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Rick Wakeman - The Red Planet CD (album) cover

THE RED PLANET

Rick Wakeman

 

Symphonic Prog

4.70 | 9 ratings

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SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
5 stars No earthly connection

Is it possible that Rick Wakeman could have released his best ever solo album some five decades into his recording career? Yes, it is possible! I must admit that I have not heard absolutely every record he has made - he has made so (too?) many. But a significant bunch of his output has been in classical, new-age, and other non-Rock genres. The Red Planet is a progressive Rock record through and through, and it is nothing short of phenomenal at that.

The album features eight new instrumental pieces inspired by the landscape and geography of the planet Mars. Recorded with a full band of drums, bass, guitars, and (no surprises there!) a wide range of keyboards, this is precisely the kind of album that the fans have been waiting a long time for.

I was previously familiar with the band Wakeman is using here as it is the same line-up (minus vocalist Ashley Holt) that was featured on the excellent live DVD Made In Cuba. Bassist Lee Pomeroy is a longtime Wakeman collaborator and he was also with Wakeman recently in "Yes featuring Anderson Rabin Wakeman". Here he does an excellent job throughout, but watch out especially for the brilliant bass line during the introduction to Valles Marineris. Guitarist Dave Colquhoun and drummer Ash Soan may be less known, but they are great musicians. Like when they played live (evidenced on the aforementioned DVD), Wakeman takes a democratic approach and lets his band contribute as equals and not just working as a backing band.

I usually abstain from reviewing new music so shortly after its release, but I am confident that The Red Planet will stand the test of time and become one of Wakeman's most beloved records.

Very highly recommended!

SouthSideoftheSky | 5/5 |

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