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Rick Wakeman

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Rick Wakeman Rick Wakeman, Jeff Wayne & Kevin Peek: Beyond The Planets album cover
3.00 | 20 ratings | 2 reviews | 10% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1984

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Waves (A Special Overture) / The Journey (1:58)
2. Mars (The Bringer Of War) (3:25)
3. Venus (The Bringer Of Peace) (7:48)
4. Mercury (The Winged Messenger) (4:01)
5. Jupiter (The Bringer Of Jollity) (6:54)
6. Circles / Saturn (The Bringer Of Old Age) (6:59)
7. Uranus (The Magician) (5:34)
8. Neptune (The Mystic) / The Heavens Reply / Beyond (The Finale) (9:15)

Total time 45:54

Line-up / Musicians

- Rick Wakeman / keyboards (3,6,7), composer (8)
- Jeff Wayne / composer (1)
- Kevin Peek / electric & Classical guitars, keyboards, programming, co-producer

- Greg Schulz / keyboards, programming
- Ric Curtin / Fairlight programming
- Trevor Spencer / drums, co-producer
- Patrick Allen / narration (1,6,8)

Releases information

A contemporary interpretation of Gustav Holt's 'The Planets'.

LP Telstar ‎- STAR 2244 (1984, UK)

CD Telstar ‎- TCD 2244 (1985, UK)
CD RRAW ‎- MFG009CD (2016, Europe) Remastered by Arun Chakraverty

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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RICK WAKEMAN Rick Wakeman, Jeff Wayne & Kevin Peek: Beyond The Planets ratings distribution

(20 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(10%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(10%)
Good, but non-essential (50%)
Collectors/fans only (30%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

RICK WAKEMAN Rick Wakeman, Jeff Wayne & Kevin Peek: Beyond The Planets reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars On keyboards... er Greg Schulz

This not in fact a Rick Wakeman album, and although he does play on it. Kevin Peek (of Sky) would appear to be the catalyst of the project. Wakeman once toured Australia with Sky where this album was recorded, and presumably that is when this collaboration was born. "Beyond the planets" was released by the Telstar label, who are better known for compilation albums of hit singles. While the album is not actually credited to anyone as such, the cover does bear the names of Wakeman, Peek and Jeff Wayne in large print, and those three do contribute to greater or lesser degrees.

"Beyond the planets" is essentially the performance of Holst's "The planets" in a rock context. Wayne's contribution is limited to the composition of an Overture for the album. As this ends, some brief narration by Patrick Allen is heard. Allen does a great impression of Richard Burton, which when combined with Wayne's distinctive sound, immediately creates echoes of "War of the worlds". Allen returns a couple of times during the album to link tracks together with further brief narration.

The familiar introduction to "Mars" (as used by Rainbow on "Eyes of the world" among many others) then takes over, and we launch into a full rendition of "The Planets suite". The music is performed dramatically and faithfully throughout, with Peek using various guitar sounds according to the mood of the piece. It's hard to identify accurately Wakeman's contribution. If you read the sleeve notes closely, they indicate that Greg Schulz is the primary keyboards player on the album. Clearly the label felt he was not sufficiently well known to mention his name on the cover though. Wakeman is credited as playing "Additional keyboards" on "Venus", Saturn" and "Neptune" only.

The album closes with a brief Wakeman composition "Beyond", which is little more than a fanfare ending. Wakeman does however appear to be the main performer on the track.

While Jeff Wayne's involvement is brief, "War of the worlds" is probably a pretty good reference point for the music here, although there are no vocals apart from the short narrations. Those familiar with Holst's will find much to enjoy here in this prog sounding performance of his most famous work.

Foot note - One major irritation is the discrepancy between the track listing on the sleeve, and the track numbering on the CD. The sleeve shows 12 tracks, while the CD has 8. This is primarily due to the fact that the narrations are integrated into the adjoining tracks for numbering purposes on the CD. It does make selective playing of a particular "planet" something of a challenge though!

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars Beyond Rick Wakeman?

As other reviewers have pointed out, this is not really a Rick Wakeman album at all. Rick does apparently appear on the album, but only to a very limited extent. Of the other people involved, Jeff Wayne is the one I recognize. As you probably know, Wayne was the brain behind the Prog version of The War Of The Worlds. There are some similarities between that album and this one. The occasional narration, for example, is very similar in style to the narration on the The War Of The Worlds album (though it isn't Richard Burton here, but someone sounding a bit like him).

Beyond The Planets is a kind of Prog version of the classical work The Planets by Gustav Holst. I do not know enough about that classical piece in order to say how close this version sticks to the original, but I do know that this music is popular among Prog and Prog related bands - ELP, for example, (during the short time when the 'P' stood for Powell rather than Palmer) has recorded their version of Mars, The Bringer Of War. And Beyond The Planets could perhaps be compared to ELP's Pictures At An Exhibition.

I find this album very listenable, but not particularly interesting. If you like synth-heavy adaptations of classical works, or if you have a particular fancy for the original The Planets, then I can highly recommend this hard-to-find album.

Good, but non-essential.

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