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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

3.62 | 565 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Tales from Pendragon Castle

Wakeman was truly inspired when he decided that the legendary King Arthur was to be the subject of his next project. While the album will not really serve as a definitive historical document, it does capture the essence of the Myths and Legends of that period. (For those who have seen the recent film "King Arthur", this album bears little relation being steeped in the mythology of the period, rather than attempting to impart any historical accuracy in the way the film does.)

As with the previous "Journey to the centre of the earth", the album is heavily orchestrated, with choirs and plenty of accomplished solo musicians. This time however, Wakeman reverted to the studio to record the album, and thus the sound quality is excellent.

Two of the tracks, "Guinivere" and "Merlin the Magician" are sketches of the characters. The latter is one of Wakeman's finest instrumental pieces, with synthesisers soaring and diving among a myriad of different sounds and atmospheres. Those with suspect woofers in their hi-fi system are warned to beware of the very deep notes Wakeman hits at certain points!

The other tracks tell different parts of the story, from Arthur's early days to his death; the music being superb throughout. "Arthur" is majestic, befitting the discovery of the new king, as he succeeds where all others have failed in pulling the sword Excalibur from the stone.

"Sir Lancelot & the black knight" reflects the pace of the battle, complete with one of Wakeman's great synth solos, similar to the one near the end of "Revealing science of God" by Yes from "Topographic Oceans". The final tracks, "Sir Galahad" and "The last battle" combine to form a wonderful long piece telling the story of Arthur's final days and beyond, before finishing in a triumphant climax to a great album.

The original LP came in a lavish packaging with an ornate gatefold sleeve, and lyric booklet, rendering it well worth seeking out. Quite simply, a superb piece of work from start to finish.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |


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