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Thread: Rick Wakeman: An appreciation thread.

  1. #26
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    The older I get the fewer problems I have with Rick's pretentiousness, pomposity or cheesiness. When I was young I laughed at Journey and Arthur. Now I laugh with them, and enjoy the music. There are things I love about almost any RW album.

    70s are the best, of course. 6 Wives and Criminal Record, as for many of you as well. But the solo "new age" piano of 80s and 90s, Wakeman w/ Wakeman in the 90s, Out There, the Retro discs, the recent piano discs, all wonderful in their own way. Not perfect by any means, but every one has moments that are sublime and that no one else could do.

  2. #27
    Member dropforge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arturs View Post
    The older I get the fewer problems I have with Rick's pretentiousness, pomposity or cheesiness. When I was young I laughed at Journey and Arthur. Now I laugh with them, and enjoy the music. There are things I love about almost any RW album.

    70s are the best, of course. 6 Wives and Criminal Record, as for many of you as well. But the solo "new age" piano of 80s and 90s, Wakeman w/ Wakeman in the 90s, Out There, the Retro discs, the recent piano discs, all wonderful in their own way. Not perfect by any means, but every one has moments that are sublime and that no one else could do.
    I loved the Retro's and hoped for a trilogy capper that was 70-75% instrumental. Didn't happen.

    Out There is full-on sympho with Damian Wilson's awesome vocals.

    His piano albums Country Airs and especially Sea Airs are beautiful. Zodiaque is a very cool duo album of Rick playing his synths with percussive accompaniment by his longtime drummer-friend Tony Fernandez.

    And how about his soundtracks for G'ole and The Burning? Love 'em.
    Last edited by dropforge; 12-23-2018 at 01:27 PM.

  3. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by arturs View Post
    The older I get the fewer problems I have with Rick's pretentiousness, pomposity or cheesiness. When I was young I laughed at Journey and Arthur. Now I laugh with them, and enjoy the music. There are things I love about almost any RW album.
    I love "Arthur." I understand why it gets flak around here. But, I don't agree with it.
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  4. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Yodelgoat View Post
    The one thing I dont understand is how he can diss TFTO so badly, when it is just a masterpiece, Including his own contributions.
    I've always heard him say his biggest gripe was that the album had a ton of padding that really hurt the brilliant bits that were clearly there. That's a pretty reasonable assessment IMHO.

  5. #30
    I love RW's with and playing. I really wished he would have played on Talk, as it seemed that he and Rabin had a definite chemistry during the Union tour. It was a good record, but it could have been a masterpiece or interesting disaster with Wakeman and Rabin teaming up.

  6. #31
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    Talk's crap.

  7. #32
    Member Since: 3/27/2002 MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER's Avatar
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    so... Wakey fans... what the heck is this thing listed on Gnosis?

    Wakeman, Rick The Missing Half Eng 1974
    Why is it whenever someone mentions an artist that was clearly progressive (yet not the Symph weenie definition of Prog) do certain people feel compelled to snort "thats not Prog" like a whiny 5th grader?

  8. #33
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    ^^^ It's the first half of the concert that produced the official Journey LP. Supposed to be very good.

  9. #34
    Member Since: 3/27/2002 MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER's Avatar
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    Thanx Arturs!

    so... I know Wakey redid White Rock in the past 10 years and, though I haven't heard it, it's probably better than the 70s original but
    I'm compiling my favorite pieces from Wakey in the 70s and did my own remaster/mashup of the music on the original White Rock
    Here are the results for any interested:
    https://www.mediafire.com/folder/hk90sslobyfqa/
    Why is it whenever someone mentions an artist that was clearly progressive (yet not the Symph weenie definition of Prog) do certain people feel compelled to snort "thats not Prog" like a whiny 5th grader?

  10. #35
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    White Rock II is a sequel, not a redo.

  11. #36
    Member Since: 3/27/2002 MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dropforge View Post
    White Rock II is a sequel, not a redo.
    interesting... why do you suppose he did a sequel soundtrack to the 1970s Olympics?
    and is it any good?
    Why is it whenever someone mentions an artist that was clearly progressive (yet not the Symph weenie definition of Prog) do certain people feel compelled to snort "thats not Prog" like a whiny 5th grader?

  12. #37
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    I had high expectations for Journey to the Center Of the Earth when it came out. I mean Rick is wearing a cape and all on the cover, so it had to be good, right? Wrong! What a clam of an album (adding the obligatory IMHO!). I didn't venture into anything else of his until Criminal Record which is very good. Other than Six Wives and CR, what would you folks say is the next best given Rick's penchant for oozing cheese whiz on much of his output?

  13. #38
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    ^^^ I dunno... Completely dairy-free Wakeman is rare. You probably have the only two (6W & CR) that meet that requirement. Maybe "Out There" from 2003, is another good one for the lactose intolerant.

    I think one of the secrets of listening to Rick is enjoying the cheese for what it is, or at least relaxing about it, and once you do you may also hear a lot of good melodies, arrangements and clever orchestrations. But of course YMMV.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by arturs View Post
    ^^^ I dunno... Completely dairy-free Wakeman is rare. You probably have the only two (6W & CR) that meet that requirement. Maybe "Out There" from 2003, is another good one for the lactose intolerant.
    Out There is good, but some might say Damian Wilson's vocals are rather cheese-flavoured.

