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Rick Wakeman - The Classic Tracks  CD (album) cover


Rick Wakeman


Symphonic Prog

3.08 | 8 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars This review is a reworked version of my original review written for ebay last year. The cassette version of this record introduces me to Rick Wakeman, and the far more brilliant music of Yes more than ten years ago.

Back to this album, I loved it so much that i bought it twice as the first one was wrecked in car stereo years ago. Then came the age of CD, I easily found this down in ebay. There are at least 3 versions of this cd with different artwork, but 2 upgraded version has an extra song. In the end, i chose this 3 song version.

According to Rick himself in his offcial website, he hated this album so much since it was finished without his consent, and the label didn't really remunerate him as they are supposed to. He also disliked the vocals and the arrangements on this (which I guess was done without his approval).

However, inspite of whatever Mr Wakeman has to say, in this record we audience can enjoy a rather new perspective/approach to his music as it is obvious that RW himself has little to do with the arrangement. It is not without flaws, but it is refreshing. I would say it's a good job for whoever that had done the arrangement. Also in comparison to his favorite choice of yore Ashley Holt on the original Journey to the Centre of the Earth concert in the 70s, I do prefer this voice and the rock-oriented arrangement. The guitar works and the drumming here are nothing but average. The bass is surprisingly good, although not Chris Squire good. Merlin the Magician finally has words to it. His keyboard works are as brilliant as ever.

Big cons for this album. things seem quite solid, but it suffers to a certain extent from a copy and paste approach to computer-music production, i.e. a few identical repeats in a song. Horrible idea to extend the album length.

In summary, this album is as non-Rick Wakeman as can be, so not a good starting point if you want to appreciate Wakeman's solo albums. For that and the horrible copy-paste approach in music plus ugly artwork, I should say a one-star rating. But as I said above, there are some brilliant moments and I feel compelled to promote this up. 3 stars. not more.

terryl | 3/5 |


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