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Rick Wakeman's Criminal Record

4.7 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Audio CD, November 13, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Rick Wakeman, Criminal Record
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 13, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Hip-O Select
  • ASIN: B000BQQ8P4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #277,022 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Criminal Record comes from a time when Rick Wakeman's musical creativity was at its peak - during the 80s he didn' write much that came up to the same levels, with the exception of '1984'.
Rick recorded this album right after he rejoined Yes in 1977 and they had completed Going for the One at Montreux in Switzerland. Chris Squire and Alan White both volunteered to play on Rick's album and recorded their parts after he had laid down the keyboard tracks and gone home, an unusual arrangement but I guess it was Rick's album so he got what he wanted. It doesn't seem to matter - it all seems very integrated, especially on a track like Crime of Passion with Squire's trademark melodic bass well to the fore.
It's only six tracks, based upon a theme of crime and punishment. Like Six Wives, the theme is really a vehicle to tie the album together rather than a true exploration of the concept as in the Arthur, Journey or No Earthly Connection albums. However it doesn't matter how loose the theme is, the music is very tight, very innovative and Rick's writing and arrangements show a lot of maturity and depth.
The outstanding track is the last one, Judas Iscariot, a grand, soaring piece which explores the tragic nature of the man and his circumstance. Wakeman uses the Vevey church organ which appears on Going for the One to great effect - its lavish pipes rumble everywhere on this track and others. I especially like the blend of church organ and Moog, where the two instruments appear to imitate each other, with Rick using the piano for tonal contrast or emphasis instead - it's unusual in that you'd expect piano and church organ together with Moog as contrast, but this is quite a different effect.
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Format: Audio CD
Finally, after many years of legal issues (or something like that) it's re-released this fantastic album from the best classical-rock keyboardist of all times, with 6 well-timed tracks, this album inspires everything, each composition transports you from crazy to misty, dark to mellow, happy to sad atmospheres and for the art-rock and progressive fan it's a delightful combination of complex rythms and structures that in my humble opinion equals those of Six Wives of Henry VIII... underrated masterpiece of Symphonic Rock.
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By A Customer on November 9, 2003
Format: Audio CD
From all the Rick Wakeman albums I have this is without a doubt my favorite one. I special ordered it from Japan back in the late 80's and it was worth the money. Short (36mins) but powerfull, showing all his great skills. Judas from Iscariot is an amazing song you cannot afford to miss if you like the "old" Rick. Three thumbs up.
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Format: Audio CD
In spite of being a huge Yes fan, i have to say that i consider many of Wakeman's records weak or not particularly inspired. Nevertheless, i think that 'Criminal Records' is probably his best yet. This is progressive music at its best, inspired by classical composers, but without being pretentious or overwhelming; quite the opposite, it flows graciously in a noble atmosphere mirroring the themes of crime and passion. The opener 'Statue of Justice' is simply stunning, as is the impressive closer 'Judas Iscariot'; however, my favorite track is the lovely 'Birdman of Alcatraz', an only-piano song with a touching melodie that describes briliantly the moving story of a convict sentenced to life in that infamous prison, who dedicated his time to the study of birds. The painful contrast of an imprisoned man versus the careless and free flights of birds is masterfully captured by Wakeman's music, in one of his best compositions ever. The price for the imported item is a little heavy, that's true, mas anyone who can afford it shouldn't hesitate, for it's worthy. An excelent (criminal) record.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Since it first came out on vinyl in 1977, Criminal Record has long been my favorite Wakeman album. It's truly a shame that such moving pieces as Birdman of Alcatraz, Chamber of Horrors and Judas Iscariot had to wait so long to be re-released on a limited edition CD basis in the U.S. The classically, church-trained, progressive rocker Wakeman is by far the most influential keyboardist in the 20th and 21st centuries. I rank Criminal Record to be right up there with Six Wives of Henry VIII as "1A and 1B" in Rick's long line of recorded works. Sorry, but Journey to the Centre of the Earth comes in third.
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Format: Audio CD
If you don't know it, buy it, hear it, enjoy it, feel it! One of the best works of Rick Wakeman. One of the best records of symphonic rock ever. A great musical achievement. I totally agree with Amanda Bartel's review on the evaluation of the tracks, but I would like to mark that The Birdman of Alcatraz is a little jewel. Mike "kanannas" is right: this CD is an underrated masterpiece.
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Format: Audio CD
I just got the cd, I was expecting something rather low sound quality with static and all and I was surprised to hear a really detailed, beautiful clear sound. I got a $700 dollar pear of Dynaudio speakers and I rearly run into quality like this outside of the audiophile world. the musik is of course an absolute must to all Rick fans.
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Format: Audio CD
Here is a near impossible to fine CD. Very limited in production, available only from Japan and very expensive. The tracks are typical Wakeman greatness. The Birdman of Alcatraz is a stunning piece of work. Chambers of Horrors shows Rick's creativity especially in the ending scream. There is a funny story about it. All in all, a must for the Wakeman devotees. Good luck tracking one down.
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