    Sea Airs is 100% cheese-free. Just beautiful piano pieces that don't tend to drift into overplaying, and no vocals or overblown orchestras.
    Two boys have been found rubbing linseed oil into the school cormorant.

  15. #40
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    It's a rare event that I reach for Journey or Arthur now. I mean, I do like some of the instrumental passages, but I think the orchestration bloats them up too much, and that's before you get to the vocals/lyrics. It makes for fairly indigestible listening. Prog's more vocal critics will usually reach for these albums and the 'on ice' debacle as Exhibit A.

    I do however remain very fond of No Earthly Connection. It's a slightly more restrained version of the same thing, though I think it is better produced and executed. 'Maker' is lovely.

    White Rock is mostly instrumental and has a few cheese-laden moments like 'Montezuma's Revenge' (which is frankly swimming in it) but is a surprisingly enjoyable listen otherwise. Like many, I suspect, I have never seen the film but the music stands up outside of that.
    Last edited by JJ88; 12-26-2018 at 11:56 AM.

  16. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER View Post
    interesting... why do you suppose he did a sequel soundtrack to the 1970s Olympics?
    and is it any good?
    http://www.rwcc.com/product.asp?int_titleID=109 has his own comments on the discography page dedicated to this album.

    Rick's Perspective
    Notes
    When asked to write new scores for all the early Winter Olympic sports films I pieced together the best of all the music and made this album, which I personally think is a nice and genuine follow up to the original. One day I would like to enhance the original and put these two out together but the current owners of White Rock are uncommunicative and so it has about as much chance as happening as I have of ever getting married again!
    τί ἐστιν ὃ μίαν ἔχον φωνὴν τετράπουν καὶ δίπουν καὶ τρίπουν γίνεται;

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    White Rock is mostly instrumental and has a few cheese-laden moments like 'Montezuma's Revenge' (which is frankly swimming in it) but is a surprisingly enjoyable listen otherwise.
    in post #34 there is a link to my personal cut of White Rock that eliminates the cheez factor. Montezuma's Revenge is relegated to the interlude and segued with another shortened piece. Check it out, it's free!
    Why is it whenever someone mentions an artist that was clearly progressive (yet not the Symph weenie definition of Prog) do certain people feel compelled to snort "thats not Prog" like a whiny 5th grader?

  18. #43
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  19. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by dropforge View Post
    I loved the Retro's and hoped for a trilogy capper that was 70-75% instrumental. Didn't happen.

    His piano albums Country Airs and especially Sea Airs are beautiful.

    And how about his soundtracks for G'ole and The Burning? Love 'em.
    Love all this stuff. I listen to his Retro albums more than any Wakeman these days. Sure, they're not perfect albums, and the writing is not exactly Six Wives... but what is good is very very good indeed. His playing and the instrumentation is awesome. Analog synths in his hands is like chocolate cake.

  20. #45
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    Playing White Rock again yesterday, at this point Wakeman's synth sounds- with the sole exception of the appalling 'Montezuma's Revenge'- were still good. It wasn't too long after this point that changed! So it's an enjoyable album for retro-synth fans. The piano-led tracks are lovely- 'After The Ball' and 'The Loser'.

  21. #46
    Member Guitarplyrjvb's Avatar
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    I think Rick is one of those guys that needs someone to temper his penchant for cheese. Aside from one masterpiece (Six Wives) and the excellent Criminal Record, he far and away shines more on his collaborations with others: Yes, Bowie, Cat Stevens etc. The guy is a phenomenal talent, just keep him away from an ice rink!

  22. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by TheH View Post
    Great stuff. You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone...

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitarplyrjvb View Post
    I think Rick is one of those guys that needs someone to temper his penchant for cheese. Aside from one masterpiece (Six Wives) and the excellent Criminal Record, he far and away shines more on his collaborations with others: Yes, Bowie, Cat Stevens etc. The guy is a phenomenal talent, just keep him away from an ice rink!
    Criminal Record has its share of cheese- obviously 'The Breathalyzer' but see also that bloody awful 'reggae' section in 'Chamber Of Horrors'. 1977 was the point where his taste in synths starts to diverge from mine, but there we go. Love all the tones he had before that. He may not care for Tales... that much but his playing on it is brilliant, IMHO. And I'd cite the long Moog solo in the MSG '74 version of 'The Remembering'...much better than the studio version for me because of his solo. Probably still on YouTube.

  24. #49
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    I would say Rick was at his best with Yes in the 70's, imho most of his solo albums are mediocre and full of padding. I only saw Rick with Yes in 2003 & 2004 though and have to say that Igor did a better job on the previous tours...so lost interest I'm afraid.

  25. #50
    Used to absolutely love him (as a solo artist - Yes was a different thing) when I was a teenager - guess all that unashamed Prog excess was attractive to a mind still in development - now, I gotta say I love

    Six Wives
    Criminal Record
    1984

    Everything else kind of lost its luster - No slight intended if anyone loves everything he has done up until now. Lots of things lost their luster as I grew up, not just most of Rick's solo output.

    He is funny - must be a riot to hang with him...

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