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Rick Wakeman

Symphonic Prog

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Rick Wakeman Time Machine album cover
2.60 | 43 ratings | 4 reviews | 9% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1988

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Custer's Last Stand (4:05)
2. Ocean City (4:04)
3. Angel Of Time (4:38 LP) (4:51)
4. Slaveman (5:05 LP) (6:44)
5. Ice (4:52)
6. Open Up Your Eyes (5:48 LP) (9:57)
7. Elizabethan Rock (3:14)
8. Make Me A Woman (4:57 LP) (5:01)
9. Rock Age (7:48 LP) (8:37)

Total time 51:25

Line-up / Musicians

- Rick Wakeman / keyboards, composer, arranger & co-producer

- Roy Woods / vocals (1)
- John Parr / vocals (2,9)
- Tracey Ackerman / vocals (3,5,6)
- Ashley Holt / vocals (4,8)
- John Knightsbridge / guitar
- Rick Fenn / additional keyboards
- Davey Paton / bass
- Tony Fernandez / drums, percussion

Releases information

LP President Records ‎- RW 7 (1988, UK)

CD President Records ‎- RWCD 7 (1988, UK) Track 3,4,6,8,9 extended versions not available on LP

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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RICK WAKEMAN Time Machine ratings distribution

(43 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(9%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(12%)
Good, but non-essential (42%)
Collectors/fans only (30%)
Poor. Only for completionists (7%)

RICK WAKEMAN Time Machine reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Parr for the course

Released in 1988, this album does at least stand out from the barrage of Rick Wakeman albums as being a little different. On it he takes a bit of a back seat, the album being much more vocal than usual.

There are a number of guest vocalists, including ROY WOOD, and JOHN PARR. The opening track, "Custer's last stand" is an up tempo number, which has a sound similar to that created by Wakeman on the "1984" album. Roy Wood (MOVE, ELO, WIZZARD) takes lead vocals, his distinctive voice being instantly recognisable. The track doesn't particularly suit his vocal style, but he manages a competent performance nevertheless.

"Ocean city", a softer ballad features the gritty voiced John Parr ("St Elmo's fire") on vocals. "Angel of time" is the first of five tracks marked on the CD sleeve as being "extended CD versions", although the track is not particularly long, and the "extension" is far from obvious. The first solo of note on the album comes on "Slaveman", and interestingly it is not by Wakeman, but a guitar solo by John Knightsbridge. Long time Wakeman singer Ashley Holt takes lead vocals for this track and for "Make me a woman".

The final guest vocalist to appear is Tracey Ackerman on "Ice". Wakeman finally gets into full soloing mode here, with a blistering synth solo which might easily have been taken from "White rock". "Open your eyes" opens with some tediously dull synth, which fades before a completely different song featuring Ackerman on vocals comes in to continue the track, very strange.

"Elizabethan Rock" is a cleverly put together synthesiser piece, where each notes sounds like ah-ah vocals. The track is a simple but effective instrumental composition.

"Make me a woman" is probably the best track. Ashley Holt puts on a fine vocal performance in his quest for female company (NOT a sex change!!) in this sensitive ballad.

The appearance of so many diverse lead vocalists, the relative lack of up-front contribution by Wakeman himself, and the stage show type style of some of the compositions give this album a somewhat strange flavour. It's well performed, but the quality of the compositions is a bit lacking at times, resulting in an only moderately satisfactory end product.

Review by Zitro
2 stars 2.4 stars

This is Wakeman wanting to go back to Prog, but it misses the prog and the art of his 70s work ... it is still decent. IF you want prog, stay away. If you want keyboard- driven rock/pop music, you could like it, but don't expect amazing musicianship.

1. Custer's last stand 5/10 : A decent opener, and is catchy and easy to listen to.

2. Ocean city 9.5/10 : Wow! This is one of the best Wakeman compositions ever! It is so simple, yet so effective. The rhythm section is very catchy, and seems to be influenced from "We will rock you". Besides that partial rip off, the song sounds very unique, providing strings+drums rhythms, very pretty melodies, good singing, and great keyboard sound choices (Especially on the solo) The best reason to buy this album.

3. Angel of time 3.5/10 : not too memorable, it is not terrible either...

4. Slaveman 1/10 : ... until you hear this horrible repetitive thing that is bad in every way, including bad vocals.

5. Ice (4:52) 7/10 : This is a solid pop tune with catchy singing, good keyboard riffing, and a nice instrumental break with an impressive short bass guitar solo. Wakeman is very fond of this song.

6. Open up your eyes 3/10 : Overlong and dull synth introduction, is followed by an average song.

7. Elizabethan rock 6/10 : How many times do I have to use the word 'catchy' ? Well, this song is .. with ah-ah vocal sounding keyboard riffing.

8. Make me a woman 5/10 : Pretty, simple ballad with nice singing from Holt.

9. Rock age 4.5/10 : Average hard rock song that ends this album on an ok note.

My Grade : D+

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
2 stars This is one of the better Alan Parsons Project albums, wait... No, this is a Rick Wakeman album! Sure sounds like Alan Parsons Project to me; (too) many vocalists involved on different tracks (both male and female), very well produced, melodious songs, weakly conceptual, some repetitive instrumental passages, not very progressive overall. Sounds like a perfect description of an Alan Parsons Project album.

The drums on some songs are horrible, Angel Of Time probably being the worst. The whole album just screams 80's at you. Some of the lyrics are extremely cheesy and unimaginative; You know, there's nothing quite as nice as ice, nothing quite as nice as ice... What? There's nothing quite as nice as the bass guitar solo on this song though (well, there is actually, but it's nice enough).

The electric guitars are mostly absent or silent (Slaveman has a nice guitar solo though). But more electric guitars had been nice.

However, I would lie if I said that I don't enjoy this music!

If all the songs had been sung by the same vocalist (Ashley Holt, for example) and the drums had been better, and the electric guitars allowed more space, then this would be a much stronger album. As it stands however, this is only for Wakeman fans (and perhaps for Alan Parsons fans?)

Latest members reviews

3 stars One of the best (or maybe the best) song oriented albums that Wakeman made in the 80s. 'Ocean City' or 'Ice' are fairly good pop prog songs, the latter being a personal favourite of the composer. Don't expect another 'Criminal Record', but if you are starting to get into Rick's inmense discography ... (read more)

Report this review (#27521) | Posted by Paco Fox | Tuesday, February 10, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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