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Rick Wakeman - 1984 - Live At The Hammersmith Odeon 1981 (DVD/CD)

Genre: Prog rock
Release Date: 31st March 2014

Label: Rick Wakeman
Catalogue Number: RICK004CD
Price: £9.99
Available: Sorry - Not currently available


Rick Wakeman - 1984 - Live At The Hammersmith Odeon 1981

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 (mostly) nicked from Wikipedia.

“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”

What Wikipedia doesn’t say is that Rick is one of the most fluid and intuitive keyboard players in the world today, wether in the rock genre in which he is most famous, or within any other genre of the broad gamut of contemporary musicianship.

Wakeman teamed up with Tim Rice to write the 1984 album, a musical adaptation of George Orwell's book of the same name. The project was a flop for a couple of reasons; critics panned it because Rice's lyrics tried to give the adaptation an upbeat ending, something the book did not have. Secondly, when Wakeman wanted to tour the production in the U.S. Orwell's estate would not give clearance. The show was performed in the U.K. though and this concert features the opening overture and scattered later in the program, "Julia" and "The Proles." The show overall is a mish-mash featuring "Sea Horses" from the Rhapsodies album and then proven crowd pleasers from King Arthur, Henry VIII and Journey. In the liner notes Wakeman says that he was at a low point in his career when this show was taped; his father had just died, he was going through a divorce and he was not happy with the line-up of his band. He doesn't single anyone out but the female vocalist here doesn't live up to the work done on the record by Chaka Khan. Still the show has its redeeming values; the arrangements are changed on the familiar stuff from the three main albums and the band tackles the difficult "Catherine of Aragon" and "Anne of Cleaves" for the first time ever live. Wakeman introduces every song, joking that then the audience will have advance notice as to when to go to the bathroom.


Tracks:
Track Listing

1. 1984 The Overture (Incorporating Wargames)
2. King Arthur (Incorporating The Last Battle,Arthur,Lancelot and the Black Knight)
3.Sea Horses
4. Julia
5. Henry Medly (Incorporating Catherine Of Aragon,Anne of Cleves and Catherine Howard)
6. The Proles
7. Journey Medley ( Incorporating the Journey Overture The Journey and the Recollection

 



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