Rick Wakeman - Journey To The Centre Of The Earth (30th Anniversary Collectors Edition DVD)
Has it really been 30 years? It's a frightening thought to those of us in our middle years and probably older than our parents were in 1975. Still, if you are reading this you can take solace in the knowledge that you are not quite the 'old fogey'.
We reviewed the original Journey To The Centre Of The Earth DVD when it was released by Classic Pictures back in 2002. It came with a 74 minute bonus CD but the DVD itself was a no-nonsense, no-frills, straightforward video with no fancy menu or extras, nor sound options.
Three years on and some technical jiggery-pokery by the boffins at Classic Pictures and we have the 30th Anniversary Collectors Edition version of this DVD.
The main differences between the two versions, apart from the Collectors Edition's smart black and gold card slip case and jacket and lack of CD, makes this version worth consideration even if you already have the original. There is now a choice of soundtracks including Dolby 5.1 and DTS (if you have a home cinema set up you'll appreciate the 'more open' sound), and there is great bonus material in the form of the documentary The Lost Journey. Rick and the original band members of Roger Newell, Ashley Holt, Barney James and Gary Pickford Hopkins were reunited at Shepperton Studios in January 2005 where they recanted their experience and funny stories around the 1975 tour and look at some archive Super 8mm footage recorded by the Gary on the band's 'journey'.
The concert was recorded and broadcast by Australia's Network7 so there can be no complaints on the quality of camera work or picture quality especially bearing in mind that technology back in 1975 is light-years away from 2005.
Classic Pictures have done a good job on the soundtrack translation to the 5.1 modes which, for those who have the equipment to make the most of it, is a huge improvement over the original DVD release.
The DVD has an animated menu offering full audio options, choice of track selection or full concert and the bonus documentary.
The DVD is multi region and according to the sleeve, plays on all NTSC and PAL machines (we use a PAL machine), running time 135 minutes. Cat No: DVD8049X. It is available now in the UK and Europe and will be available in the USA and the rest of the world on 7th June 2005.
Wakeman fans and completists will want to add this 30th Anniversary edition to their collection if only for the bonus documentary which is a real blast from the past (fashion, technology etc.) but the addition of the 5.1 mixes will appeal to those of us who like to watch concert DVDs and imagine we are in the midst of the action so to speak.
When you pick up a copy and if you have a long memory, look closely at the opening footage of the concert where the camera is scanning the audience; you may be able to pick out the late Robin Nedwell and Geoffrey Davies who starred in the TV comedy series Doctor In The House in the 70's. and coincidentally, later in the 70's, in the Australian spin-off series, Doctor Down Under.
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