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Rick Wakeman - In the 1970's

  by Lisa Torem

published: 30 / 8 / 2023

Rick Wakeman - In the 1970's


Author Geoffrey Feakes takes a deep dive into the 1970s, when keyboardist/composer Rick Wakeman was at the height of his creative career, in the Sonicbond DECADES series. Lisa Torem in her 'Raging Pages' book column examines it

Geoffrey Feakes previously wrote four books for Sonicbond Publishing. His book on keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman, however, fills an exceptionally, essential space in the Sonicbond DECADES series. Rick Wakeman began his career as an on-demand session keyboardist. He also played a huge role in the success of the progressive rock group, YES, which he joined in 1971. Feakes stresses that Wakeman’s most influential decade occurred in the 1970s, not least, because ’Journey to the Centre of the Earth’ grabbed the Number One spot in the UK. In addition, it was during that time that Wakeman proved that he was remarkably prolific in terms of his original output: conceptually, instrumentally and lyrically. Wakeman played with The Strawbs and with successful colleagues, the likes of Elton john and Lou Reed. He also developed a reputation as an influencer (before the term got coined) with his amusing, onstage antics and glittery wardrobe, including capes. Through an honest, detailed narrative, we see multiple sides of the iconic musician’s personality and philosophies. The book also includes commentary about TV performances and Wakeman’s reactions to setbacks. To that end, in 1976, the album ‘No Earthly Connection’ proved disappointing and controversial. Things did not go as expected and Feakes relays Wakeman’s disapproval with clarity backed by well-founded research. Besides examining closely his activities with YES, Feakes discusses in detail Wakeman’s nine solo albums and two albums with The Strawbs. Roger Dean’s exceptional artwork on album covers also gets underscored. The photo section features handsome portrait, group shots and a series of attractive album covers with related captions. This is the book to get if you want to gain a better knowledge of Rick Wakeman’s fruitful, but predictably challenging career.

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Interview (2022)
Rick Wakeman - Interview
Andrew Twambley talks to ex-Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman about touring with his long-term project The English Rock Ensemble, how he nearly became one of the Spiders from Mars and his friendship with David Bowie.



In the Nick of Time (2012)
Sophisticated and experimental prog rock on reissue of 2003 live album from Yes keyboardist, Rick Wakeman

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