Reviews by Solomon Eagle

Reviews by Solomon Eagle

Review of Cost of Living submitted on 8th January 2003

Something of a curio, this. Parts of it are excellent - 'Elegy' (a true 'must-have' for any RW fan), 'Gone But Not Forgotten' and even 'Twij'. The rest is really disposable - Rick in his 'rockin' mode which, to be honest, sounds rather flabby and tired. Certainly, during the 1980s, Rick went through a bit of a tired-old-rocker phase, which alienated a lot of fans; what they liked about his work was his amazing keyboard work and his willingness to produce albums which, although not fashionable, were nevertheless interesting and distinctive. 'Elegy', 'Gone But Not Forgotten' and 'Twij' fall into this category; the rest is rather disposable. For me, this album represents my 'buying a RW LP just for the odd good track' phase; I was willing to do it, but thank God for CDs which mean you can skip the bad stuff (a footnote: we played 'Elegy' at my Father's funeral: I can't think of a more appropriate track for that occasion, nor a better reason to recommend this LP despite its faults).

Review of Black Knights at the Court of Ferdinand IV submitted on 8th January 2003

Hmmm...I was dubious at first, having picked this up in my local second-hand record shop in Tokyo. Rick and some unknown chappie (to me at least - apologies to everyone who's heard of Mario Fasciano!), putting together an album about a King and Court I've never heard of. Hmmm. Just shows how wrong you can be - this is classic Wakeman, on a par with 'Six Wives' or 'Arthur', and doesn't deserve the neglect it's fallen into...why hasn't it been re-released? The subject matter, the language (Neapolitan, is it?), the playing - all of these things conspire to make it a kind of 'Arthur' for the Nineties; by that, I mean that Rick's Keyboards and his ideas of what a song/track should be had changed but he still managed to capture not only the essential 'Rickness' of the subject, but also provided a perfect foil for Fasciano's lyricism and romanticism. In short, a classic: all you RW fans out there, hunt this down and enjoy...

Review of Chronicles of Man submitted on 8th January 2003

Okay, who's the dumbass? Saw this in a record shop years ago and didn't buy it - looked like Rick trying to pay the rent. Oh God, I was so wrong - if you like 'Country Airs' (and who doesn't, for its purity?), you'll love this: classic Wakeman, largely piano and totally beautiful; forget the tourist-like sleeve notes, and just listen...meanwhile, one eBay auction and a lot of money later, I've learned not to doubt Rick's judgement…