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Rick Wakeman appreciation thread

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Dellinger View Drop Down
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    Posted: March 15 2012 at 20:25
I don't remember seeing a Rick Wakeman appreciation thread since I've been visiting the forum, so I guess it's time to give it a shot. He is one of my favourite prog artists, and has many of my favourite albums. So, I would like to know what other people think about him.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dennismoore Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 15 2012 at 20:36
Hi Dellinger,

I think Rick is a dashingly handsome lad, though getting a bit long in the tooth compared to a kid like Justin Bieber...

As far as his music:

Journey & King Arthur are two of the best albums ever recorded, let alone being keyboard driven albums, I mean as  albums in general.  Wakeman is among the great three keyboardists that I can think of, in no particular order:

Rick Wakeman
Keith Emerson
Tony Banks

YES hit the lottery when they added him on Fragile.

Can't say enough great things about his work.

Rick keep saying that his classic A&M recordings - Henry VIII to White Rock will be remastered from the original masters (first time ever, as all prior CDs of No Earthly Connection & White Rock have come from very clean records).  I continue to wait until that day comes.  That will be a great day indeed!
"Yeah, people are unhappy about that - but you know what, it's still Yes." - Chris Squire
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MattGuitat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 15 2012 at 20:49
I, ve never listened to his solo music, but Roundabout was the first time I ever appreciated the keyboard in music and Close to the Edge is the greatest key solo of all time. OF ALL TIME.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dayvenkirq Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 15 2012 at 22:18
The things he did with Yes are sure darn solid; the things he did on CTTE and TFTO are just frenetic. I agree with MattGuitat; had it not been for Rick's dynamic and melodic solo, first half of which is really simple to play (something worth appearing in songbooks Big smile), I probably would have never listened to that record ever again.

In case if you haven't heard his "Six Wives of Henry VIII", I highly recommend the following track, which is so prog. My personal favorite that seems to have a lot of soul put into it:



I, honestly, don't know about the rest. If you like an organ losing power and, therefore losing pitch (an effect I have a little interest in Big smile) and if you like Bach, check out this one. At least the version of the album I downloaded had this loss of pitch at the end of Jane Seymour, but it's not like that on YouTube:




Edited by Dayvenkirq - March 15 2012 at 22:24
"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote brainstormer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 15 2012 at 23:06
I had "6 Wives" and "Criminal Record" as a teen and loved them...it took me a while to warm to his other
stuff, but I like it now.   I guess when you develop a more classical direction than rock, like I have over
the years, you sometimes appreciate the cleaner more classically-based prog, and his stuff is right
there for that kind of music.   The lyrics and singing are also usually very good.
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Robert Pearson
Regenerative Music http://www.regenerativemusic.net
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Dayvenkirq View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dayvenkirq Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 15 2012 at 23:25
Originally posted by brainstormer brainstormer wrote:

I had "6 Wives" and "Criminal Record" as a teen and loved them...it took me a while to warm to his other
stuff, but I like it now.   I guess when you develop a more classical direction than rock, like I have over
the years, you sometimes appreciate the cleaner more classically-based prog, and his stuff is right
there for that kind of music.   The lyrics and singing are also usually very good.

That's what I was thinking. Maybe I should start a thread on the possible branching of appreciation: if you get record #1, you will probably get record #2, but you will never understand record #3 or something like that.
"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 16 2012 at 01:46
I think I appreciate him more as a personality than a musician. He went through a distinctly weird phase around about 1980 when his personal problems (booze) seemed to overtake him. I remember him saying he was bankrupt but couldn't understand why ( I guess the 7 Rollers he purchased might have had something to do with it). What I really like about Rick is that he's a proper bloke. Enjoys his currys and the ermm aforementioned booze. Likes to moan about the government and stuff. He is also a commited Christian which even makes him a bit enigmatic.
 
Over the years I've collected various CD's and DVD's (you virtually can't avoid bumping into them there are so many) and seen him live (solo, with Yes and also the stand up routine). Great fun really.
 
The albums I like the most are 6 Wives , Criminal Record and King Arthur. All of those rank alongside the best keyboard based prog albums ever made. I have also given positive reviews to the Retro albums whihc have been unfairly overlooked/dismissed by many fans. OK they have Mr Holt 'singing' on them but there is much to enjoy depsite that. I also love the recent Six Wives DVD.
 
