Rotary Cabinet
  • Systech Effects Pedals
  • Le Chateau Studios, Herouville, France during Jan/Mar 1976
  • Paul Tregurtha
  • Didier Utard (Asst)
Rick's Perspective
I truly believe there is life apart from that on earth and also that there are many other unknown dimensions as well and that's what this album was all about. Unfortunately the press thought I'd gone off my rocker and slagged it off. A&M records held emergency meetings because of poor sales - 4,000,000 plus as it happens!!
Wakey's Verdict
Full of recording techniques and production that were way ahead of its time and the album has created more controversy than any other album I have made . It's either loved or hated
Little Known Trivia
The sound of the waterfall, (and I'm not telling you where it is on the album), was created by making the band and crew drink copious amounts of wine all day without being allowed to go to the bathroom and then were all marched down to the echo chamber which was actually a cellar in the old French Chateau and where they stood on a long bench and all weed simultaneously into an old metal bath tub. It was recorded with 2 microphones in stereo. For years people have believed it was a sample from a famous waterfall.

Robert Nancarrow on 24th July 2014 [Other reviews]

With all the emphasis on Rick's major works in recent times, it would be really good if this album could be revisited in terms of some UK dates. Having regard to the advances that have been made in terms of stage presentation in the intervening years, NEC would lend itself to a spectacular performance. Exploring key spiritual themes with stunning , yet sensitive arrangements, I think this is one of Ricks most under rated albums. Tracks such as The Prisoner have an almost operatic quality, whilst The Spaceman concludes the album in a moving and suitably thought - provoking manner. Go on Rick take it out on the road - you know it makes sense!

Allen James on 19th August 2005 [Other reviews]

The reason why I love this album is the music was totally unique and different, as well as the concept of the album. I am glad this album was not your regular Top 40 situation. I had to rethink the way I listen to music because when it comes to music there is no such thing as normal. Thanks Rick for opening my eyes and mind to unlimited possibilities for I play the drums.

Mattia84 on 3rd October 2004 [Other reviews]

Well, I think this is the most beautiful album in Rick's solo career. The atmosphere is incredible, with superlative vocals and music... Just listen to "The Prisoner" to understand what I mean…

Chuck Dexter Jr on 27th April 2004 [Other reviews]

I first heard this album in 1982. It has the same effect on me now as it did then. It chills then it heats up. The keyboards are some of Wakemans best. I have started introducing my children to the Wakeman Album collection Mine is not yet complete, but I am working on it. My kids love the music and they have only heard clips from four albums.

Lukas Devita on 24th November 2003 [Other reviews]

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.

Marlon Machado on 9th November 2003 [Other reviews]

For 17 years I've been wanting to get this album on CD, vinyl, tape, or whatever. I finally got a CD in Japan, which came in an LP sleeve including the roll-up sheet of reflective paper to see the visual effect from the cover. I truly love the music. I think Rick captured the meaning of the phrase "music of my soul" beautifully. Absolutely one of my favorites.

Amanda Bartels on 4th October 2003 [Other reviews]

(Japan LP sleeve) At last! Having waited nearly 30 years for another release of NEC, I'm delighted that time has not wearied this classic innovative RW album one whit. The compositions are tight and integrate earthy funk and ethereal, poignant melodies. Horns, choir and keyboards all blend together beautifully - nobody gets in the way of anybody else and it all comes together in a very listenable and musically satisfying collection. Rick has written and arranged the songs with great sensitivity and style. Brilliant.

Laurie Handcock on 12th September 2003 [Other reviews]

Japanese remaster (24bit) Superb - thank you A&M for not doing it half heartedly - a treat for the long suffering fan, quality packaging (representative of the record) and absolutely first class sound. Wakeman at his mid 70's best.

Alan Morgan on 12th May 2003 [Other reviews]

After the opening synth-chords, the music just flourishes. Great vocals from Ashley, terrific playing from the band, and a superb concept. I used to use the opening chord as a demo when I used to sell HiFi speakers in the early 1980's. Brilliant.

The Tailors on 9th November 2002 [Other reviews]

No Earthly Connection is one of the greatest albums ever produced. Its idea that music's at the heart of the human soul makes it a brilliant piece. It's dated by today's standards, but surpasses today's music. More than just music, it is religion, and like very few artistes has managed to show incredible insight into human existance. Note: "Brain's destroyed, my body's cold, leave the ruins music soul"

Chas Rosa on 25th June 2002 [Other reviews]

This Album is a MASTERPIECE - pure and simple, all the way around. I WISH IT WAS ON CD!!! The tunes, vocals, instruments are all incredible. Always my favorite Rick Wakeman work. I would say it is a bit more "down home Rockish" then Journey. BUT, do not let this fool you! It is at the same time just as complex too! Beautiful guitar, drums and bass work, and Ricks keyboards to me have NEVER been better.

