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Rick Wakeman - 1984 CD (album) cover


Rick Wakeman


Symphonic Prog

3.38 | 150 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Although not the first RW album I listened to, this was the first one I bought with my own money, so there was a sense of proud ownership. I was also very interested that the lyrics were by Tim Rice and furthermore, that those lyrics for the most part, were actually quite clearly sung.

This album received saturation listening from me. Whilst I never really liked Chaka Kahn's voice, I still felt it suited the angst of War Games and although she was not well in tune for some of Julia, I also thought it suited the style (fascinating lyrics in that song!). I LOVE the Hammond solo at the end of War Games, coming out of Kahn's high note - it's a killer! Also used to great effect in Brainwash and the Finale. Robot Man also had quite a few repeated plays (and it's interesting to see it cropping up on the Buenos Aires DVD) with more quirky lyrics and the attention-grabbing backwards piano in the intro.

Jon Anderson was eminently suited to the Hymn and even Tim Rice got a look in with the almost Madness-like Prole's Song - I've always liked that for it's zany feel.

What really interested me overall was that for a concept album about the essentially bleak subjects covered in Orwell's classic, there are a lot of "up" tracks on it. It's really only War Games and Brainwash that have darker elements to them. I also don't feel that some of the material on this album has dated as much as some others. The use of orchestra, choir and rock ensemble was also well arranged for this album and it taught me a thing or two about that style of arranging. it also made me listen a little more intently (from that point of view) to the King Arthur album.

I know it doesn't generally sit high in the Wakeman collection, but it's still a favourite of mine.


Infidel | 4/5 |


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