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Rick Wakeman

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Rick Wakeman Rick Wakeman & Tony Fernandez: Zodiaque album cover
2.18 | 39 ratings | 6 reviews | 3% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1988

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Sagittarius (4:19)
2. Capricorn (4:42)
3. Gemini (2:51)
4. Cancer (3:17)
5. Pisces (4:43)
6. Aquarius (3:52)
7. Aries (5:22)
8. Libra (3:57)
9. Leo (3:15)
10. Virgo (3:48)
11. Taurus (4:14)
12. Scorpio (3:21)

Total Time: 47:41

Line-up / Musicians

- Rick Wakeman / keyboards, co-producer
- Tony Fernandez / acoustic & electronic percussion

Releases information

Artwork: Martin Brown

LP President Records ‎- RW 6 (1988, UK)

CD President Records ‎- RWCD 6 (1988, UK)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy RICK WAKEMAN Rick Wakeman & Tony Fernandez: Zodiaque Music

RICK WAKEMAN Rick Wakeman & Tony Fernandez: Zodiaque ratings distribution

(39 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(3%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(10%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (36%)
Poor. Only for completionists (18%)

RICK WAKEMAN Rick Wakeman & Tony Fernandez: Zodiaque reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Zitro
1 stars An extremely boring instrumental concept album around the twelve horoscope signs. Unfortunately, I see no imagery of these signs while hearing this album. Instead, I hear to bland electronic new-age type of music without virtuosity, improvisations, nor hints of good melodies.

The only good piece is the opening track "Sagittarius" which has interesting rhythms thanks to Tony Fernandez, and excellent keyboard work.

Avoid this album!!

It may work as a sedative ... *yawn*

My Grade : F

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Well, I'm quite sad because of low ratings of this album. I must admit that it's not so perfect masterpiece, something like big ones in top250 of all time, but Zodiaque has its qualities. When I'm sad, or very tired, I like to listen to this album. Now it will make a bridge between Renaissance and Roine Stolt. And what a nice one. One song also reminds me music from psx1 version of Civilization 2, back to 1999 in my memory.

This is perfect example of relaxing, but still qualite music. One of my most favourite from Rick. It's different, but good. And music suits for signs if I can say my opinion. Three and half stars.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
2 stars Wakeman goes Vangelis!

Zodiaque was one of the earliest of Rick Wakeman's many New-Age albums. Or actually I'm not entirely sure whether "New-Age" really is a correct description of this type of music as I'm not very familiar with that style. But this is certainly not progressive Rock and neither is it Classical music nor is it church music, so I guess that New-Age is the appropriate musical category for this album. Zodiaque is, after all, a concept album with musical pieces based on various astrological signs and if that is not New-Age then I don't know what is! This album would probably not be out of place in one of those shops where you can buy healing stones, dream catchers, help-yourself-books and other "spiritual" paraphernalia! But this is probably of higher quality that anything played and sold in such shops.

The music itself is mostly relaxing but it is not void of melody and as such it is one of the better albums that I have heard in this style. Still, I must say that this is not really my cup of tea and it is certainly not the kind of music that people come to this site to find. The closest comparison I can make is to some of Vangelis works, but this is less electronic. While certainly pleasant on the ear, listening to the whole album in one go can be a rather tedious experience. A few of the pieces are a bit more substantial with added drums, but mostly this is soft and laid back.

Not too bad for its kind, but this can only be recommended for fans and collectors

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This turned out to be a rather pleasant surprise! At this years most recent Record Store Day, I decided to take a chance on several inexpensive Rick Wakeman solo albums from a local shop and see how I go. I've never given his solo works much time, but I'd always been curious to explore them a little better. I snapped `Zodiaque' off the shelf excitedly, for some reason thinking it was Rick's `Seven Wonders of the World', one of his I'd heard a few tracks of a while back and really enjoyed. But I'm happy to report that after my initial disappointment of my mistake, this one turned out to be a mostly decent album with much to offer New Age/light electronic fans.

`Zodiaque' is certainly not to be confused with the grand and pompous classic 70's albums of Mr Wakeman, but you'll still find traces of those ones popping up here and there and coming to the surface every now and then. It interprets the 12 astrological star signs as various electronic pieces, mostly filled with ambient mystery and an enveloping air. Wakeman also collaborates with Tony Fernandez here, who adds both live acoustic and programmed percussion/drums. I think Tony does better work when he adds simple programming and subtle loops, which offer a more restrained approach, as several of the tracks have that dreaded booming 80's Phil Collins sound smashed all over the top of it that was so popular at the time.

