This very aptly named CD offers what it says, 60 minutes of Rick Wakeman at his very finest. Ricks classical training at the Royal College of Music (London) is very much in evidence. I read somewhere that one of his favorite musical pastimes is orchestrating musical pieces, and this album is a shining star in that arena.

One of his very first solo projects was his epic ‘The Six Wives Of Henry XIII’ and track one of this album is ‘Jane Seymour’. This track is right out of the J. S. Bach school of Toccata’s and Fugues. Deep pipe organ combined with light  rhythm phrases, it is a joy to encounter.

Track 3 is Julia, Chaka Kahn offers the vocals, and while they are very good, I would love to hear this song with his daughter Jemma singing. Ricks most recent album Amazing Grace features Jemma Wakeman on the title track, and I think she would be spectacular singing Julia.

Track 5 Universe Of Sound is straight from the Yes play book, and actually has Jon Anderson demonstrating his own unique style of singing. Rumor has it that Jon inhaled Helium to achieve his sound on some of Yes’s greatest works!

All of the tracks on this CD are big and sweeping expanses of musical genius as only Rick Wakeman can do. This is an immensely listenable CD. My wife has pretty narrow musical tastes, ones that revolve around Nashville and involve Pick-up Trucks, tumbling Tumbleweeds, and cheating spouses, but even she likes Rick Wakeman (there is hope for her yet).

Sixty Minutes is set for an October 30 release date, and if you cannot find it in your local record store you can get a copy from MVD.

Simon Barrett

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