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RICK WAKEMAN

Symphonic Prog • United Kingdom


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Rick Wakeman biography
Rick WAKEMAN is one of the best known progressive musicians and a pioneer in the use of electronic keyboards in rock music. He's also been extremely prolific: in addition to his work as a member of The STRAWBS* (folk-rock band), YES* (post-psychedelic hard rock band), and YES offshoot Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe (ABWH)*, he has a huge number of session credits, including work with David Bowie, Elton John, BLACK SABBATH, Al Stewart, and Lou Reed. And he's released more solo albums than anyone this side of FRANK ZAPPA. The list below includes 100 titles, including a best-of anthology, a CD EP, and six albums Rick did in collaboration with his son Adam (WwW)*. He also remained associated with YES into the '90s.


YES*: - Fragile, 1972 (expanded and remastered, 2003) / Close to the Edge, 1972 / Yessongs, 1973 / Tales from Topographic Oceans, 1973 / Yesterdays, 1974 / Going for the One, 1977 / Tormato, 1978 / Yesshows, 1980 / Classic Yes, 1981 / Union, 1991 / YesYears, 1991 / Yesstory, 1992 / Highlights - The Very Best of Yes, 1993 / Keys to Ascension, 1996 / Keys to Ascension 2, 1997 / Keys to Ascension Volume 1 & 2, 1997 / Keystudio, 2001 / In a Word: Yes (1969 - ...), 2002
(ABWH)* Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe: - (ABWH) Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe, 1989 / (ABWH) An Evening of Yes Music Plus, 1993
The STRAWBS*: - Just a Collection of Antiques and Curios, 1970 / From the Witchwood, 1971 / 30 Years in Rock, 2001 / Wakeman & Cousins: Hummingbird, 2002
(WwW)* Wakeman with Wakeman: - Wakeman with Wakeman, 1993 / No Expense Shared, 1993 / Wakeman with Wakeman Live, The Official Bootleg, 1994 / Romance of the Victorian Age, 1994 / Tapestries, 1995 / Vignettes, 1996 / Yes, Friends and Relatives, 1998

"THE BEST" & "THE NEXT BEST" (12 CDs):
Reaction to WAKEMAN's music is mixed: his catalog represents the best and worst aspects of progressive rock, but there's no denying that more than a few gems exist in his massive catalog. And, of course, everything is just in y humble opinion - yours may differ.

