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The Strawbs
www.strawbsweb.co.uk/
CD Reviews
Burning for You
Review by Gary Hill

This new reissue of a 1977 album from The Strawbs is classy. It includes the original album along with a number of bonus tracks.


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Deadlines (Remastered and Expanded Edition)
Review by Gary Hill
This new edition of a classic Strawbs album is in itself, classic and classy. First, you get the remastered album along with a lot of bonus tracks.

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Dragonfly
Review by Gary Hill
I know The Strawbs are considered a progressive rock band – and that’s why I’ve included them in that category.
 

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Heartbreak Hill
Review by Gary Hill

This album in some ways is a bit an oddity. It was recorded in 1978, but for various contractual and other reasons, it wasn't released until 1995.


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Hero and Heroine
Review by Gary Hill
Perhaps The Strawbs biggest claim to fame (at least in the U.S.) was the fact that Rick Wakeman had at one time been part of their ensemble. Well, that was a very short tenure and The Strawbs have a long career and a lot of albums without him.
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Live At Nearfest 2004
Review by Gary Hill
This live show from prog rock legends The Strawbs has just been released on CD. Much of the disc seems to be more along the lines of folk music, but then again, The Strawbs had a definite folk side to them.
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Settlement
Review by Gary Hill
In some ways you know what you will get when you hear a new Strawbs album.

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Strawbs
Review by Gary Hill
The Strawbs are an intriguing band. I know most people consider them progressive rock – and certainly some of their music qualifies. I put them in that category basically as a nod to general convention.

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The Ferryman's Curse
Review by Gary Hill
This band is certainly one of the founding pieces of the whole folk prog movement. This brand new album finds that they have lost nothing over the years.

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Concert Reviews
The Strawbs - Live In Milwaukee, WI, June 2008
Review by Josh Turner
My assessment is mixed like a Strawberry Margarita. Come to think of it; I was told that there was a Strawberry Full Moon shining down on Shank Hall throughout this evening, and I don’t think I was being razzed about it.
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Related Articles
Rick Wakeman
Review by Gary Hill and Josh Turner
Interview with Rick Wakeman from 2005

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Rick Wakeman
Review by Gary Hill and Steve Alspach
Interview With Rick Wakeman from 2003

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Spirits Burning - & Michael Moorcock - The Hollow Lands
Review by Gary Hill
Spirits Burning really puts out some interesting music. It's generally in the space rock zone, but there is quite a bit of range to it.

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Dave Cousins - & The Blue Angel Orchestra - Boy in the Sailor Suit
Review by Gary Hill
I know most people think of the Strawbs as a progressive rock band. Surely some of their music is prog.
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Rick Wakeman - & Tony Ashton Present GasTank
Review by G. W. Hill
Perhaps this three CD should go under "various artists" instead of "Rick Wakeman." Still, I think Wakeman plays on almost everything here.

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Rick Wakeman - 1984
Review by Gary Hill
This concept album is Rick Wakeman’s interpretation of George Orwell’s classic book.
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Nektar - A Spoonful of Time
Review by G. W. Hill

The whole “do an album of covers” concept is a popular approach these days.


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Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe - An Evening of Yes Music Plus
Review by Gary Hill
Before the Union album, Jon Anderson, frustrated with the musical direction of the Rabin era Yes, left the group and reunited with former classic Yes-mates Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman and Bill Bruford. Although, they were four fifths of the same lineup that brought such albums as Fragile and Close To The Edge to life, Chris Squire owned the rights to the name "Yes", and wasn't interested in letting them use it.
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Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe - An Evening of Yes Music Plus
Review by Gary Hill
Voiceprint has just reissued this live set from the classic Yes spin off band. For those looking for the history of this release, please check out the review I did of the earlier version of the set.
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Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe - An Evening of Yes Music Plus DVD
Review by Gary Hill
  As someone who saw this tour live (twice, I believe) and owned the VHS of this for years, it’s a pleasure to finally have it on DVD. For those who don’t remember, Anderson Bruford Wakeman and Howe spun off of Yes during the Trevor Rabin era (between the Big Generator and Union albums).
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Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe - Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe
Review by Gary Hill
In the late 1980’s Jon Anderson broke away from the Trevor Rabin dominated version of Yes to reunite with his former band mates, Bill Bruford, Rick Wakeman and Steve Howe to produce Yes type music.
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Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe - Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe Brother of Mine / Vultures in the City CD single
Review by G. W. Hill

This single from Anderson, Bruford Wakeman and Howe is out of print, of course, but these days, it’s not that hard (or sometimes expensive) to get your hands on something like this.


