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Rick Wakeman

Symphonic Prog

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Rick Wakeman Christmas Variations album cover
3.27 | 20 ratings | 3 reviews | 5% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2000

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Silent night (4:35)
2. Hark the herald angels sing (6:19)
3. Christmas is coming, salute the happy (7:02)
4. Away in a manger (5:28)
5. While shepherds watch their flocks by night (5:33)
6. O little town of Bethlehem (6:06)
7. It came upon a midnight clear (5:14)
8. Once in royal david's city (4:58)
9. O come all ye faithful (5:16)
10. Angels from the realms of glory (4:27)

Total Time: 54:58

Bonus on reissue:
11. Silent Prayer
12. Amazing Grace (Live At Lincoln Cathedral 2018)

Line-up / Musicians

- Rick Wakeman / Kurzweil K2500X, Korg Trinity Pro X / 01W Pro X / X5DR / Prophecy, Roland JD800 / D70, arranger & producer

Releases information

Artwork: Paul Bridgman

CD Hope Records ‎- HRH CD006 (2000, UK)

Reissued in 2020 by Purple Pyramid on double vinyl, CD and Digital album with new artwork and two new tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to kev rowland for the last updates
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Buy RICK WAKEMAN Christmas Variations Music

RICK WAKEMAN Christmas Variations ratings distribution

(20 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(5%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(30%)
Good, but non-essential (35%)
Collectors/fans only (15%)
Poor. Only for completionists (15%)

RICK WAKEMAN Christmas Variations reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ghost_of_morphy
3 stars 'Tis the season, and what better way to usher it in than to listen to the Caped One's renditions of classic Christmas songs.

In this album, Rick takes some of the most insipid and simplistic Christmas songs, translates them into a classical style with a dominant keyboard sound and let;s you enjoy the tasty sonic goodness. Old standards such as "Away in the Manger" and "Silent Night" are practically unrecognizable after Rick gets through reworking them, and that';s a good thing. Rick is well known for "classifying" simple tunes (usually in the style of a specific composer) but here he seems to have put a bit more thought into arrangements than normal.

Three stars, but a very very likeable three stars.

Review by kev rowland
4 stars Having already released an album of variations on hymns, it was suggested to Rick that he record variations on Christmas carols. Originally, he deferred, but finally relented and the end result is an album of variations on ten classic carols. When I say "classic" I mean exactly that, as everyone in the Western world will recognise these, and even sing along (even if it is just inside their head). I have long felt that Rick is often at his very best when he allows himself to go deep inside the music and let his hands do the talking through his piano, and that is definitely the case here. It's not all piano-led, there are plenty of synths as well, but they tend to be played as if Rick was still sat at a harpsichord or piano.

The only word to truly describe this album is "beautiful", and at this time of year I can't imagine a more tranquil and wonderful way of getting into the Christmas spirit. This isn't an album that will be played in shops with all the plastic razzmatazz where they attempt to persuade everyone that the true spirit of Christmas is how much you spend on gifts, but rather is a thoughtful and contemplative approach to the season. There has been a great deal of thought and care put into these variations, and I can "see" Rick with his eyes closed (as normal) falling deeper and deeper into the music, taking the simplicity and giving it more meaning and love. If I have to suffer carols at Christmas, then truly this is the only way to do it.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Well, I thought, I'm a sometime Wakeman fan and its getting near Christmas; so I saw this available and thought I'd give it a go. I was mistakenly under the impression it was entirely piano, but there's large amounts of synth. Its not unpleasant but the best pieces are those that are piano led, ... (read more)

Report this review (#153874) | Posted by Phil | Monday, December 3, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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