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Rick Wakeman

Symphonic Prog

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Rick Wakeman The New Gospels album cover
3.10 | 22 ratings | 2 reviews | 9% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1996

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Galilee / The Word / Power 11:41
2. The Gift / The Magnificat 10:22
3. The Welcoming / Welcome a Star 10:35
4. The Way / The Baptism 8:46
5. Tempt Him 4:24
6. The Sermon on the Mount 8:07
7. The Lord's Prayer 3:31
8. The Road to Jerusalem 6:44
9. Trial and Error 7:36
10. Await the Hour 5:25
11. The Cross 5:16
12. Children of Mine / The Last Verse 15:02

Line-up / Musicians

- Rick Wakeman / keyboards, composer & arranger

- Ramon Remedios / tenor vocals
- The New Gospels Choir / chorus vocals
- Steve Edwards / choir conductor
- Garfield Morgan / narrator
- David Paton / bass

Releases information

Artwork: Robert Mathews

Sub-titled "A Modern Oratorio by Rick Wakeman"

2xCD Hope Records ‎- ARD 1086 (1995, UK)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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RICK WAKEMAN The New Gospels ratings distribution

(22 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(9%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(18%)
Good, but non-essential (59%)
Collectors/fans only (14%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

RICK WAKEMAN The New Gospels 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 Uplifting

In 1987, Rick Wakeman released a double album entitled "The gospels", an album which reflected his religious "awakening". In 1995 he re-recorded the music, calling it "The new gospels". A couple of new pieces were added, but otherwise the compositions are largely the same, hence the "new" here relates to the production, not to the basis of the concept.

The album is described as an "Oratorio", reflecting the emphasis on the vocal aspects of the performance. To secure the appropriate atmosphere, the recording took place in a church. Unlike the original "Gospels" album, which devoted one of each of the four album sides to the gospel of each apostle, here the story is told from start to end as an amalgam of those books.

While the line up at first appears sparse, the only instrumentalist apart from Wakeman being journeyman David Paton on bass, Rick's symphonic keyboards are augmented by a narrator, a solo tenor, and a choir. Garfield Morgan's narration sounds very like that on "King Arthur", indeed the album as a whole does sometimes have a passing resemblance to that masterpiece.

Needless to say there is an overtly religious tone. Thus there are no blinding synthesiser runs, indeed the pace rarely rises above stately. This creates a very relaxed atmosphere though, without wandering off into the new age dalliances Wakeman was so prone to around this time.

The tracks are long, with the choir and solo tenor delivering lengthy passages interrupted only by the occasional narration or keyboard link.

Personally, I found the opening to part 3, "The welcoming" particularly appealing. The melody here is wonderfully complemented by some fine keyboards, and the slightly lighter nature of the piece offers a welcome contrast. The closing "Children of mine" has a "Tubular bells" feel to the background melody, and a suitably positive ending.

Rick has himself indicated that he was far more satisfied with this version of "The gospels" although he would have liked a larger choir. For me, the choir do an excellent job, the balance between them and Wakeman's keyboards being about right. I would agree with Rick that this is indeed a significant improvement.

Be warned though, despite the track lengths, this is by no means a prog album. It is more akin to a classical oratorio, albeit without any traditional orchestration as such. Those who appreciate a pure tenor voice will find the singing of Ramon Remedios (who also sang on the original "The Gospels" album) to be a truly uplifting experience.

It is very easy with albums such as this to be drawn in by the overt nature of the religious themes, and thus to overlook the quality of the music and the performance. It is therefore necessary to put aside any prejudices and pre-conceptions in order to derive maximum enjoyment from this album. Admittedly, the sermon like nature of some of the narration can make this something of a challenge, but those who are able to achieve such preconditions will find this is actually a thoroughly enjoyable work.

Latest members reviews

3 stars The New Gospels eh? What was wrong with the original ones then? Silly title aside this is a re-recording of The Gospels that came out in the mid-80's. I believe Rick wasn't really happy with the quality of the original recording and wanted to do this modern oratorio more justice. Did he su ... (read more)

Report this review (#37316) | Posted by notrickwakeman | Thursday, June 23, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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