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Rick Wakeman - Criminal Record CD (album) cover


Rick Wakeman


Symphonic Prog

3.75 | 232 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
5 stars The most criminal aspect of this gem of an album by Rick Wakeman is that CD versions have always been so rare. As far as I know, there have been very few digital pressings of this album, and they now go for more than I am willing to pay. Nevertheless, I am happy to own a well worn copy of the LP, purchased the day it was released. In my opinion, as Wakeman albums go, this one is second only to "The Six Wives of Henry VIII".

The album was released in the same year as Yes' "Going For The One", and Wakeman uses a somewhat similar style on the show piece Judas Iscariot, a twelve minute track that closes the album. He takes a very simple line and builds it up into a work of wonder.

The remainder of the album has songs with titles that say they are themed around crime, criminals and punishment. While the music throughout is great, Wakeman belies that theme by throwing is whimsical passages, like a sound reminiscent of a carnival calliope, and an Emersonesque quote of the childrens' song Little Red Wagon.

Whimsy aside, Wakeman is at the top of his game here, where even the lighter romantic piano pieces manage to ascend to greatness.

So ignore the sort of cheesy album cover, and listen.

Evolver | 5/5 |


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