Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Rick Wakeman

Symphonic Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Rick Wakeman Tribute To The Beatles album cover
2.71 | 30 ratings | 4 reviews | 10% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 1997

Songs / Tracks Listing

1- Norwegian Wood - 5:48
2- You've Got To Hide Your Love Away - 7:19
3- The Fool On The Hill - 5:13
4- Eleanor Rigby - 7:58
5- Come Together - 4:12
6- While My Guitar Gently Weeps - 6:01
7- We Can Work It Out - 3:52
8- The Help Trilogy - 4:43
9- Things We Said Today - 3:51
10- Blackbird - 2:15
11- She's Leaving Home 5:12

Line-up / Musicians

- Rick Wakeman / keyboards, arranger & producer

- Fraser Thorneycroft-Smith / guitar
- Phil Laughlin / bass
- Stuart Swaney / percussion programming, mixing

Releases information

An album of Beatles covers

CD RP Media Ltd ‎- CDRPM 0018 (1997, UK)
CD Music Fusion ‎- MVFP107CD (2006, UK)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy RICK WAKEMAN Tribute To The Beatles Music

RICK WAKEMAN Tribute To The Beatles ratings distribution

(30 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(10%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(27%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (23%)
Poor. Only for completionists (10%)

RICK WAKEMAN Tribute To The Beatles 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 While my piano very gently weeps

Released in 1998, "Tribute" finds Rick Wakeman putting together a collection of cover versions of Beatles songs. According to his official website, the album was commissioned by a private company on the back of his version of "Eleanor Rigby" (a version which he himself is not entirely happy with).

The eleven songs selected are among the better known of the Beatles album tracks, although relatively few were singles. The interpretations are usually soft offering pleasant but undemanding variations on familiar melodies. Sometimes, such as with "We can work it out", the rendition is too phonetic, each syllable being represented individually. Things work better when a symphonic aspect is added, like on the slowed down interpretation of "Help". It is probably fair to say that this adaptation was inspired by John Farnham's fine version of that song.

Although entirely understandable, it does seem a bit odd to hear the main theme of "While my guitar gently weeps" played out on keyboards. There is actually guitar on the track, Wakeman having put together a small band for these recordings.

Overall, a good album to have on when entertaining guests and not a bad album to listen to at other times.

Review by CCVP
1 stars How is it possible to make The Beatles sound this bad!?

It is no mistery to anyone that Rick Wakeman, once one of the most requested and fabled keyboardist of rock music, has past his prime years. Nobody is waiting another Close to the Edge or another Six Wives to out round any time soon, but at least Mr. Wakeman won't fall as bad as others, right? Weeeeell, wrong. This tribute album is there to show the world that the caped keyboard wizard should have been retired for at least a decade (or should, at the very least, have a bigger scrutiny on what he releases or not).

Playing any Beatles song, specially from Help onwards (which is what happens in most of this album) is some pretty clear cut and immediate thumbs up anywhere, since the guys from Liverpool just couldn't do anything wrong back in that specific time frame and so, playing reinterpretations of such songs is an easy way to please your own fans fans, for putting the artist's personality on the songs, and most Beatles fans. However, Mr. Wakeman somehow managed to be capable of ruining most of the songs.

How the hell can someone ruin a Beatles song? Pretty simple, actually. Just follow the steps of this album: 1st - do not sing. They had three vocalists for nothing after all; 2nd - use the cheasiest souding synthesizers you are able to get your hands on; 3rd - Sample everything; Nobody needs guitar players, bass players and drum players. 4th - overplay every song in every way possible (do you know how those guys in American Idol singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star like some opera Aria? Do it just like that in every song); 5th - disregard the fact that it is sounding bad and keep doing it for the rest of the CD. Bingo, you just ruined perfect songs for eternity!

Maybe he was trying to think out of the box with the thing he did here, but in the end of the day they all just summed up in one big mess. 59 minutes of musical mess that cannot be undone.

Grade and Final Thoughts

This album was one of those findings. One of those things you buy then put away and forget you ever had it. In spite of browsing my father's CD collection since my childhood, this album was only rediscovered by me last week, covered with a huge crust of dust, hidden under old AOL CDs. It was with no surprise, after listening to this album, the reason why it was so: it is plainly bad. Period. Possibly one of the worst things Rick Wakeman has ever had the guts to release under his name. Avoid it like Satan avoids the Cross.

Review by kev rowland
3 stars This album was originally released in 1997, following on from an extended soundcheck where Rick started playing "Eleanor Rigby" in different styles just because he was getting bored. The sound engineer commented that he ought to put the 'Prokofiev' version into the set that night, and it has been performed in every show since then. This album gave Rick to take 11 Beatles numbers and then re-work them with his band of the time ? Fraser Thorneycroft-Smith (guitar), Phil Laughlin (bass) and Stuart Sawney (drums). There is a delicacy to some of these renditions, particularly "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" with some studied fretless bass really making this work.

But if you are looking for the bombastic over the top nature of some of Rick's work then for the most part you are going to be disappointed. The standout number has to be "Eleanor Rigby" which contains some gorgeously delicate piano at the beginning. I am not sure if this album works overall but if you enjoy The Beatles then you may just get something out of it. Approaching it more from a Rick Wakeman viewpoint there are many more albums of his that I would rather listen to.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Loved this from the first note Wakeman does The Beatles - a smooth dovetail with Rick taking the spirit of the Beatles and blending in his Prog & Classical skills - after hearing some of the tracks live studio does them equal justice. - I LOVED THIS ONE !!! ... (read more)

Report this review (#77831) | Posted by chrisnewport | Thursday, May 11, 2006 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of RICK WAKEMAN "Tribute To The Beatles"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.