Rhapsodizing with Rick Wakeman

Legendary keyboardist Rick Wakeman is perhaps best known for his work with Yes, a group he has joined and quit at least five times since the early ’90s. But the classically-trained musician also has a staggeringly large catalog of solo albums. Beginning with his debut release (1973’s The Six Wives of Henry VIII) and continuing

A Session with the Session Man: Rick Wakeman (Part Two)

Continued from Part One… Of all the sessions you’ve played on, is there one that really stands out as a particularly disastrous or unpleasant? No. I’ve never had any unpleasant sessions, because you’re there to make the music and play the music. Every one had sort of attributes. Going back to very enjoyable ones. I

A Session with the Session Man: Rick Wakeman (Part One)

Mention the name Rick Wakeman to a fan of ’70s rock and they’ll immediately think of Yes, the band he has joined and quit more than five times. Dig further and you’ll learn that he’s an impossibly prolific recording artist who has released more than 90 albums. Perhaps less known is his work as a

Rick Wakeman on Solo Work, Singers, and Sex Pistols

In addition to his work with Yes and Yes-related projects, Rick Wakeman has had a long, successful, and prolific solo career. [Shameless plug: I wrote the liner notes for CD reissues of two of Wakeman’s albums, Rick Wakeman’s Criminal Record and Rhapsodies.] Today I present the portion of our interview covering his solo work, and

Geeking Out on Gear: Rick Wakeman Talks Keyboards

During my conversation with Rick Wakeman, the subject inevitably turned to equipment. As a keyboard player myself, I was thrilled at the opportunity to discuss gear with one of the great keyboard players. Today I present that portion of our chat. – BK Bill Kopp: Right as you came to prominence, keyboard technology was really

In a Word, Yes: Rick Wakeman on the ARW Tour (Part 2)

Continued from Part One … My conversation with Rick Wakeman continues. Note that our chat took place in summer 2016, before the lineup of ARW had been finalized. Wakeman discusses plans for as “utility” player – a sixth member – but in the end ARW was just five musicians. I saw them in October, and

In a Word, Yes: Rick Wakeman on the ARW Tour (Part 1)

Back during the summer of this year, I enjoyed a wide-ranging and lengthy conversation with keyboard legend Rick Wakeman. The ostensible basis of our chat was the then-upcoming ARW tour, featuring three ex-members of Yes: Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, and Rick Wakeman. In this two-part feature, I present the ARW-focused part of my conversation with

Rick Wakeman, Cannonball Adderley, and Me

Today I’m going to indulge in a brief change of pace. I’d like to tell you about a pair of reissues with which I am involved. I won’t be reviewing either title – what would be the point? – but suffice to say that if I didn’t think they are superb albums, I wouldn’t have

Album Review: Rick Wakeman – No Earthly Connection

I had my initial doubts about this one, and with good reason. Among music fans, Rick Wakeman is a polarizing figure. One either loves his work or despises it. For those in the former camp, his keyboard playing, composing and arranging show a deft, assured and endlessly creative master. Both as a highly in-demand sessioner

DVD Review: Rick Wakeman – Made in Cuba

Rick Wakeman has quite a reputation. Both as a man and a musician, he’s cut a rather indelible figure since his ascendancy on the music scene in the early 1970s. While the classically-trained keyboardist got his start as a session keyboardist, working on albums by David Bowie and many others, he headed down the household-name