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Rick Wakeman - The Myths And Legends Of King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table CD (album) cover


Rick Wakeman


Symphonic Prog

3.57 | 458 ratings

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4 stars I own "The Myths And Legends Of King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table" on vinyl and it is quite an amazing package complete with garish artwork on the front cover and back showing the sword in the anvil and then raised high in the water. The gatefold is a Knight jousting with a nice blue painted sky, almost cartoon in style. Thankfully the copy I grabbed still had its 12 page booklet showing lots of drawings and colours depicting each track and including the lyrics an Ancient scroll calligraphy.

The music as expected showcases the Elizabethan chamber music that Wakeman loves to play. The atmosphere captures the period beautifully and of course it is bombastic and layered with choirs, orchestration and a ton of pipe organ. Tracks that jump out are Arthur, Lady of the Lake, Guinevere, Merlin the Magician and The Last Battle, though the album works best listened to in one sitting as one grand tale. Guinevere is familiar as it is on radio airplay often but I prefer the proggier tracks. Those familiar with the tale of sir Arthur will know what to expect in the concept reimagined here, but there are surprises in musical terms. The vocals are oddly placed and at times seem inappropriate and dated, however the musicianship is outstanding throughout.

This album will divide and conquer, some listeners will not be impressed with the pompous Arthurian approach, though it is imaginative undoubtedly. Some of this is extraordinary and some is dated and pretentious these days, but it is still one of the better Wakeman solo albums. More pomp and ceremony than anything Yes touched including "Topographic", the album is definitely one that should not be ignored. I prefer "6 Wives of Henry VIII" but have time to listen to these early projects of the great caped prog wonder.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |


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