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Rick Wakeman - Wakeman with Wakeman Live CD (album) cover


Rick Wakeman

Symphonic Prog

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Symphonic Team
3 stars Like father, like son

Wakeman With Wakeman Live (aka "The Official Bootleg") is a live recording from Argentina 1993. The line-up features Alan Thompson on bass, Tony Fernandez on drums, and Rick Wakeman and his youngest son Adam on keyboards. Hence, there are no vocals or guitars. Medleys of The Myths And Legends Of King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table and Journey To The Centre Of The Earth are performed as instrumentals with the vocal melodies replaced by keyboards and the two Wakemans trading solos on keyboards instead of with a guitar player. Journey is here presented in a longer version than usual which runs for almost 40 minutes and includes lots of extended solos most of which are simply amazing. Enthusiasts of Rick Wakeman live recordings - of which I am certainly one - will love hearing these alternate versions, but they are not the ultimate versions of these classic Wakeman pieces. That prize would go to other live versions with the "full" Rock band line-up with vocals and guitars included.

The two wives Catherine Howard and Catherine Parr are also performed differently from their original studio counterparts but similar to other live versions. One of the best numbers here is the concert opener Lure Of The Wild which sounds even better than its studio version (featured on the Wakeman With Wakeman studio album), due in part to the presence of real drums and bass, but also to the live atmosphere. Past And Present is another track from the Wakeman With Wakeman album, it is a good little piano dominated number. The set list also includes two covers of The Beatles (Eleanor Rigby) and The Rolling Stones (Paint It Black) respectively. Again, on these the vocal lines are played on keyboards which could have been a disaster had it not been the case that the arrangements are highly creative and departs radically from the original versions.

This recording is very interesting and highly enjoyable, but there are several other live releases out there that are even better than this one.

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Posted Sunday, November 15, 2015 | Review Permalink

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