"THE BEST" : His earliest recordings are generally regarded his best, both commercially and artistically.
1- The Six Wives of Henry VIII - 1973
During the making of "Close to the Edge" in 1972, WAKEMAN also recorded his first solo album, an instrumental work entitled "The Six Wives of Henry VIII", which consisted of his musical interpretations of the lives and personalities of the said six royal spouses. The focus of each son...
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Starship TrooperStarship Trooper
Purple Pyramid 2016
Audio CD$9.00
$8.79 (used)
Journey to the Centre of the EarthJourney to the Centre of the Earth
A&M Records 1988
Audio CD$2.71
$1.50 (used)
The Myths & Legends Of King Arthur & The Knights Of The Round TableThe Myths & Legends Of King Arthur & The Knights Of The Round Table
A&M 1988
Audio CD$3.55
$0.67 (used)
Six Wives of Henry VIII: Deluxe EditionSix Wives of Henry VIII: Deluxe Edition
Import
Imports 2015
Audio CD$12.85
$13.48 (used)
Life on MarsLife on Mars
Single · Import
Imports 2016
Audio CD$4.49
RhapsodiesRhapsodies
Real Gone Music 2015
Audio CD$7.00
$6.48 (used)
5 Classic Albums5 Classic Albums
Box set · Import
Imports 2016
Audio CD$13.94
$16.85 (used)
Journey to the Centre of the EarthJourney to the Centre of the Earth
WRITE NOTES 2014
Audio CD$15.75
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Rick Wakeman No Earthly Connection South African vinyl LP album record USD $25.82 Buy It Now 29m 47s
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38m 30s
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Rick Wakeman Criminal Record UK vinyl LP album record AMLK64660 A USD $25.82 Buy It Now 51m 57s
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Rick Wakeman - Beginnings (1972) - Pop Vocal USD $18.93 Buy It Now 1h
RICK WAKEMAN**MYTHS AND LEGENDS OF KING ARTHUR/KNIGHTS OF THE ROUND..**VINYL USD $17.95 Buy It Now 1h 9m
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Rick Wakeman - Live At Maltings 1976 [Vinyl New] USD $29.45 Buy It Now 1h 42m
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Rick Wakeman - The Six Wives Of Henry VIII (NEW 12" VINYL LP) USD $28.26 Buy It Now 2h 6m
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2h 12m
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2h 26m
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RICK WAKEMAN - THE SIX WIVES OF HENRY VIII 12" Vinyl LP/Gatefold sleeve USD $16.34 Buy It Now 4h 7m
RICK WAKEMAN White Rock ( VINYL LP ) USD $5.79 Buy It Now 4h 8m
Rick Wakeman The Myths & Legends Of King Arthur Record Rare 1975 USD $1.35 [0 bids]
4h 28m
Rick Wakeman greatest Hits YES Fairley Rare Item USD $2.71 [0 bids]
4h 31m
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Rick Wakeman. Rhapsodies LP. A&M AMLX 68508. 1979. VG+ vinyl. USD $2.04 [0 bids]
4h 57m
YES, FOB + FREE CD, "OXFORD 2016" (Rick Wakeman) USD $1.35 [1 bids]
5h 7m
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YES BBC Sessions 1969-1970 Rare OOP Japanese 2CD set Rick Wakeman Prog Psych USD $8.18 [3 bids]
5h 51m
RICK WAKEMAN ROBOT MAN UK 1981 CHARISMA 7 INCH USD $2.71 [0 bids]
6h 23m
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** RICK WAKEMAN (YES) ** 1 HOUR PERFORMANCE AND MUSIC RADIO SHOW 2014 USD $20.34 [0 bids]
7h 36m
Rick Wakeman - Criminal Record; 12" vinyl LP; A&M Records; 1977. USD $1.35 [0 bids]
7h 54m
Rick Wakeman - Journey To The Centre Of The Earth (A&M Records - SP-3156) 1976 USD $10.00 Buy It Now 8h 5m
RICK WAKEMAN and the English Rock Ensemble LP Vinyl Record 1976 A USD $7.88 Buy It Now 8h 13m
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8h 29m
RICK WAKEMAN and the English Rock Ensemble LP Vinyl Record 1976 A USD $8.88 Buy It Now 8h 44m
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Return To The Centre Of The Earth [VINYL] Rick Wakeman Vinyl USD $24.01 Buy It Now 9h 25m
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RICK WAKEMAN "JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH" 1974 LP (ORIG BOOKLET)VG+/VG USD $4.99 [0 bids]
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11h 12m
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LP RICK WAKEMAN SIX WIVES OF HENRY VIII 1974 A&M QUAD NM PROG ROCK YES STRAWBS USD $69.98 Buy It Now 14h 29m
RICK WAKEMAN (YES) - "Myths And Legends..." LP - 1975 ORIG US WL PROMO w/BOOKLET USD $13.88 Buy It Now 15h 24m
Myths & Legends Of King Arthur by Rick Wakeman Vinyl Album 1975 USD $1.35 [1 bids]
15h 34m
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15h 51m
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RICK WAKEMAN - THE SIX WIVES OF HENRY VIII - UK VINYL LP - YES USD $2.71 [0 bids]
18h 56m
Rick Wakeman Red Double Play Cassette Journey To The Centre Of The Earth/White USD $6.80 [0 bids]
19h 28m
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Vinyl LP - myths & Legends of King Arthur - Rick Wakeman - 1975 - NM/NM USD $10.89 Buy It Now 22h 13m
In the Nick of Time: Live in 2003 by Rick Wakeman (CD, Mar-2012, Music Fusion) USD $11.45 Buy It Now 22h 20m
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RICK WAKEMAN discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