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Rick Wakeman - Aspirant Sunrise
Review by Gary Hill
There was a time when a lot of musicians were jumping on the “new age” bandwagon. As this recently reissued release from Rick Wakeman shows, he was definitely one of them. In fact, this was the first of a trilogy of new age albums.


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Rick Wakeman - Aspirant Sunset
Review by Gary Hill
This is one of a series of three discs Rick Wakeman did in 1990 as a restful relaxing type of experience. Remember, this was the era of New Age music.
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Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe - Brother of Mine / Vultures in the City (vinyl single)
Review by G. W. Hill

This single from Anderson, Bruford Wakeman and Howe is out of print, of course, but these days, it’s not that hard (or sometimes expensive) to get your hands on something like this.


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Rick Wakeman - Caped Crusader: Rick Wakeman in the 1970s written by Dan Wooding
Review by G. W. Hill
This new release is actually a reissue of an older book. It’s a great one, too.
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Yes - Classic Artists DVD
Review by Gary Hill

Yes seldom do anything in a small way when it can be done in an epic manner. 


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Yes - Classic Yes
Review by Gary Hill
This compilation of Yes material came out at the same time as Yesshows, shortly after the break up of the band following the Drama tour. This truly does feature some classic Yes material and would represent a great first look at the band.
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Yes - Close To The Edge
Review by Gary Hill
This is the first Yes album that I ever heard, and although it took me several listenings to get into it (I actually hated it first time through) it completely won me over. It is truly my favorite Yes album and the disc that got me interested in the band, and in progressive rock.
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Yes - Close to the Edge – Remastered and Expanded
Review by Gary Hill
I absolutely love Yes’ Close to the Edge and I’ve reviewed the main album before.
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Hudson Ford - Daylight
Review by Gary Hill

Based strictly on the music here, this probably wouldn't land under the progressive rock heading. Don't get me wrong.


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Yes - Extended Versions - The Encore Collection
Review by Gary Hill
So, you've probably seen this set around and wondered what it is and if you should pick it up. Well, I have saved you the trouble and will reveal what is in store for you here.
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Rick Wakeman - Fields of Green
Review by Gary Hill
Another in the series of Rick Wakeman reissues, this disc originally came out in 1997. It opens with a couple of intriguing pieces that, by themselves, make this a must have for Wakeman fans


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Yes - Fragile - Remastered And Expanded
Review by Gary Hill
Rhino has begun a series of remasters of Yes albums, restoring the original artwork and adding bonus cuts to the discs. This is their version of one of the more classic Yes recordings, Fragile.
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Yes - Friends and Relatives
Review by Gary Hill
Friends and Relatives is a two CD set that is a compilation of two Yes tracks from the KTA albums with solo works from the various artists. Other than the two stellar group performances, the Rick Wakeman pieces and Steve Howe`s take on Tales From Topographic Oceans stand out the most.
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Rick Wakeman - G’olé Soundtrack
Review by Gary Hill
Originally recorded and released for a documentary film on the 1982 World Cup, this has been out of print for years and is seen here in its first ever release on CD. I’d have to say that this one is considerably stronger than the Burning soundtrack – also just now reissued – and has a lot wider ranging appeal.
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Yes - Going For The One
Review by Gary Hill
Being an album that had Rick Wakeman rejoining the fold, this one was looked upon as a very strong and welcome release to Yes fans. Indeed, it still ranks among the favorites of many of them.
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Yes - Greatest Hits
Review by Gary Hill
With this Yes compilation recently reissued, it seems a good time to have a look at it. It always seems a bit odd when you get a “Greatest Hits” compilation from a band that isn’t known for hit singles, but such is the case here.
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Yes - Greatest Video Hits DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Originally released on VHS, this collection was put out on DVD in 2005. This video is a collection of videos (many of which have not often been seen) interspersed with interview clips from band members (recorded during the Union tour).
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Yes - In A Word: Yes 1969-
Review by Gary Hill

This box set is a class act. The whole thing comes in something that resembles a book. 


