Rick Wakeman

Live [Video]

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    6
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An unadorned stage performance of Wakeman's early hits, plus a couple tracks from his Time Machine album. It's a somewhat sterile performance, because while Wakeman's chops are in fine form, his synth patches are plastic tacky. The "Six Wives..." tracks come off best, though Ashley Holt's electronic percussion doesn't help much during Fernandez's drum solo in an otherwise fine reworking of "Anne Boleyn." If you're a fan of Holt's melodramatics, there's plenty of them in "Elizabethan Rock" and "Make Me a Woman," songs that also provide bassist David Paton with his fullest expression. But the center of attention is, of course, Rick. He's his usual gregarious self, and before the band charges through an abridged version of "Journey to the Center of the Earth," he gives a wry commentary on reducing the song's cast of from 340 in 1974 to four in this set.