RICK WAKEMAN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.07 | 675 ratings
The Six Wives of Henry VIII
1973
3.58 | 418 ratings
The Myths And Legends Of King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table
1975
2.57 | 105 ratings
Lisztomania
1975
3.73 | 188 ratings
No Earthly Connection
1976
3.14 | 120 ratings
White Rock
1977
3.74 | 213 ratings
Criminal Record
1977
2.38 | 110 ratings
Rhapsodies
1979
3.33 | 112 ratings
1984
1981
2.54 | 27 ratings
The Burning (Film Soundtrack)
1981
1.42 | 38 ratings
Rock N Roll Prophet
1982
2.54 | 31 ratings
G'olé O.S.T.
1983
2.59 | 38 ratings
Cost of Living
1983
2.33 | 34 ratings
Silent Nights
1985
2.98 | 14 ratings
Beyond The Planets
1985
3.22 | 31 ratings
Country Airs - Piano Solos
1986
2.49 | 19 ratings
Crimes of Passion O.S.T.
1986
3.19 | 20 ratings
The Gospels
1987
1.57 | 16 ratings
The Family Album
1987
3.31 | 36 ratings
A Suite of Gods
1988
2.13 | 26 ratings
Zodiaque
1988
2.58 | 31 ratings
Time Machine
1988
3.52 | 21 ratings
Sea Airs
1989
2.66 | 29 ratings
Black Knights at the Court of Ferdinand IV
1989
3.17 | 20 ratings
Night Airs
1990
2.06 | 12 ratings
In the Beginning
1990
2.38 | 13 ratings
Phantom Power
1990
2.47 | 15 ratings
Aspirant Sunrise
1991
1.88 | 21 ratings
Aspirant Sunset
1991
3.29 | 14 ratings
Aspirant Sunshadows
1991
3.18 | 23 ratings
Softsword
1991
2.33 | 24 ratings
2000 A.D. into the Future
1991
2.48 | 18 ratings
African Bach
1991
3.50 | 14 ratings
The Classical Connection
1991
2.67 | 3 ratings
A World of Wisdom
1991
3.57 | 19 ratings
Country Airs
1992
2.95 | 10 ratings
The Classical Connection 2
1992
2.87 | 16 ratings
Heritage Suite
1993
3.74 | 14 ratings
Prayers
1993
2.75 | 25 ratings
Wakeman with Wakeman
1993
2.50 | 14 ratings
No Expense Spared
1993
3.04 | 8 ratings
Lure of the Wild
1994
3.23 | 25 ratings
The Seven Wonders of the World
1995
2.12 | 7 ratings
Visions
1995
3.04 | 17 ratings
Cirque Surreal
1995
3.60 | 16 ratings
Romance of the Victorian Age
1995
2.00 | 7 ratings
Vignettes
1996
2.88 | 8 ratings
Tapestries
1996
3.08 | 11 ratings
The New Gospels
1996
2.91 | 15 ratings
Fields Of Green
1996
1.17 | 7 ratings
The Word and Music
1996
2.75 | 7 ratings
Orisons
1996
3.68 | 13 ratings
Can You Hear Me?
1996
4.00 | 7 ratings
Simply Acoustic - The Music
1997
2.61 | 19 ratings
Tribute
1997
3.36 | 11 ratings
Themes
1998
3.48 | 120 ratings
Return To The Centre Of The Earth
1999
3.68 | 22 ratings
Stella Bianca alla corte de Re Ferdinando
1999
2.88 | 8 ratings
Art in Music Trilogy
1999
3.00 | 8 ratings
The Natural World Trilogy
1999
2.14 | 17 ratings
White Rock II
1999
3.91 | 15 ratings
Preludes To A Century
2000
3.78 | 9 ratings
Chronicles of Man
2000
2.97 | 10 ratings
Christmas Variations
2000
3.00 | 9 ratings
Morning Has Broken
2000
3.21 | 9 ratings
Classical Variations
2001
3.75 | 34 ratings
Two Sides of Yes
2001
3.00 | 10 ratings
Tales Of Future And Past
2001
3.07 | 10 ratings
Treasure Chest Volume 1 - The Real Lisztomania
2002
4.22 | 9 ratings
Treasure Chest Volume 4 - Almost Classical
2002
2.83 | 6 ratings
Treasure Chest Volume 5 - The Mixture
2002
3.71 | 7 ratings
Treasure Chest Volume 6 - Medium Rare
2002
3.43 | 7 ratings
Treasure Chest Volume 7 - Journey to the Centre of the Earth +
2002
1.60 | 5 ratings
Treasure Chest Volume 8 - Stories
2002
3.74 | 19 ratings
Two Sides of Yes - Volume 2
2002
2.57 | 16 ratings
Wakeman & Cousins - Hummingbird
2002
3.64 | 13 ratings
The Wizard And The Forest Of All Dreams
2002
2.61 | 31 ratings
Songs Of Middle Earth
2002
3.83 | 85 ratings
Out There
2003
2.59 | 9 ratings
Revisited
2004
3.04 | 44 ratings
Retro
2006
3.20 | 21 ratings
Retro 2
2007
2.96 | 17 ratings
Always With You
2010
3.66 | 71 ratings
Journey To The Centre Of The Earth
2012
4.00 | 4 ratings
The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table
2016

