Rick Wakeman

Rick Wakeman's Greatest Hits

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This Greatest Hits double-disc release is both utterly deceiving and painfully disappointing, since its tracks are made up of fabricated instrumental pieces of Rick Wakeman's album cuts. Played by Wakeman, the songs are glossed-over remakes that may be true to their original note form, but are not the actual tracks from their previously released albums. Coming off like synthesized Muzak, popular favorites such as "Merlin the Magician," "The Journey," and Yes' "Starship Trooper" lack depth, color, or energy, with only their familiar rhythms and melodies remaining. Disc one involves Wakeman's attempt at reconstructing Yes classics like "Roundabout" and "Going for the One" in this lackluster fashion, while the second disc involves the same wearisome sketching of Wakeman's most famed solo efforts. Even with Alan Thompson playing bass and Tony Fernandez on drums, the insipidness of the music still seeps through. Wakeman's failed experiment of altering his ingenious instrumental work (if in fact it was his idea ) may hold a grain of interest for its novelty factor only, but in no way does this album represent the type of artistry that he is renowned for.

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