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Rick Wakeman - The Myths And Legends Of King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table CD (album) cover


Rick Wakeman


Symphonic Prog

3.57 | 471 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars 01. Arthur

I even if I find that initial narration incomprehensible in that epic-British-accented epic (laughs), Terry Taplin made a genial work. This opening tune is well known, 'Uncle' Rick was very inspired on this record, the keys in all its extensions, shapes, colors and sounds are used, also his arsenal of keys was giant on stage and studio. Sonically it is beautiful and complex, full of details. The voice of Gary Pickford-Hopkins I think it's entirely appropriate for the 'role' of storytelling, melodic and when you need acute and dramatic when it is required. Another good feature is the basses from Roger Newell with his timbre strange but essential. In a 'broken' part, almost at the 4th minute the song takes strange and obscure shapes, but it's all on purpose, because then we are pleased to hear again the central theme on keyboards. The orchestra and its 'coral horn' is another highlight, without it I think the sound of the album would have died on the road. The outcome of the track it's another surprise, when we thought the theme only would repeat itself it changes, and even though it is great outcome. Total Epic!

02. Lady Of The Lake

A 'vinheta', something rare in his albums, but here it is for good reason. Only vocal track, and perfect! It's creepy!

03. Guinevere

Talk that Rick Wakeman have full control over their keyboards it's like a rain when we're wet, because he has that right, the guy takes the melody and sound where least expected, and exchange keyboards with incredible ease, not to mention seeing the guy on stage is incredible, because it changes the keyboard quickly and uses ALL of their set (which are many keys). This is a beautiful ballad and it's guided by the Jeffrey Crampton guitars and some bells here and there and of course, vocals, many of them. Rick's solo has a very unusual tone, which is very good, since most of the same is not always a good thing (unless we are talking about AC / DC and the Ramones), the solo is soon also accompanied by a guitar solo. The drums from James Barney is simple, but has the tone that I love so much in the 70's drums. And the choir takes the space given to fill up the 'holes'

04. Sir Lancelot And The Black Knight

Ah this beginning! Strong and dense! The vocals marry perfectly with everything, the strength of sound full of syncopation with the orchestra, and at times the vocals sung loudly. And the chorus can be even more beautiful, both in voice and in its harmony. The opening theme is repeated, superb. And it gives you the 'master' of synthesizer Mr. Wakeman. The groove just after 2 minutes of music reminds me of the 'stunts' of Gentle Giant, full of broken beats. Sensational!

05. Merlin The Magician

This band has a 'canon' melody repeated as on track 2, but this time an amendment hyper renaissance times melody on the piano. The melody is original with a low bass, a few blows that I imagine are tubes and a series of keys in a 'beach' melody. Almost 3 minutes and the picture changes and beyond the melody of time we have also various synth soloing and moving from one side to another on the speakers. Almost at the 5th minutes of music, a crazy honky tonk piano comes in, depicting a possible scene of our dear blatant Wizard. But amazing is the sound that Roger took of the bass. And the synthesizers are thrashed till the end. The fun and laughter is guaranteed in the final melody. Very good!

06. Sir Galahad

The canon song (or would be Gregorian?) Is used as an introduction again, it gets the impression of listening to the same previous track again, which is further reinforced as the opening theme piano is exactly the same as above. Only near the 1 minute and fifteen the subject becomes almost a fun and strange reggae with excellent vocals, but I confess that when the 'playful' theme comes in the vocal lines are very strange. Close to 3 minutes the keyboard mimicking a triple harp and vocals sing the blues of the World. This next theme is really very strange, I do not know where Wakeman was with his head (in the Bahamas certainly, laughs).

07. The Last Battle

In the exact sequence of Sir Galahad (which had not happened at any other time of the record), comes The Last Battle that's an epic of those who claim to have gigantic proportions but it begins warm. There are several issues that compounds this closing track, but I do not think they really represent a final battle till his mid 5th minutes. Before that is beautiful, but I do not believe a final battle is pretty (laughs). The harpsichord is always a beauty in that kind of 'epic' sound. The vocal melody is really sublime, perfect fit in the chords. And the incomprehensible stories with former British accent (laughs). When the 8th minute comes the phones are invaded and the melody becomes intoxicating, like 'we will think about all that happened,' and then i went back to the initial theme to close on a high note.

Still remember when he brought home the vinyl and listen for the first time, much of a scare with the sound of The Myths & Legends Of King Arthur & The Knights Of The Round Table .

4,5 stars

ProgShine | 4/5 |


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