RICK WAKEMAN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.71 | 306 ratings
Journey To The Centre Of The Earth
1974
4.31 | 13 ratings
"The King Arthur" Concert
1976
3.54 | 22 ratings
Live At Hammersmith
1985
3.00 | 7 ratings
Unleashing the Tethered One - The 1974 North American Tour
1994
2.86 | 7 ratings
Live on the Test (1976)
1994
3.08 | 5 ratings
Wakeman with Wakeman Live
1994
3.94 | 15 ratings
Rick Wakeman In Concert KBFH
1995
2.14 | 3 ratings
Almost Live in Europe
1995
3.94 | 11 ratings
The Piano Album - Live
1995
4.00 | 3 ratings
Rock & Pop Legends
1995
2.80 | 5 ratings
The Best Of Rick Wakeman (original live recordings/ 1998 Wise Buy)
1998
3.71 | 6 ratings
Live in Buenos Aires. Official Live Bootleg
1999
3.75 | 12 ratings
The Legend - Live in Concert 2000
2000
4.47 | 19 ratings
Out Of The Blue
2001
3.94 | 7 ratings
Treasure Chest Volume 2 - The Oscar Concert
2002
2.50 | 7 ratings
Treasure Chest Volume 3 - The Missing Half
2002
4.00 | 4 ratings
Banda Sinfonica Jovem Do Estado De São Paulo
2004
3.70 | 10 ratings
Rick Wakeman At Lincoln Cathedral
2005
3.89 | 10 ratings
Live At The BBC
2007
4.19 | 45 ratings
The Six Wives Of Henry VIII - Live At Hampton Court Palace
2009
4.23 | 12 ratings
In The Nick of Time - Live In 2003
2012
4.00 | 3 ratings
Access All Areas
2015