It's the more low-key and thoughtful pieces that work best on the album. `Capricorn' is such a stunning piece. One of the loveliest and most understated themes Rick has offered, it's a delicate, hypnotic and floating electronic piece that gently washes over the listener. The echoing programed drum loop sounds like dripping water, making you feel like you're in a tranquil cave. Just perfect this one. Along the same lines, `Cancer' is warm and sensitive, the reflective `Pisces' alternates between sad and hopeful. `Libra' brims with ancient world mystery, and the superb album closer `Scorpio' is a tiptoeing, subtle and majestic electronic dream-like drift.

The stomping `Aquarius' is probably the piece that reminds most of vintage Wakeman, that same imperial and regal pomp of his 70's work tries to break through here, and it even has a synthesized female choir near the end. The cold sci-fi of `Aries' has a very alien/computerized sound with a grand main synth theme, but Tony's addition of marching drums in the middle brings more of that Rick flavour of old.

Not all of the album works well. The boppy `Gemini' comes across as lively and playful, but it's a slightly cheesy upbeat arrangement that uncomfortably ends up sounding in parts like The Cure's `Lovecats', or worse `Rock Around The Clock'! Full of skittering jazzy drumming, with some sprightly soloing from Wakeman, it was probably an attempt to serve as a break from the more sedate pieces on the rest of the album, and although it gets better with repeated listens, I feel it stands out far too much and breaks up the mood the album was building. Although I like it a bit more, the dreamy `Virgo' is a spiraling fairytale melody that doesn't feel like it belongs here either.

`Leo' sounds like an instrumental outtake from Genesis' `Invisible Touch' album, a fairly faceless churning clinical piece with crashing 80's Collins drumming, only the final section briefly offers more tension and drama. The triumphant `Taurus' would make for the perfect soundtrack to slow-motion news footage of a sports race, not so great on this actual album though.

I have no doubt this album will divide listeners. Some will find it impossibly bland and devoid of any real identity, others may find it charming and pleasant. Also likely is some readers of this review might wonder why the heck I've given it so much time - believe me, I kind of ask myself that too! Anyway, it's definitely inconsistent, and certainly a few of the production techniques (especially the drumming) has dated the album unfairly, but for fans of light electronic music that's a step above faceless New Age dreck, you might really come to enjoy this one. It makes for a perfect relaxing listen, and best of all, it's highly melodic with easy to appreciate and moving melodies woven into the electronic instrumental soundscapes.

Three stars - maybe add an extra half star for `Capricorn'!

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
2 stars Does "Edgar Wakeman" exist? As many have written, finding a relationship between the music and the constellation which titles the track is quite impossible. It's also singular that the order of the tracks is not the same of the zodiac, like he has composed the tracks and decided the order without reading the title, but what I mean is that this album is very different from any other Wakeman's album.

"Sagittarius" sounds very similar to Tangerine Dream of the late 70s/early 80s. Its final fadeout is a pity. As for "Silent Nights", that I have just reviewed, also this album has moments that I clearly remember. I also remember incredibly well the last time I have put the vinyl on my turntable in 1989. "Capricorn" sounds closer to Vangelis, and this is surely not a bad thing, even though Rick Wakeman doesn't need to sound similar to anybody else.

"Gemini" is a swing but the melody is a bit trivial. It sounds "already listened", and if it's true that I have already listened to it, I think it will give the same impression even on the first time, "Cancer" is a cheesy new-agey piano piece in Yanni style,

"Pisces" and "Aquarius" are similar but effectively the second usually contains the first. They are both newage flavored instrumentals but Aquarius is more interesting.

"Aries" seems more Vangelis stuff than Wakeman's. Not bad but far from being a masterpiece. Following it,"Libra" is my favorite track here. Slow and atmospheric has something in common with the Tangerine Dream output of the same period (we are in 1989).

With "Leo" one can expect to hear something roaring, Rick puts here "Dooh" synth voices. The rhythmic section can vaguely remind of African percussion. That's all.

"Virgo" is a short grotesque waltz whose melody can again remind to Vangelis, but if this is a remind, the first 20 seconds of "Taurus" have the same tempo of Chariots of Fire, then instead of a pompous theme there's just some calm newage as well as the following "Scorpio" which is not bad if you like the genre.

Just a newage and probably uninspired album for collectors.

Latest members reviews

3 stars A good album, in a time considered to be rather 'weak' by most Rick's fans. The idea of a thematic album with 12 songs obviously named is a nice shot, although I can't seem to relate the song names to their moods. I wonder if the songs have any sort of relation to the signs. As the rating says ... (read more)

Report this review (#27519) | Posted by augustomen | Friday, February 4, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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