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Rick Wakeman - Time Machine CD (album) cover

TIME MACHINE

Rick Wakeman

 

Symphonic Prog

2.58 | 37 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Parr for the course

Released in 1988, this album does at least stand out from the barrage of Rick Wakeman albums as being a little different. On it he takes a bit of a back seat, the album being much more vocal than usual.

There are a number of guest vocalists, including ROY WOOD, and JOHN PARR. The opening track, "Custer's last stand" is an up tempo number, which has a sound similar to that created by Wakeman on the "1984" album. Roy Wood (MOVE, ELO, WIZZARD) takes lead vocals, his distinctive voice being instantly recognisable. The track doesn't particularly suit his vocal style, but he manages a competent performance nevertheless.

"Ocean city", a softer ballad features the gritty voiced John Parr ("St Elmo's fire") on vocals. "Angel of time" is the first of five tracks marked on the CD sleeve as being "extended CD versions", although the track is not particularly long, and the "extension" is far from obvious. The first solo of note on the album comes on "Slaveman", and interestingly it is not by Wakeman, but a guitar solo by John Knightsbridge. Long time Wakeman singer Ashley Holt takes lead vocals for this track and for "Make me a woman".

The final guest vocalist to appear is Tracey Ackerman on "Ice". Wakeman finally gets into full soloing mode here, with a blistering synth solo which might easily have been taken from "White rock". "Open your eyes" opens with some tediously dull synth, which fades before a completely different song featuring Ackerman on vocals comes in to continue the track, very strange.

"Elizabethan Rock" is a cleverly put together synthesiser piece, where each notes sounds like ah-ah vocals. The track is a simple but effective instrumental composition.

"Make me a woman" is probably the best track. Ashley Holt puts on a fine vocal performance in his quest for female company (NOT a sex change!!) in this sensitive ballad.

The appearance of so many diverse lead vocalists, the relative lack of up-front contribution by Wakeman himself, and the stage show type style of some of the compositions give this album a somewhat strange flavour. It's well performed, but the quality of the compositions is a bit lacking at times, resulting in an only moderately satisfactory end product.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |

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