Review of Unleashing The Tethered One - The 1974 North American Tour submitted on 13th September 2001
Although this is a unique recording, you should note two things - the quality is crap and it's a bootleg. It is a straight recording of the original vinyl bootleg and you get the sound of the run-in groove plus the break in the middle of "Journey" where you were supposed to turn the record over. If you must have this, I suggest you hunt down an original vinyl copy or better still, but the DVD/CD pack - at least Rick makes some profit from that!
Review of Live in Buenos Aires DVD submitted on 3rd October 2001
This is the live recording Rick's music has long deserved. The choice of material is inspired, performed by a terrific line-up, and the whole package looks and sounds fantastic. It was recorded on a different night to the "Out of the Blue" album, so you get completely different versions. This well worth buying - fantastic stuff!!
Review of Wakeman with Wakeman submitted on 3rd October 2001
Looking back, this is a great album. It's time "Caesarea" was recognised as a true Wakeman classic. What a fantastic album!!
Review of Cirque Surreal submitted on 3rd October 2001
I love this album. For those who don't know the story behind it, the album features music from the circus Rick and Adam did the music for in the mid 90s. The band performed live for the whole of the first week of the Brighton festival, where the circus was based - a whole week of Rick live!! Lots of great tracks - instrumental and vocal. This is great stuff.
Review of Out There submitted on 18th March 2003
I listened to this for the first time this morning while walking to work. Since I've been a fan of Rick since "Journey" (I was given this for my 12th birthday and I'm now 40!!), any new album is an event to celebrate and not being able to listen to it last night was very frustrating. The title track is epic in ever way - 13 minutes long (and broken into different parts like all prog-rock epics should be!), with massive keyboard and guitar solos, a great rock vocalist, and that fantastic pairing of the church organ and choir, a sound that for me is trademark Rick Wakeman. The closing track "Cathedral of the Sky" reiterates that wonderful organ/choir combination and leaves you wishing for more. This is a fantastic album. I would never want to say it's the best Wakeman album ever, simply because there are so many that are fantastic but it's easily the best new prog rock I have heard for many years. Highly recommended (and should be amazing live).
Review of Return To The Centre Of The Earth submitted on 3rd April 2003
"Journey to the Centre of the Earth" was the first Rick Wakeman I acquired - it was a present on my 13th birthday and I'm now 40! I won't lie and say I was a Wakeman fan then; I was a Jules Verne fan (much more exciting that that Harry Potter stuff that kids have to put up with these days!!). But my love affair with Rick (oo-er missus!) started on that day and my collection has continued to grow ever since. When I first heard about "Return to the Centre of the Earth" I was very excited. I had visions of it being a remake a la Mike Oldfield and "Tubular Bells" 2, 3, etc.: basically the same tunes but done in a more modern style. I was hugely disappointed when I first heard "Return". I wanted long suites of music not a group of songs on a theme. And that narration! Too long, too dull! I liked some of the songs but was not impressed by the whole package. Now a few years on I've rediscovered this album. I still don't like the narration but the music ... Wow, what was I thinking? Rick's work with the orchestra on this album is what Yes's "Magnification" should have sounded like (just imagine what it would have been like with Rick on board). Just listen to those songs - Ozzy, Justin Hayward, Trevor Rabin: all absolute masterpieces. And the interplay between the keyboards and the orchestra on "The Kill" is truly incredible. So Rick - sorry for doubting you. Great album, and a lesson learned - it's always worth going back to re-evaluate something you don't like. Right - where's my Jule Verne book?
Review of Wakeman & Cousins - Hummingbird submitted on 10th April 2003
You'll probably all know that Rick's big break before joining Yes was spending a year with The Strawbs. He made one full studio album and one live album whilst a member and, I think, contributed to Dave Cousin's solo album. To hear that Rick was making a new album with Dave after many years was great news, and the finished product does not disappoint. Dave Cousin's voice is unique - and I can certainly understand that some people don't like it. But believe me, the songs on this album will send shivers down your spine, they are that good. And Rick is certainly on form. Just listen to the keyboard solo that occupies the last minute of the opening track "The Young Pretender". To me this is the best Rick has sounded for many years. If you've not been sure about buying this album, please do: I know you'll like it!