RICK WAKEMAN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.05 | 3 ratings
Simply Acoustic (VHS)
1996
3.67 | 13 ratings
The Legend Live In Concert 2000 (aka An Evening With Rick Wakeman) (DVD)
2000
4.02 | 16 ratings
Rick Wakeman And The English Rock Ensemble: Live in Buenos Aires (DVD)
2001
3.18 | 3 ratings
Classic Rock Legends (DVD)
2001
3.46 | 25 ratings
Journey To The Centre Of The Earth (DVD)
2002
3.00 | 14 ratings
Out There (DVD)
2004
3.98 | 11 ratings
Made In Cuba (DVD)
2005
3.29 | 5 ratings
Amazing Grace
2007
4.33 | 3 ratings
The Otherside of Rick Wakeman
2007
4.33 | 8 ratings
Swedish Television Special 1980
2008
3.06 | 8 ratings
Rick Wakeman's Grumpy Old Picture Show
2008
3.79 | 52 ratings
The Six Wives Of Henry VIII - Live At Hampton Court Palace (DVD)
2009
5.00 | 4 ratings
Classical Wakeman Volume 1 - Live In Lugano
2010

RICK WAKEMAN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.17 | 32 ratings
Piano Vibrations
1971
5.00 | 4 ratings
20th Anniversary Limited Edition
1989
1.09 | 4 ratings
Chronicles - The Very Best Of Rick Wakeman
1992
3.33 | 3 ratings
Best Works Collection
1992
3.24 | 14 ratings
The Classic Tracks
1993
2.09 | 17 ratings
Rick Wakeman's Greatest Hits
1994
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Stage Collection
1994
3.00 | 4 ratings
The Private Collection
1995
4.21 | 16 ratings
Voyage: the Very Best of Rick Wakeman
1996
3.00 | 4 ratings
Master Series
1998
2.60 | 5 ratings
The Masters
1999
3.78 | 9 ratings
Recollections: The Very Best Of Rick Wakeman
2000
3.00 | 2 ratings
The Caped Collection
2000
3.10 | 2 ratings
The Definitive Music of Rick Wakeman
2001
3.09 | 3 ratings
My Inspiration
2001
2.33 | 11 ratings
Frost In Space
2001
4.00 | 5 ratings
Journey To The Center Of The Earth (2CD compilation)
2005
4.11 | 9 ratings
Starship Trooper
2016

RICK WAKEMAN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Catherine
1973
0.00 | 0 ratings
Love's Dream (with Roger Daltrey)
1975
0.00 | 0 ratings
Animal Showdown
1979
0.00 | 0 ratings
Birdman Of Alcatraz
1979
1.46 | 11 ratings
I'm So Straight I'm A Weirdo
1980
0.00 | 0 ratings
Spider
1980
5.00 | 1 ratings
Julia
1981
0.00 | 0 ratings
Glory Boys
1984
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Theme From Lytton's Diary
1985
2.40 | 7 ratings
Custers Last Stand / Ocean City
1988
4.33 | 6 ratings
Don't Fly Away/After Prayers
1991
3.50 | 2 ratings
Special Sampler
1991
2.75 | 4 ratings
Light Up The Sky
1994
5.00 | 3 ratings
Welcome a Star
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
Fields of Green
1997
5.00 | 1 ratings
Buried Alive feat. Ozzy Osbourne
1999
0.00 | 0 ratings
Amazing Grace
2007
0.00 | 0 ratings
Welcome A Star
2015
2.35 | 4 ratings
Life on Mars
2016

RICK WAKEMAN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Six Wives of Henry VIII by WAKEMAN, RICK album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.07 | 675 ratings

BUY
The Six Wives of Henry VIII
Rick Wakeman Symphonic Prog

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja

3 stars Rick Wakeman's most famous solo album is a solid example of classic symphonic prog. Spanning six tracks, each bearing the name of a different wife of that 8th old man named 'Enry (as Herman's Hermits would say), this wholly instrumental album is a consistent, well-composed and well-performed collection of classic keyboard sounds. From a technical standpoint, this checks just about all of the boxes for the 70's English symphonic ideal. The mood ranging from spacey and heavy psychedelic rock in "Anne of Cleves" to the light, pristine, and pastoral "Catherine Howard" and just about everything that can be heard in the discographies of Genesis, ELP or Camel. Unfortunately, though, as well done as the album is, none of the melodies really mesmerize or stick with you for too long. In that sense, I can't give it any more than a "non-essential" 3 star rating, but it is an album that will consistently keep you interested (or at the very least awake) while it's playing.
 Life on Mars by WAKEMAN, RICK album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2016
2.35 | 4 ratings

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Life on Mars
Rick Wakeman Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars Is there life on Mars? Yes!