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Rick Wakeman - In the Nick of Time: Live in 2003
Review by G. W. Hill

This live album from Rick Wakeman is a powerful disc.


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Rick Wakeman - Journey To the Centre of the Earth
Review by Gary Hill
Another concept album from Rick Wakeman, this one focuses on the famous novel by Jules Verne.
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Yes - Keys To Ascension
Review by Gary Hill
The majority of this 2 disc set is a series of live recordings from the three SLO concerts that Yes did in 1996. The live material is augmented by two new studio cuts.
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Yes - Keys to Ascension 2
Review by Gary Hill
Keys to Ascension 2 contains live tracks from the San Luis Obispo concerts, recorded March of 1996(disc one), and 5 new studio songs(disc two). The lineup for the album is Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Rick Wakeman and Alan White.
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Yes - Keys To Ascension DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Recorded in 1996, this one is the one that almost makes it in the quest for ultimate live Yesshow video. Those who were there say that the video includes a lot of overdubs, but for the uninitiated, you really can't tell.
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Yes - Keystudio
Review by Gary Hill
Talking about the album that should have been! When these songs were originally released it was as bonus new studio recordings at the end of the two Keys to Ascension sets.
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Various Artists - Kinections: The ProgDay Support CD
Review by Josh Turner
There are two great things about this release. First off, it's for a charitable cause. Second, it is truly great music. Lew Fisher (on behalf of the ProgDay foundation) is the mastermind behind this project.
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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.


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Rick Wakeman - Live at Hammersmith
Review by Gary Hill
This live album from 1985 captures Rick Wakeman and his band performing tracks from his Six Wives of Henry the VIII, Journey to the Centre of the Earth and The Myths and Legends of King Arthur albums. The live sound here is solid, but I have always felt that those particular studio albums felt a bit flat.
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Yes - Live at Montreux 2003
Review by Gary Hill
Yes is a band that has no shortage of live albums. For this reason, the next statement I’m going to make is all the more profound. This may well be the best live CD they have ever released.
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Yes - Live At Montreux 2003 DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Another in the Live at Montreux series, this DVD is one of the best of the bunch. Mind you, a good deal of that is about the performance that was captured here.
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Yes Featuring Anderson, Rabin, Wakeman - Live at the Apollo
Review by Gary Hill

It seems that a common occurrence these days is for different factions within a classic band to form versions of the band and go out and tour. Well, it has now become a thing with Yes.


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Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman - Live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, October, 2011
Review by G. W. Hill

Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman might be best known for their work in Yes, but that’s just part of the picture.


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Rick Wakeman - No Earthly Connection
Review by G. W. Hill

This is a great album, no question about it. It's the classic example of how Rick Wakeman works with the combination of rock and symphonic music.


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Rick Wakeman - Out of the Blue
Review by Gary Hill
This live album from the most recent incarnation of Wakeman’s band – The New English Rock Ensemble is a killer. While the sound might possibly be just below that of Almost Live in Europe – and that’s iffy – I’d have to say that I like the setlist here better.


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Rick Wakeman - Out There
Review by Bruce Stringer
The first thing I noticed about this CD is the bizarre spaceship on the front red-coloured cover booklet, which looks like a weird marriage between V8 engine and mechanical fish with a protruding golf putter to add to its other-worldly imagery.
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Various Artists - Poetry of the Air: A Collection of Love Letters to Music from Musicians written by Gary Hill
Review by Greg Olma
I have known Gary Hill for a while now and the one thing that I can say with complete certainty about him is that he takes his music seriously. 


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Various Artists - Prog Box
Review by Gary Hill

I've been looking to do a retro review of this box set for a while. I finally had the opportunity this time around.


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Yes - Re (Union)
Review by Gary Hill
When Yes released Union it was a hodgepodge sort of album.
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Rick Wakeman - Return To The Centre of The Earth
Review by Gary Hill
By going back to his past, Rick Wakeman has created an album that is nearly a masterpiece. A sequel to his Journey to the Centre of the Earth disc, Return to the Centre of the Earth is a very potent progressive rock concept album.
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Rick Wakeman - Rhapsodies
Review by G. W. Hill
As you might guess from the layout in the track by track, I've done this retro review from the vinyl version of this album.

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Rick Wakeman - Rick Wakeman’s Grumpy Old Picture Show DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Those looking for a smoking live concert video of Rick Wakeman probably should turn their attention elsewhere. This is in many ways so much more.
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Rick Wakeman - Rick Wakeman's Criminal Record
Review by G. W. 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. 

