If you think of Rick Wakeman, the synthesizer immediately comes to mind. The traces that the famous musician has left in rock history with this electronic powerhouse are too deep. As a sound witch of Yes, but also as a solo artist who has created large-format works for symphony orchestra and choir. Now with "Piano Odyssey" he has once again recorded a quiet album, which shows him on the grand piano.
From Rick Wakemans to the hundred solo recordings, it is above all the early albums "The Six Wives Of Henry VIII", "Journey To The Centre Of The Earth" and "The Myths And Legends Of King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table" that have remained in the memories of rock and prog fans. These established him as the intoxication gold angel on the battlements of his synthesizer castles. But the 69-year-old Englishman has also repeatedly focused on the natural sounds of the piano, as in his current recording "Piano Odyssey", a follow-up to the very successful "Piano Portraits" from 2017 in Great Britain. On a Steinway grand piano he intones pieces by Yes, David Bowie, the Beatles and Queen as well as his own compositions.
eclipsed: How did the idea for "Piano Portraits" and the following "Piano Odyssey" come about?
Rick Wakeman: It all started when my dear friend David Bowie died in 2016. I recorded a tribute to him on BBC Radio 2. "Life On Mars?" That had two million clicks in two days. People wanted it on record, so I recorded it for charity. It was number 1 in the English charts for eleven weeks, extremely unusual for an old piano piece. From this the also very successful album "Piano Portraits" was created in 2017.
eclipsed: Why the seconds with "Piano Odyssey" now?
Wakeman: Sony asked for it, but I didn't want to make a second pure piano album and had already used up the best pieces for it. But there were other pieces that did not only work on a piano basis.
eclipsed: How did you choose these?
Wakeman: All they need are great melodies to make it work.
eclipsed: Bohemian Rhapsody" also features Brian May, but not with the typical high-flying electric guitar.