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Rick Wakeman - Cost Of Living CD (album) cover


Rick Wakeman


Symphonic Prog

2.58 | 53 ratings

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars The first impression this album gave me was "very bad and boring". I bought it just after 1984 and it really left me unimpressed. Relistening to it now I have changed my mind a litlle. It was not as bas as I remembered.

There's a nice piano intro suddenly interrupted by the onomatopeic Twij, followed by a spy- story like track. I actually found it very bad, but now I can say that's not so different from the rock songs of 1984 and I hear some affinity with The Friend Of Mr Cairo released few months before by Jon and Vangelis. Maybe sung by Jon it would have sounded better. The key solo is quite good.

"Gone But Not Forgotten" is a melodic piano tune, a bit romantic in classical sense. Also this track is not too dissimilar from the instrumentals on 1984. It's not Six Wives, but really not bad even thoug surely not very original.

"One For The Road" for the tempo and the sounds can be considered a follow-up to 1984 as well. If one has liked that album there's no reason to dislike this very much as I actually did. The choice of vocalists could have been done better, not because they are bad singers, ony I think the voices don't fit very well with the music. In any case this song has good moments.

I don't know what Rick was thinking to do with "Bedtime Stories".The melodic piano parts are not bad, but the "La-La-La" thing is awful.

"Happening Man" if you don't consider the chorus which seems coming from a parody of the rocky-horror picture show is quite good.

"Shakespear's Run" is a coming back to the age of Henry the VIII, I mean the album, of course. It's the track which is most reminding of the "classic" Wakeman, the one of the Six Wives.

"Monkey Nuts" is one of the weak tracks. It has a folk flavor, very English I think, but the vocals are not the best possible. Not that every Wakeman's song has to be sung by Jon Anderson, but I would have preferred some of the past singers like Ashley Holt on this song. Relistening to the chorus Marillion's Fish popped up in my mind. His vocals on Internal Exile would have been a perfect fit on this folky song.

Finally the highlight. Thomas Gray's Elegy is a great piece of romantic poetry which is accompanied by a good track musically reminding of "Myths and Legends" and the speech which reminds of course of "Journey". This is the track which saves the album and the one I have sometimes listened to skipping all the rest.

Three weak stars for an album that now I appreciate more than then.

octopus-4 | 3/5 |


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