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Rick Wakeman - Rock N Roll Prophet
Review by G. W. 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.

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Various Artists - Rockin' the City of Angels written by Douglas Harr
Review by G. W. Hill
This book is something very special. A good tag-line for this would be "come for the pictures, stay for the stories."

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Rick Wakeman - Romance of the Victorian Age
Review by Gary Hill
This might not be one of the better known Wakeman solo releases, but it’s actually one of the strongest.
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Dave Cousins - Secret Paths
Review by Bill Knispel
David Cousin’s expansive career has seen him shifting styles on a regular basis.  From the earliest days of the Strawberry Hill Boys (soon to be shortened to the Strawbs), Cousins has explored bluegrass, folk, rock, blues, and progressive rock styles...often shifting modes within a single album. 
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Rick Wakeman - Sixty Minutes with Rick Wakeman
Review by Gary Hill
This new compilation of songs from Rick Wakeman includes a nice cross section of his solo career. It’s really hard to encapsulate what he’s done over the years into one CD minute set, so certainly fans will come up with something they think is missing.


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Graham Bonnet - Solo Albums 1974-1992
Review by Gary Hill
Even if all you know from Graham Bonnet is his two best-known bands, Rainbow and Alcatrazz, you have to know that there is a wide range of sounds in his repertoire.

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Yes - Songs from Tsongas 35th Anniversary Concert BluRay
Review by G. W. Hill

This is just getting released on BluRay and with an extra concert.


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Yes - Tales From Topographic Oceans
Review by Gary Hill
This is quite possibly the most derisive Yes album of the entire catalog. Certainly many critics panned it, but that wasn't all that unusual.
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Dave Cousins - The Boy In The Sailor Suit: Expanded & Remastered Edition
Review by Gary Hill

This new edition of a classic Dave Cousins solo album is classy. The album was originally released in 2007.


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Rick Wakeman - The Burning
Review by Gary Hill
Long out of print, this soundtrack album is now available on CD. With all the music written and performed by Rick Wakeman, it’s a foregone conclusion that Wakeman fanatics will be all over this.
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The Fusion Syndicate - The Fusion Syndicate
Review by G. W. Hill

What an amazing set this is.


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Various Artists - The Hammond Organ: An Introduction to the Instrument and the Players Who Made it Famous written by Scott Faragher
Review by G. W. Hill

There are only a few musical instruments that have changed music and defined a sound.


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Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman - The Living Tree
Review by Gary Hill

Going into this album it’s pretty easy to know what you are going to get.


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Rick Wakeman - The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table
Review by Rick Damigella
Who so pulleth out the sword from the stone is the trueborn king of all of Britain. While this greatest of tales of heroism and chivalry has been told numerous times in written and filmed form, only a handful of music based tellings have been done.
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Yes - The New Director’s Cut DVD
Review by Gary Hill
In some ways you can say, “we’ve seen it before.” Of course, isn’t that par for the course whenever you see “Director’s Cut” anywhere in the title or subtitle of a DVD?
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Rick Wakeman - The Other Side of Rick Wakeman DVD
Review by Gary Hill
For those who are Wakeman fanatics, myself included, this DVD is great. Like his CD of Yes songs, this DVD is strictly solo piano, and Wakeman shows that he needs neither fancy Moog synthesizers nor other musicians to make great sounds.
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Rick Wakeman - The Red Planet
Review by Gary Hill
The argument could be made that the Rick Wakeman solo releases of the 1970s were the golden era of his career outside of Yes. Surely they set the bar next to which his later releases would be judged.

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Rick Wakeman - The Six Wives of Henry VIII
Review by G. W. Hill

There are many who would consider this Rick Wakeman's strongest solo album. That argument has merit.


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Rick Wakeman - The Six Wives of Henry VIII Live At Hampton Court Palace
Review by Gary Hill
Rick Wakeman’s Six Wives of Henry VIII album was his first solo release and many would argue his best.
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Rick Wakeman - The Six Wives Of Henry VIII:Live at Hampton Court Palace DVD
Review by Gary Hill
There can be a perception, when an artist releases a number of live DVD’s, that they are going to the well a bit too often and running out of water.
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Yes - The Ultimate Yes
Review by Gary Hill

This 35th Anniversary collection of Yes shares a lot of material with other compilations of theirs.


