Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Pop, Rock
Even though the majority of the songs include vocals, Rick Wakeman's 1984 stands as one his most well-rounded albums, combining the dexterity and mastery of the keyboards with the richness and instrumental passion of vi... more »
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Even though the majority of the songs include vocals, Rick Wakeman's 1984 stands as one his most well-rounded albums, combining the dexterity and mastery of the keyboards with the richness and instrumental passion of violins, trombones, and flutes. But these instruments are only a handful that emerge throughout the 11 tracks on the album, which remains both vocally and musically true to its conceptual purpose of perpetrating George Orwell's classic tale. Wakeman implements French horns, harp, piccolos, tubas, and even marimbas to capture the essence of his pieces, all fusing quite harmoniously behind the powerful yet effective runs of piano and synthesizer. Chaka Khan and an accompanying choir along with the delicate sound of an acoustic piano aptly describe in musical form the warmth and promise of the female heroine. Tim Rice, who wrote the lyrics for the album, sings lead on The Proles, while the
At last - real lyrics to go with the great music
Amanda Bartels | Eltham, Victoria Australia | 12/29/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Of course getting Tim Rice to write the lyrics helps. This was going to be a rock musical but didn't get off the ground. It's a pity because the music and lyrics are both really good, a rare combination in Rick Wakeman's discography. '1984' is a musical interpretation of George Orwell's 1984 which Wakeman released 3 years early, good taste on Rick's part but bad timing as he was about as popular in 1981 as a fart in a Chanel factory, as he puts it. There is less Wakeman keyboard here than in most of his other albums, as it is in true musical format so relies on strong lyrics to propel the story, with keyboards and orchestra providing accompaniment. There is a flattering list of guest soloists, including Chaka Khan, Steve Harley and Jon Anderson, with even Tim Rice singing during the Proles (not very well, but it doesn't really matter.)Overture is a strong instrumental that sets the mood well, and Julia is a lovely sad love song. My favourite track is Robot Man, which is funky. I like Jon Anderson's pastoral Hymn track, and all the others are listenable as well. Tim Rice's lyrics are excellent, just what you'd expect from him and it is probably safe to say that if Rick had written them I would be knocking at least 2 stars off this rating. Orwell's book is not really brought to life in this short excerpt, but you can see where the album was heading and if 1984 had made it to the stage as a longer version, it could have been up there with Chess and others from the same era.Overall, this one is in my Wakeman top ten. Not really like anything he's ever written before or since, either. Well worth the price."
Flawed, yet UNFORGETABLE
Craig Loftin | 04/08/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)
"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."
Maybe his best album
Craig Loftin | Los Angeles | 01/02/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Once you've listened to Wakeman's essential 3 classics (King Arthur, Center of the Earth, and Henry VIII), you notice that Rick has a TON of albums out there. Many of them s#@k. This one, however, is a total joy. Great arrangements, a cleverly told story, and great guest apparences, especially from Chaka Khan. Tim Rice (who wrote all of the lyrics) also does a guest vocal, with curious results."