Wed August 14th, 2002
Songs of the Middle Earth: A Tribute... (2002)
Journey To the Centre of the Earth (2002)
Live In Buenos Aires (w/the English Rock Ensemble) (2002)
The Legend Live In Concert 2000 (2002)
The Word And Music (2001)
Tales of Future And Past (2001)
Rick Wakeman (1949-Present), keyboards
Rick Wakeman not only contributed to the musical score for Ken Russell's over-the-top 1975 cinematic tribute to Franz Liszt, Lisztomania, but he acted in it as well, portraying the cryogenically preserved Norse thunder god Thor. Ringo Starr appears as the Pope, Paul "Heaven On the Seventh Floor" Nicholas plays Richard Wagner.
Rick Wakeman
Keyboardist extraordinaire Rick Wakeman is best known for his work with art rock leviathan Yes, but his contributions to that ensemble are only part of a music legacy that is both wide ranging and idiosyncratic.

Wakeman's musical aptitude was apparent from a very early age. He began studying classical piano when he was seven (for a time he seemed destined for a career as a concert pianist), and joined his first band (Atlantic Blues) when he was 14. He later attended the Royal College of Music but was dismissed when the appeal of practical playing in clubs outweighed his interest in formal theory.

Before he was out of his teens he was a popular session player and lent his talents to recordings by a dizzying array of artists ranging from Black Sabbath and David Bowie to Al Stewart. In 1970 he officially joined the Strawbs, and after two albums with that folk rock outfit moved on to Yes, with whom he would have an on and off relationship for the rest of his career.

He remained with Yes until 1974 after the release of Tales From Topographic Oceans. He spent the next three years working on a series of ambitious concept albums and related projects. His firs solo effort was an album based on Jules Verne's epic adventure Journey To the Center of the
Earth
. The blend of rock, classical and drama elements went over well with prog rock fans, particularly in England. His next effort drew on another literary source, this time the legend of King Arthur. The Myths And Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table was not only an elaborate studio affair, but a theatrical event that Wakeman later staged on ice at Wembley's Empire Pool. At the same time, he started work on the film score for Ken Russell's 1975 Lisztomania - a project for which he was ideally suited. The movie was a fanciful account of the wildly charismatic pianist/composer Franz Liszt (whose dynamic performances were said to leave women agitated and swooning) featuring Who frontman Roger Daltrey in the title role.

Wakeman returned to the Yes fold in 1977, and has continued recording and touring with the group while simultaneously maintaining a solo career that incudes his own work, joint ventures with his son Adam, former Strawbs drummer Tony Fernandez, the English Rock Ensemble, film scores and the occasional theatrical production - notably his collaboration with lyricist Tim Rice on a musical adaptation of George Orwell's dystopian novel, 1984.
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