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Rick Wakeman

Lisztomania

Review by G. W. Hill
Have you ever seen this movie? I have seen it a couple times. It's definitely strange. It's a trippy, over the top take on a fictionalized version of the life of Franz Liszt. The movie is weird, and so is the soundtrack. Still, it's Rick Wakeman, so it's mostly worthwhile. There are several songs with vocals, the majority sung by Roger Daltrey.
Track by Track Review
Rienzi/Chopsticks Fantasia

Starting with an audience clamoring for Franz Liszt, this piece is a good deal of fun. It's not purely classical, and yet it is. The audience returns at the end.

Love's Dream
The music here is by Liszt, but the lyrics and vocals are Roger Daltrey. This is more classical than it is anything else, but it's also quite cool.
Dante Period
This is an amazing powerhouse tune. Sure, it's a Liszt composition at its heart, but it's very much a Rick Wakeman version. This is the kind of thing that Wakeman writes and arranges. It's one of my favorite things here.
Orpheus Song
This is classical and yet modern at the same time. It's a cool tune, but not a highlight.
Hell
Wakeman's keys and the whole arrangement create a crazed, noisy musical legacy here. Linda Lewis vocals are classical and yet screaming at times. This song is not restive or quiet by any means. It's a real stomper.
Hibernation
This is a Rick Wakeman composition. It has a modern music element, but at its heart it's more of a classical processional piece.
Excelsior Song
While this is written by Liszt, the song feels a lot more like a modern pop song. Paul Nicholas handles the vocals singing lyrics written by Wakeman and Ken Russell. I don't really like this song, but it's more about the vocals than anything else.
Master Race
This is a short piece from Wagner. This is basically a synthesizer solo as presented here.
Rape, Pillage and Clap
Another that was penned by Wagner, this has all the trappings of Wakeman solo work. It's electronic, but also classical in nature at the same time.
Funerailles
A piano solo opens this in fine fashion. The music to this is all Liszt, but the lyrics are by Jonathan Benson and sung by Daltrey. The piano solo, though, makes up a big chunk of this. The vocals are mellower and seem to convey pain. There is a symphonic build up later in the piece. The vocals there rock more.
Free Song (Hungarian Rhapsody)
A synthesizer take on a fast paced world music based Liszt composition, this is fun and very Wakeman-like.
Peace At Last

Liszt wrote this song, but the lyrics were provided by both Jonathan Benson and Roger Daltrey. The music comes in as a pretty almost modern rock sound. In fact, this is very much a mainstream pop rock tune. It gets turned that way with the arrangement after a short time, as well. There are enough Wakeman trademarks here to not miss his hand in the cut. I'd have to label this as my favorite piece of the whole disc.

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