Rick Wakeman played on the original versions of these two very well-known classic songs of David Bowie: Life On Mars and Space Oddity. Here, Wakeman performs these two songs again as instrumentals as a tribute to his recently departed friend. These piano versions are nice and have been performed in similar arrangement live by Wakeman in the past. It is a fitting tribute to the great Bowie, but it is nothing more than that. This single is worth a listen, but it isn't too exciting, and of course there is nothing progressive here to speak of.

 Aspirant Sunset by WAKEMAN, RICK album cover Studio Album, 1991
1.88 | 21 ratings

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Aspirant Sunset
Rick Wakeman Symphonic Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars Ten years have passed since I wrote the review of Aspirant Sunrise, which is the first of a trilogy of "Aspirant" albums keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman created in a prolific 1991 year. And now I am writing this review because I am having once again a journey through some of his forgotten albums (at least to me) I own and don't really use to play regularly. As you can imagine,, judging by my nickname, I am a huge fan of Rick Wakeman, I love his solo masterpieces, his work with Yes, his customs, his sense of humor and lots of things, however, it is undeniable he has released several regular albums that are far from being memorable, and I don't mean to be harsh, because I do enjoy this trilogy, but I believe his new age explorations are closer to oblivion than to excitement.

Aspirant Sunset is actually a nice new age album, but we all knew him due to his progressive rock works, so it is normal to find these unexpected releases as boring, different, unattractive. In this album he offers almost an hour of solo music (there are no lyrics, no other musicians, just himself and his keyboards) divided on 10 tracks purely fulfilled by new age sounds and atmospheres. All with a soft sound, peaceful and relaxing, so if you are in need of a moment of introspection and peace, you may play this album, sit comfortable, close your eyes and have a deep breath. It will help.

Besides this "therapeutic" use, I find the album difficult to enjoy on a regular basis, it is like one long song divided in 10 chapters, but the sound is practically the same in each track. If you like new age or need a dose of tranquility, I would recommend this to you, otherwise, don't even try to get it because you might be disappointed.

Anyway? enjoy it!

 Wakeman with Wakeman by WAKEMAN, RICK album cover Studio Album, 1993
2.75 | 25 ratings

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Wakeman with Wakeman
Rick Wakeman Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars The father, the son, and the holy ghost

As Rick tells on his official website, this album (aka Lure Of The Wild) was almost completely finished before Adam Wakeman came on board. It was decided at the last minute that this would be released as a "Wakeman with Wakeman" album to go with the already planned tour featuring Rick and his youngest son. I can only assume that the two compositions credited to Adam - Megalomania and Past And Present - where pasted onto to the album during its final stages.

This album is completely instrumental and it features only the dual keyboards of Rick and Adam and programmed drums by Stuart Sawney. There is however a live album from the following tour which featured also bass and drums by Alan Thompson and Tony Fernandez respectively. Personally, I much prefer the live album where the music really comes alive. This is evident when comparing the studio version of the best track here by far, the opening track Lure Of The Wild, with its live counterpart on the Wakeman With Wakeman Live album (aka The Official Bootleg). While the studio version is very good, the live version of the same is amazing! Also Past And Present and the Rolling Stones cover Paint It Black were performed live and included on the live album.

The rest of the tunes here are a mixed bag, covering a variety of styles. While it is better than many other albums in Rick's vast discography and definitely an enjoyable and pleasant listen in it own right, it never really takes off. I can recommend this album to fans and collectors, but my advice is to start with the aforementioned live album which offers a better introduction to the Wakeman With Wakeman project and hold the ultimate version of the great Lure Of The Wild.

