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.
It's been a long time since "Seasons in the Sun" became a monster hit for Canadian Terry Jacks, but the syrupy 1974 single is still top dog among all best-sellers issued by Canadian acts. The release spent more than three months on the U.S. charts and more than four months on the charts in Jacks' native country. Its accumulated sales topped more than 11 million copies. Jacks, who moved on to producing for artists such as the Beach Boys, Nana Mouskouri, DOA, and Chilliwack, reaped the good life from the monster hit's royalties, which he acknowledged by naming his power boat Seasons in the Sun. Royalties also spill in from "Which Way You Goin' Billy?" He and former wife Susan Pesklevits recorded the song under the name the Poppy Family in 1969.
Essential: a masterpiece of folk music
Planxty begins its remarkable sophomore release The Well Below the Valley with the pipe-led "Cunla," an engaging round sung by founder Christy Moore. Impeccably played dance tunes, soulful laments, and rollicking narratives follow, allowing listeners access to the full breadth of the group's many talents.