Late in 1996 the BBC contacted Rick Wakeman and asked him to contribute to their May ’97 election coverage, Rick came up with a unique reworking of his opus Arthur. There are few musicians alive, or dead for that matter, that have Wakeman’s colossal ability to compose, arrange, and re-arrange music like Rick Wakeman. People talk about the Beatles being a fabulous influence on modern music, and I laugh. The major influences that will be remembered in the future are people like Andrew Lloyd Webber and Rick Wakeman.

Rick has more skill in his left pinky than the entire line up of the Beatles and The Stones combined!

Fields Of Green is an interesting work, combining both his more modern approach to using acoustic instruments together with the ‘techno head’ Moog mad scientist that he was in the 70’s with The Strawbs and Yes.

One interesting aspect of being a music reviewer is receiving peoples feedback. And I have never heard anyone say that they didn’t like Rick Wakeman. Some people have never heard of him, some know the tunes but not the name, some of course are just Luddites, and there is little hope for reforming them! The music lover though knows exactly who Rick Wakeman is.

I am always amazed at the breadth of his compositions. When you deal with Rick you never know what to expect, other than the fact it’s going to be good. Track five The Never Ending Road is a fine example, this could become an anthem for a whole generation, and one that likely should. ‘Take time, Make time, Walk Through history’, he invites us in the refrain, what greater commentary on todays society could we have?

Great album! I even like the cover! I have no idea how many albums Rick has released in his long and industrious career, I’ll bet when you count the sessions and guesting it is close to one hundred. As I said to my wife Jan when I opened this one, “Oh honey, it’s Rick Wakeman, I have never met an album I didn’t like by him”.

I recommend that you stop what you are doing and get a copy right now from MVD.

Simon Barrett

http://zzsimonb.blogspot.com

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