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Rick Wakeman - Criminal Record CD (album) cover


Rick Wakeman


Symphonic Prog

3.76 | 263 ratings

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Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Keyboardist extraordinaire Rick Wakeman has put out *lots* of solo albums, been involved in several bands and has done countless sessions for many artists - you could call him the world's busiest musician. His solo albums fluctuate between bombastic prog, pop, classical, easy-listening etc. - and that's from the dozen or so efforts I've heard from him. 'Criminal Record' from 1977, is one of his most exciting releases, and should be high on the list for lovers of progressive keyboard wizardry and fans of YES - the 3 tracks on side 1 feature that band's tight rhythm section of Chris Squire (Bass) and Alan White (drums), with Wakeman himself tackling mega- complex arrangements with boundless enthusiasm.

The quality of the pieces is fairly consistent, discounting 'The Breathalyser' - a quirky number with amusing vocals from none-other- than Bill Oddie (part of the classic comedy trio 'The Goodies - and what a bunch of whacky funsters they were). The song still demonstrates considerable chops from Rick, but not in a serious fashion. Serious comes in the form of the Pipe-Organ/Chorale dominated 'Judas Iscariot' (recalling Yes' 'Awaken'). 'Crime of Passion' is another Yes-like track. The album lacks certain qualities, such as 'warmth' and 'soul', but the flashy arrangements and pomp showmanship really are quite priceless. A highly recommended album, 4.5 stars.

Tom Ozric | 4/5 |


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