Review of 1984 submitted on 7th April 1999
"Flawed, yet UNFORGETABLE"
I guess any time you get a collection of diverse talents in one place, the results are bound to be uneven. That certainly happened here, as Rick presents a musical 'adaptation' of George Orwell's novel about a future where conformity is all and love a crime against the state. Much of it is too harsh & 'noisy' for me, yet in here are 2 of my very favorite Wakeman tracks. "Overture" is a glorious, magnificent work of sheer wonder! (The first 5:02 of it anyway, before it turns nasty-- thank goodness for CD players!) And then there's Chaka Khan's vocal on "Julia", one of the most beautiful (and yet tragic) love songs I've ever heard. For Rick, only "Heaven" from PHANTOM POWER even comes close! Anyone who's heard this and liked it should also definately get themselves a copy of THE CLASSICAL CONNECTION, which is where I first heard it, in instrumental-piano form. When I assembled my own custom "Best Of Wakeman" CD, the first 3 tracks on the comp were "White Rock", "1984 Overture" (edited, I cut the song off just before the vocals came in), and "Julia". What a GREAT, GREAT opening section!
Review of The Family Album submitted on 12th January 2018
I bought my first CD player a bit late, in June 1991. The day I got it, I also got my first 3 RW CDs-- ZODIAQUE, A SUITE OF GODS, and THE FAMILY ALBUM. While all 3 were listed as "New Age", ", I'm not sure this instrumental piano collection fit that description. This has long been a favorite of mine. "Black Beauty" opens the album with quiet magic. "Adam" continues with a really beautiful melody. "Jemma" paints a musical picture of unpredictable high energy interspersed with catching of breaths. This, along with "Oliver" (a more mid-tempo "dignified" energy) and "Wiggles" (high-speed frantic running in circles) are my 3 favorite tracks. I included them on a custom comp of my favorite RW songs. In addition, the romantic-yet-melancholy "The Day After The Fair" inspired me to watch the rather sad TV-movie it was the theme song from.