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Rick Wakeman

Rick Wakeman's Criminal Record

Review by Gary Hill
I remember that when I first heard this album years ago I wasn't all that impressed. Listening to it now, I'm not sure why I didn't love it. In a lot ways it's similar to the album most think of when they hear "Rick Wakeman solo": The Six Wives of Henry the VIII. Both Chris Squire and Alan white are featured on the disc, too. It's really a strong album.


This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.
Track by Track Review
Statue of Justice

Piano starts things here and the cut grows out from there in fine Wakeman fashion. This really turns into a powerhouse keyboard jam.

Crime of Passion
Here we get more of a powerhouse keyboard based tune. It's a fast paced rocker with a lot of layers of synth over the top. It gets a bit funky at times, though.
Chamber of Horrors
There are some great melodies on this thing. It has some interesting shifts, too - from a bit slower and mellower at the start to more rocking later. This is really a powerhouse piece. It's one of my favorites here.
Birdman of Alcatraz
A piano piece, this is powerful and evocative. It really feels like it flies at times.
The Breathalyser
This is a very playful kind of cut. It includes some cool bluesy vocals provided by Bill Oddie. The tune shows off the fun-loving side of Wakeman.
Judas Iscariot
More dramatic and classically oriented, this is one of the tracks that calls to mind the Six Wives... era quite a bit. At times this makes me think of Yes' "Awaken" a bit, too. There is a choir in place on this cut. The piece is the most purely classically tinged number here while also showcasing some real prog rock. It is the most extensive and dynamic cut here, and perhaps also the most potent.
 
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