Overall I feel that Rick could have achieved a lot more than he has. Too many medicore releases would be a kind way of putting it. Those few gems make it for it though.


Edited by richardh - March 16 2012 at 01:49
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dayvenkirq Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 16 2012 at 01:59
Originally posted by richardh richardh wrote:

I think I appreciate him more as a personality than a musician. He went through a distinctly weird phase around about 1980 when his personal problems (booze) seemed to overtake him. I remember him saying he was bankrupt but couldn't understand why ( I guess the 7 Rollers he purchased might have had something to do with it). What I really like about Rick is that he's a proper bloke. Enjoys his currys and the ermm aforementioned booze. Likes to moan about the government and stuff. He is also a commited Christian which even makes him a bit enigmatic.
 
Over the years I've collected various CD's and DVD's (you virtually can't avoid bumping into them there are so many) and seen him live (solo, with Yes and also the stand up routine). Great fun really.
 
The albums I like the most are 6 Wives , Criminal Record and King Arthur. All of those rank alongside the best keyboard based prog albums ever made. I have also given positive reviews to the Retro albums whihc have been unfairly overlooked/dismissed by many fans. OK they have Mr Holt 'singing' on them but there is much to enjoy depsite that. I also love the recent Six Wives DVD.
 
Overall I feel that Rick could have achieved a lot more than he has. Too many medicore releases would be a kind way of putting it. Those few gems make it for it though.

I don't know. I think Rick achieved enough as a keyboardist in his lifetime. He has his own classic solos. How far can he really get? Give the man a break Big smile (my actual smile is more genuine than that one) .
"People tell you life is short. ... No, it's not. Life is long. Especially if you make the wrong decisions." - Chris Rock
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DiamondDog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 16 2012 at 02:06
Probably the most-technically gifted keyboard player of the Rock era, though Emerson and Ritchie are/were better in many other respects.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dennismoore Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 16 2012 at 08:07
Originally posted by MattGuitat MattGuitat wrote:

I, ve never listened to his solo music, but Roundabout was the first time I ever appreciated the keyboard in music and Close to the Edge is the greatest key solo of all time. OF ALL TIME.
Hey MG, Smile
 
I know others will have a different take, but I think if you get the following, your bliss will be guaranteed:
 
Journey To The Center of the Earth(Not "Return....")  - A live album no less, there was never a studio version.
The Myths & Ledgends of King Arthur - get this a crank it up loud!
6 Wives & Henry VIII - no vocals, all instrumental  with Chris Squire & Alan White
 
others to think about if you have the $$$:
 
Rick Wakeman's Criminal Record - Instrumental with Chris Squire & Alan White
White Rock - Instrumental, all Rick
No Earthly Connection - I love this one, some fans don't seem to so much.  Kinda spacey, buit tons of great synths!
 
As brainstormer has said, there is a big classical influence in his works.  If classical isn't you thing and you prefer a more jazz or fusion, that obvioulsy that makes this a different story.
 
For me, I love the classical stuff that Rick works with.
"Yeah, people are unhappy about that - but you know what, it's still Yes." - Chris Squire
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jim Garten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 16 2012 at 08:11
Tha man himself at a very rainy Cropredy Festival 2 years ago:



Played a stunning 90 minute set & despite the bulldog-chewing-a-wasp expression on the lady in the foreground, he went down a storm (appropriate for the weekend's weather that year), especially when he encored with Starship Trooper.

Most recently saw him on the duet tour with Jon Anderson last year; plenty of banter between the two, some great music (plus some reallllly banal ballads...), overall a great evening.

Jon Lord 1941 - 2012
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Slartibartfast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 16 2012 at 09:00
Yaaaehhh Rick Wakeman!!!

Thanks to him I was into prog before I got really into prog.  The culprits:



I got the LPs through Columbia Record House club.  Gatefold covers and LP size booklets!!!Big smile


Edited by Slartibartfast - March 16 2012 at 09:00
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dennismoore Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 16 2012 at 09:25
Originally posted by Slartibartfast Slartibartfast wrote:

Yaaaehhh Rick Wakeman!!!

Thanks to him I was into prog before I got really into prog.  The culprits:

Journey & King Arthur (edit...)