 Wakeman with Wakeman Live by WAKEMAN, RICK album cover Live, 1994
3.08 | 5 ratings

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Wakeman with Wakeman Live
Rick Wakeman Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Like father, like son

Wakeman With Wakeman Live (aka "The Official Bootleg") is a live recording from Argentina 1993. The line-up features Alan Thompson on bass, Tony Fernandez on drums, and Rick Wakeman and his youngest son Adam on keyboards. Hence, there are no vocals or guitars. Medleys of The Myths And Legends Of King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table and Journey To The Centre Of The Earth are performed as instrumentals with the vocal melodies replaced by keyboards and the two Wakemans trading solos on keyboards instead of with a guitar player. Journey is here presented in a longer version than usual which runs for almost 40 minutes and includes lots of extended solos most of which are simply amazing. Enthusiasts of Rick Wakeman live recordings - of which I am certainly one - will love hearing these alternate versions, but they are not the ultimate versions of these classic Wakeman pieces. That prize would go to other live versions with the "full" Rock band line-up with vocals and guitars included.

The two wives Catherine Howard and Catherine Parr are also performed differently from their original studio counterparts but similar to other live versions. One of the best numbers here is the concert opener Lure Of The Wild which sounds even better than its studio version (featured on the Wakeman With Wakeman studio album), due in part to the presence of real drums and bass, but also to the live atmosphere. Past And Present is another track from the Wakeman With Wakeman album, it is a good little piano dominated number. The set list also includes two covers of The Beatles (Eleanor Rigby) and The Rolling Stones (Paint It Black) respectively. Again, on these the vocal lines are played on keyboards which could have been a disaster had it not been the case that the arrangements are highly creative and departs radically from the original versions.

This recording is very interesting and highly enjoyable, but there are several other live releases out there that are even better than this one.

 Access All Areas by WAKEMAN, RICK album cover Live, 2015
4.00 | 3 ratings

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Access All Areas
Rick Wakeman Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars Elizabethan Rock

This CD release contains the same concert as Rick Wakeman's DVD in the Classic Rock Legends series but this time holding the complete show (while the DVD omitted the concert closer Merlin The Magician). In addition to Rick himself, the line-up consists of Ashley Holt on vocals and electronic percussion, David Paton on bass guitar, and Tony Fernandez on drums. There is no guitarist which is a drawback, but on the other hand this makes the other musicians stand out more, and we are treated to both drum and bass guitar solos.

The set list includes Elizabethan Rock/Make Me A Woman from Rick's then current Time Machine album, two selections from Six Wives Of Henry VIII, and a superb version of Journey To The Centre Of The Earth. The latter is the Rock arrangement which omits the narration and the orchestra which I strongly prefer over the original version. Finally, Merlin The Magician - which was not present on the DVD version of this concert for some reason - is included. This is the version with vocals added.

There are many amazing Rick Wakeman live releases out there, my personal favourite being the Out Of The Blue CD. But also DVD's such as Live In Buenos Aires and Made In Cuba are great additions to any Prog collection. Unlike the present live album, these others also feature a guitarist which is added value.

While I gave the Classic Rock Legends DVD featuring material from the same concert three stars, I think that this complete concert is worth four stars.

 Journey To The Centre Of The Earth by WAKEMAN, RICK album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.66 | 71 ratings

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Journey To The Centre Of The Earth
Rick Wakeman Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars Recollection

A trend of recent years has been for bands to re-record some of their classic albums. A successful example of this is Camel's re-recording of The Snow Goose which actually improved on the original version. The present album is a re-recorded version of Rick Wakeman's Journey To The Centre Of The Earth (not to be confused with the 1999 album Return To The Centre Of The Earth which was a sequel, not a re-make like the present disc).

