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Rick Wakeman - Live At The Empire Pool - King Arthur On Ice (DVD/CD)

Genre: Prog rock
Release Date: 21st April 2014

Label: Rick Wakeman
Catalogue Number: RICK001CD
Price: £9.99
Available: Sorry - Not currently available

Rick Wakeman - Live At The Empire Pool - King Arthur On Ice

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.


Rick writes: There were just three performances of King Arthur on Ice and it was “crucified” by most of the media before it had even had its opening night! Amazingly though, the demand from the press and media for tickets was unprecedented and which was met with a total refusal to all who had “pre-reviewed” the event


It was undoubtedly for me, a high point of my musical career. I was pleased with the music and to this day feel that the main theme is probably the best I have written and will be hard to surpass. The shows were just great fun and were put on with virtually no outside assistance as very few people believed in it and indeed wanted it to happen. Numerous people, who will remain nameless, tried in vain to get me to do a basic show at the Royal Albert Hall and to “forget all this nonsense about an ice show”!


Ice skating was not popular back in 1975 and so I enlisted the help of some of the world’s greatest skaters from all over the world To the best of my knowledge it was also the first time a PA of that size had been “hung” in a venue the size of Wembley Arena. I shipped in a Clair Brothers system from America as there was nothing in the UK that could handle the task.

Thanks to people like Tony Burdfield at A&M Records, my band, the conductor David Measham and the English Chamber Choir, and the foresight of Alan Yentob, who filmed much of the show for the BBC, the memory still lives on.

…And my thoughts now? I’d just love to do it one more time!!!


Track Listing:

1. Free Song
2. The Battle
3. Catherine Howard
4. Anne Boleyn
5. Lamorak's March
6.Rick' Charleston
7. Arthur
8. Lady Of The Lake
9. Guinevere
10. Sir Lancelot And The Black Knight
11. Sir Galahad 
12. The Last Battle



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