Return to the Centre of the Earth

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Return to the Centre of the Earth is a 1999 concept album by Rick Wakeman. This work is a sequel to Journey to the Centre of the Earth, an earlier album by Wakeman released in 1974.

The album is narrated by Patrick Stewart and features vocals by Justin Hayward, Katrina Leskanich, Tony Mitchell, Ozzy Osbourne, Trevor Rabin and Bonnie Tyler.

Return to the Centre of the Earth
Studio album by Rick Wakeman
Released 1999
Recorded 1998-99
Genre Progressive rock
Length 76:51
Label EMI Classics
Producer Rick Wakeman
Rick Wakeman chronology
'''Return to the Centre of the Earth'''
The Natural World Trilogy
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Amazon 4/5 stars[1]
Prog Archives 3.5/5 stars[2]
Allmusic 1.5/5 stars[3]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "A Vision" (2:34)
  2. "The Return Overture" (2:39)
  3. "Mother Earth" (3:48)
    1. "The Shadow of June"
    2. "The Gallery"
    3. "The Avenue of Prismed Light"
    4. "The Earthquake"
  4. "Buried Alive" (Ozzy Osbourne vocal) (6:01)
  5. "The Enigma" (1:18)
  6. "Is Anybody There?" (Bonnie Tyler vocal) (6:35)
  7. "The Ravine" (0:49)
  8. "The Dance of a Thousand Lights" (5:41)
  9. "The Shepherd" (2:01)
  10. "Mr. Slow" (Tony Mitchell vocal) (3:47)
  11. "Bridge of Time" (1:12)
  12. "Never is a Long, Long Time" (Trevor Rabin vocal and guitar) (5:19)
  13. "Tales from the Lidenbrook Sea" (2:57)
    1. "River of Hope"
    2. "Hunter and Hunted"
    3. "Fight for Life"
  14. "The Kill" (5:23)
  15. "Timeless History" (1:10)
  16. "Still Waters Run Deep" (Justin Hayward vocal) (5:21)
  17. "Time Within Time" (2:39)
    1. "The Ebbing Tide"
    2. "The Electric Storm"
  18. "Ride of Your Life" (Katrina Leskanich vocal) (6:01)
  19. "Floating" (1:59)
    1. "Globes of Fire"
    2. "Cascades of Fear"
  20. "Floodflames" (2:00)
  21. "The Volcano" (2:10)
    1. "Tongues of Fire"
    2. "The Blue Mountains"
  22. "The End of the Return" (5:23)

Live performances[edit]

The album was performed live in its entirety only twice. Both performances occurred in the Canadian province of Québec.[citation needed]

The world premiere performance of the album was in Trois-Rivières, Quebec on June 30, 2001. Performing with Wakeman were The English Rock Ensemble, his son Adam on keyboards, guitarist Ant Glynne, bass player Lee Pomeroy, and drummer Tony Fernandez.[citation needed]

The album was performed in its entirety on July 15, 2006 on the Plains of Abraham in Quebec City. Wakeman was accompanied by an all-star 45-pieces symphonic orchestra conducted by Gilles Bellemare, the Vocalys Ensemble (a 20 persons choir), the English Rock Ensemble, various vocal guests including Jon Anderson, Annie Villeneuve and Vincent Marois and a narration from Guy Nadon. All this augmented by a large set of giant screens, fireworks and lights. Wakeman has stated that this show was the highlight of his career.[citation needed]



Chart (1999) Peak
UK Album Chart 34


  1. ^ Return to the Centre of the Earth review Retrieved on 2014-8-04.
  2. ^ Return to the Centre of the Earth review at prg Archives Retrieved on 2014-8-04.
  3. ^ Degagne, Mike. Return to the Centre of the Earth review Retrieved on 2009-10-03.