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Rick Wakeman - 1984 CD (album) cover


Rick Wakeman


Symphonic Prog

3.38 | 150 ratings

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4 stars I'd rather say it as a masterpiece concept album...

As the world now moves into simplicity, I had a project to transfer all of my prog CDs into MP3 format so that I can carry the music easily wherever I go and I can be consistent with the spirit of "Keep on proggin' ...!". It's not an easy job actually with approximately 2000 CDs at my shelf. But I have to keep it going anyway, before it's too late. Surprisingly I found some CDs which I have never reviewed in progarchives including some albums of Cast (Mexico), Camel, and Rick Wakeman. How can I forget the phenomenal album like '1984'? When it was released in 1981 I was so curious on what Mr Wakeman would say about the year 1984. By that time actually I was not aware that this album was inspired by the work of George Orwell. Sorry .. I was too busy with prog music developments so that I did not pay enough attention on novel.

The first record that I listened to this album was in the format of cassette. I was really amazed with Wakeman's bold ideas hiring Chaka Khan from R & B fame in this seminal work. The first time I hooked to this album was when I heard the opening track 'Overture' which really blew me away at first listen. At first, I was not quite impressed with the opening orchestra. But when the music enters especially the transition piece to the third movement 'War Games' of this overture. WOW! What a great combination of powerful female vocal and symphonic music. Fabulous! And .. too my knowledge, this is the first time I heard that an overture has a long duration (10 minutes) before the other tracks come up. Brilliant idea!

The beauty of this album lies in brilliant ideas on combining nice melody with orchestra and talented singers like Chaka Khan and Jon ANderson. All songs in this album have excellent melodies. Combined with excellent arrangements it then creates music with excellent harmonies. Not only that, the frequent changes of style are all performed with smooth transition allowing Mr Wakeman's melodi keyboard solo. Even though this album does not seem so complex but it still has a good degree of progressive elements. In fact in 'Robot Man' you can hear how Wakeman has creatively created a great composition where he explores the R&B music - taking advantage of Chaka Khan area of expertise - while maintaining inventive keyboard work.

I highly recommend you to have this phenomenal album. It's not in the vein of 'Six Wives' or 'Journey' or 'King Arthur' but it sets the new standard of Wakeman's music. AS for my case, I have been replaying this album more than five times and I don't feel getting bored with it. It's so interesting. In this album Rick collaborate with lyricist Time Rice who used to work with Andrew Lloyd Weber. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 4/5 |


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