While the original 1974 album was recorded live, this 2012 album is the long overdue studio version. There are some differences and expansions here and there but it mostly stays true to the original arrangements. I would say that the original version is the better of these two, but I much prefer the rockier versions of Journey that Rick have performed live more recently with various incarnations of his "English Rock Ensemble". My #1 favourite Rick Wakeman release is the live disc Out Of The Blue which features a brilliant 17 minute version of Journey which loses the narration, the choirs, and the symphony orchestra, and features lead vocals by the great Damian Wilson. Other versions of the piece with similar length and structure are featured on other live releases such as the very good Made In Cuba DVD with original vocalist Ashley Holt. This 2012 studio version recreates the narration and is as overblown and bombastic as the 1974 version.

The original Journey To The Centre Of The Earth was never my favourite of the classic Rick Wakeman albums and this re-make has done nothing to change that. It is interesting to listen to this once, and it is not badly made, but it adds little of value to the original. 1999's Return To The Centre Of The Earth (featuring guest performances by Trevor Rabin, Ozzy Osbourne, and others) was a better tribute to the classic than this re-make is.

Primarily for fans and collectors.

 The Six Wives of Henry VIII by WAKEMAN, RICK album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.07 | 675 ratings

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The Six Wives of Henry VIII
Rick Wakeman Symphonic Prog

Review by AndyJ

4 stars Rick Wakeman's 'The Six Wives Of Henry VIII' sounds very much like the love child between Yes and ELP. And let me tell you something - this album is so much fun! I can't think of a single progressive rock fan who wouldn't have a blast listening to this album, there is just so much to explore here. At first the music can be a little overwhelming, there is a lot going on, and a lot of disparate musical themes to work through. But there is structure here and enough hooks to pull you in. There is melody and harmony, interplay between the different instruments and a strong direction within the music. The album isn't just a rambling 40 minute keyboard solo - far from it. The more you listen to this album the more you pick up and admire from the music.

Musically Rick Wakeman covers it all here, from sublime progressive rock to honky-tonk bar music, classical music, to ambient elevator music through to a more free form jazzy improvisational style - its all here, contained within this six musical pieces. Obviously the stand-out performance is from Rick Wakeman himself, who plays a huge variety of keyboard instruments on this album from the mighty mini-moog synthesiser, to mellotrons, hammond organs and traditional acoustic piano. The man is indeed a legend on his instrument, and a master composer.

But its not just the keys which are superb. The drums, gutiar and bass are all fantastic as well, but with a line-up which includes (amongst others) Chris Squire, Alan White, Bill Bruford and Steve Howe, you would expect no less. Some of the drumming in particular is simply brilliant - very creative and it really helps to drive the music forward with each beat and add structure to the music.

As for the theme of the album surrounding Henry VIII's wives I have to say the music doesn't really match in my opinion. Frankly Wakeman could have called this album 'The Six Beers In A Six Pack' and just labelled each track 'Beer 1', 'Beer 2', etc... I don't really get a feeling for Jane Seymour when I listen to track 4, or Catherine Parr when I hear the album closer. But it doesn't matter. There are no lyrics here, and the only story is one of musical journey. And the journey contained in this album is superb and well worth travelling down!

This album is a very definite 4-star prog rock epic, and something which all lovers of progressive rock should have in their album collection.

Highly recommended.

 Journey To The Centre Of The Earth by WAKEMAN, RICK album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.66 | 71 ratings

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Journey To The Centre Of The Earth
Rick Wakeman Symphonic Prog

Review by lampug

3 stars oh my lord!!!! female vocal? came on...... by any doubt the album is not to bad , the new parts quite interesting... but the female vocal ? It has nothing to do with the music ! Problably i have listen for too much time the original album, one of my Rick's favorite, with all of his problems (poorly mixed, performance from the orchestra not perfect,, singers off-key at times and so on...) ..... I think this new record is less exciting than the old one . I will give 3 stars just in memory of old times, otherwise 2 .
 Christmas Variations by WAKEMAN, RICK album cover Studio Album, 2000
2.97 | 10 ratings

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Christmas Variations
Rick Wakeman Symphonic Prog

Review by ghost_of_morphy
Prog Reviewer

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.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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