Reviews by Alan Morgan

Review of No Earthly Connection submitted on 12/05/2003

After the opening synth-chords, the music just flourishes. Great vocals from Ashley, terrific playing from the band, and a superb concept. I used to use the opening chord as a demo when I used to sell HiFi speakers in the early 1980's. Brilliant.

Review of The Myths & Legends of King Arthur & The Knights of the Round Table submitted on 23/10/2003

Having heard Journey when it first came out in 1974, I was really eager to hear what Arthur held in store for us. The packaged Booklet was a joy to handle for the first time, and I anticipated the music with what can only be described as glee. Back were the vocal duo from the previous release, and in fine voice they were too. Every track on this has it's merits, but my favourites have to be the Opener, "Arthur" and the opening track from the second side, "Merlin". The spoken word finish, concerning the fate of Arthur was very moving, and I do wonder how much of that last statement is true. Arthurian Legend is one of my interests, and this is a very fitting musical tribute.

Review of Black Knights at the Court of Ferdinand IV submitted on 23/10/2003

Looking at the Italian sounding name on the cover of this made me think that we were in for something very classical sounding, and maybe even an operatic album. This is not the case at all. Mario Fasciano has a voice very similar to the Great 70s sound of PFM (anyone remember them?). This is a really good prog rock album, which interweaves the Neapolitan sound with rick's excellent keyboards almost as if the'd been working together for years. My old copy still gets played on my Radio Show regularly.

Review of Cost of Living submitted on 23/05/2004

The high speed start of track one on this album is a bit of a surprise, and when it slows down, it is a bit of a releif. Rick himself is the first to admit that the piano used was a turkey, but my father (who is a fan of all things Wakeman orientated) thinks that this simply fits in very nicely with the concept of the title. There are a couple of real gems on this album, including "Gone but not Forgotten", which is really beautiful, and the closing track with Robert Powell narrating, but overall the consistency is not as good as with other albums. Buy it anyway, because it's a lot better than some stuff you'll hear elsewhere.

Review of 1984 submitted on 23/05/2004

This is one of those albums where there are several guest vocalists, and your appreciation of the songs is largely dependent upon whether or not you like each vocalist. Chaka Khan has never been one of my favourites as I've always found her to be a bit undisciplined, but the others are good. Jon anderson always works well with Rick, as they are after all, both members of Yes, and Steve Harley does a brilliant guest spot, so you are more than compensated for Chaka Khan if you don't like her. The instrumental tracks are again, superb, and the finale is even more so. Even though the concept was all too quickly overtaken by history (it being released in 1981), the musical content carries it way past that, and it stands up as a great recording even now, twenty years after the actual "1984".

Review of Out There submitted on 01/12/2004

Having ordered this from RWCC, and asked for a signature, I expected this to take a while to come back, but it was faster than expected - about three weeks. I couldn't wait to stick it in the CD player, and boy was it worth the wait. The epic opening title track sets the pace for a superb album that Rick should be incredibly proud of. His band are, in a word, great, and the singer has a good range to his voice allowing the music to soar to incredible heights, without him sounding as if he was straining his guts out just to hit the notes (note Hammersmith Live CD, where the singer had to transpose the songs as he sang them). This is a really excellent package, and I can't wait to see them live.