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Rick Wakeman - No Earthly Connection CD (album) cover

NO EARTHLY CONNECTION

Rick Wakeman

 

Symphonic Prog

3.70 | 159 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

octopus-4
Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
4 stars Taste of fruitful inhibitions of a human incapable of future seeing ... Hell, I was starting this review in the same way of another reviewer. Thanks God I've spotted it.

So let's change. We are in 1976 and the Rock dinosaurs are still in a good shape. Rick has failed to repeat the success of the six wives with Myths and Legends (good) and Listzomania (less good) but had the great live Journey in the middle.

For this album he gives up to the pomposity of Journey and Myths and the only gadget that the vinyl package has consists in a piece of reflecting paper to be shaped in a cylinder so his face that's painted deformed on the cover sheet can be seen on on it.

Music reincarnate is a long epic that wasn't fitting in an LP side, so on the original edition the last section of it was on the B side. So in total this album has 2 tracks because The Prisoner and The Lost Cycle were a single song.

After an organ major chord, a male choir opens the epic with the sentence on the top, then a kind of funky leads to the first effort of Ashley Holt---"Wait, wait, look at the sun, music of blinding light, sound strength destroying sight"---. I'm surprised, I'm writing basing on my memory only as I don't have the record here. After this excellent intro that's a complex song itself not just an opener, it comes "The Maker". It's a melodic song that can remind to some parts of Journey to the Centre of the Earth. There are no transitions of silences between the various parts of the suite, for what I remember. "The Spaceman" is darker than the previous segment but is more oriented on symphonic rock. "The Realisation" is darker and bluesy with the brasses making a good work and Holt sometimes screaming. "It's too late to find your music soul". A citation of the initial theme closes the side A. The transition here was needed because of the limitations imposed by the vinyl capacity. In order to give continuity between the two sides, the Maker is ended by a sort of repetitive "beeps". Despite the title, the Reaper is a very nice melodic song even if the chord's progression is not much original. It continues with a slow base of bass and keyboards on which all the relevant parts of the previous "songs" are represented as in a sort of "summary" ehich leads to the melodic conclusion with the piano on the initial theme, then it ends in the same way it started.

After an epic of this kind another long track can pas unobserved. "The Prisoner", from a musical point of view doesn't differ too much from the epic, it also recalls it in some passages, but it's the darkest moment of the album and the argument is a sort of trial ("you shall hang said the judge....") long before Roger Waters'. As I have written, on the vinyl The Lost Cycle was part of The Prisoner. It's less dark and features that keyboard sound that made Wakeman famous. It's the same year of Going for the One, and that is the sound that I mean.

Not a masterpiece but one of the best albums released by Rick Wakeman. One of the last good albums, unfortunately.

octopus-4 | 4/5 |

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