I got the LPs through Columbia Record House club.  Gatefold covers and LP size booklets!!!Big smile
Dear Slartibartfast,
 
Your taste in music is exceptional, now if you will please resize your avatar to more of a vertical rectangle to show off
more of that great tuxedo you are wearing....Big smile    The way you have it cropped as a square dosen't do the original justice.Wink
 
Just out of curiosity:
 
What do you think of No Earthly Connection?
 
"Yeah, people are unhappy about that - but you know what, it's still Yes." - Chris Squire
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Slartibartfast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 16 2012 at 09:56
That's something I'd really like to get my hands on.  I've never heard it. 

I've have White Rock and Rhapsodies on LP.  I go Criminal Record on CD (had LP) as soon as I could.

Regarding the avatar, it is taken from our wedding cake topper that I concocted:
Mounted them to foamcore and cut out to make a sort of 3D thingy. LOL





Edited by Slartibartfast - March 16 2012 at 10:02
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Fox On The Rocks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 16 2012 at 10:17
Rick is my second favourite keyboardist behind Mr.Anthony Banks. My favourite Wakeman moment is the Eclipse section of And You And I. I am just awestruck on how they could have composed that piece of music. Surely the most epic, cathartic and beautiful chord progressions and melodies that I've ever heard
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rupert Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 16 2012 at 10:50
I've never been a Yes-Fan, but this is surely not due to Rick Wakeman - it's got more to do with Jon Anderson !!!
Having said this, I'm highly treasuring Rick a very fine musician because of his contributions to other projects:
"Morning has broken" f.e., where he and Cat Stevens made the perfect duo on piano,
or the ( rather unexpected cause very simplistic ) performances Rick added to "Electric Warrior" ( T. Rex ).
This may be strange for a lover of his Yes-output, but I had to say it: Rick is fabulous !
I'd like to have him play on my songs, too Tongue !
...I'm a musician/singer/songwriter, visit me on www.reverbnation.com/rupertlenz and there you can choose from 125 recordings you can listen to ( for free ) if you're not limited to prog-rock !
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dennismoore Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 16 2012 at 13:12
Originally posted by Slartibartfast Slartibartfast wrote:

Regarding the avatar, it is taken from our wedding cake topper that I concocted:

 
Yes, I know we chatted about your avatar in a different thread.Tongue   This forum allows tall pictures, you should be able to recrop your picture to show the entire icon of you in your tux.  That is what I am sayin...
 
Re Wakeman:  I love No Earthly Connection and consider it required Wakeman, but I know No Earthly Connection is hit or miss with other Wakeman fans.Ouch
"Yeah, people are unhappy about that - but you know what, it's still Yes." - Chris Squire
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lazland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 16 2012 at 13:29
Criminal Record remains to this day one of my favourite albums.

When he is good, he is excellent, although, by his own admission, some of his stuff was to pay off the bank and ex-wives and total dross.


In Lazland, life is transient. Prog is permanent.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dennismoore Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 16 2012 at 13:45
Originally posted by lazland lazland wrote:

Criminal Record remains to this day one of my favourite albums.

When he is good, he is excellent, although, by his own admission, some of his stuff was to pay off the bank and ex-wives and total dross.
 
Hola Chico de Miko, Tongue       Wink
 
 
Criminal Record to me, is priceless.  Big smile
 
On a serious note:  Laz is an example as why I as an American genuinley am happy that we have Brits here in this forum,
that is to teach me words I have never heard before, such as:
 
"dross"   I had to google that...
 
dross - British - coal of little value.
 
Exactly, some of Wakeman's records, like "I'm so straight I'm a weirdo" from Rock N' Roll Prophet are pure dross.  I actually bought that garbage LP record when it came out and 30 years later I still can not believe he would publish such mierda.(Spanish, kiddies...)  Angry   Ouch    Unhappy
"Yeah, people are unhappy about that - but you know what, it's still Yes." - Chris Squire
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Slartibartfast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 16 2012 at 13:54
Originally posted by lazland lazland wrote:

Criminal Record remains to this day one of my favourite albums.

When he is good, he is excellent, although, by his own admission, some of his stuff was to pay off the bank and ex-wives and total dross.


1984? LOL
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