Wednesday, 20 June 2012

LINK: Rick Wakeman review


STYLE: Progressive rock electronica.
In The Nick Of Time is a live album recorded back in 2003 that showcases some of the outstanding solo material composed over the decades by keyboard legend Rick Wakeman. Supported by The New English Rock Ensemble, Rick's music here takes on a massive live rock character. The drums are thunderous, the lead breaks (both from Rick on synths and Ant Glynnes on guitar) are masterful and grandiose, the vocals are those of dramatic rock opera epics and even bassist Lee Pomeroy gets to dazzle during a blinding spotlight section of the concluding Wurm. The heaving progressive pomp and unashamedly extravagant arrangements give the music a dynamic enormity firmly rooted back in the seventies.

In The Nick Of Time is a jewelcase presentation with a generous twenty page booklet included. The Front cover sets a galactic tone that is expanded throughout the package with effulgent red orange nebulae vomiting out stars, planets and snaking keyboard ribbons. Rick's image hangs in the void to one side of the titles semi-transparent. Track titles are listed with times on the rear along with publishing information. The booklet opens with a five page section "Rick's Attempt at a Definition" wherein Rick explains the title of the album; thoughts on prog; something of his personal history: a bit of a rant about Yes and The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and plenty of thoughts on the development of the man's music. There are numerous live performance photographs, posters, biographies of the band and a whole page of credits and thank yous.

Rick Wakeman is surely one of the most well known keyboardists alive - his work with various rock and pop giants (David Bowie, Marc Bolan and Yes) as well as some huge early solo releases (The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Journey To The Centre Of The Earth ...) establishing a loyal following that would remain for decades. In The Nick Of Time is an archival live recording that sees the maestro in fine form back in 2003 promoting the Out There album. Tracks include developments of favourite solo compositions such Catherine Parr/Beware Your Enemies and White Rock; pieces written for vocals such as No Earthly Connection; a reimagining of the Yes classic Wurm as well as pieces from the then newly released Out There album of 2003. For more information you can visit the official Rick Wakeman website or you can purchase the album directly from the Gonzo Multimedia website.

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