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Rick Wakeman - The Six Wives Of Henry VIII - Live At Hampton Court Palace (DVD) CD (album) cover


Rick Wakeman


Symphonic Prog

3.85 | 59 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Reviewer
4 stars Simply put, one of the most monumental performances in the history of progressive rock.

It's difficult to decide where to begin with my praise for this DVD - Performance, atmosphere, sonic quality, the lovely brief interludes by Brian Blessed (English TV actor) or the very fact that this is the first performance in which Rick's magnum opus, The Six Wives Of Henry The Eighth, has even been played OR recorded. When you also factor in that this recording features B- sides which have never previously been played or released, you see the perfection this package strives for.

The overall atmosphere is set by the location - Hampton Court Palace. As the DVD states in it's intro, Rick requested permission to play his crown jewel at the palace shortly after its conception, and he was granted his request.... 36 years later! The stage is perfect for such a bombastic and royal-feeling album. After all, it is based on the life King Henry the 8th, who spent a majority of his time as king living and ruling from Hampton Court Palace. The show it performed the way it is meant to be performed - With a full orchestra and choir, but more on the performance later.

The introductions to each track about the history of the wife in question, presented by Brian Blessed, create a truly magnificent atmosphere in which Rick can build on the set up and display the characteristics of eMyach wife through the dynamics and effects used to play. Without these interludes, I doubt this DVD would be a five star for me. They make this DVD stand out from others, and make it truly unique.

The sonic quality of this disc - as is expected of all Blurays - is truly phenomenal. The concert sounds and looks 3D, with massive dimensional insights and bounces, creating true audiogasms throughout the entire concert. The crowd noise is maintained, and literally everything which accompanies rick, from the choir to the acoustic guitar, is perfectly audible at all times.

The performance is truly epic - Its awe-inspiring to see a musician play his best album, and one of the most technically challenging, several times better and more proficiently than when he was in his supposed prime... Over 35 years ago. There are some small additions to the score, which come from the orchestra, but these are more than welcome, as they only add to the overall experience. The playing is perfect, and I have absolutely no complaints in this department. The only possible addition I could have thought of would have been to have Steve Howe, Alan White and Chris Squire in the backing band, but I'll take what I'm not complaining!

My one complaint is the camera angles... We rarely see Rick's hands in this one, which is a very, very big disappointment. It doesn't detract from the overall experience too much, although there were moments when both my father and I were just about ready to scream. The majority of the filming is good, and some people may not even find this to be a problem if they're set on the experiencing the concert as the whole band, orchestra and choir, but some more key shots would have been nice. Also, some shots are just random and useless... I mean, really, who wants to see the edge (and nothing else) of Rick's move when he's playing a solo?

This is near 5 star quality, although some major detractors pull it down to 4. Still more than worthy of addition to your collection, though. -Joel

progkidjoel | 4/5 |


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