Rick Wakeman / 5 Classic Albums


Get exactly what it says on the box, with this budget-priced reissue of five classic Rick Wakeman studio albums from Universal Music Catalogue.

Hot on the heels of Wakeman’s forthcoming Journey To The Centre of the Earth four-CD super deluxe box set recently previewed on SDE, comes a second May release of Wakeman’s music. Retailing at approximately a quarter of the price, this five-CD set kicks off with his debut long-player The Six Wives Of Henry VIII, a concept album he dreamt up while reading a book about the wives during a US tour with Yes. Peaking at number 7 in the UK album chart and sneaking into the top 30 Stateside on its original release in 1973, it was reissued in 2015 as extended edition with a Quadrophonic sound mix.

His second solo album, the aforementioned Journey To The Centre Of Earth, inspired by the Jules Verne novel of the same name and recorded live at the Royal Festival Hall on 18 January 1974, was an bigger hit, topping the charts in the UK, reaching number three in America and earning Wakeman an Ivor Novello Award and Grammy nomination.

This was followed by the lavishly titled The Myths And Legends Of King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table, which Wakeman started writing while in hospital recovering from a heart attack and ended up going gold everywhere from Brazil to Australia following its release in April 1975. Like Six Wives, this one also got the Quadrophonic mix/resissue treatment in 2015.

The 1975 soundtrack Wakeman wrote from Ken Russell film Lisztomania is omitted, and No Earthly Connection (1976) and White Rock (1977) account for the other two discs in this set. White Rock was the soundtrack to a documentary film about the 1976 Winter Olympics, and includes After The Ball a track which Wakeman had been specifically asked to write, but completely forgot to compose, and rather than admit that, pretended he had the song ready and recorded it in one completely improvised take. It turned out remarkably well and became a Wakeman staple.

So that’s that on the audio front and, as you’d expect for such an economically priced box set, the CDs are simply packaged in a slimline slipcase.

5 Classic Albums is released on 13 May

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Rick Wakeman

5 Classic Albums



CD 1: The Six Wives of Henry VIII

  1. Catherine Of Aragon
  2. Anne Of Cleves
  3. Catherine Howard
  4. Jane Seymour
  5. Anne Boleyn ‘The Day Thou Gavest Lord Hath Ended’
  6. Catherine Parr

CD 2: The Myths And Legends Of King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table

  1. Arthur
  2. Lady Of The Lake
  3. Guinevere
  4. Sir Lancelot And The Black Knight
  5. Merlin The Magician
  6. Sir Galahad
  7. The Last Battle

CD 3: No Earthly Connection

  1. Part I: The Warning
  2. Part I: The Warning
  3. Part II: The Maker
  4. Part III: The Spaceman
  5. Part IV: The Realisation
  6. Part V: The Reaper
  7. The Prisoner
  8. The Lost Cycle

CD 4: Journey To The Centre Of Earth

  1. The Journey/Recollection
  2. The Battle/The Forest

CD 5: White Rock

  1. White Rock
  2. Searching For Gold
  3. The Loser
  4. The Shoot
  5. Lax’x
  6. After The Ball
  7. Montezuma’s Revenge
  8. Ice Run

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Barrie Sillars

At the price this is a great package. They all sound great so do wonder what masters they used for these, particularly as No Earthly Connection has never been given a proper CD release in the UK yet. The Hackett set also sounds great too!


Ah come on Baward. No Earthly Connection is due some love. There’s lots of great playing on it.

I bought the Japanese Mini LP version, which as you would expect, includes the mirror. :)

don cooper

A mini Minimoog would have been nice,too. ;-)


‘No Earthly Connection’ – the best thing about it IMO was the opening Minimoog salvo and the mirror tube insert thingummy.


While surfing Amazon for this collection, I also found a 5-Classic Album set for Steve Hackett ‘s work. I love these sets; they’re a great way to get lots of music inexpensively without all the excess packaging. There’s a few for Jethro Tull and Elton John as well.

Simon F

The lavish packaging was part of the appeal particularly of these Wakeman albums. Good collection but without all the original sleeve artwork and inserts I’m gonna pass.


I’ve just pre-ordered this and the Steve Hackett 5 Classics albums from Rakuten – they were pricing them at £10.98 and currently they are doing a MAYDAY 15% Off campaign so only £9.33 each. Only on till the 2nd May.


Can’ find them on Rakuten…links?


I suspect they won’t be remastered (at least not from the original tapes). I met Rick a few years ago and he mentioned that he couldn’t get hold of the original masters (due I think to A&M changing ownership over the years). Of course it’s possible they’ve been located since then.


The jewel in the crown here is the one Paul glosses over – No Earthly Connection. Until fairly recently this was mega-difficult to find on CD, with only the Japanese Mini-LP out there. In more recent times it finally got a CD release, and now it’s consigned to this set.

I bought No Earthly Connection on day of release way back when. It’s a concept album of pretentious rubbish – but WHAT rubbish, it’s perfect from start to finish, imo.

The other albums are alright too. :)

Adam shaw

Many years ago A and M put out a 4 disc set ( without No Earthly Connection) but were no re masterd.
Paul do you know if these are the newly re masterd versions ?

Wayne Klein

Very cool! I’m goi g to pick this up since I don’t have much interest in the grand deluxe Journey.