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Rick Wakeman - Swedish Television Special 1980 CD (album) cover


Rick Wakeman


Symphonic Prog

4.34 | 7 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars "Rock 300" was a televised three hour rock concert celebrating the 300 years jubilee of the Swedish city of Karlskrona in 1980. Sharing the bill were four bands: one Danish band, two of Sweden's biggest mainstream acts, and, oddly enough, RICK WAKEMAN & THE ENGLISH ROCK ENSEMBLE.

Starting the evening is WAKEMAN with his guys, which for some reason are called THE RICK WAKEMAN BAND. Being that the later acts were of mainstream fame, one could think that most of the audience was there to see them, but RICK seems to have quite a few fans in the crowd. Of course, Swedish audiences are generally modest and bad at clapping their hands, but the booing when the presentator announce there are no time for encores shows what the people thought of RICK.

Being a Prog fan and a former citizen of Karlskrona, this DVD is essential for me and so far this year's best buy. I must confess that I'm not a huge WAKEMAN fan, but that only means this serves as a good intro.

All tracks are good, especially the early songs from RICKS first albums gets an interesting reworking with the synth technology of the late 70s/early 80s. In fact, they don't do any songs from his then later albums, the newest track being "No Earthly Connection" from 76. At the end of "Anne Boleyn" they insert a nice birthday song to the city, although it's misspelled as "Happy Birthday Karls Krona" (It should be Karlskrona). The last medley "Journey to the Centre of the Earth" may seem a bit stretched but is actually only 17 minutes long. Overall the DVD is no more than an hour long and the music keep me on my toes all the time with sudden and interesting turns. RICK really is the keyboard wizard!

This offering also includes a regular audio CD. A nice bonus to play in your car for example, or, as I did, listening to while writing this review.

As said, this one is essential if you're from Karlskrona (or once lived there, like me), interesting enough if you're a Swede or like RICK WAKEMAN, and neither is it a bad buy for anyone else.

Frasse | 5/5 |


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