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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 | 464 ratings

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3 stars Now here comes one of the most interesting parts in Rick Wakeman's bio.Having already been gifted his second son Adam and touring extensively for the promotion of ''Journey to...'', Wakeman simply seemed to live one his most fruitful periods after his departure from Yes.Then comes his collapse after a show at the Crystal Palace Bowl and the reason was a minor heart attack.He was delivered to Wexham Park Hospital, but not only he did not leave time pass by, but he also found the chance to write down material for his upcoming album, inspired by the legends of King Arthur and the Round Table.The album was recorded at Morgan Studios in London and released in 1975 on A&M Records under the title ''The myths and legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table''.His line-up included ex-Big Sleep and Wild Turkey Gary Pickford-Hopkins on vocals next to Ashley Holt (ex-Warhorse), Barney James on drums (also ex-Warhorse), while the orchestral parts were arranged by Wil Malone.

Musically this is one of Wakeman's more mature works, always performed under a grandiose Symphonic Rock style and based on an arsenal of different keyboards.It retains the keyboard wizard's familiar epic style with fairytale passages followed by bombastic orchestrations and flashy solos, but this time the music sounds very deep, mature and consistent with an extremely balanced sound between orchestral movements, romantic piano lines and sharp Moog synth moves.The Moog synthesizer and the piano appear to be again Wakeman's prime forces towards a symphonic work with intricate and dramatic instrumental passages, supported by choirs and superb orchestrations.Harsichord appears sporadically in an old-fashioned but always delicate way.What actually ruins completely this work was Wakeman's choice on vocals.Both Pickford-Hopkins and Holt had very raw voices to consistenly follow the music style of the album and their vocal colors were rather suitable to Hard or Pomp Rock groups than to an elaborate Progressive Rock album.Fortunately the instrumental length of the album is pretty extended with limited room for vocals and the album is dominated by Wakeman's clever moves on keyboard and piano, resulting an album full of cinematic soundscapes and Classical-inspired moments of pure elegance.

This could have been an even better album if the singers were chosen more appropriately.Be sure though to listen to some majestic moments delivered by Yes' former keyboard leader.Romantic, elaborate and dramatic Symphonic Rock with a pompous but well-executed attitude.Recommended.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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