About Rick Wakeman
In 1961, he formed his first band – a jazz band “Brother Wakeman and the Clergyman”. Around the same time, Rick tried to play the clarinet and the church organ. In 1963, young Wakeman joined the blues band “The Atlantic Blues”, but after two years, he moved to the dance quartet “Concords”. In 1970, he joined the “Strawbs”, where he first tasted popularity. However, this was only a prelude to his success, and in August 1971, Rick was in the camp of the famous progressors “Yes”, and got a solo contract by the end of the year.
If the first of his records went unnoticed, the second, “The Six Wives Of Henry VIII”, forced to pay attention. The real breakthrough in his solo career happened in 1974, when he left the disc “Journey to the Centre of the Earth”. Based on the novel by Jules Verne and recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra, this album was in the Top 10 in many countries.
Downside of popularity
But the aura of fame had a downside. Intense enthusiasm for touring and alcohol led to a heart attack that happened to Wakeman on the stage during the Australian tour. However, in hospital, Rick did not rest, and in a few weeks spent there, he wrote the material for “Myths & Legends of King Arthur”.
In 1982, another “sport” album “G'ole!” came out. It reflected the enthusiasm of the famous keyboardist for football. Two years later, Wakeman’s composition “Glory boys” got on the radio. In the mid-80s, there were two interesting events in Rick’s life: he stopped drinking and turned to New Age Music. His best achievement in the new style became a disc “Country Airs”. After the release of the concept album “Time Machine” (based on the novel by HG Wells) and the next reunion of “Yes
”, Wakeman made a series of records in the spirit of ambient.