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Yes - The Yes Album
Review by Josh Turner
This marks the third album from this first class group. Its recording predates the membership of the legendary Rick Wakeman, who ultimately joined late in the tour of this album. While this might appear to be a huge drawback in the studio, the album is quite strong.
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Yes - Tormato
Review by Gary Hill

An album that is rather maligned in fan circles, Tormato is a bit pop oriented, but really has some wonderous moments. The bass sound on this one is a bit experimental, having a very processed approach, and although the majority of the songs are more accessible, there is a spirit of prog rock jamming that creates an openness and spirit of virtuosity throughout.


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Yes - Tormato (Expanded and Remastered)
Review by Greg Olma
Back in the late 1970's, Yes must have been a bit scared of the changing musical landscape. Punk was trying it's hardest to kill off bands like Yes; calling them dinosaurs.
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Yes - Tormato Vinyl Picture Disc (Record Store Day 2018)
Review by Gary Hill

Like last year, there is a new Yes picture disc released for Record Store Day. Last year it was 90125. This year they turned their attention to Tormato.


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Rick Wakeman - Tribute
Review by Gary Hill
Keyboard great Rick Wakeman turns his attention on this disc to the music of The Beatles. It has to be said that for musicians of a certain generation (and Wakeman is certainly in that group) The Beatles were a groundbreaking influence.


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Rick Wakeman - Two Sides of Yes, Vol. 2
Review by Gary Hill
I've read where people have been disappointed by this album because it was not full Yes versions of these songs. All I have to say is, if you want the original version, buy the original disc.
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Yes - Union
Review by Gary Hill
The great experiment - at the time of this album's recording there were essentially two versions of Yes out and making music. The first was the Trevor Rabin "Yes West" lineup (consisting of Rabin, Chris Squire, Alan White and Tony Kaye - Jon Anderson had left the group, but been working his way back into the fold) and Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman and Howe (the splinter group of one of the most classic lineups).
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Rick Wakeman - White Rock
Review by G. W. Hill
This album was composed for the 1976 winter Olympics. The music is essentially instrumental, but there are chorale vocals in places.

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Rick Wakeman - White Rock II
Review by Gary Hill
If anyone out there remembers White Rock (the first disc), you’ll know that it was music that Wakeman composed for the Olympics film. Well, when they set about to redo some of the film footage they wanted some additional music and White Rock II ensued.


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Various Artists - Who Are You - An All-Star Tribute to the Who
Review by G. W. Hill

I like The Who quite a bit. I mean, they aren’t one of my favorite bands, but I do really like them.


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Yes - Yesshows
Review by Gary Hill
When Yes broke up after the aborted Drama tour, their label released two "new" albums, Classic Yes (a compilation) and Yesshows (a live album recorded before Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman chose to take their leave of the band).
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Yes - Yessongs
Review by Gary Hill
At the time that Yessongs was released, the critics were calling Yes a studio phenomenon, and saying that they could not reproduce their complex arrangements live. This release, at least partially, was meant to dispel that rumour -- and it worked.
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Yes - Yessongs BluRay
Review by Gary Hill

This is a new reissue of the original Yes concert film. While the main film remains unchanged from older editions, there is quite a bit of added material here.


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Yes - Yessongs DVD
Review by Gary Hill
The only true Yes concert film (as in it was shown in theaters as a motion picture) this movie suffers a lot from the time period in which it was made. Granted, this classic performance from December of 1972 is a great time capsule, but filmmaking has come a long way since then.
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Yes - Yesspeak DVD
Review by Gary Hill
This DVD is documentary (remember when these things were called "rockumentaries") on Yes. It focuses on interview segments with each of the current members of the band (Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Rick Wakeman and Alan White) but focuses on the entire history of the band.
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Yes - Yesyears Box Set
Review by Gary Hill
Released during the flurry of activity surrounding the Union tour, this four CD set is a pricey, but fairly solid addition to the Yes catalog. While any compilation will undoubtedly bring up complaints as to what was included and what was not, this album presents a fairly accurate representation of the chronology of the band.
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Yes - Yesyears DVD
Review by Gary Hill
Before there was Yesspeak, there was Yesyears. In some ways this documentary is superior to the more recent one.
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