Tim Boudewijn van der Wart on 30th March 2002 [Other reviews]

No Earthly Connection is a very good album on which Ashley Holt breaks all his personal records and it can also besides the beautiful music form the beginning of a new religion! Good use of the English Rock Ensemble here enhanced with a brass section. It is just like all the seventies albums a must for your collection. It contains really interesting moments; on the Lost Cycle there is a solo which sounds like the keyboard is played the wrong way round! The entire music reincarnate is a lesson about how to live your life (you have to evolve your music sense which will give your soul eternal life). There are pretty melodies (“wait, wait look at the sun…”) and rocky songs (“you shall hang said the maker…”). It can be quite hard to obtain a copy because it was never (and probably will never be) released on compact disc. A very good album which to my opinion belongs in the top seven of the Wakeman album charts.

George Pendred on 26th June 2000 [Other reviews]

WHY ISN'T THIS ALBUM AVAILABLE ON CD?! This is pure wakeman at his finest. It may sound dated, but this makes it better. I am only 16 and I love it. The lyrics are very interesting. There is a story about humanity and their music. There are even references to Plato. If you are a fan of early Wakeman then you will love this album.

Phill Emmerson on 21st February 2000 [Other reviews]

This is undoubtedly one of Rick's greatest works, combined with the powerful voice of the great Ashley Holt, how could this not be a materiece, ahead of its time when released it loses none of its magic in a new milennium, best track on album is The Lost Cycle. Oh whatever happened to albums that gave you a free piece of tin foil???

Matt Hills on 10th February 2000 [Other reviews]

A review of a Rick Wakeman album, what an opportunity! For me there can only be one choice. No Earthly Connection (NEC) rescued me from the mainstream of AM radio music. It was my first real rock album ever and it made me a Wakeman fan instantly. In fact, that was how I became a YES fan - when I discovered that Rick played with them. I realize that this was probably the reverse of most peoples' experiences. I first purchased NEC on 8-track in 1977. Even that foul medium couldn't hide the magic within. From the opening barrage of synthesizer/organ and other worldly choral arrangements of The Warning to the frantic harpsichord of The Prisoner, this album has been one of my favorites for over 20 years. This was the first album I’d heard that blended classical instruments and choral arrangements with a rock band and sheer keyboard wizardry. That’s what really grabbed me. I’d heard Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk and Jean Michele Jarre but that stuff left me unsatisfied. This album was on another plane. It’s like a perfect meal from appetizer to dessert. This album is lyrical, melodic, technically brilliant and accessible. When required the music is foreboding and dark like in The Prisoner or introspective like The Realisation or even otherworldly with strange tonal colours like The Lost Cycle but it never loses continuity. I particularly like the use of the honky tonk piano in that piece. It has a surreal, ghostly kind of sound. Summing it up, it’s a great album by a great artist and it’s a shame that A&M don’t have the broader view required for them to see that this work should be available on CD (same goes for White Rock and Criminal Record). Perhaps with the advent of personal CD burners for PCs and high quality sound cards people like us can carefully transfer the remaining, listenable vinyl originals to CD. Thanks Rick. If your theory of music being important to your afterlife is true then I’m sure that The Maker is quite pleased with you. (By the way, with the advent of the PC and .wav files I now know what the people talking backwards in The Maker are saying. ; )

John Geelan on 4th February 1999 [Other reviews]

To me this the great lost Rick Wakeman album. Thank God I have an LP version of it from 1976. That it has not been released on CD is insane! This is the last time Wakeman used the great team of the New Rock Ensemble and this album ranks with HENRY,JOURNEY,and ARTHUR. It contains beautiful melodies and an inspiring concept. This is a must get to any WAKEMAN fan.

David Barro on 1st April 1998 [Other reviews]

Now, I'd heard from others about Rick's talent for lyric-writing (or lack thereof in these cases), but didn't believe them. However, when it came to this album, I had a change of view. The music is good, in my opinion, but the lyrics leave much to be desired. The concept of music being a "gift on loan" to be used and enhanced during one's lifetime was a bit flat. It is not Rick's fault -- the concept just doesn't travel anywhere. And for the whole sequence of the guy who was punished for not developing his musical talent?? *sigh* it just went too far at that point. Combine this with Ashley Holt's singing... I have one conclusion: if you are a true Wakeman enthusiast, you're just gonna hafta get it. If not, there are PLENTY of other Wakeman albums to get before this one. Search on! :)

Bjorn Olaf Syvertsen on 4th December 1997 [Other reviews]

This album is among Rick's best. As far as I know, it also marks Ashley Holt's peak as a singer. Particularly "The Prisoner" is very good. It contains a very catchy chorus, followed by great baroque keyboards. No Rick Wakeman fan should miss this one.

Paolo F. Pugno on 25th August 1997 [Other reviews]

A fantastic voyage into the realm of music, the creation of man and his musical soul. Rick's mastering of the keyboards is unmistakable from the first to the last note. A great album with a great concept.

Errol Arias U on 27th June 1997 [Other reviews]

A wonderful album with a very interesting narrative about how the mankind create this feeling about the music. Full of variations around a beautiful theme, "No Earthly Connection" is a very interesting work aside the great company of the "English Rock Ensemble". An interesting piece of work, very different from its predecessor albums but very rich in musical quality.