Richard Christopher "Rick" Wakeman (born 18 May 1949) is an English keyboardist, songwriter, television and radio presenter, author, and actor. He is best known for being in the progressive rock band Yes across five tenures between 1971 and 2004 and for his solo albums released since the 1970s. Here with just a grand piano, Wakeman manages to roll thirty-plus years of music into an entertaining and quite rewarding trip down memory lane in front of a live audience. He gives forth with arrangements of his work from every point in his career, from his time with the Strawbs ("A Glimpse Of Heaven"), his days as a marathon session musician (David Bowie's "Space Oddity," Cat Stevens' "Morning Has Broken"), his various stints with Yes and ABWH (a lovely version of "Wonderous Stories" and a medley of "The Meeting" and "And You And I") and high points from his solo career in the bargain. Wakeman intersperses these performances with stories of how the songs and pieces were written, and he is a natural racounter and howlingly funny at times. If the music thing doesn't work out, he'd make a killing doing stand-up comedy in the Catskills! All told, SIMPLY ACOUSTIC is a concert recording that makes you wish you'd actually been there--what better praise is there?
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