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Rick Wakeman - The Six Wives of Henry VIII CD (album) cover


Rick Wakeman


Symphonic Prog

4.09 | 834 ratings

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4 stars I would suggest "The Six Wives of Henry VIII" is about as good as Wakeman gets in his solo mode. The album brims over with innovation and lots of proggy extended guitar and keyboard breaks. The time sigs are off kilter and there is always a sense of refreshing inventiveness in each track.

Opening with the sublime Catherine of Aragon the album peaks immediately with the outstanding drumming of Bill Bruford, a massive presence on this and the 5th track. The guitar work of Steve Howe is wonderful as is expected and Chris Squire's bass is welcome, the Yes members one and only stint on this album, but nevertheless a memorable cameo. Anne of Cleves follows with Alan White on drums, then Catherine Howard replete with Wakeman's grand piano runs. Jane Seymour has symphonic nuances with glorious organ stabs and bombastic orchestration. Piano flows lucidly on Anne Boleyn (Incl "The day thou gavest Lord is ended") and the album closes with a drum and keyboard powerhouse performance on the sensational Catherine Parr.

Overall there is some extraordinary musicianship on the album that Wakeman has revisited recently in a reunion of the music live captured on DVD.

I have the vinyl and always loved the artwork and the seriousness of the information included with pictures of each wife. As far as a concept album, the music works beautifully and Wakeman proves he is a force to be reckoned with even without the Yes Machine.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |


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