Rick Wakeman is one of those artists who really needs no introduction but just in case you have spent the past four decades with your head in a bucket, or ensconced on a desert island somewhere (or both) I will provide a potted history....
Wakeman was born in West London. He purchased his first electronic keyboard at 12 years of age. In 1968 he studied the piano, clarinet, orchestration and modern music at the Royal College of Music before leaving after a year in favour of session music work.
He went on to feature on songs by artists including Black Sabbath, David Bowie, T. Rex, Elton John and Cat Stevens. Wakeman joined the folk group Strawbs in 1969 and played on three of their albums. He first joined Yes in 1971 to replace Tony Kaye and left the group in 1974 to work on his solo career. He returned in 1976 before leaving with lead vocalist Jon Anderson in 1980. Wakeman was part of the side project Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe, a group of ex-Yes members formed in 1989 and the eight-member Yes line-up that followed until his third departure in 1992. He returned for two years in 1995 and once more in 2002, where he was part of the band's 35th anniversary tour until its end in 2004.
'Wakeman began his solo career during his first run with Yes. His perhaps most known records being his first three, The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1973), Journey to the Centre of the Earth (1974) and The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table (1975). He has produced over 100 solo albums that have sold more than 50 million copies. In November 2010 Wakeman was awarded the Spirit of Prog award at the annual Marshall Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards and in 2012 was crowned as a ‘Prog God’ at the Prog Rock awards.'
Rick is one of the most fluid and intuitive keyboard players in the world today, whether in the rock genre in which he is most famous, or within any other genre of the broad gamut of contemporary musicianship.
François Couture writes how this set features Rick Wakeman playing the grand organ of Lincoln Cathedral. He continues: 'There are few recordings of Wakeman at the grand organ, fewer more in a solo setting, without an audience, and majestically recorded. For this rare occasion, he wrote a handful of brand new pieces and structures to improvise within. Melodically speaking, this is not his strongest material, but he is clearly enjoying the thrill of playing the behemoth and he puts a lot of feeling into his delivery. That is what makes At Lincoln Cathedral a fairly interesting release. "The All Mighty Almighty" -- very heavy in the bass range, as one could expect from the title -- is the undisputed highlight of the set: thundering, imposing, and simply downright loud, the piece will have you shaking in your seat. "Dawn and Dusk" and "Soul Mortality" are also good pieces, in the man's introspective average. In addition to the five pieces at the organ, Wakeman performs one more at the piano (a Steinway grand, if you please), the 15-minute "Da Vinci Variations.'
1. Soul Mortality (07.03)
2. Dance Of The Imps (05.26)
3. Gifts From Heaven (05.05)
4. The All Mighty Almighty (13.22)
5. Dawn And Dusk (05.48)
6. The Da Vinci Variations (15.00)
1. Soul Mortality (07.10)
2. Dance Of The Imps (05.32)
3. Gifts From Heaven (05.09)
4. The All Mighty Almighty (13.32)
5. Dawn And Dusk (05.50)
6. DTS Warning (00.46)
7. The All Mighty Almighty (13.33)
Soul Mortality (Mpeg video)(07.01)