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Rick Wakeman - The Piano Album - Live CD (album) cover


Rick Wakeman


Symphonic Prog

3.94 | 12 ratings

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4 stars Hmm .. actually, I'm sick (physically - not mentally man! Coz I still have prog mind! How can you say someone is sick if he still got prog mind?!) right now but .. I can not stop writing my thoughts / views about prog music. So I gab my laptop, plug in the output jack to my amps and enjoy the writing. Hope that right after writing this review I will get better (I am sure man!). So . prog heals the world! It happened that before I got sick, I plan to review this solo performance by my keyboard hero Rick Wakeman. And I remember that Rick wrote the concept of "King Arthur" album when he was hospitalized and the doctor advised him to stop making music. What a coincidence with my situation right now! But of course I'm not a great musician like Rick, but I have a strong passion for prog music!

This CD is not mine (of course I will buy it later), it's a property of my prog mate Agung Surjoatmodjo whom just sent me a short message on how he was so damn satisfied enjoying "Fallen Idol" by Arena while he was driving to his office. [Hey, we exchange emotions and feelings down here whenever we are satisfied enjoying certain prog music, through cell phone short messages. Thanks to digital technology!] And now, I'm enjoying his CD collection featuring Rick Wakeman's piano solo performance. What do you expect from this album? First off, it's recommended that you have been familiar with old songs of Yes and ABWH or Rick's solo plus some other oldies by other musicians as well. That will give you full satisfaction with this album. But, if you can enjoy solo piano work, it's okay also, you still can enjoy this album and later you buy the original song version. Either way is okay. Through this album Rick demonstrates his virtuosities with his rapid finger punch on the piano. It's really a rewarding experience enjoying this album especially if you do it during night time.

Opened with a church choral section through "A wish" (1:15) Rick continues his first performance with "A glimpse of Heaven" (4:04) followed with a break. "This is Chaterine Howard" says Rick followed with applaud from the crowd. Rick plays this song from "Six Wives" wonderfully. Oh my God . what a great joy listening how he plays the piano notes skillfully even replacing the keyboard sounds he used in original version. I bet you, if you are familiar with Six Wives album, you will definitely agree with me that this track is fabulous! He then continues the play with an oldie written by Cat Stevens (who changed name to Muhammad Jusuf after he convverted to moslem) . Well, if you were there during the glory days of rock music in the seventies, you must know this song really well, even though it's not rock.

"Wondrous stories" (4:06) from Yes "Going For The One" performed with a single piano work? Great! The sounds produced from piano notes and chords are really stunning. Definitely, if you love the original version, you can appreciate this track. Wonderful performance. What I also like about this piano album is that the inclusion of David Bowie's legendary tune "Space Oddity". I'm not a fan of Bowie, but Space Oddity has special meaning for me. The song has colored my childhood when I first in love with rock music. It was categorized under Top Oldies compilation altogether with "He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother" (Hollies), "The House of The Rising Sun" (The Animals), "It's Me That You Need" (Elton John), "A Certain of Kind" (Bloodrock), "Singing Song" (Frumpy) .. oh what a wonderful childhood that I cannot remember the rest of my life.! And this time Rick plays "This is major Tom to ground control ." and "Tell my wife I love her very much she knows .." through his finger punch over the piano! What memorable and melodic notes! Mbrebes mili man .!

Oh I'm writing the fifth paragraph now, I'd better stop it now before you get mad with me writing a novel-long review. Sorry - this album deserves long review, actually. Ok ok ok . "The Meeting" by ABWH is a great performance. I remember when Rick met the IPS (Indonesian Progressive Society) members personally at his Hilton Hotel with Tony Fernandez in 2002, he played this song with piano while all members of IPS sung together "Surely I could tell ." What a memorable event! And Rick is a humble person because he was OK meeting with all of us and we had fun together at that time. Other tracks that I'm sure you will love them are: "And you and I" (5:50) , "Merlin the magician" (5:48) and "Gone but not forgotten" (7:05).

It's a highly recommended live album! Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 4/5 |


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