Exposé Online banner

Rick Wakeman — The Masters
(Purple Pyramid CLP 0565-2, 1999, 2CD)

by Mike Ezzo, Published 2000-05-01

The Masters Cover artBetween 1982 and 1995 Wakeman released a staggering 35 recordings! None of these are known to more than a few people (I have only seen about four of them myself), so the convenience of this compilation of 20 tracks from 13 albums of that period is certainly a foregone conclusion. Disc one blasts off with a surprisingly commercial pomp-rock tune with absolutely astonishing production quality, and a singer who could have replaced Steve Walsh in Kansas! Who is he?? A pair of flashy prog instrumentals follow; nice, if cliched, but great keyboard work. A jazzy piece from his Zodiac CD follows but seems unfinished, like a demo. Later he cranks up the drama on two more instrumental prog numbers. Then there is a poorly executed pop song which doesn't match the production quality of its predecessor. Closing out this half are a completely remade suite from Six Wives which features loads of new material; and a beautiful piano-based song with percussion accompaniment. Disc two starts with another stab at radio play, but quickly (and fortunately) abandons it in favor of more instrumental piano and synth-heavy pieces from Rick's relatively recent concept albums: Romance of the Victorian Age, and 7 Wonders of the World. A couple veer nigh a light new age side; others are deadringer Brahms/Beethoven piano material. A live reworked suite from Merlin (again with a ton of new twists added) provides contrast. Based on what this CD offers I'd choose Tapestries and No Expense Spared as the two recommendables. But this leaves another 23 recordings — including three soundtracks — that (probably like you) I have never heard, so my judgement is of limited value.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 19, 1999 releases

Related artist(s): Rick Wakeman

Latest news

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Billy Currie - Still Movement – Billy Currie’s most recent solo album can be categorized as being squarely in the new age/techno bordering on ambient but within in a slightly more favorable light. Currie has continued to...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues