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Rick Wakeman

Symphonic Prog

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Rick Wakeman Fields Of Green album cover
3.00 | 28 ratings | 5 reviews | 14% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1996

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Starship trooper (12:23)
2. The promise of love (6:18)
3. The Spanish wizard (6:35)
4. The never ending road (8:58)
5. The fighter (5:30)
6. Tell me why (5:13)
7. The rope trick (3:41)
8. The niceman (8:26)
9. Fields of green (3:42)

Total Time: 60:46

Bonus track on 1997 & 2014 reissues:
1. Election 97/Arthur (part of the BBC Election music package for 1st May 1997) (2:59)

Line-up / Musicians

- Rick Wakeman / keyboards, producer

- Chrissie Hammond / vocals
- Fraser Thorneycroft-Smith / acoustic & electric guitars
- Phil Laughlin / bass
- Stuart Sawney / percussion programming, mixing

Releases information

CD Griffin Music ‎- GCD-581-2 (1996, UK)
CD Music Fusion ‎- MFCD 001 (1997, UK) With a bonus track; New cover art
CD Esoteric Recordings ‎- ECLEC 2461 (2014, UK) Remastered by Ben Wiseman with a bonus track; New cover art

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy RICK WAKEMAN Fields Of Green Music

RICK WAKEMAN Fields Of Green ratings distribution

(28 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(14%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(21%)
Good, but non-essential (54%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

RICK WAKEMAN Fields Of Green reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Zitro
2 stars This album begins with a dynamic and keyboard-driven cover of Starship Trooper which sounds insanely good! IT stays faithful to the original version (well at least the lyrics and chord progressions), but it is also a lot different. There is no guitar here. Instead, there are countless layers of overdubbed keyboards. The most impressive and shocking part of the song is the coda (Wurm). The guitar riff is replaced by a simple keyboard chord progression, intensifies whenever more layers of keyboards join in, and explodes in an amazing synth solo that lasts about 3 minutes.

What about the rest? Most of the tracks here are simple rock/pop tunes that except for their nice keyboard soloing, they are overall not very interesting. "The Never Ending Road" for example is a 9 minute long tedious track that should have been cut 3 or 4 minutes(the solos are interesting though). The Spanish Wizard is the strongest of the tracks here, with a nice flamenco guitar, and good chord progressions.

Highlights : Starship Trooper Let Downs : The Niceman, The Never Ending Road.

My Grade : D+ (just because of that version of starship trooper)

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars The Spanish wizard or the nice man?

Rick Wakeman has released extremely many albums in his days. Indeed, over 30 albums are listed here on Prog Archives from the 90's alone! Fields Of Green is one of these albums and as such it is one of the better of Rick's albums from that decade. Perhaps not quite as good as Softsword, African Bach or Return To The Centre Of The Earth, but certainly better than Phantom Power, 2000 A.D. Into The Future and Cirque Surreal, and very much better than the awful No Expense Spared. As far as I know, many of the other 90's albums are New-Age and Classical and as such not really part of Rick's Prog Rock career. Fields Of Green sits more comfortably in that category, however.

The version of this album that I have heard begins with a slice of the King Arthur overture and a cover of the Yes song Starship Trooper. The latter must be Rick's favourite Yes song as he always ends his shows with it. The present version is good enough, but very far behind the brilliant live versions available on live recordings such as the DVDs Live Buenos Aires and Made In Cuba and the fantastic live album Out Of The Blue. This studio version clearly lacks the dynamics and energy of those live versions. The keyboard and drum sounds are somewhat sterile and artificial, as they often were in the 90's generally, and this applies to this album as a whole. Do not buy this album just for the Yes song! Fields Of Green would indeed be better without it, in my opinion!

The rest of the songs here are originals and fairly good in their own right. Or some of them, at least! The vocals are all handled by Chrissie Hammond as on many Rick Wakeman albums from this period. The Promise Of Love is a (power) ballad which she handles well, and even if it is not really my cup of tea, it does bring a diversity of moods and tempos to this album. The Spanish Wizard is a great track, on the other hand, with both electric and Spanish guitars in addition to the keyboards, bass and drums. As I have said, the latter instruments, particularly the bass and drums, sound somewhat sterile but the guitar playing is very tasteful indeed! Never Ending Road is another good song that runs for almost nine minutes and as such is the longest of the original songs on this album. It features a rather folky melody and feeling and a strong vocal from Chrissie. You could almost mistake it for a Steeley Span song from the 80's/90's! This song has some lovely keyboard and guitar solos (sadly, played over a backdrop of a rather annoying and overly "bouncy" bass and drum track!). Don't expect too much of it in Prog terms, though!

The Fighter speeds things up a bit again and adds a stronger Rock edge in the process. We get another good vocal performance and some typical Wakeman keyboard extravaganza! Enjoyable for sure, but not really that memorable - a statement that pretty much applies to the album as a whole. Tell Me Why is another ballad that would not be out of place on the radio in the 80's. I'm certain that many Prog fans will want to skip this one, one of the least good songs here. The Rope Trick once again turns the volume up a notch with a "heavy" guitar riff backing up some fairly interesting keyboard and guitar solos. The Nice Man features some intriguing sounds at the beginning, but it soon reveals itself as nothing more than a straightforward and rather mundane Rock 'N' Roll number with awfully silly (autobiographical?) lyrics. No keyboard or guitar solo can save a number like that!

The title track ends this album and ties it nicely together. It is a slow and reflective little tune again with some Folk feeling.

Needless to say, this is not the best place to start investigating Rick's solo career, but if you already know and like some of his better solo albums from this period, Fields Of Green will be a nice addition to your collection. I'm happy to have it!

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Rick Wakeman has his special place in my memory because of his excellent debut album, some works with Yes and collaboration on "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" album. Then, every his next solo album became less and less interesting, and I just stopped listen them long ago. But till now time to time, at some possibilities, I still checking what happens with his music. Everyone knows he has one of the largest discog at all, so there are plenty of possibilities for extensive listening.

This Rick's album from mid-90-s is somewhere in between. The music there is still not Mike Oldfield's elevator's new age (and it is good). But to be honest, it is not too far from that ( and it is not so good). Wakeman is great keyboardist, and it feels even in such works as this album is. Keyb/synth passages get the dynamics to all music. Some guitar solos and added vocals finish the picture. Melodic keyboards based art-pop - possibly the best name of the music you can hear on this album. Vocals as well build Oldfield-like feeling.

In all, if you like Mike Oldfield works from eighties, possibly you will like this work as well. Quite professional music, but for specific listener.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Rick Wakeman is indeed an iconic figure in the music scene, known both for his prolific output and creative genius. His remarkable ability to release such a vast number of albums over the years is truly noteworthy and demonstrates his unwavering commitment to music. In the 1990s, specifically, h ... (read more)

Report this review (#3034327) | Posted by Progressive Heart | Sunday, March 31, 2024 | Review Permanlink

4 stars In my opinion this is one of Rick's best 'rock band' albums and it is certainly near the top of my playlist. The extra track (that I assume was not on the orignal release) smoothly blends the new themes of 'Election 97' with the familiar theme of 'Arthur' and is a perfect opener. But track two i ... (read more)

Report this review (#27566) | Posted by Andy Long | Monday, January 31, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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