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Rick Wakeman - Heritage Suite CD (album) cover

HERITAGE SUITE

Rick Wakeman

Symphonic Prog


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Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars No man is an Island

Rick Wakeman has been a long time resident of the Isle of Man. This album represents his "tribute" to the beauty, wildlife and history of the island, which lies between Great Britain and Ireland. (As an aside, although part of the British Isles, the island has its own government, and is a tax haven. To digress even further, Steve Wilson of Porcupine Tree named his No Man band from the expression "No man is an island, except the Isle of Man".)

To the album though, and fans of Wakeman's keyboard wizardry should be warned immediately that this is a solo piano album.

For those still reading(!), Wakeman's himself says that this was "The first solo piano album that I can truly say I was happy with". The renditions are certainly, as you would expect, proficient and skilfully performed. The tracks vary between light, quick pieces, and slower moody affairs. What does not change however is that the piano is the only instrument used. There are no soaring synths, majestic organ solos, not even drums, bass, or vocals of any description.

For me, the appeal of the album rapidly waned after two or three tracks. These could in reality have been any two or three, not necessarily the first ones. There are no stand out tracks as such, although the opening "Thorwald's cross" is perhaps slightly more commercial than the rest. For those who enjoy classical music, and piano concertos in particular, "Heritage suite" will possibly have some appeal. Those looking for prog, or indeed for more in the style of Wakeman's early solo albums, should look elsewhere.

The albums was "Produced in association with Manx (Isle of Man) National heritage", and includes a well presented booklet describing each track and the location or feature it interprets. Wakeman has performed the album live only once, in a museum in Douglas on the Isle of Man.

Report this review (#27540)
Posted Tuesday, May 3, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars The best piano Wakeman album. There's not a weak track here - all of them have wonderful melodies and are brilliantly performed. Of course this music cannot be called prog (piano is the only instrument here) but for those who are interested in Wakeman's solo career it's a very good album to buy.
Report this review (#36465)
Posted Tuesday, June 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
Zitro
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars One of Rick Wakeman's best piano albums. This one has a lot of feeling which is no surprising since this is a tribute to the Isle of Man. It is just Rick Wakeman at his piano, no drums, no keyboards, no guitar/bass,and no orchestra. This album shows Wakeman at his best, it is a shame only the piano is played here.

To like this album, noone has to have to like Wakeman. The only thing you may want to consider is if you love classical piano compositions with a 19th century style.

My Grade : C

Report this review (#42969)
Posted Monday, August 15, 2005 | Review Permalink

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