Journey to the Centre of the Earth is the second solo album from the English keyboardist Rick Wakeman, released on 3 May 1974 by A&M Records. The album is a live recording of his second of two concerts on 18 January 1974 at the Royal Festival Hall in London. With its concept based on Jules Verne's science fiction novel of the same name, the album tells the story of Professor Lidenbrok, his nephew Axel, and their guide Hans, who follow a passage to the Earth's centre originally discovered by Arne Saknussemm, an Icelandic alchemist. Wakeman performs with the London Symphony Orchestra, the English Chamber Choir, and a group of hand-picked musicians for his rock band, which later became the English Rock Ensemble.
Historian and author AN Wilson explores the life of his great hero, Josiah Wedgwood. As one of the founding fathers of the Industrial Revolution, Wegdwood was a self-made, self-educated creative giant, whose other achievements might be better known if he wasn't so celebrated for his pottery.
Eleven songs from Al Stewart's albums Past, Present and Future (1974) through Live Indian Summer (1981), remastered in 1992, which gives it more than decent sound. "Roads to Moscow" is drawn from Past, Present and Future (the inlay card erroneously lists Live Indian Summer), and "Year of the Cat" is the hit studio version, but the producers have chosen live versions of "Nostradamus" (which emphasizes its Tommy-like central riff) and "On the Border," rather than their superior originals, probably to retain the value of the original albums…
Scientist Mark Bowler is on a mission to find the rare and elusive red-faced Uakari monkey. His search takes audiences deep into the remote rainforests of Peru - a dangerous journey of many days. The Uakari is a creature of legend that until today has never been filmed in the wild because its home is 30 metres up in the canopy. To the local people these monkeys are the guardians of the rainforest: only they can release the seedpods inside the fruit of the aguaje palm, which feeds the many other exotic animals that share the forest. The naturalist who first described the red Uakari in the mid-19th century called it "a monkey of a most grotesque appearance." Now 150 years later, it may very well become the poster-child of the world's last great rainforest, the Amazon.
"The Genius of Coleman Hawkins" is a true classic. Not only because we get to hear one of the be-bop masters, in good sound and good form, but because of the material on the album. There isn't much new material – they're all old familair standards – but Hawk plays them like an old lover. It doesn't hurt when you have the Oscar Peterson Trio backing you as it did so successfully on many Verve dates. Toss Herb Ellis in on guitar and you've got a quintet of all-stars. Along with his Ben Webster Encounter, this is the highlight of his "second career."