Well, I have always wanted to review this live album, but since i wasn`t prepared i decided to keep my intentions waiting for 3 or 4 months when i thought about this for the first time, anyway my thoughs haven`t changed since then, it seems that another member (or press the 3 start button and go person) gave it 3 stars but no review, so im giving you the first real review of this album , it doesn`t matter if you like it or not, this is only my personal point of view.
Rick Wakeman, who doesn`t know him, some might say overrated, some migh say God, anyway we can call him as The Keyboard Wizard, he has been one of the musicians talking about progressive rock (and other stuff) with big influence in people, since other great musicians has copied or attempt to follow his way of playing music, and ordinary people like me who are only music lovers.
When an artist has released more than 100 albums, including EP`s singles, Box Sets or Compillations, it`s obvious that at least a quarter (if not the half) of them are not good albums, or at least aren`t what we expected to be, seems like if it doesn`t matter to Rick, and he and his label and family i dont know decided to creat those lots of albums, when in 2001 appears a concert or live album called "Tales of Future and Past", as the title says, here we will find most of that early exquisite Wakeman`s music and some of their recents, (2001) tones, anyway, i think 9'% of his Live Albums features the same songs , with a big repertory, he could change or create lots of Live Albums with different songs in each one, but as we know, fans and people always want to sing and hear those loved songs and want to enjoy an artist`s representative moment, because if the band choose to play unknown or less known songs, people tend to get bored or dont like the concert, but sometimes despite playing the best or most popular songs, it doesn`t mean that the concert would be perfect.
This live album is a clear example of my last words in the last paragraph, now let me tell you why.
CD 1: It`s a very strange combination of songs, sometimes this kind of strange combinations are great for an album or concert i dont know, tihs is not thaaat bad, but never perfect, i could say that sometimes im not in the mood to stand this live album, which means that this part doesn`t offer you an interesting time, it starts with Merlin the Mgician (which in fact is a song that i really love, my favorite of Rick`s actually), i alwasy enjoy the lush keyboard sound that he presents, but this time it doesnt sound that good, i dont know so much about keyboards etc, but what im sure is that it sounds like if his keyboard choice wasn`t the best, i dont know if im explaining good, but if the first song sounds like this, how could sound the whole album?. Keeping his early days, the precious "Cathering Howard" arrives, beautiful piano sound, a nice performance of it, do you want to know why the album title`s Tales of Future and PAST?, well here we have a performance of "Starship Trooper", not that bad, but i prefer to skip it and listen to it with Yes, "Fields of Green" which is an album that is not so loved by people, a great performance here, one of the few Bravos that im giving to it, maybe im used to his clasic songs, so here i prefer his 90`s stuff. Can you imagine Rick playing the Rolling Stones`epic Paint it Black?, well here you have it!, a completely instrumental version which is another new thing and which sounds great. Finishing this first CD with a Medley of King Arthur, good stuff, not the best anyway.
CD 2: I'm struggling right now, because i dont really know which of both is my preferred side, this one contains less songs, but the whole performance of Journey to the Centre of the Earth, if you dont like it, just skip it because you will fall asleep for sure, let me tell you that such performance is the last song of the album, so if you`re tired or something, you better listen to it in other ocassion. Some Six Wives were performed here, with great audience and claps as usual, Jane Seymour tooks the show here, i dont have to describe what`s the music like, but always Wakeman`s keyboard sound is simply marvelous. Now is turn to Eleonor Rigby (The beatles?) oh ,. yes, again an instrumental performance of another classic, which again sounds pretty good. showing us the diversity and superb Wakeman`s playing. The Prisoner which is another of my favorite songs, is not so powerful as in the CD or another concerts, i could say that it sounds a bit weak, and completing the early period and the whole album Lancelot and the Black Night, nothing more than an average performance, the musicians are always doing their job, good as usual, nobody is outstanding, but Rick.
After all those points of view (personal points) i think that this album is good, at the same time, i think some other live albums are way better , for that reasons i could give it 2 stars, because i think not everyone could enjoy it, only Wakeman fans, but it really deserves at least 3 stars, not so recommended, but nice.
1. Merlin The Magician
2. Catherine Howard
3. Elizabethan Rock
4. Starship Trooper / Wurm
5. Fighter, The
6. Fields Of Green
7. Paint It Black
8. Oriental Iceman
9. The Myths & Legends Of King Arthur & The Knights Of The Round Table Medley
1. Catherine Of Aragon / Crying Heart, A (part 1)
2. Jane Seymour / Crying Heart, A (part 2)
3. Realisation, The / Prisoner, The
4. Lancelot And The Black Knight
5. Journey To The Centre Of The Earth
Line-up / Musicians
- Rick Wakeman - keyboards
- Paul Parker - drums, percussion
- Jim Gentry - acoustic & electric guitar
- Michael Franklin - vocals, keyboards
- Tim Franklin - electric bass, fretless bass, background vocals
Purple Pyramid, 2CD 1134 (Released on Sept. 18, 2001)
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