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Rick Wakeman

Rock N Roll Prophet

Review by Gary Hill
This is a rather odd entry into the Rick Wakeman catalog. Wakeman has said that he intended it as a spoof of music like The Buggles. It definitely resembles that band a lot of the time. That whole connection is kind of ironic because the album was recorded a year before Geoff Downes and Trevor Horn would replace Wakeman and Jon Anderson in Yes. The fact is, Wakeman wanted this released under a pseudonym, but it didn't happen that way. There is some good music here, and a lot of this is fun. Just don't expect the kind of thing that Wakeman's name normally conjures up - or you are likely to be disappointed. That said, there are a couple pieces that are unmistakable as Wakeman.
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Track by Track Review
I'm So Straight I'm a Weirdo

Bouncy and fast paced, this rocker has the kind of keyboard sound Wakeman displayed on Tormato. This feels like an electronic kind of pop tune like one would expect from The Buggles.

The Dragon
Bouncy and suitably weird, this is fun stuff. Even if this hadn't been released under Wakeman's name, I'd know that it's him. It feels a bit on the goofy side, but it's also very much what one expects from Wakeman. That's more so than the sound on a lot of the rest of the album.
This is also recognizable as Wakeman. It has an almost symphonic edge, while showcasing an electronic sound. There are things here that are again in line with The Buggles. The fast paced jam later in the track is trademark Wakeman in a number of ways, though.
Maybe '80
Here is another that's instantly recognizable as Wakeman. Sure, it has a bit of a modern edge to it, but the keyboard lines are unmistakable. I really like this tune a lot. It does a great job of combining a modern (at the time) electronic music sound with something more standard for Wakeman. The vocal movements are decidedly Buggles like.
Early Warning
This is bouncy and rather fun. It's electronic and pop-like (for an instrumental), but it also has some classy musical moments. It's not as trademark Wakeman as some of the other pieces are, but there are definitely things that would label it as such.
Spy of 55
Here is another fun little jam. It's definitely along the lines of the kind of electronic pop that was big in the 80s. There are some bits of 50s vocals (sampled perhaps) on this. It does feel a bit like a sock hop, though.
Do You Believe in Fairies?
Bouncy and light-hearted, this is a bit goofy, but it's fun. Again, I can make out some links to Yes' Tormato album here.
Rock 'n' Roll Prophet
This is another fun one. It is a bit more of a rocker. Wakeman's keyboard work is unmistakable here, too.
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