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Rick Wakeman: The Other Side of Rick Wakeman

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Rick Wakeman: The Other Side of Rick Wakeman

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This DVD features Rick Wakeman in an up-close and uproarious stand-up performance filmed live in front of a studio audience. The Grumpy rock legend, composer and raconteur exposes a host of hilarious anecdotes and unknown escapades experienced during his

Amazon.com

Rick Wakeman is well known as one of the greatest rock keyboard wizards, but The Other Side of Rick Wakeman proves the gifted musician to be an equally engaging raconteur and solo entertainer. The legendary Yes keyboardist has a passionate and loyal fan base, particularly in England, and this 112-minute performance (recorded at Shepperton Studios in England, in 2007) offers an all-acoustic set of favorites from Wakeman's career with The Strawbs, Yes, and his own prolific solo output. The first thing you notice is Rick's expanding pot-belly and shabby attire (the man clearly loves his Guinness), but when he's recalling humorous anecdotes or delighting a small, intimate audience with his masterful performances on a Yamaha grand piano, it's obvious that Wakeman's talent is still second to none (especially now that Keith Emerson has settled into semi-retirement). During this casual, no-frills performance (on a small stage with minimal lighting, simple camera moves and too much stage smoke), Wakeman introduces each song with funny and occasionally off-color stories and personal observations, including recollections of his first rehearsals with Yes and the band's "jigsaw puzzle" method of collaboration; working with David Bowie on the "Space Oddity" LP; the elusive "X-Factor" of spontaneous musical inspiration; and the valuable lessons he learned from his very first piano teacher.

For the most part, however, the best thing about this DVD is the music. Wakeman's established fans will recognize much of the set list from previous recordings and compilations, but with astonishing precision Wakeman brings freshness and even a few new interpretations to such favorites as "The Henry Suite" (a combination of themes from Wakeman's classic 1973 album The Six Wives of Henry VIII), "Morning Has Broken" (originally recorded as a hit for Cat Stevens), and the beautifully melodic "Birdman of Alcatraz," with audience members recruited to provide backing "birdsong." Most impressive, especially for Yes fans, is Wakeman's "lost chord" version of "And You and I," as it was originally written. After ripping through a fleet-fingered performance of the "Guinevere/Merlin the Magician" medley (from "i"The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table), Wakeman closes with an equally impressive interpretation of The Beatles' "Help" and "Eleanor Rigby," and the DVD also includes an audio-only bonus track of "Children of Chernobyl," which was also performed on Wakeman's Live in Concert 2000 DVD. And while one wishes that The Other Side of Rick Wakeman was more visually impressive, the casual atmosphere--and Wakeman's genial personality--make this a must-have DVD for fans and would-be Wakeman converts. "i"--Jeff Shannon

Rick Wakeman: The Other Side of Rick Wakeman

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