In The Nick Of Time – Live in 2003 (Gonzo Multimedia MFVP128CD, 2012)
British keyboardist reached legendary status in the 1970s for his work in British progressive rock band Yes and also for his early thematic solo albums. In The Nick Of Time – Live in 2003 is the latest release in his long career. It is a series of live performances recorded in 2003.
In The Nick Of Time shows that in 2003 Rick Wakeman was still one the finest rock keyboardists. The album begins with a spectacular medley of two of his pieces, Catherine Parr and Beware Your Enemies. It is an outstanding keyboard fest, with Wakeman showing his masterful ability on synthesizers and organ.
The next piece is ‘Out There’ from his Out There album released in 2003. Instead of a progressive rock piece, it sounds like Rick Wakeman jamming with Deep Purple.
Next, he plays material from No Earthly Connection. The best part of this piece is Art Glynne’s guitar solo and a brief keyboard solo by Wakeman. Honestly, Rick Wakeman is at its best in instrumental parts. He hasn’t had much luck with solo vocalists.
Another highlight is the beautiful symphonic composition ‘Dance of a Thousand Lights’ featuring Wakeman on a variety of keyboards. It’s a track from “Return to the Centre of the Earth” that was released in 2009.
Rick Wakeman was well known for his use of cathedral style organ in various Yes albums. He shows his admirable technique in ‘The Cathedral on the Sky’. The solo vocals once more seem more appropriate for a hard rock band than for one of the legendary figures of progressive rock.
‘White Rock’ is a series of keyboard and guitar jams set to a basic rock rhythm.
The album ends with ‘Wurm’ which is a Steve Howe piece from Yes’ classic song ‘Starship Trooper’ (part of the Yes album). This is the piece where bassist Lee Pomeroy shows his commendable skill with excellent bass lines.
In The Nick Of Time – Live in 2003 is a fantastic live sampler of Rick Wakeman’s musical career. The progressive rock legend clearly demonstrates that he is at his best when he sticks to progressive rock material.
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