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Rick Wakeman - 1984 CD (album) cover


Rick Wakeman


Symphonic Prog

3.38 | 150 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Well, Rick Wakeman himself does not seem to be very fond of this album. It was released at a difficult time for him personally and a difficult time for anything progressive, even more so if you´re successful icon in the 70´s and was despised by critics in 1981. Yep, that was the scenery then. And still I found this album to be quite enjoyable and very well done. It is ok that the taking on George Orwell´s novel of the same title was not original at all (Bowie had done it a few years before in his Diamond Dogs, just to mention one) . And having Tim Rice´s lyrics seemed to have given the work a ´musical´ flavour on it (which, by the way is not a kind of music I like much). However, most of the songs have instrumental pieces that are really very good and symphonic

At the time I remember I could not bear the thought of Wakeman hiring a R&B singer like Chaka Khan for most of the vocals. It seemed totally out of place and a bad move. But now I see I was wrong since she gives a tremendous performance on the tracks she appears. And contrary to some reviewer here I did not find anything too 80´s at all. All his keyboards are very 70´s sounding (and so is the rest of the instrumentation on 1984). In fact, some synthesizer timbres even reminded me of Jon Anderson´s first album (Vangelis influences, maybe?). Production is also very good. The use of an orchestra and choir on some parts of the album is excellent. It was also a quite bold thing for the time: nobody were doing that, just those plastic synths and electronic drums. Fortunately he does not use any of that crap.

It is ok to see this album as a lesser one when you think of such triumphs that were The Six Wives Of Henry VIII, Journey... and King Arthur. And yet he did put out some great music here. Except for a couple of bad tracks, the rest is very fine and I regret I did not pay any attention to 1984 when it came out. I´m making up for that now.

Rating: good. 3 stars.

Tarcisio Moura | 3/5 |


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